Shibazakura Festival, Japan
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Mount Fuji and Shibazakura festival tour

We went from mountain to flowers to strawberries to sake on the Mount Fuji and Shibazakura festival tour. It proved to be an excellent way to see the largest mountain in Japan and experience a different side of this magnificent country.

The bus that took us to Mt Fuji and back

Mount Fuji

Almost synonymous with Japan itself is the iconic Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as the Japanese call it. Although we had seen the mountain from Hakone, we were looking forward to the more up-close views that this tour provides. Unfortunately, it was cloudy in Tokyo and chances of seeing the famous volcano mountain were slim to none.

An hour and a half drive from Tokyo, we were, however, treated to wonderful views of the Japanese hillside on our way to Mount Fuji second station. Our tour guide was entertaining and had much information to share. Some of it was related to the reasons why it’s hard to see Mount Fuji during this time of the year. It was during one such narrative, that she excitedly started yelling, “Fujisan, Fujisan, Fujisan!”. The weather had seemed to miraculously clear up and there was Fujisan in all it’s glory. I couldn’t decide if it was more entertaining to see the esteemed mountain or bear witness to the sheer excitement with which our guide was proclaiming its sighting. It was to be our only sighting of the mountain, and we were fortunate to have seen it. After a quick impromptu stop to take pictures, we headed to our next stop, the Heavenly Tulip Festival.

First sightings of Mt Fuji from the bus
Mama Vora thrilled to see Mt Fujisan
Tanuj in Mountain pose honoring Mt Fuji. Okay!

Heavenly Tulip Festival

The drive through the foothills of Mount Fuji on the way to the Heavenly Tulip festival, a part of the Grinpa amusement park, is beautiful. Once there, we were treated to rows and rows of multicolored tulip flowers. If it hadn’t been as cold (aka, if I was more suitably dressed for the high altitude weather) I would have loved to spend more time taking in the flowers. After spending a quick half an hour there, we headed to another flower stop, and definitely one of the highlights of our trip, the Shibazakura festival.

Rows and rows of tulips!
Field of colors
Cloudy and wet, but still so beautiful!
Windmill at the tulip farm
Group Pic

Shibazakura Festival

We had deliberately tried to read very little about the tour and really weren’t too sure of what to expect here. The sight, an endless carpet of flowers is spectacular. Eight hundred thousand of anything would make for quite an experience, when it comes to these flowers, the effect is astonishing. Even though it was cloudy and we didn’t get to see Mount Fuji in the background, this never ending sea of flowers left us speechless.

A sight to behold! The shibazakura is also known as the moss phlox. It resembles the sakura, or cherry blossom, flower and is a type of flower that covers the ground.
Bed of white shibazakura flowers
We made do with seeing the Fujisan flower mountain instead of Mt Fujisan himself

Strawberry picking

From flowers we went to fruits. Our next stop was an all-you-can-eat strawberries at a local strawberry farm. Trust me, when I say that this is one of the best strawberries I have had, and I am not even a strawberry fan. I was sad that our stop there was super short, it seemed like an entire day spent here would not have been a waste. With fruits in our belly, we headed to the Shuyukan brewery for sake tasting.

The best strawberries ever eaten and we were told these were organic!
Want one?

Sake tasting – Shuyukan brewery

The sake tasting at the Shuyukan brewery was our second sake tasting of the trip. Compared to the Gekkeikan in Kyoto the experience here was far superior. We had an extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff member who took us through the entire sake making process. It was so much better than having to sit through a video (Gekkeikan you need to do better!).

Outdoor seating at Shuyukan
Explaining the sake making process. We ended up buying 2 bottles and enjoyed one with family back in Seattle.

I highly recommend this tour to anyone considering visiting Japan during spring. Read more about our travels in Japan here: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

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