Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fujiyama From Shinkansen

Panoramic views of Lake Hamana Ookusa Mountain Observatory, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Friday (29/10)
By  Sri Hartati Samhadi, executive summary by Darmansjah Godjali

Air cold and foggy morning greeted us in Gotemba City, a city located at an altitude of 450-600 meters behind the back of Mount Fuji, Shizuoka Perfecture region, central Japan.

It's the second day of our visit in Japan. Tomiyaua Yoshiko, our guide who is very diligent in announcing the latest developments in weather forecast, the night had warned, the weather today will drop again and the opportunity will not rain 100 percent.

He suggested we put on a bit thick jacket or raincoat. Even the weather forecast said a hurricane was approaching Tokyo and Shizuoka city that day before we visited.

Fortunately the storm was expected to be visited the places we visited that day by coincidence his position a little distance from the Pacific Ocean. However, cold air inevitably make body shivered as well. From here we drove to the Fuji Visitor Center to watch the snow-shrouded mountain near the summit of a very famous.

Unfortunately, the weather during the later is not friendly. That day we should be able to ride up to the fifth station Fujiyama which is the final limit for the access of vehicles to climb the mountain altitude 3776 meters. This place is the closest and most strategic post for tourists for a close look at Fuji which is said to have four different faces in four different seasons that.

However, suddenly in the middle of the trip was announced that the day was heading at an altitude of 2400 meters above sea level is closed to all visitors due to security considerations due to hurricanes.

Suddenly immediately rushed disappointment and grunt like a choir from the rest of the bus carrying a group journalists from Asia and Australia. Failed to have seen saruju (snow in Japanese) at the top of Fuji.

Although early November when we arrived there was still an atmosphere of spring-one of the best season to visit Japan in the outer room-temperature rapidly changing so do not benefit us. On several occasions, temperatures drop rapidly approaching winter temperatures, accompanied by rain and storm surge. In fact, if there was no hurricane, we actually could see Fuji right in the front of our bus.

We are less fortunate. According to Yoshi (the nickname our guide), only two days in a year peak of Fuji could be seen with the naked eye from the position we were at that time. And by chance one of them when we were visiting there. We only see the thick white fog that blanketed the entire expanse of the back of the mountain, with visibility only about 10 meters.

As a result, we should be satisfied just seeing the pictures posted on the board Fuji Fuji Visitor Center and the wall, or through a projector that continues to play. We also no opportunity to see Fuji-Goka, five series of the famous lakes surrounding the volcano that last erupted in 1707-1708.

Some of us even have to content themselves photographed with Fuji pictorial background wall. Perhaps, for evidence or a marker that we ever set foot in this place.

The atmosphere Fuji Visitor Center that day was busy as usual. Visitors can be counted on the fingers, perhaps because of the weather. According to information at the Fuji Visitor Center, the best time to see Fuji is during winter when the sky was clear and not too humid air. However, Fuji is located in two perfecture, Shizuoka and Yamanashi itself, is only open to the public during the summer climbing.

Fujiyama become one of the attractions and major tourist destination of Japan, with the number of foreign tourists visiting this place is increasing from year to year. A third climber Fuji also strangers.

In fact, hundreds of years ago this sacred mountain area virtually off limits to foreigners, as well as for women.
Written documentation in one of the walls says Fuji Visitor Center, the first foreigner to set foot in this place is the British Ambassador to Japan first, Sir Rutherford Alcock, namely at the end of the Edo period in 1860. Ascent Alcock took a big mission related country Friendship and Commerce Treaty (Friendship and Commercial Treaty) Japanese-English. In addition, also to see for themselves whether the Japanese citizens who live far from the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Tokyo (then still called Edo) still has a sense of hostility towards foreigners.

However, this historical event was apparently angered the Japanese people who regard it as a form of defamation against Fuji who had been their great-glorifying. Local media do not want to miss, also lowers the report that describes the wrath of god lord Fuji because of the invasion of foreigners in the place and the coverage of the strangers who disappeared while trying to conquer the sacred mountain.

Today Fuji no longer taboo to foreigners. Through various incentive promotions, this place seemed to summon all the travelers from all over the world to linger, of course do not forget to join the foreign exchange disbursed prosperous society that area.

Natural carpet

As we boarded the bus and the bus slid back down again to the city-this time toward Takeyama-fog would not go well and drizzledo not want to stop as well . However, our disappointment somewhat relieved by the panorama of nature surrounding the back of Fujiyama.

Along the way for 1.5 hours on a bus that took us up and well on our way back down to town, we were able to watch the slopes of mountains that stretch of trees like a carpet covered with leaves starting to change colors like a painting of nature, extending such colorful carpet that blanketed the mountain body. The difference is, this is much more beautiful than the painting.

Some of us do not have time to sleep because the previous sleep on the plane, but my eyes kept awake since Yoshi story that is not stopping along the way too darling to pass up. Timber forest we passed did not selebat tropical rain forest in Borneo or Sumatra first, but it saves a long history of the triumph of the Japanese rulers of the past, which sometimes may be bitter for the majority of ordinary Japanese citizens.

The entire stretch of forest at the foot of Fuji, according to Yoshi, formerly under the authority of kesoghunan Takugawa. The wood in it is a wealth of very valuable and well guarded by the Shogunate. No one shall be cut down or cut the branches once. For those who dare violate, no forgiveness, the death penalty was waiting. Although long-term kesoghunan passed, the forest is maintained to this day.

Our disappointment is fully relieved when the dream to see Fuji with our own eyes finally accomplished also. This time of the shinkansen window on our way back to Tokyo from Nagoya on the last day visit to Japan. Fuji is spectacular body size, with a peak of snow-capped symmetrical cone-shaped silvery, gray glistening under a clear sky and blazing sun. It is not seseru close look at his back, but okay.
I promise, someday she will come back here again ....


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