Confession time!  Sometimes, I just have a hard time picking favorites.  This week is definitely one of those times.  I got a collection of images while in Japan that include Mount Fuji, and I just can’t make up my mind which ones I like better than the others.  So, as in times past, I decided not to choose, and I went with “Plan B”, which is a photo essay.  🙂

This first image is admittedly a bit cliché, BUT, I really like it anyway.  This particular park was in the Five Lakes district at the base of Mount Fuji, and featured a ton of cherry trees, who’s limbs stretched out to make perfect frames for the mountain.  This is also the exact spot where I “felt the magic” of the cherry trees for the first time, so the picture is special to me in that way.  Even though it’s a shot that everyone takes, it is that way for a reason… it’s hard to go wrong with the sakura and Mt Fuji!

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–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji, Kitayama, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture 418-0112, Japan

I visited Mount Fuji over one of the weekends I was in Japan, and feel like I spent a good amount of time there, especially since it was my first time to Japan, and I didn’t have just a ton of time.  On the second day there, my friends and I loaded up and were on a mission to find a spot where the water was calm and Mount Fuji could be seen in the reflection.  We found that at Lake Tanuki!  When we arrived, we all sort of spread out, each looking for a unique and special shot.  I found this spot next to the tall reeds, where a small row boat lay upside down on a dock that was submerged just below the surface of the water.  As I do, I posted up and waited… waited for something interesting to happen.  A lenticular cloud had formed over the top of Mount Fuji and I had been clicking away, because it was starting to look as though it might blow off soon… then out of nowhere… this dude walks right out into the middle of my picture and starts fishing!  Ugh!  I was a little miffed at first, but as he stood there, the water slicked out around him again, and suddenly his reflection became clear, along with Mount Fuji’s.  I looked through my lens and it occurred to me that instead of ruining the shot, this guy had just made the shot!


On our quest to find smooth water that I mentioned above, my friends and I stopped by Shiraito Falls, just to have a look, and I’m glad we did!  This is one of those places that you truly have to see to believe.  It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and this picture doesn’t come close to doing it justice.  This spot was breathtaking.  The water for the falls seemed to erupt out of every where and stream down into the most perfect pool, and of course in the background is Mount Fuji.  Even the smell of the place was incredible!


This picture was taken just down the hill from where the very first image I shared was taken.  After the sun had set and blue hour was well underway, lights came on under the cherry trees, lighting up all the blossoms.  I moved down the hill to frame more of the trees up along with Mount Fuji, and this was the result.


On morning while in the Five Lakes district, my buddy Ryan and I decided to try to catch a sunrise at the Arakura Sengen Shrine.  It was in walking distance to our hotel, making it easy to get to at whatever hour we wanted.  Mount Fuji was unfortunately socked in with clouds when we arrived, but after the sun had come up, the clouds parted for just a minute, allowing me to grab this photo of the shrine and the mountain together.  It is another iconic shot of Japan, and specifically the mountain (read, it’s a little overdone), but it is popular for a reason!


As I mentioned above, when I first got here there was a cool lenticular cloud hovering over Mount Fuji, but as the sun started going down the cloud blew off, affording me a pristine view of the full mountain.  Sunset did not disappoint, and my fisherman stuck around to help add interest!

This last image is simply of Mount Fuji at night, reflected in lake Tanuki.  The spot and sky were beautiful.  I wish we could have stayed until the Milky Way had come up, as we would have been able to frame it with the mountain, but alas, we all had to work the next day!  🙁 I guess I had to save some pictures for the next time I visit!


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