by Scott, staff writer of japan-guide.com
This journal is a log of my travels within Japan. Here you'll find my personal opinions on the places I've been and the things I've seen. Also expect to see the occasional review and editorial. Thanks for reading.
2009/10/28 - Mount Fuji
Today we headed down to Mount Fuji to check out how the leaves are progressing around a few of the 5th Stations around the mountain and at Lake Kawaguchi. It has been our experience that you really need to arrive as close to sunrise as possible for a clear view of Mt. Fuji, as it is often obscured by clouds by mid morning. Sure enough, stopping of at Lake Kawaguchi just after sunrise gave us a wonderfully clear view of the mountain. The trees around the lake turned out to be further along than expected with cherry trees being the predominant tree in color, while the maples are just beginning to turn. The following shot was taken an area of the lake that is famous for its cherry trees which can be seen in our April 16, 2009 Cherry Blossom Report.
Next we headed up to the Kawaguchi 5th Station, which is the largest and most visited of the stations on Mt. Fuji. The trees along the Subaru Line toll road which leads to the station were most colorful at the lower elevations around the first station. Farther up the road the colors began to thin out, however around the fourth station we started coming across lots of yellow larch trees, a late changing species, which were in full color. The Kawaguchi 5th Station was quite colorful with larch trees extending all the way up to the tree line.
Next we headed to the Subashiri 5th Station just across the border in Shizuoka Prefecture. Again, the road up to the station was predominantly past its peak, while the higher elevations had lots of yellow larch trees. Although the trails to the summit officially close this weekend, there is a short 15 minute hike from the Subashiri trailhead to the peak of Kofuji, a small volcanic outcropping on the side of Mt. Fuji. From Kofuji there were quite nice views over Fujigoko below, however as it was midmorning, the top of Mt. Fuji was already shrouded in clouds.
Upon returning to the Subashiri 5th Station, we stopped at one of the small rustic shops for lunch. They seemed to specialize in mushrooms and we enjoyed some delicious mushroom spaghetti and mushroom udon before heading home.