July 6, 2012
Shin Fuji, Japan
Jet lag has it's plusses. It's always great waking up at 4:00am knowing that you have extra hours in your day to accomplish the things that you might not get done if you sleep until 7 or 8. So thank you for a brief case of the J-Lag as I was able to start my first full day in Japan with a nice jog along the banks of the Fuji River. Although I waited until 7am to do this, the humidity had received the same wake up call that I had, and thus the air was thick as I set out to explore the local area.
Running in a foreign land is always an adventure and especially when you are nearly a foot taller and a different shade than most of the people you come across. Running over the moss covered paths and through a few community gardens I finally arrived river side, a small snake greeted me and didn't through me off my course and I returned home feeling energized to start the day.
Today's goal was to drive around the mountain. Mt. Fuji is a national icon to the Japanese people and standing over 12,000 feet it's presence is definitely felt. After a nice breakfast of toast, salad and coffee, my host and I departed for our journey.
Japan is a very mountainous nation with 73% of it's land mass considered moutainous. In addition, there are trees everywhere. So our drive today was through amazing forests of trees while winding our way up and around the Mt. Fuji region. Along the way we stopped at a Temple, a variety of lakes, streams and waterfalls and had a traditional Soba lunch in one of the most eclectically decorated restaurants I had ever been to. Think dolls, lots of flowers, a stuffed deer, photos of japan, and menu items all joined together on the walls. Probably not too many design awards are won by that interior designer. However the noodles were great and that's why we were there!
The journey around Mt. Fuji was approximately 100 miles and took us about 4 hours to complete with a variety of stops along the way. It was a real eye opener to see the natural beauty that most people, including myself, don't even know exists. Nature is everywhere and today we experienced it in it's finest form.
We returned home close to 5:00pm with the excitement of a great sushi dinner closing in on us. We travelled the mile or so to Matsui where we indulged on some amazing fish... no California Rolls could be found anywhere!
Jet lag has returned... it's 9:00pm and it's time to hit the hay in my tatami room.
I return to Tokyo tomorrow with a Tokyo Giants game headlining the schedule.