The rain is back, so I'm not

It was raining all day on Monday. Yesterday cleared up a bit but got worse again in the evening, and this morning it's not looking brilliant. I had been planning to cycle to Atsugi today but decided to delay it for one more day. It would probably have been okay today, but the downhill's pretty steep in some bits, so I'd rather not do that with rain. Besides, I'm in no hurry.

I had been planning to cycle up to Mount Fuji's fifth station, at about 2200m altitude. It would have been a tough climb, at least 1400m altitude gain, and a scary, jittery downhill, since I wouldn't be carrying all my luggage to the top. The bike is so much more stable with the luggage, I'm kind of starting to like it. As I found out yesterday while cycling without luggage, my speed is not that much different with or without. And even without luggage a steep hill will still kill me, so meh. Anyway, I ended up not going up the mountain because the weather was still occasionally rainy and a huge overcast hung over Mount Fuji making it impossible to see the top. I think I could have done it physically, but I wouldn't have had much fun if there's nothing to see up there and if I have to worry about rain all day. Perhaps another time.

Instead, what I did was to cycle around the lakes a bit more. First Kawaguchiko, then Saiko. It still amazes me how many tourists come here. There's just a non-stop flow of tour buses. The touristsĀ all go to pre-set 'designated scenic spots' and then don't wander more than 100 meters from there, getting their glory shot so they can brag about it on Facebook. I was very happy cycling around the lakes and finding the more quiet spots where I could sit down and enjoy the view in silence. I realize that I'm also a tourist and am part of the problem, but still, there are ways to go about tourism that are just less annoying than others. It's mostly a scalability problem, though. If you fill a tourist attraction up to capacity, which is inevitable for a place like this, right next to the biggest urban area in the world, it can't help but diminish the value. Quantity over quality, I guess.

Later today I'll be cycling over to Lake Yamanaka in what will probably be a rain ride. It's not too far, but far enough for me to get completely soaked if the weather doesn't like me. Since it's not far it's not a problem for me to leave at any time, so I'm delaying as much possible right now. The past few days have been a lot rainier than I would have wanted, but such is life.

Posted in Spirit of Japan 3