When we first saw the lava rocks jutting out into the lake at Kawaguchiko I think it’s fair to say we both thought: ‘meh?’
But actually after sitting there and relaxing for a few hours one day they revealed their interest.
Firstly they’re the result of an ancient eruption of the volcano, Fuji, that hangs over the town. When you think of it that way it is quite menacing, and a few people joked with us that it was about to erupt again. But mostly that fact just gives you perspective about how tiny your life is compared to the time that has flowed since the eruption. The lava that solidified here starts from the road and moves out like a finger into the lake.
Except it’s really uneven and full of twists and turns, see how they curve around as they stretch out. Obviously in ancient times there weren’t any houses here so the lava would have flowed uninterrupted from the eruption, over the expanse of land, to the lake where it cooled in the water. That’s cool.
What’s also cool is that the water in the lake is fed by an 80 year process of underground filtration which starts at Fuji. So both things started at the top of the mountain/volcano, and when it came to it, balanced each other into harmony at the end.
There are sections with big rocks jutting up sharply.
There’s many smaller bits of rock just under the surface of the water.
When the speed boats whizz past with tourists in them, they kick up waves that slosh against the rocks, enveloping the shallower ones with a sloosh.
When you get out to the tip of the rocks it feels like you’re on an tiny island, it is a little assault course of stepping stones to get out to the furthest one so you basically are.
It’s really nice to sit there and watch the boats go past, watch the fishermen with their lines out in the lake, and see the other people scrambling over the rocks. It reminds you of the force of nature, how lava can be propelled this great distance, and also how the natural history of the world affects how civilisation has grown.
It was just nice to be still and observe, to not have to be anywhere or do anything.