We were supposed to be southbound but in our hostel in Osaka, we met a few travelers who showed us some unbelievable pictures of seemingly white flowers. According to our understanding, cherry blossoms season was long past Tokyo, and Fuji is south of Tokyo. So, there was no chance of seeing Sakura there.
We were proved wrong. Given the height of Fuji region, the flowers over there blossom a bit late. So, we changed our direction from south to north. Isn’t that the point of a backpacking trip, when you have no itinerary? The very next day, we started by noon, making it our first trip in Shinkansen, the bullet train. After Tokyo though, the connections were in slower trains. By the time we reached Fujiyoshida, one of the towns in the Fuji Five Lake region, it was 7pm. We saw a glimpse of the mighty mountain before the sun bid us final bye.
Our hostel, in Fujiyoshida, had an amazing home like feel. The house had a fine fragrance of freshly baked bread. We were explained the house customs and I learned that Chureito Pagoda, home to picture-perfect Japan was just a couple of kilometers by walk.
It was late, I started at 9:30 pm. It was dark, but the cherry blossoms in their sparkling white could be seen all through the way. The Pagoda still had some light on it, but the moment I started climbing staircases, the last of them were also switched off. The city lights, reflected by the clouds above were guiding my path now.
I reached the top and had this view in front. I couldn’t believe my eyes! At 10:30 pm, I was alone with this hard to believe sight in front. I pinched myself to come back to reality and stayed there another hour. There couldn’t be a better start to our cherry blossoms adventure.
Also published on Medium.