Monday, November 14, 2022

A meizanologist's diary (37)

2 November: the Boeing coasts in from the Japan Sea above Komatsu. Daisen has already slid away astern, a mere appetizer for the parade of famous mountains that now unfolds. 

Daisen, the Uluru of West Japan

There, a crumpled sheet of green below, is Hakusan. And now the snow-dusted Northern Alps come up, hemming in the Kurobe valley, and beyond them extends the Fossa Magna, brimming with morning mist like a river of vapour. 

The Fossa Magna and friends

Last, Asama volcano goes drifting by beneath the starboard wing. And, always, in the distance, that familiar cone floats on the horizon. 

Mt Asama on a non-smoking day

All this early-morning meizanology works up a thirst. On the ground at Narita, I slake it (yes, I know the Sensei would disapprove) with a vending machine coffee. “Boss is boss of them all since 1992” the can proclaims. 

Later, the afternoon Shinkansen sweeps past that familiar cone, affording a closer view. Shouldn’t there be more snow at this time of year, I wonder. The only traces etch out the summit station’s bulldozer tracks in white zig-zags. 

Yet, even when the mountain lacks its usual winter crown, those breath-taking skylines, that rakish tilt of the crater rim all proclaim one thing. When it comes to Meizan, Mt Fuji is the boss of them all. Since 100,000 years ago.