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  • [Chris] Mount Fuji:

  • majestic, iconic,

  • spectacular... [dramatic music]

  • absolute nightmare to see in person.

  • And that is because at 3776 m,

  • Mount Fuji spends most of its time with its head in the clouds.

  • To the point that in the last 6 years of living in Japan

  • I've only ever seen it 3 or 4 times.

  • And so today we've come to try to see it and capture it once and for all on camera.

  • By coming to the number one best spot to see it in all of Japan

  • Lake Kawaguchi!

  • [Chris] Fuji-Q, Japan's greatest theme park

  • The notorious Aokigahara forest

  • The country's most photographed pagoda

  • plastered across every Japan travel guide the world over.

  • There's a lot going on in the Lake Kawaguchi area

  • and, with my impending 2000 km cycle across Japan,

  • what better place to get some practice in,

  • than by cycling 20 km around the lake.

  • And to spice things up a bit, I won't be going alone either.

  • [Chris] So for the cycle across Japan,

  • I'm trying to get various friends taking part and joining in.

  • So recently I've been holding "auditions" to see which friends can actually cycle,

  • which friends are actually good at cycling.

  • With that in mind, let me introduce our first contestant:

  • Sharla! Not... in Japan... anymore.

  • [Sharla] Hi!

  • [Chris] Good see you [Sharla] Good to see you

  • [Chris] Thanks for the coffee. [Sharla] Cheers [Chris] You know the way to my heart.

  • [Chris] Fun fact:

  • Sharla and I have know each other 5 years now. [Sharla] We have.

  • [Chris] And this is the first time you've ever really appeared in a video.

  • [Sharla] And why is that?

  • [Chris] Well I've always seen you as like an enemy

  • [Sharla] *laughs* An enemy? [Chris] Enemy, right. My rival.

  • [Chris] But now you live in Korea, you're not a rival anymore so we can be friends now.

  • [Sharla] Yeah. [Chris] So what are your strengths?

  • [Sharla] My strengths? Um. Very energetic.

  • [Chris] *mocking* "Very energetic" [Sharla] Think I could handle a cycle across Japan.

  • [Chris] Weaknesses?

  • [Sharla] Weaknesses?

  • [Chris] Weaknesses.

  • [Sharla] Spiders. Fuck spiders. [Chris] I think we can both agree on that one.

  • [Sharla] And roller-coasters.

  • Those are probably the only two things that I can't handle.

  • [Chris] Roller-coasters you say?

  • But we're right next to Fuji-Q Highland Park.

  • [Sharla] Good thing we're not going there today. *laughs*

  • [Chris] Well we've come all this way. I think we should.

  • [Sharla] I think we're going to be quite busy with the cycling.

  • [Chris] I think we should go to the best theme park in Japan, ever. [Sharla] Ah, no, no, no.

  • [Sharla] We'll see about that. [Chris] Yeah

  • [Chris] Okay so we've got our... we've got our bikes.

  • I've also got my obnoxiously orange bag.

  • That people on the international fucking space station could probably see.

  • Ah. But here's a map to give you a sense of scale.

  • Here's Mount Fuji and here is where we are.

  • And today we're going to start here, go all the way around the lake and end at Sengen Park.

  • Where the nice pagoda is that you see

  • in all the in all the promotion pamphlets for Japan. [Sharla] Oh that's where that is. Oh okay.

  • [Chris] Exactly.

  • [Sharla] Can we go to the bat cave? Cos that sounds amazing.

  • [Chris] Psycho bat cave! [dramatic music]

  • [Chris] I'm not too enthusiastic about going to somewhere called Saiko bat cave.

  • [Sharla] Sounds great! [Chris] At what? 10 o'clock in the morning.

  • [Chris] Let's get going. Try and keep up! [Sharla] Yeah I'll do my best.

  • [Chris] This is actually the first time I've cycled more than 20 km in 3 years.

  • So, it's a pretty serious day.

