Fuji Mountain is a must-see-for-yourself phenomenon of Japan. This white capped triangle has captured the heart of artists, visitor and local alike for centuries. View of the Fuji is magical at every season. If you are contemplating whether to include visiting this into your japan itinerary, I highly suggest you do. A stay overnight in one of the traditional house will complete the experience. The town near Fuji is not like other part of Japan, it is extremely peaceful and serene.
While planning your trip to Fuji, below are some of the activities and things you can do around it.
Gotemba Premium Outlet
On the way from Tokyo you can stop by Gotemba Premium Outlet which is an outlet of luxurious brand at fraction of the price. Indulge in some retail therapy before you indulge in some nature.
Fujikyu Highland is a themepark located before the stop to Fujisan. If roller coasters are your thing you may want to include this in your itinerary. The four big rollercoasters are Takabisha, Eejanaika, Dodonpa and Fijuyama.
There are 5 lakes around mt Fuji the most popular ones being Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Saiko. One of the best way to explore the area and most time efficient way is by catching the bus. They have a hop on and off sight seeing bus around Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Saiko for Adult 1200 JPY and Children of 600JPY which is valid for 2 days. The bus that goes by the route to Lake saiko (Green line) is more scenic than Lake Kawaguchi (Red Line). Some of the stop over you can make here are plenty of museums, caves, parks, waterfalls, and shrine. Another great lake within the area is Lake Yamanaka. This lake is surrounded by summer villas oozes natural beauty.
Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway
Very near to Lake Kawaguchi is where Kachi Kachi Yama Ropeway is located. This is a must visit in this area to enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi from the top of the ropeway. While you are there, ring the bell of Tenjo. Myth has it that your wish will come true if you ring this love heart shaped bell while watching mt. Fuji.
Admission fee: With Voucher adult 650yen (we get it from our host or you can get it from the tourist centre), normally would cost 720yen.
Opening hours during winter: 9:30 – 16.40
Normal opening hours: 9:00 – 17:10
Arakurayama Sengen Park
Arakurayama Sengen Shrine is a temple near the feet of Mount Fuji where you can enjoy the beautiful cherry blossom in Spring. If you stay at Fujisan area, you can stroll here before sunrise to enjoy magnificent sunrise view. The temple as foreground and the fuji Moutant photographed from this location is an iconic shot of My. Fuji.
This is the oldest shrine in Mt. Fuji located at the 2nd station onto the mountain.
Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato-Nemba are collection of old thatched house overlooking Mount Fuji. It is located near the scenic area of Lake Saiko which adds to its beauty and charm.
Close Tue Dec-mid Mar Open till 16.30 from 9:00.
Admission Fee: Get a ticket for 300 Yen Entry (Save 50 yen).
Town of Oshi and Gekko-Ji Area
In Fujiyoshida, lays nostalgic area of Town of Oshi and Gekko-Ji, area which are great for a walking tour. You’ll feel that you’ve been transported back to the 50 or 60s era. Oshi are pilgrims that worship the God of Mount Fuji. They took residence here and form a town to protect and worship the God of Mount Fuji more than 400 years ago.
Mt.Fuji 5th Station
There are 9 station to Mt Fuji, stop at the 5th station is one that is accessible by bus without having to climb it. 5th station located at 2,305m above sea level where you can view the summit very closely. There are many restaurants and souvenir shop here as well. It is accessible by Fuji Subaru Line Bus and keep in mind that they only operate when the weather condition permits hence in winter chances are Mt Fuji may be close to visit.
Climbing Mt Fuji
It takes 3-4 hours to climb mount Fuji to its summit from the 5th station. It is relatively okay trail but it can only be climb during good weather. Even during summer the temperature at the summit can be as cold as 4 degree Celcius with a chance of snowing.
There is some traditional hot springs in Fuji area where you can enjoy the sight of the mountain at the same time soaking all the beautifying and beneficial property of the hot spring water. To name a few there are:
- Fujiyama Onsen
One of the largest traditional bath-house, this bathhouse is entirely made of wood. The hot spring is also believed to be good and moisturizing to the skin.
Address: 4-1524 Sinnishihara, Fujiyoshida City
- Yoshinoike Onsen
Long established Onsen which is famous for the black granite which could benefit people with back and skin problem.
Address: 6698 Shimoyoshida, Fujiyoshida City
- Lava Hotspring Sensui
They build the hotspring using lava plate from the actual mountain.
Address: 4261 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida City
This is also known as mirachle sping that is believed to be able to cure skin disease.
Address: 4401 Ooasumi, Fujiyoshida City
The two most famous foods in Fuji are Hoto and Yoshida Udon. Hoto is a thick noodle commonly cooked in a stew with pumpkin and other various vegetable. It taste quite mild, warming and very filling. Yoshida Udon is local udon made up from Mt Fuji Spring water that also has thick and hearty properties.
I recommend to stay either near Lake Kawaguchi or Fujisan Station. Staying at Fujisan station will be convienent if you want to climb the mountain being the starting point of the climb and to visit Arakurayama Sengen Park. It is also less touristy and more of a quite neighbourhood than Lake Kawaguchiko. On the other hand Lake Kawaguchiko offers many entertainments around the area, the surrounding lakes and the sightseeing bus tour is just a step away.
We stayed at Maisan-Chi guesthouse during our stay which is an affordable traditional house accommodation. The stay adds to our unforgettable experience staying at Fuji. It was lovely and I highly recommend her place!
How to get to Fuji
There are several ways that you can get to Fuji. If you depart from Tokyo it takes about 2 hours to this area (but it really doesn’t feel that long at all).
Catch train to Otsuki Station. Otsuki is the first transfer line you need to reach. It cost 1,490 JPY from Tokyo to Otsuki station.
From Otsuki station, you will be greeted by Fuji theme railway that will bring you to Fujisan or Kawaguchiko Lake depending on where you are staying. It cost about 1,140 JPY to Kawaguchiko or Fujisan Station.
Total Price: 2,630 JPY one way.
Actually using bus is the way to go according to the Information centre lady but since we had a JR pass, train is our better option. From Shinjuku and Tokyo station, there’s a direct bus that goes to Fujisan Eki station or Kawaguchiko Station. This take around about the same amount of time with train. If you want to save a night accommodation and can sleep anywhere happy-go-lucky, there’s an overnight bus.
Bus from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko Station:
1,750 JPY one way or 2,650 JPY Overnight.
Tokyo Station to Kawaguchiko Station:
1,750 JPY one way or 3,280 JPY round trip that is valid for 7 days.