Mt. Fuji, Japan
Sunrise atop Japan's Mt. Fuji at 3776 meters; cold, tired and soaking wet but happy to have made it with the crowds of others who had climbed through the night in order to see the sun come up, yell "Bonsai", and then trudge back down again.
The Japanese say that to climb Fuji once, shows fortitude; to climb more than once, shows stupidity.
In each of five years living in Japan, I arranged for several busses to take anyone who wanted to go to "gogome", the fifth station of ten on the way to the top; we always had over 30 people. We would set out from Tokyo at 6PM (itsumo Otemachi no Ote Senta biru no ushiro deshita) on a Friday with bentos (boxed meals) for everyone, arrive at Fujisan around 10PM and climb until 3 or 4AM Saturday to greet the dawn. On the way back we would stop at an onsen hot bath to get clean and relax. Then we would drink beer and sleep during the drive back to Tokyo. It must be a gaijin thing, although a majority of our fellow travelers were nihonjin.
© George Fisher 1994-2004