Despite being a big draw for visitors and locals alike, the Fuji Five Lakes area next to Japan’s most famous mountain is oddly rundown and dated — particularly so around the two larger, and far more touristy bodies of water, Yamanaka and Kawaguchi. Of course when the sun is shining and the sky is clear, the 80s feel and abandoned businesses are fairly easy to ignore, as the majesty of Mount Fuji understandably gets all the attention. However, on days when the weather isn’t nearly so nice, the faded resort town vibe is much harder to dismiss.
Yet that doesn’t mean these symbols of former glory don’t have an appeal all their own. And to these eyes at least, the old and slightly surreal swan boats, along with the rusting, disused group photo spots, make for an interesting alternative to the iconic volcano behind the clouds.
Wow. I have seen swan boats before, but never with hats, and definitely never a swan SHIP.
Haha, they’re quite something, aren’t they? Not only just hats either, but ties, and even bowties. Clearly not your average swans.
This is a very cool series. I like it. It’s kinda dreamy with the colors and swans. Did you try the boats out?! 😉
Thanks. Pleased the way they came out. A nice bonus after the initial disappointment of not being able to see Mt Fuji. But no, somehow resisted the lure of the swans!
I am suprised the place is not better developed, but the ship is still pretty impressive.
I watched Hitchcock’s Spellbound at the weekend and one or two of this set of photographs would not have looked out of place, in back and white, in the Dali produced dream sequence.
I bet it’s not often a photographer think, “Oh cool, Fuji is obscured.” 🙂
It’s a bit special eh? So special in fact it warrants a crown!
Haha, not quite my words, but must admit, the moment I saw the big boat and the wonderfully forlorn photo spot, I was secretly very happy!
Swan hats in astia?
It would be a great venue for a slightly surreal viking re-enactment society meetup.
Now that would be something to see!
Swan hats in astia? That’s a new one to me. What’s the reference?
I was reminded of Fuji Astia film (Fuji on a grey day?) and “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic” by King Crimson.
It was good to find a Japanese cover (by Ningen Isu – who do other covers).
It looks like a fun day out :O)
I love adding to my music collection – Ningen Isu. Thanks. Great the way Wajima sits down to play just like Robert Fripp. And he plays a Gibson SG, my personal musical weapon of choice. Who’d have thought a swan lake photograph would result in my listening to a great live cover of Lark’s Tongue in Aspic.
Ah, ok. Cheers. I was a bit slow there. Should have picked that up straight away. At least the nod to film, anyway. Would have taken me a lot longer to get the King Crimson reference though!
It was tagged on to a drive out. Thought it’d be good to swing by Fuji on the way home. Wouldn’t have wanted to spend the whole day there, but the time we had was fun!
Indeed. Very nice to see the photos producing all kinds of diversions. Enjoy the new music!
just a Gibson SG and a normal chair I hope :O)
I’m not sure which is a more surreal sight: those swan ships or Hakone’s pirate ships! (Swan boats on the other hand, I’ve gotten used to seeing in various parts of Japan and also Seoul! ;b)
Ah yes, the pirate ships. They are quite an odd site, especially so on foggy days.
Yeah, there’s definitely no shortage of swan boats in Japan. Many years ago some lucky company must have made an absolute fortune producing them all!
I really like this set. Just for starters.. the progession from no hat to crown, the man in the middle (also with a hat), and the swan alignment in last image. I’m picking up swan notation (and good vibrations!)
Thanks. Very happy the way they came out. It’s quite a step up, isn’t it? From no hat, to baseball cap, to top hat, and then finally, to a whopping big crown. My only disappointment is that the real swan wasn’t wearing a hat as well!
wow ! I’ve never seen these before! That’s something. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks. They are quite special, aren’t they? Especially the giant one.