Thus we began driving UP Mount Fuji. I mean, why not? You’re there; you have a car; why just stare up at it?
The first interesting thing we came across was the road itself.
You can’t see it in this photo, but there are grooves that have been carved into the road. According to the signs we passed (or what we THINK the signs in Japanese with musical notes said,) if you drive on the road at the speed limit, the grooves carved into the pavement make sounds when your tires pass over then. The result: you hear a short song in your car via the vibration as you’re driving. It only lasts about 20 seconds, but it was an interesting detail the placed there to begin your ascent.
I did some digging on the Internet and (of course) someone made a short video of it. According to the YouTube description, the song is actually the “Mount Fuji Song” and there are lyrics to it. I did not take this video, but here it is for your viewing pleasure. (It’s only 37 seconds.)
Now, the biggest challenge when trying to visit a giant dorment volcano in Japan is the weather. The county isn’t exactly known for it’s clear days in the countryside (especially in March,) so we went on this adventure knowing full well that we probably would not see get to see the top of Mount Fuji.
Then this happened:
We had stopped as the “second step” because I saw a family pulled over taking photos at (what was) an otherwise abandoned stop. Curious, we pulled over and saw that the clouds had briefly broken and you could see the peak. Needless to say, we were thrilled. At the risk of sounding cliche, “majestic” seems like the most appropriate word to describe the look and feel of the mountain. The view was breathtaking.
After a few moments (and a few photos later) we jumped back in the Nissan Cube and continued driving. Partly because the clouds came back and obscured the view, but mainly because it was getting REALLY COLD. As with all true mountains we have driven up (check out my post about Mount Evans,) the further up you go, the cooler it gets… and eventually you see the white stuff:
So to be clear:
- According to my body, it was still the middle of the night thanks to the time zone shift.
- I was driving on (what I perceived) to be the wrong side of the road.
- I was also driving up curving roads on a mountain.
- There was snow on the road.
In retrospect, I think I now know why Shannon looked so nervous on the drive up. 🙂
Eventually we made it to the fourth step (stop) which was the farthest you could go that day and man, the views.