This is not a bad view to wake up to!!
Our next morning after breakfast, we headed out for the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center first, followed by Fuji Sengen Hongu Taisha.
The Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center features numerous exhibits about the mountain, as well as the large spiritual role the mountain has played throughout history. The gorgeous wooden exterior of the building is shaped like an inverted Mt. Fuji that only comes into view when viewed from the reflecting pond below!
Inside the museum, guests wind their way up a circular ramp that takes visitors through a virtual journey through the history and seasons atop and around the sacred mountain. Large wraparaound screens and digital projections add special effects.
From the rooftop terrace, there's a stunning view of the star attraction behind you:
Next, we headed to nearby Fuji Sengen Hongu Taisha, one of several important Shinto shrines linked to Mt. Fuji and pilgrims who are hiking.
On this particular day, parents and their 3, 5, and 7-year-olds were dressed to the nines, with the five-year-old boys in glorious haori hakama decked with brave samurai designs, and girls in beautiful miniature furisode kimonos. The courtyard of the shrine was absolutely full of adorable kids getting their photos professionally done, and we were there for the start of a Shinto ceremony as well.
The grounds of the temple are also gorgeous, with several ponds.
I had mainly wanted to stop in to get a seal for my goshuin collection, but the goshuincho offered here was so neat I purchased book number 10 in my large collection!
Afterwards, we headed back towards the station to catch a bus to Shiraito Falls, a place I'd been wanting to return to since my first visit on Christmas 2017.
There are several similarly named "thread" falls around Japan; instead of a single-drop fall like Kegon or Nachi Falls, these are comprised of hundreds of thin streams of water that pour down the rock face to spectacular effect.
There are actually two sets of falls in close proximity to each other; the first is Otodome Falls.
We were actually lucky enough to get some really stunning clear views of the summit of Mt. Fuji from the viewpoint on the way back to the bus stop:
After a delicious soba lunch at a small mom-and-pop diner, we waited for the bus with a lovely family from Mexico City.
During the bus ride back to town, it was though Mt. Fuji were following us and we had spectacular views from every turn.
With one final farewell to Fujisan and my friends, it was time to head home and back to ordinary workdays...
With one last farefewll to