Enjoy the view of the fresh stream, magnificent waterfall and traditional fire festival (Part 2)

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Enjoy the view of the fresh stream, magnificent waterfall and traditional fire festival (Part 2)

On the second day of this trip, row towards Tsukimi Bashi, from where you can see Mount Fuji. For lunch, go to a restaurant nearby which serves traditional handmade udon noodles called Ozara. The noodles, a delicacy of Yamanashi prefecture, are boiled and then washed in cold water before being served with hot soy sauce. You have a choice of two types of Ozara, the normal Ozara and Takesumi Ozara. The latter is black as bamboo charcoal is used to cook it.

After lunch, resume the boat ride towards the headstream of Fujikawa River. By this point, you would have travelled 55km from the mouth of the river. If the rapid currents make rowing difficult or if the water is too shallow, it may be a good idea to head back to the shore and continue the rest of the trip on foot instead. The river gets narrower from here too, so you may risk damaging the boat.

Spend the night at Akaishi Onsen, which is known for its red hot spring. Do make some time to visit a famous waterfall nearby, located along the side stream of Fujikawa River. You will have to walk deep into the mountains to find it. The waterfall, which is 20m high, is called Myouren no Taki.

On the third day of this adventure, resume walking towards to the origin of the river. After passing the 75km-mark from the mouth of the river, you will notice a signboard. Interestingly, from this point, the river changes its name to Kamanashi-gawa. Later, you will pass by the Japan Aviation High School, the only such school in Yamanashi. The school trains professionals in the airline industry such as pilots, cabin attendants and engineers. After touring the school, keep walking along the river. Once you have reached the 85km-point from the mouth of the river, you can call it a day and stay overnight at Hotel Route Inn.

On the fourth day, continue walking along the river towards the headstream. The water gets narrower and clearer as you reach the 92km-point from the mouth of the river. The scenery changes too as you walk deeper into the mountains. Once you pass the 100km-point from the mouth of the river, the air gets cooler due to the higher altitude.

Make a stopover at Daigaharajyuku, which used to be a post station of Koushu Kaido in the Edo era. Check out the various traditional stores lining the old-fashioned street. Drop by Kinseiken, a Japanese cake shop established 111 years ago. Its best-selling item is Shingen Mochi. It also sells Mizu-Shingen Mochi - made of agar and water - which is only available during the weekend. After this, continue walking along the river and you will soon reach Nagano prefecture, which is 17km away from the source of the river.

On the fifth and final day of this trip, resume your journey by foot towards the river’s headstream. The route from here gets rough as there is no proper path leading to the mountain. The source of Fujikawa River is actually situated in the middle of Nokogiridake, over 2,000m above sea level. The path gets steep as you climb the mountain. Look out for moss, which signals that you are very near the headstream. After climbing for about two hours, you will finally see a signboard stating “Source of Fujikawa". Here, you can see clear water sprouting between the rocks. This water turns into a beautiful stream and mixes with several side streams to eventually become the Fujikawa River, which runs beside Mount Fuji.

THIS WEEK'S TIPS:

  • The closer you are to the headstream of Fujikawa River, the clearer the water gets

  • The sight of moss is a sign that you are soon reaching the headstream of Fujikawa River

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