Yesterday, Monday July 19th, was Marine Day (Umi No Hi) here in Japan and because of this there was no work! Which is always great. To take advantage of this, I went on a quick camping trip to Lake Tanuki with my Fuji ALT friends, Ryan and Tim.
Lake Tanuki is less than an hours drive north of Fuji City in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and one of a lot of lakes in the area with great views of Mt. Fuji. I'm told that Lake Tanuki is most popular for having great reflections of Mt. Fuji, making for amazing photos. But since its the summer, Mt. Fuji stayed behind the clouds for the most part.
We arrived just as night was falling and immediately set up camp and got a quick BBQ in. After that we decided to go exploring the pitch black camp site and make friends. We pretty quickly befriended a family also enjoying the long day weekend.
The next morning I was awaken by the rising sun, but not so pleasantly because the sun apparently rises at 4:30 AM in Japan. Since I was up, I decided to take a stroll around the lake in the daylight, since I didn't get a good look at it the night before.
While on my walk, I said good morning to an older Japanese couple, "Ohai-o gozaimasu", and the husband asked where I was from in English. He had fairly good English and we had a nice quick conversation. Apparently he lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for a year a few decades ago. Little encounters like that seem to happen to me frequently when I travel in Japan, and even occasionally here in Fuji.
By the time I got back to camp about two hours later, the sun had properly risen and this view came over our camp site.
When I first arrived I was even able to see light reflecting off the radar system at the peak of the mountain. While its not the iconic snow-capped version of Mt. Fuji that's on the postcards, its still an okay mountain to look at.
On our way back to Fuji we stopped at Shiraito Falls. An amazing waterfall a short drive from Tanuki whose water almost completely surrounds you, it was pretty spectacular.
Definitely a great camping trip and there are definitely more planned in the future.