Sunday, August 29, 2010





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So, the hike up Mt Fuji was pretty damn cool...not only was it a beautiful evening out without rain, wind or lines - we were able to hike up by moonlight! I felt so very authentic and rustic Japanese....
It took us about 6 hours to get to the top from the 5th station on the mountain. If you remember last time, we were pelted by rain, hail and wind that actually forced us down early and kept up from the top. This time we were able to get all the way to the top without any problems. We did run into many annoying Americans, some of which thought I was Japanese and were talking about me as I was hiking - I giggled the whole time and they were so embarrassed at the top when I turned to Erin, my hiking partner, and said, "Im pretty sure they thought I didn't speak any English", which they then went white and ran away...lol
We were there at the top way before we shoulda been - almost 3 hours to wait for the sunrise - which normally would have been fine - but because it was zero degrees - and I only had a jacket and sweatshirt on - I shivered and bitched the whole time waiting....We made a nest to keep warm by a big rock and had the most perfect viewing position - so we rotated turns going down to the little hut below that had a bathroom and souvenirs. There were probably about 1000 people on the hill with us to view, which was awesome to watch people hiking up below us because it looked like a airport runway all the way down the mountain - insane! All these little ants marching up the hill at 3 am in the dark to reach the summit - unfortunately, some people didn't make it because the line was so long and some people aren't as quick and nimble, some had to enjoy the sunrise from the side of the trail.

I had packed 2 special things in my bag - sake to cheers with a cucumber...
I know, a cucumber?! Well the story goes that when you hike up Fuji, you are much closer to the heavens, so you are able to communicate with your ancestors. So, while you are up there, they come down and you bring the cucumber with you and a pair of chopsticks to build what looks like a horse. This is so that the spirits of your ancestors are able to ride back to heaven. During Obon, the really big holiday weekend in Japan, the top of the mountain is littered with these. It was kinda a special moment - all until I cheersed my sake and spilled it all over! I think that the lack of oxygen made my head psyche itself out and i think "loopy" is the only word to describe my actions. :)

It was the last chance this year to be able to go and hike up Mt. Fuji since the season closed this weekend - because it starts to get too cold, icy, rainy and dangerous. I'm so glad that I was able to conquer that beast! It was one of those special moments that you keep with you forever, even though I'm sure all the people on the train home would rather of us not shared with them since we smelled like all the worst parts of a rodeo or sewer treatment plant - but, hey - you can't win em all....I just winked at them and said, "when was the last time you climbed Fuji-san eh?" :)

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