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Monday, April 28, 2014

MUFA Day#22: Mount Fuji and Burger King

Mount Fuji, at 12,389 feet, the tallest mountain in Japan, is 60 miles west-southwest of Tokyo.  It is an ACTIVE volcano and last erupted in 1707-08.  Just last year, various sources noting the magma chamber pressure, speculated on a possible eruption in 2015 or earlier.  There is no consensus on the origin of the name.  Katsushika Hokusai created more than 30,000 prints, and his "South Wind, Clear Sky (Red Fuji)" around 1826 is the most famous:


Here is Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," and most fail to see Mount Fuji:


Most also miss those three boats.

Geologically, "Old Fuji" formed 100,000 years ago, but the present form today only occurred 10,000 years ago.


You can hike to the top of Fuji-san in July and August from various fifth stations (around 7,550 feet), taking from three to eight hours, while the descent will range from two to five hours.  Many do this at night to catch the first light of the sun.

I caught a bus to the fifth station and  did not attempt to go any further.  A few photos on the way up:


So I'm now up to the 5th level, and had a corn and sake:


By the way, there is a lot of snow at the 5th level:


I then had a wonderful lunch with Manuela and Jessica of Germany and Ilaria of Italy:


The lunch was bento, and I had No Shrimp.  Our bus held 40 from the world over.  Iliana among a giant cherry blossom tree at Hakone:


She said that Mont Blanc in Italy is 15,781 feet tall,

The tour ended just in time for me to hurry back to my hotel to have my free drinks at the Westin Tokyo Executive Club:


Ryuta has been here 20 years:


I asked him to check his hotel computer to find out how many times I've stayed at the Tokyo Westin, and he determined:  25 stays and 61 nights.

If you're keeping up with me, two nights ago I had an extravagant, but nostalgically appropriate dinner, at New York Grill of the Park Hyatt, which is also 20 years old.  The cost was four times that of last night, Lawry's The Prime Rib.  Tonight, in exponential retrogression, I went to:


The cost?  About 10% of Lawry's, if I don't count the Yebisu beer, which I stole from the Executive Club to have this meal in my room.  Is it possible to get any lower?  Stay tuned.  Tomorrow I cut the cost by a factor of four with another beef meal for lunch.  You won't believe this.  Further I've been coming to Japan for forty years, and I have never had a day when I had nothing planned for the next day...tomorrow.  Well, actually, I now have one thing:  a beef meal much cheaper than Burger King's.

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For the record, there is some new activity, Tropical Storm Tapah, now east of Guam at 55 MPH, but soon to attain hurricane strength and skirt the northeast side of the Northern Marianas:


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