Welcome to the stunning Kawaguchiko area, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Mount Fuji. This picturesque region offers a breathtaking blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures that will leave you enchanted. Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or a history buff, the Kawaguchiko area has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top things to do in and around Kawaguchiko, ensuring that your visit to Mount Fuji is truly unforgettable. From mesmerizing lakes and hot springs to serene temples and thrilling hikes, let’s embark on an extraordinary journey through this captivating destination.
Admire the Scenic Beauty of Lake Kawaguchiko
No visit to the Kawaguchiko area is complete without experiencing the mesmerizing beauty of Lake Kawaguchiko. Surrounded by lush greenery and offering breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, this iconic lake is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Take a leisurely stroll along its shores, rent a paddleboat to explore the crystal-clear waters, or simply relax and soak in the serene atmosphere. Capture postcard-worthy photographs of the iconic reflection of Mount Fuji on the lake’s surface, especially during the cherry blossom season or autumn foliage.
Explore the Charming Oshino Hakkai Village
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region at Oshino Hakkai Village. This traditional village showcases a cluster of eight pristine ponds fed by the snowmelt of Mount Fuji, offering a serene and picturesque setting. Wander through the narrow lanes lined with traditional thatched-roof houses, and marvel at the crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful koi fish. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the pure spring water that flows from the village’s wells, believed to have healing properties. Indulge in local delicacies at the quaint shops and soak in the nostalgic ambiance of this charming village.
Experience Thrills at Fuji-Q Highland
For adrenaline junkies seeking a heart-pounding adventure, Fuji-Q Highland is a must-visit destination. This world-class amusement park boasts exhilarating roller coasters, including the famous “Fujiyama,” once the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. Brace yourself for a wild ride as you scream your way through loops, twists, and turns with Mount Fuji as a breathtaking backdrop. Besides roller coasters, the park offers a variety of attractions for all ages, including haunted houses, water rides, and a mesmerizing observation deck. Plan your visit strategically to avoid long queues, especially during weekends and public holidays.
Unwind in Hot Springs
After a day of exploration, treat yourself to a rejuvenating soak in one of the region’s relaxing hot springs. Kawaguchiko Onsen is a popular choice, offering therapeutic mineral-rich waters that soothe tired muscles and offer panoramic views of Mount Fuji. Indulge in the traditional Japanese bathing culture, following proper etiquette and rituals. If you prefer a more secluded experience, consider visiting one of the nearby ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) that offer private hot spring baths. Relax, unwind, and let the soothing waters melt away your stress as you bask in the tranquility of the surroundings.
Embark on a Mount Fuji Hiking Adventure
For outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers, hiking Mount Fuji is an experience of a lifetime. The official climbing season is from July to early September when the weather conditions are relatively stable. Choose from several well-marked trails, each offering a unique perspective of the majestic mountain. Fuji is not to be taken lightly, as it presents a moderate level of difficulty. It is essential to be physically fit and mentally prepared for the ascent. Before setting off on your adventure, make sure to gather all the necessary information, including weather forecasts and trail conditions. This blog post provides detailed information about the difficulty level of climbing Mount Fuji.
After being in Tokyo for 6 nights, it was time to leave the buzzing metropolis. Tokyo is loud, intense, shrill and hectic. Tokyo makes one tired, and so were we! The next stop of our journey to Japan was the Kawaguchiko Area around Mount Fuji!
One of my biggest (travel) dreams was to travel to Mt. Fuji. Well, June is not the best time to travel to Mt. Fuji! You will ask me why? The statistics show that Mt. Fuji is totally visible only on four days in June and partly visible on 10 days during that month. We were going to stay in Kawaguchiko Area for two nights so that the chance of seeing Mt. Fuji was not big at all! But no risk, no fun! We booked our hotel and then we booked the bus tickets from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko too.
It took about 2 hours by bus, and it was raining since we first so the mountains of Japan! It was not only rainy but foggy too! We stared through the bus window in awe as the majestic Mt. Fuji flashed between the clouds .. for seconds. After the moment of joy, Mt. Fuji was no longer visible. So I thought to myself “At least we saw it for several seconds. It is still better than nothing!”
