Tuesday, August 5

How Do You Hide a 12,000 Foot Mountain?

I don’t believe Mt. Fuji exists. I never saw when I was in Japan. I had three, count them three opportunities to see the famous majestic peak and got nada, zip, zilch.

We traveled on the Shinkensen, the bullet train, from Tokyo to Osaka which passes right by Fuji. On that day it was a heavy overcast. I figured we might see it on the way back a week later when it clears.

We take a day trip to Hakone to the top of a peak where volcanic vents spew their sulfuric gases into the air- amid dense fog. Oh crap.

There is a large signboard in the parking lot identifying the sights you can see on a clear day, including that big pointy mountain. Everyone takes pictures of the sign instead. Maybe the fog will clear when we get to Lake Asahi down below. We’ll glide along on a boat like the one in the brochure where you can clearly see Fuji in the background. The fog is so fucking thick the pilot has to rely on sonar to find his way back to shore. As a consolation prize our guide Akiko teaches us how to make a lovely little Mt. Fuji with origami paper.

When I get to Tokyo days later it is finally clear. Great! I go to the top of a 60 story building and I hate heights but this is worth it. It offers a clear view of the city and surroundings. Well about as clear a view as smoggy, humidity laden Tokyo gets in summer. In other words the air is chunky style and not giving up much of a view of anything. There is an obviously altered photograph “claiming” to show the mountain but at this point I have come to the conclusion Fuji San is a nothing but an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the Japanese.

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