Thursday, 20 August 2015

JVlog #23: Mount Fuji & Lake Kawaguchiko Day 2 Part 2 - The Wind Cave

Good Day Everyone,

I am so very sorry that it's taken me so long to conclude our Mount Fuji trip. I have been struggling so much with my arthritis riddled body this past month that I literally feel like life has passed me by. My arthritis has spread to my jaw which has been causing severe head, ear and teeth ache, as well as making it difficult to chew food. I'm also having difficulty using my right hand as the joint damage and deformity is getting worse. This has been very frustrating given that I'm right handed for everything. I have an appointment to see a rheumatologist next month and recently I've taken a few steps to try and manage my pain levels better. I'm finally starting to feel like I'm living again (rather than merely existing) and so I'm looking forward to sharing more vlogs with you all :o).

Now back to our Mount Fuji trip. After spending a wonderful morning at the Shibazakura Festival (which you can see here), we headed back to Kawaguchiko where we bought a pass for the Kawaguchiko sight seeing bus. The pass cost ¥1,200 per person and is valid for two consecutive days. Even though we were going to be using the pass for just one afternoon, it was definitely worth it because by this point my arthritic joints were starting to hurt quite a lot and the hot humid weather was starting to get to me. The sight seeing buses cover two main routes; one around Lake Kawaguchiko and the other around Lake Saiko, another one of the Fuji Five Lakes. Both routes depart from Kawaguchiko station and when we purchased the tickets we were given a route map along with bus times. It is worth noting that these sight seeing buses only run from around 9-5/6pm and some of the stops along the routes are quite remote so its important to plan your return journey. 
In the interest of giving our feet a rest we hopped onto the sigh seeing bus and decided to head quite far out past Lake Saiko so that we could enjoy the scenic views whilst keeping cool in the air conditioned bus. On the bus we met a group of young lads from Singapore who were on their way to the ice caves. Hubby and I thought that that sounded pretty cool and decided to do the same. Once off the bus we followed the signs that led us into a woodland. The woodland was absolutely beautiful with tall trees that had the most amazing root structures all over the ground. It was the kind of place that you'd expect to see in one of The Hobbit movies. 
Loved the bamboo hand rail
After a short walk, we came across a ticket counter where we asked about the ice caves. The elderly Japanese lady at the counter gestured that it was a 25min walk away through the woodland and when we looked, we realised that there was no defined path and the terrain was very uneven. Hubby and I decided to leave it, as not only were we not wearing the right kind of foot gear for that terrain, but we would also be cutting it fine when it came to catching the last sight seeing bus back to Kawaguchiko. Seeing our disappointed faces the elderly lady pointed to a poster on the wall which was for a wind cave that was just a few minutes walk away, so hubby and I bought tickets for that and headed further into the woodland. You can see the vlog of our afternoon in the video below :o).
We climbed down a flight of steps to the entrance of the wind cave. Once we came to the end of the first set of steps, we noticed that the temperature dropped all of a sudden.
Entrance to the wind cave
As we walked further into the cave we saw icicles hanging from the rocks. It wasn't long before we were shivering from the cold, and the bamboo hand rail that I was once so pleased to see was redundant because it was ice cold. There was no way I could hold onto it for more than a second or two. Not ideal given how wet, icy and slippy the ground inside the cave was.
At various points within the cave, the head height was so low that even I had to crouch. Further inside the cave we saw collections of ice blocks and structures. Aside from the ice, there wasn't much else to see inside the cave. There certainly wasn't anything to suggest that this was specifically a wind cave. As we reached the end of the cave, we saw the same group of lads from Singapore. It transpired that they also had the same concerns that we did about the terrain and catching the last bus back.
Inside the cave

Once we made our way back out into the warmth, hubby & I were both kind of glad that we made the decision not to go to the ice caves as we definitely weren't wearing the right clothing. Poor hubby's arms were freezing as he was in just a t-shirt. After catching the last sight seeing bus back to Kawaguchiko, we caught the first of four trains to make our way back home to Yokohama. Although we came to Kawaguchiko on the coach, there were no seats available on the return coach. It was a long 3.5hrs back home. Had the weather been dry for the next day then we would probably have stayed an extra night at Kawaguchiko, but sadly rain was forecasted. Plus we had shipping boxes waiting to be packed in preparation for departure from Japan.

I hope you've enjoyed these blogs and vlogs of our trip to Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. Aside, from the wind cave, I would definitely recommend the other three activities/sights that we did. Had we had more time then we would have liked to have gone to the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, even though we're not thrill seekers.

I can imagine Mount Fuji and the surrounding mountain area being absolutely stunning during the autumn/fall as the maple leaves change colour. Spring would be another great time of year to visit with the cherry blossoms and that was when we originally intended on going, but unfortunately that 2-3 week period when the blossoms were in bloom, was very wet this year. Nonetheless we really enjoyed our time and would highly recommend a visit, if you're ever planning a holiday to Japan :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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