I called Shoko yesterday morning to let her know what train I was taking from Kobe to Tokyo so she would know what time to expect me. Before we got off the phone ... "Jean ... It's a beautiful day. Make sure you sit on the left side of the train so you might have a view of Mt. Fuji."
I messaged Rose a picture of my last "big size" coffee before heading for the train, to say "Thanks" and "Farewell." She messaged back, "It's a beautiful day. Make sure you sit on the left side of the train so you might have a view of Mt. Fuji."
I looked at my ticket and thought that my seat was a window on the left. However, just to be sure, as I showed the officer my ticket and railpass as I entered the Shinkansen tracks I asked, "Is this seat on the left side of the train?" Yes. It was indeed on the left.
My train pulled in. Hundreds, yes, that's not an exaggeration, hundreds of students got off. They all lined up along the side of the tracks before heading off on whatever school excursion they were taking, many of them saying "He-rou" as the passed me. I said "Konnichi wa" in return. After the crowds had cleared, I boarded the train and was indeed sitting in a seat at the window on the left side of the train.
In anticipation, I pulled my camera out and put it on my lap. And waited for Mt. Fuji. Now if you know any geography, or look at a map of Japan, you'll know that it is several hundred km (and miles) from Kobe to Mt. Fuji. So I was a little premature with the camera ... but in the hours before we neared Mt. Fuji, I got some decent shots of the passing country side.
What always amazes me about Japan is that anywhere there is flat space that doesn't have a building on it, and can hold water, there are a rice paddies. And now they have some amazing little tractors and planters that can deal with the muddy planting conditions. They border commercial areas, residential areas, as well as wide open spaces. What I noticed this time is that now, if it isn't a rice paddy, it:s a solar panel farm. Saw lots of those along the way.
As we neared Shizuoka I started really peering out the window ... when will we get close enough to see Mt. Fuji? I started to see some small puffy white clouds in the distance. Oh no, oh no ... please don't hide Fuji-san.
At last ... I saw the top of Mt. Fuji peaking over some hills ... It really is amazing. Dominates the landscape. The top of it was beautiful ... so far the middle and bottom were still behind hills and buildings. Finally ... close enough to see the middle and base ... only those little puffy clouds were getting heavy around the middle of Fuji ... so I still could only see the top. It seemed to be floating on the clouds above the landscape below. And soon ... it was gone behind the clouds. But I had the clearest view of it from the train that I have ever had. And I'll be back another time ...