  • This will dictate how scared I am before the 2000 km cycle.

  • If today goes well, then I'll be, kind of, happy and excited about the cycle

  • Look at... She's already overtaken me.

  • Absolute show-off. Unbelievable.

  • [Chris] Oh my God. It looks amazing! [Dramatic music]

  • [Chris] Is what I would be saying if we could actually see it.

  • Still in the clouds. Still in the clouds.

  • So we're 20 minutes into the cycle.

  • According to the fitness tracker thing we've done 6 km and burned 350 calories.

  • So its time to get a little bit of a cheeky... cheeky breakfast in. [To Sharla] How are you feeling?

  • [Sharla] Hungry. [Chris] Hungry? [Sharla] Yeah.

  • [Chris] Well I've got a pretty amazing breakfast. [Sharla] Aw.

  • [Sharla] *laughs* Is that Kit Kats?

  • [Chris] This is a Fuji cider like lemonade. I'll let you take that. [Sharla] That looks... that looks nice.

  • [Chris] And of course the ultimate breakfast, the breakfast of champions!

  • Kit Kat strawberry cheesecake flavour!

  • The Kit Kat flavour unique to Fuji! Yeah!

  • [Sharla] Yeah.

  • [Sharla] Lovely, thank you. [Chris] Lovely, healthy breakfast. Let's enjoy.

  • [Chris] When I first heard cider in Japan. I thought "Yeah apple cider!"

  • [Sharla] I know. [Chris] But actually cider in Japan is effectively lemonade, right.

  • [Sharla] Basically. [Chris] Don't know how that happened.

  • [Chris] Tastes mostly of carbonated air [Sharla] Bubbles?

  • [Sharla] Yeah. [Chris] than actual... than actual beverage.

  • [Sharla] I feel like I'd be good if you get rid of the bubbles.

  • [Chris] What's your favourite Japanese Kit Kat flavour? [Sharla] Wasabi.

  • [Chris] Wasabi? I love wasabi. I used to eat them like frivolously.

  • But then I went to a capsule hotel and I ate like 20.

  • [Sharla] *laughs* I saw that video. [Chris] And then I couldn't sleep for like 2 days.

  • And so I didn't eat them ever again anyway.

  • [Chris] This is like one of the few flavours I haven't tried. [Sharla] I've never had it either actually.

  • Strawberry cheesecake. Somehow that represents Mount Fuji.

  • [Chris] Oh wow it's like... it's really powdery and weird. Maybe it's because it's really old.

  • [Chris] Which... we bought them from this little tiny arguably crappy

  • souvenir shop. The man was very grumpy.

  • Didn't seem enthusiastic at all to receive our custom.

  • [Chris] How do you actually feel? [Sharla] Um. Good so far. It's been really nice.

  • [Sharla] The view is gorgeous. [Chris] Mmm.

  • [Sharla] Um. We've done what? 6 km so far? [Chris] Mm mm.

  • [Chris] Strawberry cheesecake flavoured Kit Kat verdict 1 - 10?

  • [Sharla] Ah... 7. [Chris] 7? I'd give it a 7. [Sharla] Yeah.

  • [Chris] It's not as good as the sake flavour. [Sharla] No.

  • [Chris] And what about the Fujiyama cider drink? 1 - 10?

  • [Sharla] Shit out of ten.

  • [Chris] Shit out of ten!

  • [Bicycle bell rings]

  • [Chris] How you feeling Sharla? [Sharla] Good. [Chris] Good.

  • [Chris] I must admit. The Kit Kats did leave me wanting more.

  • I think.

  • I think we're gonna grab some lunch to be honest.

  • [Sharla] Yes. [Chris] Yes.

  • [Chris] So you're probably wondering why I chose you to come onto this trip to Mount Fuji.

  • [Sharla] Yeah. Why was that?

  • [Chris] We both climbed Mount Fuji. Sharla and I. Different times. [Sharla] We did.

