On New Year’s afternoon, after returning from an all night bus tour to see the first sunrise of 2011 over Mt. Fuji, I sat down at my computer to take care of some odds and ends of leftover business from 2010. One of the things I did was log into Facebook for the first time in a while. I’ve been a Facebook member for the past year or so, as it has been the only reliable way of getting in touch with my daughter, who is a pediatric nurse and works a very erratic schedule (not to mention that her time zone and mine are ten hours or so out of synch). So anyway, I thought I’d log on to the social networking sight and see what was up with some friends and family. It turns out that my cousin Cindy was online at the same time, and she sent me an instant chat message to wish me a Happy New Year, and to see what sort of mischief I was up to in terms of celebration. I replied that I had gone to Kuonji Temple, in nearby Yamanashi prefecture, where, after a dead-of-night look around the temple grounds, I rode a cable car to the top of Mt. Minobu, from which vantage point I could watch the sun rise over Mt. Fuji. I say “over”, but in fact, it rose somewhat to the right of Mt. Fuji. Later in the year, thanks to the seasonal juxtaposing of the Earth vis-à-vis the heavens, the sun actually appears to emerge directly out of Fuji’s volcanic crater, creating the famous “Diamond Fuji” illusion, in which Fuji-san is crowned with a sparkling golden jewel. Anyway, I texted Cindy, and told her if she could wait for a few minutes, I would load some pics into the blog. “No need,” she replied. “You must have gone with Saki, right? She has already posted a bunch of photos in Facebook. Thanks, though.” Rats, I thought, scooped again!
So, several days late, as it has been an extraordinarily busy first week of the year, here are some pictures for those of you who are not Facebook friends with the much-more-timely-than-I Saki-chan: