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.