  • [Chris] Until! Last month, I had the number one Mount Fuji video ever on Youtube.

  • But then it got demonetized

  • cos I stupidly used a soundtrack by... I think it was the Yoshida brothers.

  • Who you... who you teach english, aswell.

  • Have a word with them.

  • This is all a conspiracy because now Sharla's actually got the number one

  • video on Mount Fuji.

  • [Sharla] Yes! [Chris] So she worked with the Yoshida brothers to fuck me.

  • Basically.

  • But one thing she can't take away from me of course is that I do have

  • a more famous birthday on famousbirthdays.com

  • This is a real website made by real people.

  • Look here's her stupid face.

  • From like 10 years ago.

  • Sharla in Japan 4774th most popular birthday.

  • [Sharla] Thats pretty good.

  • [Chris] 30th most famous 32 year old web star.

  • [Sharla] *incoherent* something for that. [Chris] A CV worthy claim there.

  • [Chris] I love that I'm so hungry, I haven't even started eating cos I'm so...

  • I want to get this done. I want... there you go look.

  • Look at this handsome young man here.

  • [Chris] 2997th most famous birthday. [Sharla] Wow. So you're like 2000 ahead of me.

  • [Chris] 2000 more famous birthdays. Even if you do have the number 1 Mount Fuji video.

  • I've got a more famous birthday. And lets face it, that's better anyway.

  • [Chris] Oh my God thats the best view I've ever seen in my entire life! [Dramatic music]

  • Is what I would have said if we could actually see it.

  • That's Mount Fuji right there.

  • You can see the base of it stretching across the horizon. But no.

  • I'm starting to get a little worried. We spent a lot of time an resources to come here today.

  • We've got Sharla in Japan. Who doesn't even live in Japan anymore.

  • And we've got a really nice camera man but still no Mount Fuji.

  • I'm a little bit disappointed and a little bit concerned.

  • [Sharla] I actually had a perfect view of the Mountain this morning. At 5:30.

  • [Sharla] While you we're snoring away.

  • [Chris] Wait. What? You actually saw Mount Fuji this morning

  • [Sharla] Zero clouds. Zero.

  • [Chris] Why didn't you wake me up! [Sharla] It was beautiful.

  • [Dramatic music] [Sharla] You were sleeping.

  • [Chris] I've travelled all the way here from like Northern Japan just to see it and you didn't even wake me up.

  • [Chris] Why have I brought her here? Why... why are you here today? What?

  • Unbelievable.

  • [Chris] There's something quite weird up there, there's like a little capsule style hotel.

  • [Chris] All the rooms are like little capsule blocks. [Sharla] We should have stayed there.

  • [Chris] Yeah. [Sharla] It looks really cool.

  • [Chris] We should have stayed over here. [Sharla] There's a huge window in the front. So you have an amazing view of Mount Fuji.

  • [Chris] Oh yeah an "amazing" view. In brackets.

  • [Chris] Six years I've waited for this view and it is magnificent.

  • Is what I would have said if we'd seen Mount Fuji but it's not here again.

  • Um. That said it is a nice view

  • and I feel pretty... I feel pretty good about myself.

  • [Sharla] Yeah we made it. That was the hardest part of today.

  • [Chris] Yeah. We finished the 20 km cycle. That was great. Well done. Good job. [Sharla] Yeah!

  • [Chris] And even more difficult than the cycle was the stairs to actually get here.

  • We had to climb up a little mountain along the stairs of despair.

  • I used to have this little guidebook before I came to Japan.

  • This was the front cover. This shot here with Mount Fuji.

  • So I'm a little bit disappointed that I've come all the way here for the first time ever and we can't see it.

  • But what we can do in this day and age is use CGI trickery. Computer special effects.

  • To make it look like there's actually a Mount Fuji right behind us.

  • [Camera shutter] [Dramatic music]

  • [Chris] So you did a pretty good job today Sharla.

