Tokyo guzzler December 2015, part 1 – Lake Kawaguchi

The Guzzler, much like Fuji, has lay dormant in recent weeks. Ready to erupt at times yes, but thankfully staying carnage free. But unlike Fuji, is not snowcapped and has sprung back into action again this weekend…

It’s been a while, followers. So what better way to get back in the game than with a beautiful day trip to Lake Kawaguchi.

After a 6am alarm call and no less than FIVE different tube lines, I made it to Kawaguchiko Station shortly before 10am. A quick hop to the nearest Seven 11 store followed to stock up on supplies for the day. And then I headed for the lake:

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First port of call was the Mt. Kachi Kachi ropeway. The little queue didn’t put me off and I was at the summit in no time.

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What a view. I’ve been lucky to see many natural wonders around the world. This is right up there with the best of them. The Golden Gate bridge is my most favourite.

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The view of Lake Kawaguchi was none too shabby either. 19.95km around the outside. I’d read that it would take about 4hrs to walk. Challenge accepted…

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The viewing spot was filling up so it was time for me to leave the gathering crowds behind.

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The mountains ridges in the distance past Kawaguchi were also capped with snow.

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Down to the lake I went as I set off on my trek. Swans everywhere!

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Apologies in advance, but there’s a lot of Fuji snaps from varying angles coming up…

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I’d heard it was easy enough to walk around the lake. Being a quick walker, I fancied doing it well inside the 4hr guide time.

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It was great. Most people seem to get the bus that stops sporadically at different areas around the lake. So in terms of walking, you encounter very few people. Peaceful and a million miles apart from the Tokyo sprawl.

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Probably the most naturally cone-shaped volcano you’ll see. Perfect.

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Oh dear. This is where the path ran out and I was confronted with water. I made a slight detour inland and onto the road.

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Signs of autumn still existed. Some of the colours were beautiful. But unlike Mount Takao, where you can’t move for tourists, there was not a single person around (probably because literally no one else decided to walk around the entire lake!)

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I followed the road for what felt like an eternity. It was probably only around 5 or 6km in truth. To be fair though, it’s probably one of the most beautiful places to drive around on the planet. Other than the magic roundabout in Swindon.

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Snap of the day. I took hundreds and it was hard whittling it down to 20 or so for this blog.

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By now I was nearing the far end of the lake. I’d covered around 12km of the lake’s outskirts and I was beginning to wonder if the lake went on forever! About 3 times I went around a corner thinking “this must be the end”, only to be confronted with another 1,000 metres of water in front of me.

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We’re going down again in early January and have a hotel booked so I’m hoping to get some great sunrise snaps next time.

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YES! I’d reached the far end and was now making my way back. Look at the mountainous terrain on the other side. Amazing shapes to the ridges.

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The afternoon light was fading, as you can see by the long shadows. I’d covered around 17km of the lake by now and my feet felt like they were going to fall off.

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I got back to the station just as the sun was setting. The walk was beautiful. 20km around the lake, although realistically I would’ve covered easily 25km over the course of the day. Weary.

I’d intended to stay for the sunset, but I was quite tired and hungry – and the trains are quite irregular – so I opted to head back to Tokyo. Having set off at 6.30am I think I got home around 8.30pm, so it’d been a long day. The walk was well worth doing, although it did take around 4.5hrs and was actually very tiring. I barely passed anyone on foot, which tells me that not many people walk around the lake. The buses that passed me when I was on the road were busy. Lazy buggers! Anyway, what a beautiful day with barely a cloud in the sky and one of my favourites so far since moving to Japan.



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