Nature Sights btwn Tokyo and Kyoto
Replies: 1 - Last Post: Aug 13, 2012 10:38 PM Last Post By: kelvetica
Aug 13, 2012 4:31 PM
My first choice was Mt. Fuji, I would really like to go to the bat cave and Shiraito Waterfall. But there is not a lot of information on either place. I was wondering can Mt. Fuji be done in a day? And has anyone heard of that waterfall?
If Mt. Fuji is too much for a day (or day and a half) where should we go? I was looking at Nikko it seems kinda cool. Waterfalls and steam vents/ sulfur pools is what I am most interested it.
Aug 13, 2012 10:38 PM
I live just north of Tokyo and have visited the Mt Fuji area a few times. When you ask if "Mt Fuji can be done in a day," it depends on what you mean. Climb it? No, not really. Especially not in November. (But you probably already know that.) Sightseeing? Probably. The Fuji Five Lakes area is beautiful and has a lot to offer. Mt Fuji has its own microclimate and tends to be a cloud magnet. It will be clear for miles around on some days, but no sight of Fujisan. But the time of year you're going is clearer, and the chances of catching it are greater (but I can't guarantee it).
The best, most honest advice if you really want to see Mt Fuji is to spend more than a day in the area, and to not spend all of it in towns right at the base of it. Because the mountain is frequently cloudy, you may find yourself looking up into the clouds trying to just catch a glimpse of it. (Exception: the Fujiyoshida Sengen shrine in Fujiyoshida City -- it's at the base of the mountain, and is one of my absolute favorite spots in Japan. Lots of beautiful tall trees, mossy stones and graves, etc) If you luck out and are there on a completely clear day, make the trek to the Chureito Pagoda .
East of Mt Fuji and south of Tokyo is Hakone, a beautiful, sprawling mountain + lake resort town. It's pretty upscale, has nice museums, hotels and hostels with onsen, and some really fine nature. Hakone also has the longest ropeway in Japan, which I recommend. You can take it to Owakudani, where you can eat eggs that have been boiled in a natural sulfurous spring that turns the shells black - and you can also see Mt Fuji from there! If you're interested, you can buy a transportation pass from Odakyu that will get you to Hakone and back from Shinjuku in Tokyo and covers almost all transportation options in Hakone (including the ropeway). It's totally worth it!
I have also visited Nikko a couple times. My friend Scout owns the Zen Hostel there, and he loves to hike and visit the waterfalls in the area. (He has a van to drive his peoples around in.) I was there in November of last year and took a hike through the Senjogahara Plain to the Yumoto Onsen - wonderful day! You may see a monkey or two, also.
Whew! Hope that wasn't too much, and that others add their recs. No matter where you travel, though, you're sure to see the beautiful autumn leaves. You picked a great time to visit Japan!
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