Saturday, January 11, 2014


Ancient road number one: the Tokaido Highway.  A cedar-lined path on the old road to Tokyo during the Edo period.  Now it links two small towns on the banks of Lake Ashinoko, itself a volcanic crater sitting at 950 meters above sea level, in the shadow of Mt. Fuji.

I hadn't realized how absolutely and utterly iconic Mt. Fuji is.  He is such an icon that all you need to represent him in print is a trapezoid, top half white and bottom half blue.  Apparently shrouded in clouds most of the time, he made a full appearance for us this wintry morning.  It was hard not catch the infectious Japanese giddiness at seeing him. 

He hasn't erupted since 1740 something but he's still got excellent underground activity bubbling.  We smelled the highly sulfurous gases coming from a bubbling source at the popular viewing spot of Owakudani.  And then we ate five boiled eggs cooked in that very same bubbling source.  The shells turned black in the water.  We cracked them, peeled them, and ate them with salt while staring at the (lonely/noble/humongous/secretive) icon that would soon be cloaked in clouds again.

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