Fuji Rock Festival 2003 — day 3

Sunday was a beautiful day. Blue skies made it a bit easier to get up this morning, As usual, difficult to get out of bed in time for breakfast, but again it was well worth it, even if the omelette wasn’t as good as yesterday’s spring rolls.

Today there weren’t any must-see bands for us (he said dismissively) so we thought we’d have a bit of an outing. Part of the Festival was above the rest of the venue – a secluded play and performance space called Silent Breeze, and also an outdoor DJ sound system called Day Dreaming. To get there, you had to take the
Dragondola cable car.

The cable car ride was pretty amazing. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and the ride was really, really long – maybe 20 minutes or so. We got a great view of all the stages and the general layout of the whole Festival venue. A couple of times there were breathtaking drops as the car went over a hill and then plummeted precipitously. “whooooah!”, we said. (or maybe that was just me.) By general agreement it was the best cable car ride ever. (or maybe that was just me.)


At the top were a couple of fields. One had a DJ playing techno to a few lazily dancing ravers (the ground was a bit wet). The other had some playground fun and games like swings, seesaw, hammocks, quoits games, and so on. There were also a big lion and a crow, seen here just before trying to peck Joanne’s eye out.


We found a park bench and set up our little picnic. The laughter of the other people (who had started up a huge round-robin game of jump-rope) combined with the heat of the sun, the distant thrum of the music, and the delicious taste of our red wine to make the time just fly by.

We roused ourselves to have a go on the swings and the see-saw. Only just recovered from the crow assault, Joanne was attacked again, this time by an innocent-seeming hammock. Fortunately I caught sight of her distinctive stripy sock and was able to extricate her.

Eventually we thought we’d go for a walk. We walked past the biggest power pole I have ever seen, and climbed a hill. At the top we found a disused cable car station, and a lovely view. Charmingly, there was also a box with a pair of binoculars sitting inside, free for anybody to use.


There was also this pixie.


Eventually we decided to head back down. Another magnificent cable car ride, though by now the sky was a bit darker. Still we got excellent views of the stage, seen here with a cameo foreground appearance by Lora’s arm.

Back down at the bottom, we found that even in the middle of the camping ground, you’re reminded that you’re in Japan when you see a drinks vending machine.

From the vending machine you could see a nice juxtaposition of budget (tent) and luxury (Prince Hotel) accommodation. (Our ski lodge, not shown, fell in between these extremes). We threaded our way back through the tents to buy some T-shirts. I already had one, but Joanne got a
Wrench shirt and Lora got an OOIOO shirt. Not that we’d seen these bands or even really knew who they were – the shirts were nice though.

As was dawdled past the main stage, fanning ourselves with the thoughtfully provided recycled cardboard fans, Evanescence were doing their rockin’ thing. Not bad – nice sound, crunchy and loud but not too distorted. They obviously practise a lot.

That was it! We picked up our bags, got on a bus and a train, and within the twinkling of a few hours, were back in Tokyo, happy . . ..

. . . but exhausted.

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