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Chubu Japan Yamanashi

Lake Shoji: The hidden gem of Mt Fuji

May 17, 2014

Lake Shoji is a hidden gem at the base of Mt Fuji. The smallest of the Fuji Five lakes, it is beautifully quiet and serene, and completely removed from the rest of the bustling, touristy scene surrounding the famous volcano.

Almost untouched, the lake only has four hotels, 2 restaurants and a conbini. It’s hard to imagine why; it offers a completely unobstructed view of Mt Fuji, Mt. Omuro and Aokigahara forest.

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Chubu Hiking Japan Yamanashi

An afternoon in Aokigahara – Part 2

May 15, 2014

During Golden Week, John and I spent two nights on the smallest of the Fuji Five lakes. Lake Shoji faces Aokigahara, the notorious woodland that sprawls 30 square kilometers of Mt Fuji’s northwestern base. This is part two of our journey into Suicide Forest. Part one is here.

The cry stopped me in my tracks, shattering all the illusions about where we were. It was a man’s voice, and my mind instantly created a picture to match it; someone had jumped and realised too late that they didn’t want to hang.

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Chubu Hiking Japan Yamanashi

An afternoon in Aokigahara – Part 1

May 13, 2014

During Golden Week, John and I spent two nights on the smallest of the Fuji Five lakes. Lake Shoji faces Aokigahara, the notorious woodland that sprawls 30 square kilometers of Mt Fuji’s northwestern base. This is part one of our journey into Suicide Forest.

I’m not sure what I was expecting to see when John and I pulled up to the Saiko Bat Cave, but four busloads of schoolchildren wasn’t it. What I had pictured as a tiny building sitting on the edge of a misty forest, manned by a creepy old man selling tickets to an underwhelming cave in an attempt to distract visitors from the real horrors of Aokigahara was, by all accounts, false.

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