Kawaguchiko Charms

Andre Amorim

Friday holiday schedule: Bacon festival at the morning and Jazz festival at evening. From Iowa to New Orleans? ちがう, my friend, this is Japan! The first bacon festival in Kofu seemed to be a success, since there were so many lines to prove the free bacon and to buy other delicious bacon dishes. Some presentations took place and the Bacon Queen gave the prize to the best performance. To be honestly, I preferred the Bacon Samurai than the Sumo guy, but who am I to judge? She is the queen and had the bacon divine right to choose… Second half of the day was the trip to Kawaguchiko to see night lights on Momiji and to listen some jazz. I was afraid because of freezing temperatures expected, but once I saw that view, why care about weather?

Just used my scarf, gloves and enjoyed the special atmosphere created by lights focused on maple leafs. They turned red at Japanese autumn and were inviting to enjoy landscape, to drink wine, maybe write a poem and to listen a good music.

Maybe that´s because the Kawaguchiko Jazz Festival also took place last weekend at Momiji neighborhood. While in Kofu there were so many bacon, in Kawaguchiko there were so many fruits and traditional Japanese street food near the maple trees.

Music and lights were amazing, night or day. For instance, guess you are listen a piano or bass solo while seeing this landscape:

But the charms of this famous city near Fujisan don´t stop in Momiji – although the jazz festival were special enough by itself to justify the trip. Kawaguchiko has so many spots to take photos of Mount Fuji, and I couldn´t go back to Kofu without try some. As I have many work to do, I´m glad because don´t have a professional camera – otherwise, I will spend hours trying to catch best pictures. Figure out why: 

Those were taken at Tenjoyama Park. I spent 40 minutes to reach the top of Tenjo Mountain by the hiking course. But you can take the cable (800 roundtrip or 450single course) and get directly over there. Course was so quiet, and nature, astonishing. Like that famous song of Depeche Mode, words are unnecessarily, just enjoy the silence (and, obviously, the view).

Kawaguchi Asama Shrine is, by bus or car, 10 minutes far away (and maybe 20 from bike) from that park. That shrine were built by the last eruption of Mount Fuji – more than 800 years ago – and around it there are seven 1200 years old cedars. They´re all higher than 40m, and they have their own names.

Surprisingly, one of them, Futahashra, is considered the marriage cedar. Talking about jazz, Futahashara made me remember the Brazilian bossa nova duet Vinicius de Morais and Tom Jobim, so admired by Japanese people, with their songs Wave and Quando a luz dos olhos meus. This way, certainly I will wait for someone from Brazil near Futahashara next month…

So, with you have the chance this month, come to see, listen, smell and taste Kawaguchiko charms. If you don´t have the chance, please try do create it.

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