Eduardo drives us to Mount Fuji in our rented Toyota van. The traffic is awful getting out of Tokyo. Cat manages to logistically figure out how to pack this car efficiently. I sit in the very last seat by myself next to luggages and it will become my living room for the next 30 hours! ( at least that’s how I dubbed it!) As we get out of the congested freeway, the views are greener and more mountainous with sparser filled villages. For lunch we were lucky to find this little homey cottage in the middle on nowhere with the greatest Fuji view. I felt like my Japanese aunt prepared lunch for us! The service was quick, the food delicious , the place was filled with handmade quilts and a very old fireplace. After several pee breaks we get to the parking lot at the bottom of station no 1. On the Yoshida trail on Mount Fuji. This portion of the park resembles a rainforest- tall trees- lots of ferns, thick rock covered moss. The walking pathways are very well designed with stones, wooden steps and the occasional volcanic sand. Each station is very well labeled with photos of how it used to be in the olden days. Each of these checkpoints contained tea houses or structures which housed the climbers in the 18/19th century. They were are built for a different reason. One was built to view the 5 lakes off of Fuji. The second checkpoint contained many headstones and shrines, which made it a very spiritual place to sit and contemplate. I’m sure we all felt it, event though the dilapidated structure was still half standing. The 3rd checkpoint contained a statue which female climbers would touch for conception!. Finally when we passed the fifth station, we encountered a gate with a small house resembling a tea house but in fact it was a shrine. It all is sudden started to get colder and the fog slowly rolled in. The crowds were minimal during our hike, many people came as we were climbing up but we were completely alone for the descent. It was a spectacular day, we hiked 10 miles and 22,000 steps. Not bad, not bad at all! We get to our hotel the Fuji hotel. I asked the front desk for a restaurant to eat at and 3 people keep telling me no room, I need reservation. We’re all so tired . Anyhooi! We get to our room and WOW,, it’s a huge room with 2 big beds, a nice bathroom with a heater , washer kind of toilet! As they have in so many places even public all over…Japan.. I don’t miss the squatting bathrooms all over China! Then there is that view on the fifth floor we have of the lake. All six of us are next to each other. I call room service and they tell me no. I don’t give up. I finally get someone who speaks a modicum of English and he tells me I. Need a reservation for the French restaurant. I say OK make one in one hour for all six of us. This is our last supper for the six of us and I thought it should be special. We all race to get ready and get to the Bellevue Restaurant for our French dinner (something we haven’t had on this trip)! The Japanese MD tell me we don’t have a reservation but they let 6 Japanese couples go in front of us. We’re starting to feel discriminated against!!! Finally when Eduardo shows up they let us in! Who would think a French dinner would be amazing in Fuji?? Well it was in every way. We talked about what was special for all of us during this trip! I wonder who was the question instigator??? After this wonderful dinner we; Cat , Gilda, Amanda and I continued the party at the Spa, we all wore a Japanese bathrobe , washed, disrobed and jumped into the various indoor outdoor baths. Extremely relaxing and a great way to end ANOTHER oday and night!