- （ここでは）宝物（後出 goldmine は宝の山）
- exchange student
- cherry blossom
- (five-story) pagoda
- 五重塔のこと（後出 Chureito Pagoda は忠霊塔のこと）
- holy site
- bitter cold
- fall foliage
- cenotaph monument
- fallen soldier
- the elderly
- municipal government
- observation deck
- 見下ろす（後出 overlooked は見落とされた）
- from afar
"This is Japan!" exclaimed Tip, a Thai exchange student at Waseda University who was excited to finally see the scenery she had dreamed about － Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms, and even a pagoda all in one place.
While there are many famous places in the foothills of Mount Fuji to view the blossoms, Arakurayama Sengen Park in Fuji-yoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, has recently become a "holy site" for inbound travelers － especially those from Southeast Asia.
Pantipa, a physician traveling with her family of four from the town of Korat in northeast Thailand, was there during her fifth visit to Japan. She even came to Arakurayama in the bitter cold of January to see a snowcapped Mount Fuji. She learned about the park five years ago.
"This place is really famous in Thai guidebooks and pamphlets," she said, smiling. "Next time, I want to come to see the fall foliage. Coming from a tropical place, the four seasons of Japan are really attractive to me."
The five-story pagoda is called the "Chureito Pagoda" by locals. Its official name is the "Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument," and it was built in 1962 to honor fallen soldiers. Until now, it was apparently only visited by the elderly during the summer Bon festival.
In response to the unexpected increase in foreign tourists, the Fujiyoshida Municipal Government started holding a two-week cherry blossom festival two years ago, building the observation deck overlooking the pagoda. Miyashita Takashi, a group leader at festival organizer Fujiyoshida Tourism Promotion Service, said a photo of a view embodying Japanese spring in a single shot had always been used, but had never attracted visitors from afar before.
"Since it has become popular abroad, the number of domestic and foreign tourists has exploded over the last few years," he said, still full of disbelief. "A locally overlooked tourism goldmine was hiding in quite an unexpected place."
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