Having almost (not quite) given up on staying this time around, there is one thing I absolutely have to do before I leave next Sunday: see Mount Fuji. They say that if you see Mount Fuji, you will come back - and while I don't have any doubt I will be back, it's some insurance. Plus, it's perhaps the most important symbol of Japan there is, and while I have seen it from the air (on my trip to China many years ago), I have yet to see it from the ground.

I had planned on taking an expensive, long train ride, but my friend Takashi (the one with the necktie) suggested he rent a car, and tomorrow we are going! We won't try the mountain (it's very cold up there), but I will be happy to just see it. Very excited!