After our visit to Arakurayama Sengen Park, Yokai took us to Oshino Hakkai village. This is another popular mount Fuji view point located between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako (Fuji Five Lakes). The village is popular for the exhibition village and the Gassho houses. It is popular among tourists for the majestic views of mount Fuji in the background of Gassho houses.
Oshino Hakkai village has eight naturally fed ponds. These ponds are fed by the snow melt from the nearby mount Fuji. It is said that the water is so clear due to being filtered through porous layers of lava rock. You can actually drink and feel the coldness of this water. They challenge you to keep your hand in it for 60 seconds.
Ponds are quite deep and some of them have very large koi and salmon (as far as I can tell) fish. They are also home to beautiful lushes aquatic plants.
Being popular with the tourists, Oshino Hakkai village can be quite busy. I wanted to capture the human elements of this village through some black and white photography. You will find a few of these shots below.
There is an open air museum in the village called the Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan. This museum contains several old houses that are maintained as exhibition houses. You could see how the traditional Japanese lived several hundred years ago. Largest of the eight ponds are located within the museum. You can also see Mt' Fuji by the old Gassho houses.
At the end of the trip, Yokai guided us towards the museum observation rooftop to see mount Fuji behind the old Gassho houses. It was getting a little dark at this point because the sun was setting behind mt' Fuji. Luckily, I had my tripod with me to try some exposure bracketing to bring out all the details of this scene. As I explained in this forum post, I then combined the photos to make an HDR image. I am pleasantly surprised by the high ISO performance of my camera.
A big thank you to PhotoBlog veteran Yokai for taking me to this beautiful village and many other places in Japan. Without your help, we wouldn't be able to experience such wonderful places.
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