After arriving in Kawaguchiko, the rain stopped, the clouds were gone and we had the most beautiful June weather for the next 48h that anybody could ever wish for! On the day we were leaving, it started raining again …
We stayed at Fujisan Station Hotel – nothing special, but with great location near the Mt. FUJI STATION. The room with its 18 km² was three times bigger than the previous in Tokyo 😀 And the price was better too:
For all of you who will ask why we didn’t climb Mt. Fuji? The answer is – it was not possible to! The official climbing season
starts in the beginning of July and goes to mid-September. Only during these months all the trails and mountain facilities are open. Therefore we decided to visit at least the region around Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.
Chureito Pagoda is one of the most photographed and one of the most beautiful spots in Japan! Located in Asakura Sengen Shrine in Arakura Sengen Park the Chureito Pagoda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. Chureito pagoda was built in 1963 as a piece of memorial. But if you want to enjoy the marvellous views too, you will first have to climb the 400 steps starting from Shiogama Shrine.
Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine
There is no doubt – Japan is home to countless enchanting places! Some of them are very popular, some of them you will find by walking without any direction. This happened to us while walking near the Fujiyoshida Shiritsu Suwanomori Natural Park.
Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Jinja has a history of 1900 years as it was built in 799. The shrine was meant to protect to villages around Mt Fuji from the volcanic activities. Back in the Edo Era, the Japanese people were beginning their pilgrimage here. One day emperor Yamato Takeru-no-mikoto visited the regions around Mt. Fuji. “Worship the mountain spirit of Mt. Fuji from the north!” he said, and some years later a small shrine was constructed here.
The goddess of Mt. Fuji, Konohana-sakuya-hime-no-mikoto, Hikoho-no-ninigi-no-mikoto, and Ooyamazumi-no-kami are worshipped here. Nowadays the main shrine, the eastern and western shrines are considered as important cultural properties in Japan and part of Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset.
Oishi is a beautiful park located on the north bank of Lake Kawaguchi. Here you will be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful views over Mt. Fuji. But not only! The garden is huge and full of stunning flower fields! This place is also a must-see for all who love photography and stunning panoramas. And the best time to visit Oishi garden is during June and July as many of the flowers will be blooming! On the west side of Oishi Park, there is a 350m long “Flowers road”! Everybody can enjoy some beautiful flowers throughout the year for free!
The marvellous lake Kaweachiko has various locations that will offer you a different atmosphere and a different view over Mt. Fuji! On our back to Kawaguchiko, we walked the whole way back. The connecting bridge also offers some amazing views over the mountains, so don’t miss it when the weather allows it!
Some Other Places to Visit While in Kawaguchi
Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway
Another opportunity for enjoying some great views over Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi is from Kachi Kachi Ropeway (1075m). Kachi Kachi connects Kawaguchi-Kohan Station with Fujimidai Station which is on top of the mountain within only three minutes! The mountain is known as Tenjoyama Park. If you are adventurous enough you can climb to the top too.
Fuji-Q Highland is one of most popular amusement parks in Japan due to its close location to Mt. Fuji! Some of the attractions even hold Guinness World Record for their height, speed, and great angle drops: Fujiyama,Takabisha, and Dodonpa.
Where to Stay in Fujiyama, Japan
As you would expect from a major travel destination in Asia, Japan has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. As always, I’d suggest you stay somewhere central, to make accessing all the attractions as easy as possible.
These hotels in Fujiyama Japan provide a range of accommodations, from traditional ryokans to modern resorts, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay while exploring the majestic beauty of the region.
- Fuji View Hotel: Situated near Lake Kawaguchi, Fuji View Hotel offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and a serene atmosphere. The hotel features traditional Japanese-style rooms, hot spring baths, and various dining options, including authentic kaiseki cuisine.
- Hoshinoya Fuji: Located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hoshinoya Fuji offers a unique glamping experience with luxurious cabins surrounded by nature. Each cabin provides breathtaking views of Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji, and guests can enjoy activities such as canoeing and stargazing.
- Fuji Onsenji Yumedono: This luxury ryokan is set in a peaceful location surrounded by nature, offering a serene retreat for visitors. Fuji Onsenji Yumedono features elegantly designed rooms with private hot spring baths and exquisite traditional Japanese cuisine. The hotel’s tranquil gardens and outdoor hot spring baths provide a serene atmosphere to unwind and admire the beauty of Mount Fuji.
- Highland Resort Hotel & Spa: Located near Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, Highland Resort Hotel & Spa offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and scenic views of Mount Fuji. Guests can enjoy a variety of recreational facilities, including a spa, hot spring baths, and even a theme park. The hotel also features multiple dining options to suit different tastes.
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