As I stared out of the window of the train watching scenery chug slowly by, the announcer's voice chirped happily about the local flora and fauna of each season.
"Spring's cherry blossoms, summer's hydrangea..."
The mountain itself was alive with bits off moss clinging to forlorn rocks and trees strongly rooted to the ground despite the steep incline.
We looped up and around, passing station after station on the mountain until arriving at the final destination, Gora. From there, we had a delicious lunch before resuming our climb on a cable car.
Mount Fuji peeked out from behind the clouds, almost invisible in white amongst the backdrop.
The scent of rotten eggs wafted up, reminding me of when I was nine that year and my family took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and the smell of the hot springs made me pinch my nose shut and breathe out of my mouth.
The delicacy for this area was kuroi tamago, or eggs with shells blackened by being cooked in sulfur. Genevieve and I pooled together our money and bought a pack of five for five hundred yen, hot and fresh. They tasted like regular boiled eggs, but were very good.
Mount Fuji was even clearer from this height.
We then headed back to the cable cars to go back down the mountain. In the terminal, there were all sorts of free activities, free raffle prizes, origami folding, and you could take pictures with people in historical costumes.
At the bottom of the mountain, we boarded a boat that looked like a pirate ship, complete with fake cannons.
The air was cold, but exhilarating as we rode across the lake. Amongst the trees, red tori gates attached to docks provided a bright splash of color.
After arriving in the village, we walked around for a bit, and then took a bus back to our Ryokan, or Japanese-style inn. Dinner was sitting for us after we had dropped off our bags.
After dinner, Lea, Genevieve, Yuri and I put on yukatas and soaked in the open air rock bath. It was the perfect way to end a very busy day.