I did not get to post yesterday, as it was a day for great adventures: a bus ride from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, a bus ride up to a point about 7,000 feet up the incredible dormant volcano, a boat trip across a crater lake in Hakone, a gondola ride up another massive mountain that provided spectacular views of the world and Pacific Ocean, and then … the coup for my youngest son … a ride back to Tokyo on the super-fast bullet train. Wow.
One observation: the commuter trains here are brutal at rush hour — the trains are packed full and yet, no one speaks, no one communicates. It’s a small space with no sound. Unless you are Americans with five young kids and then all you hear are our voices. Also, the train waits for no one. There is a strict timetable – to the minute — and the doors close whether or not you are all the way in. There are even train employees called “pushers” that jam you into the train to make sure the doors close on time. If you have little kids, this is a bit stressful, as you might imagine.
Doors close, in or out;
This train stops for no one;
Mount Fuji is as impressive as you might imagine — rising as a white landmark from miles and miles away. We got lucky – it was clear skies and blue and we could see all the way to the top. It was breathtaking in its beauty.
white-capped, majestic beauty;
And finally, after a gondola ride up another mountain, we were greeted by an ornate temple, standing like a sentry thousands of feet up in the air.
Red temple standing
near five volcanic craters
peaceful and serene
Peace (in poetry),