D7: Beauty & The Best (Sakura & Pagoda).

大家好! Hello again everyone! It is our 7th day in Japan and probably the best Thursday ever! Today we visited 2 landmarks: Lake Kawaguchiko & Chureito Pagoda. As I mentioned in my previous post that the surroundings were magnificent, so we started the day by exploring the villa as our checkout time is 10:00 AM.

Good morning sunshine 😀
Villa Ausblick
The host planted flowers in front of the villa.
The view right outside the villa.
Sakura tree near the villa.
Front view of the villa. In the morning clouds usually cover the top of Mount Fuji, as you can see in this photo.
An Eagle piercing through the sky. Japanese called it TAKA.

After taking enough photos of the surrounding, we called our host, Mr. Hiroki to tell him that we’re checking out soon. After we gave him the key, he thanked us for staying at his villa, and said he is going to drive us to Lake Kawaguchiko, just across the street. “The sakura blooming only lasts a week”, he added. Woah, what a blessing for us to witness such phenomenon that happened only once a year.

Took photo in front of the villa with our superb host.

Then he drove us to Lake Kawaguchi and told us to enjoy ourselves. He gave us 20 minutes to stroll around Lake Kawaguchi, where the festival took place. Lake Kawaguchiko is one of Fuji Five Lakes and considered to be the best among them all. Basically if you plan to visit it from Kawaguchiko Station, there are city tour buses that operate around Kawaguchiko Area and take you to each tourist attraction. For Lake Kawaguchiko, you can hop on Kawaguchiko Retro Bus Line. It departs every 15 minutes. Kindly note that there is also a Fujisan Station in which you can also catch a bus there. You can buy the ticket and see the schedule at both stations. The unlimited 1 day pass for the buses costs roughly ¥1200. By the way, you can also use Fuji-Hakone Pass for buses in Kawaguchiko Area.

Started Lake Kawaguchiko exploration with a low Sakura tree that is touchable from the ground.
Bicycle prop.
Hold your smile baby, I am setting the exposures still 😛
There are also food stalls here, allowing us to enjoy the lake even longer.
Going to the lake.
Here we are! There are lots of Sakura trees here.
2nd take out of 9999 takes.
Lake Kawaguchiko.
Panoramic view of Lake Kawaguchiko.
Enjoying the fresh air & the smell of the lake.
It was cold but insisted not to wear her jacket till photo session is completed. Hahaha
Doing her best because she sincerely believed that all pose should be attempted.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?
Finally wore her jacket back, resulting in my favorite shot of my favorite person on earth 😀

The 20 minutes given ended in a flash, but Mr. Hiroki allowed us to enjoy the lake longer, and when we got back to the car, he said “Charlie-san, I can drive you to Kawaguchiko Station or near Chureito Pagoda”. Wow, this guy is something else. His kindness is very special. We thanked him again and again, because he saved both our time and money. Our initial plan is to get him drive us back to Kawaguchiko Station and then we buy a railway ticket to the nearest station to Chureito Pagoda, the Shimoyoshida Station. But again, God is good, with His will our life is made easier. Praise and Glory only for His name.

Hiroki-san then drove us to Shimoyoshida Station, where Chureito Pagoda is now within walking distance. We told him that we’re speechless to explain how thankful we are for his hospitality and kindness before we finally parted ways. Before climbing to Chureito Pagoda which is 10 minutes away (by foot), we decided to get ourselves some nice breakfast. Fortunately, there is a cafe in Shimoyoshida Station. After a while, I realized that I left my handphone in Hiroki-san’s car! DOH! How forgetful I am. Soon after, I sent him an email that we used to communicate from booking.com and he drove back to Shimoyoshida Station to bring my handphone. Woah! A Man of VIRTUE! I really can’t thank him enough.

After our meals, we started walking to Chureito Pagoda. Keep in mind that Chureito Pagoda is also known as Arakura Sengen Shrine. It is very easy to find the way there, just follow the crowd or the sign that is being placed literally everywhere. You will not get lost. In simple, just go to the left of Shimoyoshida Station, turn right, turn left, turn right and go straight. Simple, right? The fact that I still remembered the way showed it all.

At the starting line.

Upon reaching the entrance, there are food trucks, information center, and a shrine. Then, you can choose whether you want to get to the Chureito Pagoda via winding path or climb up the 398 stairs. Don’t worry if you choose the winding path, you can lend a wooden stick to help maintaining your balance. As for us, we climbed the stairs all the way to the Pagoda and went down via winding path.

Food trucks.
The shrine. When we visited, lots of people are praying.
Please pick your difficulty level.
The game is on!
Come on… We can do it!
Up and up, we are closing in to the peak!
You can see the whole city from here.
Let’s take a moment to enjoy the scenery.
Yay, finish line!
This Pagoda is very fascinating to see.
But then, you need to go to the observatory deck. It gives you this epic and breathtaking view of the Pagoda, the Sakura, and Mount Fuji.

What an experience we have just had. Both of the landmarks that we visited today were totally mesmerizing. They are simply special. We went down happily, and walk back to Shimoyoshida Station to catch a train back to Tokyo.

We’re now up for the Winding Path Challenge.
Waiting for a train back to Tokyo. Thanks for the wonderful experience, Kawaguchiko!

We believe that’s all that we can share about our seventh day in Japan. We’re going back to Tokyo for tomorrow’s trip. We hope you have a good time reading our story. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Charlie Pramana

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1. Charlie Pramana
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