Our planned trip to Japan was going to bring us to Honshu a bit late to do any serious sakura viewing, so we compensated by booking a tour to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival. Between April 18 and May 31 (varies by year), 800,000 shibazakura (moss phlox) bloom at the base of Mt Fuji in a wonderful explosion of colour.
We set off from Shinjuku with our group and our tour guide Mika san told us all about Tokyo. Our driver Sato san took us west from Tokyo and Mika san explained about the different residential areas, entertainment districts, factory areas and the manufacturing industry in Tokyo.
She also shared a couple of troubling statistics about pay equality in the workforce in Japan 🙁
We stopped at Narusawa cave for half an hour on the way to the festival. It was formed by lava after Mt. Fuji erupted and is now home to a small shinto shrine and ice crystals all year around. The walk (crawl / climb) through the cave was brief and slippery, and I didn’t take any photos worth posting.
Fuji Shibazakura Festival
Our second stop was the main attraction of the day – the Fuji Shibazakura Festival! To my delight, there were also some sakura in bloom and I proceeded to take altogether too many photos. We sampled some local food and managed to view the peak of Fuji-san for all of two minutes before cloud cover swept back in.
Our final stop was at an ichigo farm on the other side of Fuji-san. We had half an hour to eat as many strawberries as we liked, with a nifty chocolate fountain and all-you-can-eat condensed milk. I took this as an invitation to eat the equivalent of several punnets of strawberries. I’d heard that Japanese strawberries were delicious but I wasn’t prepared for how delightful they were, and I think I am going to struggle to readjust to ours in Australia. Oishiikatta!