I’ve travelled a lot in the past couple of years, and loved every minute of it … well almost every minute.

On the odd occasion I’ve been beset by attacks of anxiety in confined spaces, like narrow medieval castle stair passages and packed tourist buses. I’ve learned to cope by distracting myself with things like photography and tuning into soulful vocal stylings of my favourite Canadian singer/songwriter, Jacob Moon.

In Japan we had the opportunity to visit Mount Fuji. We stayed in the Fujiya Hotel in Hakone and decided, upon recommendation, that we would take the three-hour ropeway circuit to view Mount Fuji.

Prior to our departure to Japan I’d been having severe panic attacks (which I now have under control) and so was quite nervous about sitting in a gondola suspended hundreds of feet above the mountains just so I could have a view of a volcano that may or may not make an appearance, depending on the weather.

However, if I didn’t go with Lloyd and our travel companions, Ben and Kea from The Netherlands, I would be left forever wondering “what if?”

So, I mustered myself — packed my iPod, my camera, my chewing gum and Rescue Remedy, and joined them for the pilgrimage to view Fujisan.

A shorter bus ride would have taken us to our destination just as well, but where’s the fun in that? The ropeway circuit includes the mountain train to the cable car; the cable car to the ropeway; the ropeway to the pirate ship highlighted in a previous blog and the pirate ship across Lake Ashi to Hakone-Machi where this shot was taken.

I’m pleased to write that I self-managed my way through the circuit quite effectively, even managing, at one point, to stand in the gondola and look down into the valley plunging below us. Once I got used to the experience I actually enjoyed it.

This may not be the most exciting image of Fuji you’ll ever see, but it reminds me that had I not taken what was for me a bold step toward addressing my fear of heights and enclosed spaces I wouldn’t have witnessed Fuji in its glory on what turned out to be the only clear day of our sojourn in Hakone. This is a minute I loved.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

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