Road trip with tokyo grapher
A trip around the Fuji Five Lakes in early spring Vol.4
We stayed at an inn by Lake Kawaguchiko for one night, and on the second day of the road trip, we woke up at 4:30 and started from Lake Shoji.
I checked outside the window as soon as I woke up, but the fog seems to have given up on me today as well.
Lake Shoji is one of the Fuji Five Lakes located northwest of Mt. Fuji, and its area is the smallest among the five lakes. The view from the northern shore of the lake is spectacular because the sea of trees of Aokigahara spreads out in front of Mt. Fuji and there are no large buildings. Also, its shape is complex, and although there is a small lake separated by a lava flow on the south side, the two are connected underground, so the sea level is always the same.
The sun rises at 5:30 today. Last night, we had a lot of drinks together, and all 13 of us got together at 5:00, the departure time. I planned to be back by breakfast at the inn, and left the shore of Lake Kawaguchi in the twilight.
Time to be enveloped in the silence of the morning calm
From Lake Kawaguchi, run along the northern coast of Lake Saiko, and when you go a little further along the sea of trees in Aokigahara, you will see a guide signboard for Lake Shoji.
Our first stop is a spot called Tategohama on the northwestern part of the lake, where you can drive right up to the shore.
The view of Mt. Fuji from here is called 'Kodaki Fuji' because it looks as if Mt. Fuji is holding a child because the Mt. Unfortunately, this day was blocked by the morning mist that covered the sea of trees, and I could only see it faintly, but it is a magnificent view that can only be seen here.
By the time we got to the lakeshore, it was getting brighter from the left side of Mt.Fuji.
As the color of the sky slowly changes from indigo to dawn, the haze rises from the surface of the lake and appears fantastically. The morning calm lake reflects the scenery like a mirror, and when you lean back in your car and stare at the scenery, you feel as if time has stopped.
"Shadow" and "Ripple"
What I wanted to shoot in this morning was Mt. Fuji floating fantastically in the fog, but it was sunny, so I had no choice but to change my plan (laughs).
The light just after sunrise makes the shadows of low objects stand out strongly. If the direction of the subject is not good, it will be completely black with only shadows, but the gradation tone created by the side light is beautiful. I also like the under-photographs, which are impressive enough to crush the dark areas.
Another thing I tried was to create ripples and take pictures. I asked my friend who was wearing boots to enter the shallows. The low light made the outline of the ripples stand out, and I was able to take one of my favorite shots.
As everyone woke up, the morning activity was quite exciting (laughs)
We eventually returned to the smaller Lake Shoji after breakfast. This is a place that has not been turned into a tourist spot, and I am fascinated by the rugged landscape where the lava flow remains as it is. I found this place last year, but at that time it was shrouded in fog, and I felt like I had slipped back in time to ancient times.
It's a pity that the sun has already risen high this time. Everyone's desire to take pictures did not arouse due to the excessive solid light, so we decided to move early.
To the final destination, Lake Yamanaka
The two-day road trip around the Fuji Five Lakes ends at Panoramadai, a hill on the way from Lake Yamanaka to Mikuni Pass.
This is the first time I've visited this place, but if the weather is good, the whole area will be dyed red at dusk. In addition, it seems to be a place where you can see the magnificent Mt. Fuji with Lake Yamanaka in the foreground.
However, it seems that luck has given up on him, and clouds are increasing in the sky around him. When we arrived, Mt. Fuji was already hidden in the clouds, and everyone's tension dropped a little (crying)
I've been working since early in the morning, so it's probably time for me to start feeling tired. I'm a little hungry. We will end this early and have coffee time at the shore of Lake Yamanaka.
Another attraction of Panoramadai is the field of pampas grass, so I decided to take some pictures while walking around.
As usual, Mt. Fuji is mean and shows only the hem. The sun, which was leaning to the west, illuminated the final destination of our road trip with a gentle color.
To be continued
Text by Koichi Miyase
Photography by Koichi Miyase and Akihito Nagata
Photographic equipment / iPhone 6S + tokyo grapher, Canon EOS 5D Mark2
Vehicle / Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara