Visited a friend of mine to relax in the area of Mt. Yatsugatake. Took a few slow, local trains using holiday discount ticket, but an accident in Musashi-Koganei affected the trains' schedule although I was near Hachioji to Takao and going further away, so it didn't make sense to me why trains stopped. The autumnal colors are just coming in to the pictured pond with the altitude of about 1400 meters, and they should completely change the view in a week.
|The moon and a bird up in the sky over the Lake Misuzu|
We drove to Fujimi-Kogen being inspired by the information about a splendid view available in Fujimi-Kogen where you take a cart to the uphill garden. Each cart for max 4 people cost 2100 Yen, and it automatically climbed very slowly, almost comparable to walking, taking 25 minutes or so until you reach the hilltop after 13 slope curves. Another option of transportations is the ski-lift available in the weekends that would be faster.
The weather was superb and views were gorgeously panoramic with Mt. Fuji on the left scanning through Mt. Kai-Kona on the right and beyond. There were 3 different buena vista points and many sculptures like an outdoor museum in this garden, but the system and the displays for information were totally disorganized lacking sense of intelligence which was unfortunate.
|A gorgeous, panoramic view from Fujimi-Kogen|
On Sunday, I took trains again to the north from Nobeyama with the highest altitude of all stations in Japan, to Karuizawa via Komoro, and then took a bus to Asama Highland Park where a craft fair was taking place with numbers of small craftsmen and design houses of wooden works, potteries, glassware, lacquerware, knittings, and etc. None of them seemed quite successful in business, but there are some nice products, and I felt happy buying few things which eventually assist their life as artist.
|Train at the highest Nobeyama Station|
This time, I bought a pair of lacquer chopsticks for 1000 Yen and a rice bowl for 1400 Yen, both of which looked an absolute bargain.
The artist guy of Rin Lacquer Atelier is a graduate from Agematsu Craftsman School, and displayed nice plates and bowls.
Rokurou-the-Emon seemed specialized in metallic finish of earthenware having accumulated experience in Kyushu, Kyoto and Kutani, and now runs a kiln in Misato, Saitama. This bowl I got was attractively relaxing with its mild earthy color and gently soft dots, which was actually a half portion of a large and small pair: I couldn't think of practical use with the smaller one, and thought ordering more of the larger would make more sense to me if I feel happy using it.