UPON ARRIVAL in Narita Airport, we headed straight to Shinjuku and caught the highway bus to Yamanashi prefecture on a 2-hour journey. The bus had us dropped off at Kawaguchiko station – a lovely sight with its trains and railway tracks.
The small town of Kawaguchiko
The town of Kawaguchiko was quiet. But it was quaint.
It was already close to evening when we arrived, so we decided to take a walk by Lake Kawaguchi before heading for dinner. My my, what a gorgeous view of the sun setting behind Mt Fuji overlooking the waters. Blessed to have caught that in time.
Beautiful Mt Fuji overlooking Lake Kawaguchi
A small shrine along the lake
The love of Mt Fuji
Tired from our first day of jet setting and travelling, it was such a relief that K’s House Mt Fuji was a great lodging choice. It was my first time sleeping on Tatami mats and the room came with comfortable Futon beddings. Kind of reminded me of Doraemon sleeping in Nobita’s closet… we later also fought for space next to the heater (my first time travelling with a group of boys too). Slept so soundly that night and all ready for our morning adventures.
Lay out the Tatami mats tonight!
The next morning, the taxi picked us up at 7.30am and off we went to fulfill our greatest agenda for this Japan trip… snow-skiing!
Fujiten Ski Resort
I had a hilariously oversized skiing gear on, nothing close to the latest fashion statement. But heck, I was in it for the snow-skiing.
Whoever said that snow-skiing was easy… THEY LIED. It was long past an hour before I roughly figured out how to work the ski poles and put together my balancing act. But of course, the battle was not even close to half-done.
I had to overcome the damn ski lift.
It wasn’t that I was afraid of heights (I swear!). It was just that the signs were all in Japanese, and it was halfway through going up that I realised I had to pull the overhead bar down as a safety measure. The skiing gear also made me feel like I was being weighted down. When I finally got to the top of the beginner’s slope… I stumbled for another good one-minute trying to jump off the ski lift into thick snow.
The beginner’s slope was hardly a beginner for me hahaha. I clumsily fell, hurt my buttocks, could not get up, persevered, got frustrated, got amused. My personal best? Skiing down the slope with only a single fall which I could pick myself up from. My personal worst? Fell three times on the way down, waited for my friends to help me up, shouting at every snowboarder/skier to watch out as I was about to bump into them, probably almost killed a kid.
Virgin snow-ski experience
Consoled myself that it was my first time (without a guide too). The boys fared much better than I did! Persevered on and on down the beginner’s slope correcting their techniques each time, zooming onto the next-level slopes on their snowboards. Not fair.
Aside from the muscle sores and bruising, it was a great day nonetheless! I would probably try snowboarding instead of skiing the next time.
View of Mt Fuji from Kachi Kachi cable car station
We spent the rest of our time in Fuji road-cycling, trying out the hot spring onsens, and catching more sunsets from various viewpoints. One of the best is atop Mt Tenjo via the Kachi Kachi Ropeway.
I could wake up to this view everyday. Mt Fuji has definitely not seen the last of us.
My recommendations for hostel-stay and a fantastic skiing time
K’s House Mt Fuji http://www.kshouse.jp/fuji-e/
6713-108, Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamituru-gun, Yamanashi, Japan 401-0301
Visited January 2015, stayed in a 5-person Japanese-style dorm for €¥3100/night
I truly enjoyed my stay at K’s House. The free pickup from Kawaguchiko train station was very helpful and the hostel staff were extremely friendly. Tatami beds were comfortable and the shower facilities clean. I liked spending late nights at the common room which had a warm cozy ambience. The common kitchen is big with utensils and cooking facilities provided for.
The hostel itself is located near an onsen (chanced upon it in the vicinity of the next street), and eating places were within walking distance. What was really great is that we could rent bikes from the hostel at low prices – which made the travelling around Kawaguchiko much easier.
Definitely recommended for travellers! -My TripAdvisor review (NaniSG)
Fujiten Ski Resort http://www.fujiten.net/pc/
8545-1 Fujisan, Minamitsuru-gun, Narusawa-mura 401-0320, Yamanashi Prefecture
Visited January 2015, ¥9500/pax for a half-day entry, gear + equipment rental
It was my first time skiing and I have no complaints of the place. Equipment rental was reasonable priced and the slopes were graded to difficulty level, though there no signs in English written out so we had to ask around.
Advice: Get there early as the crowds start to come in after 10am. For the ladies, Wednesdays are ladies’ day with special discounted rates for entry fees! -My TripAdvisor review (NaniSG)