In 2012, I reached the summit of Mt. Fuji, Japan's tallest mountain. It was one of the highlights of my stay here in Japan, though I don't have any plan to climb it again. However, I had plans of visiting the five lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji. Luckily, there was an available Fujigoko (Fuji five lakes) photo tour at the start of the year. The one day tour costs from 8,000 - 12,000 yen depending on the travel date.
The Fuji Five Lakes (富士五湖, Fujigoko) were formed hundreds of years ago by lava flows which dammed up rivers during Mount Fuji's multiple eruptions. more here
After a disappointing first sunrise of the year adventure, I, Alaine and Noli thought that this tour could possibly erase our disappointments. For days prior to the event date, we hoped for a perfect weather. It was given to us.
the white-haired queen cried
five teardrops in fours seasons
for Poetry Pantry 236
for Poetry Pantry 236
The tour was led by Sugi-sensei. He gave useful tips on how to capture the beauty and magnificence of Mt. Fuji… in Japanese. I am so thankful for my friends for translating those tips for me. Most of times though, we joined photo trips because we are too lazy to plan everything on our own.
As for the description of each lake, I will be quoting Japan Guide.
First stop was at Lake Yamanakako. Must be because of the cold temperature or some have New Year hang-over, not so many people were there during our trip. Still, we had the swan as a willing model.
Lake Yamanakako (13 km circumference) is the largest and easternmost of the five lakes. The lake has good views of Mount Fuji, especially from its northern coast. It is the second most developed lake with small towns at each end and it is popular for various water and lakeside outdoor activities such as wind surfing and tennis. more here
Next was at Lake Kawaguchiko. I have been here four times already so I did not take much photos. Also, I didn't like the spot where we were given 30 minutes to shoot.
Lake Kawaguchiko (13 km circumference) is the most easily accessible and most developed of the five lakes. Its eastern shores are populated by hotels and ryokan, while its western shores remain calm and mostly undeveloped. more here
Then we went to Lake Saiko. Mt. Fuji is blocked by the mountains and I think this was one of the reasons why it's the least popular among the five lake.
Lake Saiko (10.5 km circumference) is only one kilometer west of Lake Kawaguchiko, however it is barely developed, possibly due to the fact that its view of Mount Fuji is partially blocked by other mountains except at the lake's western tip. more here
My favorite was Lake Shojiko. The frozen lake was pure magic especially when the ice starts breaking. Click the video of ice breaking here.
Lake Shojiko (2.5 km circumference), by far the smallest of the five lakes, is located another five kilometers west of Lake Saiko, and is sparsely developed with just a few hotels along its northern shore. more here
The last was Lake Motosuko. Lots of memories came back as this was the first place I went to since returning back to Japan in 2008. This was also the place where I took serenity, which is still one of my favorite Fuji shots.
Lake Motosuko (13 km circumference) is the westernmost of the five lakes and has good views of Mount Fuji, including the view which appears on the back of the 1000 yen bill. more here.
Mt. Fuji continues to amaze me. I will never get tired taking her photos. Perhaps I could make a book about her. But first, I have to learn more about long exposure photography.
wow. what beautiful country...Fuji has to be so imposing and large...the country around it you show us the beauty of it...i wonder at the symbolism of the 5 teardrops in 4 seasons....ReplyDelete
fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and I reached the peak after 12 hours of hiking. lol. 5 lakes were formed after eruption happening in 4 seasons....Delete
oy, ok...got it....seems pretty obvious eh?Delete
Those wonders are so adorably alluring. Thank you for sharing 'em to us. I like your haiku with Mt. Fuji personified as white-haired queen!ReplyDelete
most of the time, she has the snow cap... in all four seasons.Delete
..certainly that what makes her even more adorable to watch... lucky you to have set foot on its peak... her crowning white hair... :)Delete
but the 12 hour hike is something i won't do again. maybe haha.Delete
Oh, those photos are out of this world, Totomai. I feel as if I am right there. And, yes, perhaps you could make a book totally of Fuji! I liked your haiku. Fuji is a 'diamond' indeed, and your photos do her justice!ReplyDelete
one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan - Mt. Fuji. i'll try to study long exposure first to have variety in my fuji book (in case I decide to make one) :-)Delete
ow wow... those are breathtaking pics - my two favs are the one with the swan and the one with ice on the lake... you have such a good eye for motifs... awesomeReplyDelete
thanks. the icy lake is also my favorite.Delete
Clearly you were very lucky with the weather. You are such a gifted photographer and it is a joy to view your work.ReplyDelete
