Friday, June 22, 2007

Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchi. The most beautiful of the Fujisan’s five ponds.

Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji image courtsey:

Beyond glitter.

Japan as a nation is endowed with a lot of fortunes; of which the foremost is no doubt its disciplined and innovative people, who lead the world in the annals of latest technologies. The Japanese are equally famous for their artistic skill and the way they keep their home and surroundings appareled in a celestial set-up. The enchanting locations of this nation are not as touted as its modern day achievements outside the world, this in anyway does not diminish their charm.

Not just another mountain.

Kawaguchi image courtsey:

The great Volcanic Mountain Fuji is not just another mountain for the Japanese, it is a sacred figure and the sight of this 3775 meters tall dormant volcano is a vision which is so soul-satisfying that they consider a visit to its base as a pilgrimage. Fuji is the tallest mountain in this nation its pyramid like look with its substantial white cap of ice on its top and the five beautiful lakes around is perhaps the most notable gift the Japanese have to offer before a tourist who happened to be there.

Kawaguchi and the four others.

Lake Kawaguchi image courtsey:

Lake Kawaguchi, L. Yamanaka, L Sai (Saika), L. Shojika, and L. Motosuka all with crystal clear waters that its bottom can be seen when looked from the top. Lake Kawaguchi is the most exquisite and the easiest to access and hence the best developed among the five. These lakes along with the Fuji Mountain, Izu Peninsula, Izu Island, Numazu and 93.3 sq. kilometers are part of the Hakone Izu National Park; Protected and maintained by the Government of Japan.

As per the scientists these lakes were formed when the molten lava from Fuji flowed down and blocked path of a river- that existed at that time. The strange thing with them is that three lakes Saiko, Yamanaka and Motosuko are connected each other by subterranean waterways. All these three lakes keep same water level as a result.

Lake Kawaguchi and its shores has one more role to play, July and August are mountain climbing season and a lot enthusiasts visit this place for climbing on Fuji Mountain and these people assemble, organise and get trained on the shores of Kawaguchi. Before and after the climb these people get refreshed by the hospitable surroundings of this beautiful lake and all the pleasure locations like art galleries, museums (Kawaguchi Museum), entertainment parks (Dodanpa thrill ride with the world’s highest roller coaster ride), good hotels agreeing with all budgets etc.

At present Kawaguchi has emerged as the no 1 in popularity overtaking L. Yamanaka and started attracting greater number of tourists to it. Its hotels serve exclusive local cuisines (Hoto noodles is one of the most popular). There are many resorts here which offer luxurious baths in rooms specially designed to get a panoramic view of the Fujisan (for Japanese the suffix ‘san’ is a mark of respect – they consider the Fuji Mountain very sacred and address it Fujisan). Such a luxury of bathing as well as viewing Fuji doesn’t come cheap it costs about 100 yen extra (not a big deal for average Japanese).

Five Lakes of Fuji image courtsey:

Fuji Kawaguchika is a medium sized town in Minamitsuru district with a population of about 23’000 on the banks of Kawaguchi where the Fuji – Kyuko railway line terminates. From there are the ‘retro-bus available up to the lake in every two hours. For the convenience of the tourists there is a ropeway from the Kawaguchi Lake to Mount Tanjo which is also enhances the pleasures of the tourists as they get a bird’s eye-view of the town.

A visit to Kawaguchi is not a pleasure trip to the Japanese as far as Mount Fuji is there it is a sacred pilgrimage for every Japanese wish to perform year after year.

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