  • You did do the 20 km and you were almost able to keep up with me...

  • [Sharla] Almost? [Chris] ...the whole way. [Sharla] Almost?

  • [Chris] Almost. [Sharla] I'm pretty sure I did better than you.

  • [Chris] I feel like you've almost passed the test but not quite.

  • [Chris] You're missing something. [Sharla] What?

  • [Chris] Well lets face it you don't have as famous a birthday as I do.

  • [Chris] Ah so I feel like there is one more test that you should pass.

  • [Chris] And that is... [Sharla] What is that?

  • [Chris] The biggest roller-coaster in Japan ever at Fuji-Q Highland park.

  • [Dramatic music] [Chris] Which is literally just over there somewhere. [Sharla] No. No. No. [Chris] Yes.

  • [Chris] We're doing it. [Sharla] No. I'm not. [Chris] Face your fears.

  • [Chris] Face your fears. Do the roller-coaster. [Sharla] That is not happening. [Chris] And you can come on the cycle.

  • [Chris] Yes! [Sharla] No. [Chris] Yes!

  • [Creaking roller-coaster]

  • [Chris] This is it. How do you feel? [Sharla] *cries* Horrible!

  • [Sharla] This is terrible we're so high up. You can see like the entire city.

  • This does not sound safe. What the hell is that noise?

  • [Sharla] *cries*

  • [Chris] Time to... time to conquer your fears! [Sharla] *cries* No! I hate you. I hate you.

  • [Chris] I won't lie. I'm a little bit scared.

  • [Chris] I'm a little bit scared but-

  • [screaming] [Chris] *screaming* OH! GOD!

  • NO!

  • FUCK!

  • [Sharla] *screaming* Oh God! What the fucking fuck?

  • [Sharla] *heavy breathing*

  • [Sharla] *crying*

  • [Chris] *grunt*

  • [Chris] FUCK!

  • [Loud wooshing]

  • [Dramatic music] [Camera shutter]

  • [Chris] 1 - 10? [Sharla] Fuck you! [Chris] *laughs*

  • [Sharla] Fuck you outta town!

  • [Chris] Fuck me outta town?

  • [Chris] You conquered your fears. How do you feel?

  • [Sharla] Fucking terrified. I don't think that counts as conquering your...

  • [Chris] Was it enjoyable? [Sharla] No! Not at all!

  • Zero parts of that were enjoyable.

  • I thought maybe it would slow down and be like, you know, not as horrible.

  • [Chris] It was... it was pretty much never ending.

  • [Sharla] *cries*

  • [Chris] I liked the day. Absolute *incoherent* of a day.

  • [Chris] You did it! You passed the test! You can come on the cycle.

  • [Chris] Yeah! [Sharla] Fuck you. I don't wanna go on the cycle with you. [Chris] Yeah!

  • [Sharla] No. No. [Chris] Come on the cycle. [Sharla] No. [Chris] High five. Well done. Awsome.

  • [Chris] Well we completely failed to see Mount Fuji.

  • [Chris] That said. There's loads to do in this area. We had a good time. [Sharla] Yeah. Yeah.

  • [Chris] Fuji-Q, the pagoda, the food, the views are amazing. [Sharla] They were amazing.

  • [Chris] If you come here. You know, there's lots to do. Even if you don't see Mount Fuji.

  • I mean who knows? Maybe you might be luckier than we were.

  • [Chris] But for now guys. [Sharla] Probably. [Chris] That's all. Many thanks for watching.

  • [Chris] And, ah, we'll see you next time. Come on. Next ride.

  • [Sharla] *cries* No!

  • [Static]

  • [Chris] Mount Fuji: majestic, iconic, spectacular!

  • Absolute nightmare to see in person.

  • And that's because at 3376 m

  • Mount Fuji spends most of it's time

  • With a head in.. with its head in the... fuck fuck shit bollocks. Fuck.