Fujisan Can Wait

I’ve always dreamt of standing close to Mount Fuji. Not so close as to touch it, but close.

You know that desktop wallpaper of Mount Fuji, with the fields of purple flowers and azure sky kissing her frozen peak? For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to stand among those flowers, feeling Fujisan’s magnitude pulse gently before me. Some years ago, when I first visited Japan, I might have passed her by bullet train on my way from Tokyo to Osaka. But the memory is faint, like a bleached photograph, or a scene from a movie I can’t remember.

When I returned to Tokyo three weeks ago, thoughts of realizing my dream surfaced, encouraged, in no small part, by the sleeping volcano herself. See how she stalks me; the poster for Mt. Fuji day trips next to the check-in desk at my hostel; a few days later, the souvenir fans, postcards and Hokusai prints adornimg the walls of my tatami floored Airbnb room; the huge image of Mt. Fuji papered across the wall in the sento (Japanese bath house) beneath which I sit like a potatoe in boiling water, around me Japanese men scrubbing themselves with surgical enthusiasm; and finally, the silk, Fuji boxer shorts, taunting me from the rack in a clothing store (I’m seriously considering breaking my two pairs of underwear rule to get those).

And still, I haven’t gone.

Perhaps I’m worried I’ll be disappointed. Like the other day, when I tried to re-enact Scarlet Johansson’s walk across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in the film Lost In Translation. It was much better when she did it. She did have dinosaurs and a cool, indie soundtrack.

Or maybe I’ve not gone because she is doing such a good job of coming to me. I know what you’re thinking, I’m just too lazy to get on a train and go. Probably. I’ve always been lazy. My film tutor at art college knew I was lazy and told me so. She knew what she was talking about.

I’m not saying I’ll never go. Just that it’s not happening right now. It might actually be me in that bleached photograph, moments before I get off the train. But for the time being, I’m okay with our relationship as it is, one of anticipation and respectful distance. I’m pretty sure she’s not going anywhere.

For now, Fujisan can wait.

6 thoughts on “Fujisan Can Wait”

  1. I think you are right on this one. Having done this hike recently, I must say the huge amount of people doing the walk along with me drew any magical sensation away from materializing. Besides, one of the beautiful things about Mt Fuji (that which connects us with works from artists such as Hokusai) is actually being able to SEE Mt Fuji in the background. So I would say that probably there are other hikes around the My Fuji area that might be far better, more desolated and spiritual than the hike to Mt Fuji itself. I have done it once, but it’s not on my list of “to do again”. At least not for now 😉

    1. Thank you so much for reading 🙂 Yes I think what I’ve read about seeing Mt Fuji from a distance vs actually climbing its surface has also influenced me not going. I’m definitely interested in the other hikes you mention that are around the Mt Fuji area, thanks for the tip 🙂 Thanks as well for mentioning Hokusai, wow what a fascinating story his life was and the influence of his artwork is incredible. I’ve been thinking of writing a piece in connection with him 🙂

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