i dont know what would have i done if the weather was bad haha.Delete
It is all stunning as ever but your poem struck me - the white queen ad her five teardrops...pure magicReplyDelete
she was allowed only to shed 5 tears :-)Delete
The poem of the white queen.. yes you are so right in your comment on my poem.. there is also a sadness of those snowcapped mountains.. I had admired the clinking of ice very much. If you ever come to Sweden we have to go look for motives together... I think your pictures breathing cold weather instead of the post-card cherry-blossom kind is by far better.. and got me thinking of the woodblocks by Hokusai. Especially the one with the ice that to me speaks the same way as the tsunami with Fuji in the background.ReplyDelete
oh i would love to visit Sweden again, i went there for a day in Malmo. Wish I could go back in Europe :-)Delete
Thanks for the notes as I appreciate the amazing pictures ~ I love the poem of the Japan's Diamonds and that Lake with the ice breaking ~ Its only recently that I appreciate winter ice & the beauty of it here in Canada ~ When we had winter ice storm last year, it was surreal to see the trees turn into ice crystals the kind that you see in movies ~ Enjoyed this one Totomai ~ReplyDelete
Grace (from my other blog)
Thanks Kabayan. I wanted to describe it in my own words but I need historical references so I quote some of the descriptions from Japan Guide. Sometimes, I guess we need to open our eyes to appreciate even our least favorite season.Delete
Beautiful pics Totomai. The eye of the pro is no match to what an amateur tries to do with a camera!ReplyDelete
aaaw thanks for the kind words. but lots of them are really goodDelete
Your photos are stunning. I did not know there were five lakes near Mount Fuji. A haiku was the perfect choice for such beauty. "five teardrops in fours seasons' - my favorite line.ReplyDelete
i've been hearing about five lake a while so when we saw there's a one day tour, we joined immediatelyDelete
lovely pics... thanks for taking us thereReplyDelete
my pleasure ;)Delete
awesome haiku! Mt Fuji must be blushing if she could readReplyDelete
Enjoyed your photo feature at Poets United today, congrats on your photo book
you're welcome Gillena. mt. fuji is blushing every spring.Delete
those area really beautiful photographs and a lovely haiku.ReplyDelete
thanks Natasca :) cheers!Delete
Fuji is Japan's diamond ! Stunning photos. I wrote a post on your photography. Pop over and have a look !ReplyDelete
Sorry for missing it last week. had a look already :)Delete
Gorgeous on so many levels!ReplyDelete
You have such an adventurous life! My favorite picture is the one with the swan. Love the metaphor of the 5 teardrops being the lakes ~ beautiful mountain and country. :)ReplyDelete
she's the most photographed in japan. thanksDelete
Totomai, your photos - and the landscape - are spectacularly beautiful. Wow! That is a very cool tour, to see that many lakes in one day. My fave shot is Lake Saiko, as the mountain is so close and imposing in that shot. I love your poem!!! The white haired queen crying five teardrops is a wonderful explanation for the lakes.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sherry. It was a great experience to finally see the five lakes :) I did not care about the freezing temperature at all lolDelete
Glad you got good weather to shoot to your heart's content. What a beautiful place that still looks unspoiltReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing
if the weather was bud, i will cry like a child who lost his favorite toy lolDelete
This is a wonderful journey, and I hope that I can share one with other people someday. I loved the images that you've provided because they helped me imagine being there.ReplyDelete
feel free to join the virtual tour :)Delete
Oh, love those lakes, they are so contrasting under changing sky...., Fuji just really as you say "white queen" ~ mighty and beautiful. Totomal, you sound as ambassador of this beauty, good for you and thanks for sharing with us! xReplyDelete
she's more beautiful during spring :)Delete
The images and words have left me breathless....ReplyDelete
thanks Donna :)Delete
Your eye catches raw beauty. Thank you for sharing these places with us.ReplyDelete
my pleasure to let everyone have a virtual tourDelete
Love! White haired! Beautiful.ReplyDelete
Beautiful array of photos, and like others before me, I was touched by your lines of poetry about the white queen. You have a very good eye for capturing the scene. Also liked the ones that were shared on the Poetry Pantry's site. One especially, the autumn trees...may I play with it, please?ReplyDelete
sure Elizabeth, go ahead :)Delete
wow those are some lovely clicks!ReplyDelete
They were :)Delete
Breath-taking images. This is going up on my To-visit bucket list. :)ReplyDelete
Please visit Japan :)Delete
Superb photographs, and what a trip!! I enjoyed the poem very much.ReplyDelete
Thanks! One of the best one day trips I hadDelete
Lovely photos, and a great poem for Fujiyama.ReplyDelete
Arigatou G LDelete
Thanks for the feature Maggie :-)ReplyDelete