Ajisai is the Japanese word for Hydrangea, and they promise ten thousand of them! Indeed, the woods are full of ajisai, and in summer, they bloom in all the amazing hues that lie between pink and blue. I had to stop every few meters to admire a particularly beautiful blossom. The plants grow more than one and a half meters tall here. The exact color of the blossoms depends on the presence of aluminum ions in the soil. In the absence of them, the blossoms are pink or pale cream colored, while the aluminum makes them turn blue. While some gardeners prepare their soil artificially in order to obtain this striking blue color, on Tenjoyama, this happens naturally.
Fujiyoshida is located in the Fuji Five Lakes region. With a few free hours on our hands, we decided to start exploring a little. The lake closest to us (only 6 minutes by train) is Kawaguchiko (河口湖). On the walk from the station to the lake, the town looked a bit depressing at first, and not at all like a touristic spot. Only upon reaching the lake shore, the usual souvenir shops and cafes started showing up.
A little further on, the Kachikachi Ropeway goes up the mountain. From the top, Mt. Fuji can be admired on one side, while the other side overlooks the lake.
From here, the large and gently rising conic shape of Fuji can be fully appreciated.
There is a nice trail going back down to the lake, about half of which is part of the Ajisai Hiking Trail.
Back down at the lake, we only had time for an ice cream at the lake shore, then we had to hurry back for dinner.