On the east edge of lake Saiko is a restaurant hotel, Ma Maison. Apparently it is a chain but I have no knowledge of the other store locations. It is a quaint, wooden building with a white exterior and eaves. The inside is dark and lined with wood trim, the kind of place you would never think twice about spending hours in. Early twentieth century replica pictures dot the walls and the place is lit entirely with dim twenty watt tables lamps. Soft romantic music from the thirties and forties lilts through the air, mixing with the hum of the old confection refrigerator. Ella Fitzgerald and red table cloths almost bring a tear to my eye, dredging up memories of dates I had brought here.
Initially the Fuji Lakes were a private retreat, a solemn sojourn of deserted campsites and endless sessions for reading Kerouac. But in time, it meant so much of me that I had to share it with the person I desperately wanted to understand me. And so each trip of hiking, horseriding and campfires drew to a close with a bottle of asti and the enchanting haven all to ourselves.
I thought I had grown too old and too strong to be moved by a little atmosphere, but I suppose there are a couple of embers deep inside that still smolder.