Our last stop was the Music Box Forest – a small musical theme park not quite Japanese. An array of musical instruments from the past, imported from around the world, was on display and in fantastic working order. It was quite amazing – organs, violins, jukeboxes, chimes and even a hand-driven music box. The exterior is decorated with manicured gardens, canals and a spectacular musical water fountain. There is also the essential gift shop. The views of the lake, with obscured Fuji, are quite remarkable from here especially during cherry blossom as these trees occupy the waterline. After a six hour ride, we headed back to our hostel, wet and a little bit cold. Nevertheless, it was a great outing indeed. We were later informed that a passing typhoon some distant away was the cause for this gloomy and rainy weather.
“You would have thought this place was in France if you didn’t know where you were!” – Navindd
“……we cycled on through light drizzle, wind in our faces and our bodies warm from the movement. We cycled through flower farms, forests, tunnels and alongside the lake the entire time” – Navindd
The Japanese couple we met at lunch suggested that we have dinner at an authentic local restaurant. Armed with a map, we made our way to an unfamiliar part of town. It was a long walk but managed to locate this place. It was small and with some broken Japanese and usage of the menu, we managed to order some meals. As usual, it was quite good and we were the last patrons for the evening. Fulfilled, we walked back slowly to our hostel. This was our last day in Kawaguchiko.
“The entrance, decorated with ‘noren’, Japanese sheets of decorated cloth on doorways…..” – Navindd
Next morning, I looked out of my room window. It was bright. My excitement grew as I wondered if Mt Fuji would emerge from the clouds. I walked towards the main road. There it was, still hidden in a shroud of thick clouds, the summit was clear. Just the mere sight had raised my spirits. I could imagine how it would have touched – all the poets, sages, scholars and ordinary men and women. The thought that we had climbed it came as a relief as well as respectful and humbling. Within moments, Fujisan vanished.