One of my friends who lives in Kanagawa wants to see a beautiful sunrise so we decided to go to Mt.Fuji for the spectacular views.
First of all, we wrote a list because this trip is different from the previous one. Turns out we all wanted to do numerous activities in a short span of time so we were forced to narrow them down to the following: camping at the foot of Mount Fuji, eating local food and bathing in an onsen (hot spring).
On the night before the ride, I stayed overat my friend’s place to load the luggage and as scheduled, we were in bed by 11 p.m. I was about to doze off then I heard a rustling and my friend said he was hungry, I was famished too so we went Yoshinoya to eat beef bowls (extra large portion). That’s what men do in the middle of night, I guess.
Finally, We were supposed to take the Michishido route but unfortunately, there was a landslide due to a typhoon a few days before so we went took the alternate route past Sagami Lake then took Koshu Highway.
We climbed up Nakatsugawa and it looked like a salmon run. There were too many vehicles even that early in the morning.
We had a stop-over at Oginopan bakery for some refreshments and to do some bike maintenance. You have to double check each part as frequently as possible to ensure a safe trip.
I wanted to know the conditions of the remainder of the route so I called my friends who drove ahead and asked about it. The radio news also announced that the weather was going to be fine so we agreed to meet up at the camp site. I pushed my bike for the uphill journey to save my energy and then there it was, the splendid I Sagami Lake. That made me forget how exhausted I was, worth every drop of sweat. After that, I took Koshu Highway beside Sagami river and arrived at Yamanashi prefecture.
Meanwhile, my friends whowere in the car dropped by Fuji Yoshida, a roadside station to draw some spring water from Mt. Fuji and had lunch without me. They kept saying “the udon was delicious” in an attempt to make me feel envious but they bought some for me so it’s all good.
I was able to arrive at the camp site 4 hours later than expected then stored the road bike in the car and had some much-needed rest.
Here is homepage of camp site:
The camp site is huge but my friend who read about and suggested this “Laid-Back Camp (ゆるキャン△)” set up the tent at a spot which was a bit far from the crowd. We took a short break then started to cook dinner before the sunset.
Tonight’s dinner was Tomato Sukiyaki. We made Kansai style dashi and used organic tomatoes and garland chrysanthemum from my farmer friend.
This is my first time to make Tomato Sukiyaki but it tasted delicious, if I do say so myself, the sourness of the tomatoes neutralized the beef fat. We added pasta at the end to make Italian Sukiyaki and it was great too! Who says you can’t make gourmet meals at rustic locations.
After dinner, we made green tea with the spring water and confirmed the schedule for the next day. Then our tired bodies, full tummies and rejuvenated spirits went to bed for peaceful slumber in the midst of nature.
I got up first and made a blazing fire while waiting for sunrise. However, my friends who wanted to see the sunrise in the first place refused to get up and kept complaining that they were still too sleepy. Fine by me as I joyfully made some hot sandwiches with eggs and corned beef they bought yesterday.
My friends finally mustered the effort to get out of their sleeping bags and crawled out of the tent so we had breakfast together and suddenly heard sirens in the background only to realize that there was a fire roughly 100 meters from where we were. When the fire was put out and everything was fine again, we cleaned up after ourselves as usual and left the campsite.
While riding a road bike on a mountain path, I thought I saw a big crow but as it circled closer to me, it was actually an eagle! I marveled at the size and majesty of the bird and again, I was overcome with emotions. I felt truly one with nature. This experience is one for the books!
After that, we went to an onsen like we did last time.
Here is the homepage of onsen this time.
We took a bath and cleaned up our bodies and relaxed a while to prepare for the rest of the trip.
After the bath, I felt a rumbling in my belly so I ordered some Fujinomi soba noodles at the cafeteria. Although it was nothing special, it satiated my hunger. My friends got out of the bath so we headed to our next destination – Sawayaka! (Sumiyaki Restaurant).
There was a downward slope so it’s easy to ride this time.
We arrived at Sawayaka fast but needed to wait for an hour and a half. We were lucky because we were told it usually takes 1 to 3 hours to get served. That’s how popular the diner is!
When we were seated at our table, we chose our own patties and sauces and waited for another 20 minutes. Then the staff member came to our table to cut huge patty (Genkotsu Hamburg) and grilled it on an iron plate. The smell of the meat stimulated our appetites further. We finished the whole thing in less than 15 minutes since we are all big eaters . We stayed seated for a while and paid the bill. We headed to the next campsite, my friends in the car and me on my bike to burn off the calories from the heavy snack.
The terrain was rough, several up and downhill drives but I caught up with my friends. I check my bike before loading it in the car as per usual.
Here is the homepage of camp site.
Today’s dinner was boiled beef marinated in wine and onions. It had been soaking for 3 days. We rough chopped the meat and added some consomme and tomato puree then boiled it. That was minimal effort with maximum results. The beef was tender and absolutely flavorful!
It was chilly outside since it’s near the sea so we made a bonfire and relaxed.
We saw other campers doing something and it was interesting. They said it’s night fishing and it was apparently a good spot. We regretted not bringing our fishing equipment since my friends and I love fishing.
We went to bed soon after because we were so tired.
I woke up early and talked with the other campers next to us. They were university students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I shared with them some of our food, pork-free of course. I made breakfast then woke my friends up so we could eat and officially start the day.
They were still sleepy so I had them drink some coffee. After breakfast, we cleaned up and prepared to go home. Then manager came over so we paid the minimal fee.
We didn’t have the chance to do it the night before but they offer tram car rides with a view for an extra ¥500. It carries 3 people so our big man hopped in with the other two. We took a picture and it looked like the poster for “Donkey Kong”. lol
While we pulled out the road bike from the car, it started to rain. I didn’t wanna get sick so we shoved the bike back in the car and we all piled into the vehicle.
We dropped by a roadside station to buy some salted sea urchin and salted and fermented bonito and tuna. These are not regional products but they taste awesome.
We took route 1 and dropped off one of our party members in Sagamihara. I was a bit disappointed because I couldn’t ride my road bike but riding in the car is good too since you don’t need to care about the weather. As long as you enjoy your camping, it would be ok!
We were planning to drop by a restaurant owned by a friend I met in one of my travels abroad; we got to know each other when I studied English in another country. However, he was getting ready for a business trip the next day so we just returned home.
We didn’t exactly plan everything well but we ended up doing what each of us wanted to do plus some wonderful surprises along the way. All in all, the trip was great and we are all extremely satisfied and we can’t wait for the next one!