From where I stood Mt Fuji rose majestic and serene against a clear blue sky. The cherry blossoms were still in bloom, a perfect frame against Fuji’s snow-capped dome. I never thought I would see such beauty.
I was standing in Saiko Iyashi No Sato Nenba. A long name, for a small and tranquil village.
The call of birds filled the sky. The air was so clear Mt Fuji seemed so close, and I could see her patterns on the snowy cone. Nearby the waters of Lake Saiko glistened.
Yet life in Saiko Iyashi No Sato Nenbahad not always been so tranquil. In 1966, a typhoon hit, and a resultant landslide destroyed the village.
Now it has been rebuilt in traditional style, including the thatched roofs called “Kabuto-zukuri” for they are in the shape of a samurai’s helmet.
This magical retreat is only some 2 hours drive from Tokyo. Earlier I had been at Mt Fuji's Fifth Station, the highest you can drive before ascending on foot. Yesterday the road to the station was closed because of landslides; tomorrow it would be raining again, and the mountain vanished.