NUVO Magazine writer Ayesha Habib said about our memories that “The act of remembering is and the act of creating."When we remember something, we are recalling past events through the lens of our current selves.” We never truly understand who we are today until we see where we have been and the steps that we took to form the conception of ourselves today.
My trip to Japan was one of my fondest memories, because it exposed me to some of the greatest food, natural scenes, and exciting districts and cities in the world. One of my most favourite areas in Japan is definitely the regions around Tokyo and Mount Fuji and the small towns encompassing it. Many of you may harbour preconceived notions of Japan to be the perfect, peaceful, cleanly and friendly and respectful nation, famous for the notion of “kawaii”, anime and geishas. Japan is ultimately famous for its culture, shopping and the city landscape, however this particular article concentrates on the places of serenity and nature encompassing the giant megacity of Tokyo- from Shibuya, Chiyoda, Hakone Geopark and the famous and elusive, Mount Fuji.However, there is so much more to this wonderful nation, including much more history of the natural parks and small knowns surrounding Tokyo. The metro and tour buses are quite convenient to travel from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, which is only around a 2 hour car ride. I hope you will explore with me the wonderful cities that are located here, through their vivid tales of history.
Landing upon Tokyo International Airport, you may choose to take a tour bus or train to explore the famous Mount Fuji. Located around 2 and a half hours away from Tokyo, this roadtrip passes through many small towns and attractions.
Upon reaching the iconic Mount Fuji, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, you notice that it is not so much grandeur in its height, but more so in its history. Mount Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain and is known to be sacred, harnessing temples and shrines located nearby it. There are many lakes nearby Mount Fuji to enjoy the serenity of nature, including Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka, which make the Mountain more majestic in nature. It is a popular scene to drink the natural and purifying water of Mount Fuji at the nearby village, which directly overlooks Mount Fuji in the background. Oscine Hakka in particular is one of the villages that contains freshwater ponds for you to really get close with nature. There are also fresh fish swimming around the pond, making for a relaxing feel while you stroll through the village and get lost in the serenity of nature. The serenity of the Japanese towns with Mount Fuji as their backdrop would make your gaze drop, and you dream to want to acquire this peaceful lifestyle. Many of the local Japanese tend to the cycle of the seasons by planting and harvesting during the spring to get the most freshest materials for the marketplace.
It is near Mount Fuji, at the region of Owakudani that you will find the authentic black colour of the eggs due to the mixture of iron sulphide and the presence of volcanic gases. One of my favourite things was cracking open the black eggs and tasting the fresh eggs while immersed in the natural environment of the volcanic gases.If you enjoy exploring volcanoes, than a trip from Mount Fuji to Hakone GeoPark is a must as you can experience the thermal vents of Kwakudani, walk the shore of lava flows in Manzuru, and hike various volcanic trails and more. Along the trails you will also find historical narrations on each path, bringing to life this rich ecological history of this Geopark. Recognized by UNESCO as a place of geological, historical and ecological value, this is a place to find yourself among the natural serenity surrounding the districts of Hoakone, Odawara, Yugwara and Manazuru.
Chiyoda city is known to be the home of the prime minister’s official residence, where politics and embassies line up the streets.In the special city ward of Chiyoda in Tokyo,Kokyo Gaien National Garden reigns supreme and the statue of the military general Masashige stands tall, depicting the military example he set during the Genko war around 1330 and is one of Tokyo’s three major bronze statues. This area of Tokyo is very high-tech and established, with major corporations and high rises rising above the garden. You will feel at ease here walking among the ice cream shop and gardens.
4. Meiji Shrine
This popular shrine located near Shibuya City is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken, who lead Japan through a period of rapid modernization in the 1920s and 1930s. In 2020, last year, the Meiji Shrine celebrated 100 years;despite in the age of the pandemic, history is being made every day. The shrine has survived world wars and other disastrous events, letting us know that time and time again, humankind will over overcome atrocity. When you fist enter, you may be surprised and entranced by the barrels of sake located at the front gates, which are a decorate display giving honour to the gods.The spacious grounds offer plenty of room for a relaxing stroll throughout the many shrines. A popular pastime is for visitors to write their wishes and put them on the “tanabata tree” in hopes of those dreams coming true. I also wrote my wish on this piece of paper, hoping that my wishes would be granted.Nestled in the heart of Tokyo’s busiest city districts, Shinjuku and Shibuya, you will find a natural oasis catering to your needs.
5.Iconic Food & Instagrammable Design
Tokyo and the surrounding the city landscape in particular is famous for eccentric and well designed food, such as the Dog Deli Factory, bento boxes catered and impeccably well laid out and tasty, but provides one with a truly exceptional aesthetic experience. One of my favourite stables was the iconic black sesame ice cream that is so neatly delivered in the local Japanese stores and my favourite staple with talking a break.
Chelsea Reviews: 4/5
The small cities from Tokyo to Chiyoda and the cities surrounding Hakone GeoPark all have their own special delicacies and testaments to history. While we may understand Tokyo to be very cosmopolitain and Japan to be a materialistic country, there is so much nature, history and serenity there if you look deeper. I hope you consider this particular trip on your next trip, to find yourself in this life that is uncertain, stemming with prejudices and uncertainty, knowing that the only certainty you will find in life is with nature, history, and yourself.