Home Japan Travel GuideMount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes Guide

Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes Guide

Mount Fuji is a symbol of Japan. The mountain contributes to Japan's physical, cultural, and spiritual geography. Mount Fuji is the single most popular tourist site in Japan, for both Japanese and foreign tourists.

On the north side of Mt. Fuji there is an area called the Fuji Five Lakes; this area is blessed with stunning natural greenery and mountain scenery. In the area lies Fujikawaguchiko Lake. The vastness of forest and lakes at the foot of Mt. Fuji make this scenic spot one of Japan’s best.

Highlights

  • Mt. Fuji is the most famous and popular sightseeing destination in Japan.
  • There are lots of things to do, from climbing the mountain, taking breathtaking pictures, to visiting a museum.
  • In addition to Mount Fuji, there is the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which includes forest, and a lake ecosystem with islands.
  • The Fuji Five Lakes were formed hundreds of years ago by lava flows, which dammed up rivers during Mount Fuji's multiple eruptions.
  • Kawaguchiko Lake is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes that lie at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes

Mount Fuji (3776 meters) is Japan's highest mountain. Visible from Tokyo on a clear day, the mountain is located to the west of Tokyo, on the main island of Honshu. More than 200,000 people visit this magnificent place every year, mostly during the warmer summer months.

At the northern foot of Mount Fuji, there are five large lakes, called Yamanakako, Saiko, Shojiko, Motosuko and Kawaguchiko. The area is called Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes). In the Fujigoko area, there are many attractions. You can enjoy onsen, or hot springs, provided by the volcanic activity of Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji and onsen hot springs are the best attractions in Japan, so it is needless to say, that Fujigoko area is a very popular tourist destination in Japan. Other than lakes, visitors also can enjoy the time with their families by visiting various tourist facilities, including art museums and a theme park.

Exploring Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji - or Fuji-san in Japanese - is the highest peak in the Fuji volcanic chain in central Japan and is the country's most beautiful mountain. Mount Fuji attracts more than a million tourists each year to the mountain itself and the surrounding towns.

Climbing Mount Fuji

During the climbing season, in July and August, more than 300,000 visitors arrive to climb the summit of Mount Fuji each year. Using a private car to reachthe Fifth Station on the shoulder of Mount Fuji is the most recommended way, then you can start climbing from there.

Many people walk from the 5th Station up to the 7th Station, which is around halfway up the mountain, and amounts in a rise in elevation of 395m, before descending back down to the 5th Station. A good pair of walking shoes and appropriate clothing are required.

Mount Fuji attractions

On the northern flank of Mount Fuji is the Fuji Five Lakes region, an area of outstanding natural beauty that also provides superb views of the mountain. This area offers a number of fun activities, such astaking photos of beautiful scenery, hiking, and many more!

Another attraction of note in the Five Lakes region is The Healing Village (SaikoIyashino-Sato Nenba), a traditional Japanese village, showcasing the lives of locals over the past centuries.

The Aokigahara Forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, on the northern slope of Mount Fuji is worth a visit. This dense forest of overgrown roots, moss, and light-reducing trees is a notable attraction in the area.

Full day Hakone and Mt. Fuji 5th Station excursion

Experience and enjoy the majestic Mt. Fuji with a guided day-tour, which takes you to Mt. Fuji and Hakone. It will be mostly by private car and you will be accompanied by a professional guide. The tour includes a trip up to Mt. Fuji's 5th Station at an elevation of 2,300 meters, and a cruise on pristine Lake Ashinoko which was formed 3000 years ago by a volcanic eruption.

Please note that this tour is not available from November to March, when the 5th station is closed due to snow.

Exploring the Fuji Five Lakes

The Fuji Five Lakes region is a popular trip with domestic and foreign tourists. Fuji Five Lakes (Fuji-go-ko) is a scenic, hilly area to the north of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Lake Kawaguchiko

This is the most famous lake, where numerous attractions are offered such as rope-way, rental boats, water activities, restaurants, onsen, and more. Lake Kawaguchi is located in the middle of the Five Lakes and you can enjoy the symmetric view of Mt.Fuji without any obstacles.

Lake Yamanakako

It is the easternmost and largest of the FiveLakes. Yamanaka Lake is second in popularity among tourists, after Lake Kawaguchi, and many attractions are available such as boating, fishing, wind surfing, restaurants, hotels. Visit the “Panorama Dai” observatory to see the amazing view of Mt.Fuji and the lake itself.

Lake Saiko

The lake is located between Lake Shoji and Lake Kawaguchi. Lake Sai is surrounded by wooded mountains where you can enjoy camping, hiking etc. The famous Aokigahara Jukai Forest is located next to it. There are plenty of peak experiences near the lake by the same name. You will find Saiko Bat Cave, a cavern that remains warm even in winter, and the Narusawa Ice Caves, where icicles bristle even in summer.

Lake Shojiko

This lake is located next to Lake Motosu, and it is the smallest of the Fuji Five Lakes. It is surrounded by beautiful nature and is much less touristic compared to the other four lakes. It’s a popular fishing spot among local fishermen. Lake Shoji is recommended for people who want to avoid crowds and enjoy relaxing in nature.

Lake Motosuko

This is the westernmost of the Fuji Five Lakes, and the 9th deepest lake in Japan. Lake Motosu is famous for its picture on the back of the 1,000 JPY bill. Camping, hiking, horseback riding and water sports are all options there during the warmer months, and in the winter you can even ice skate on the lake.

Attractions in and around the Fuji Five Lakes

There are many attractions around the Fuji Five Lakes such as:

1. The Kawaguchiko Music Forest is a museum, about 30 minutes from Kawaguchiko Station by bus. Various types of music boxes are placed on display, together with one of the biggest mechanical organs in the world.

2. Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway is conveniently located, just 13 minutes from Kawaguchiko Station. You will be able to access the top of the mountain, also known as the Tenjoyama Park, via a three minute ropeway ride. Those who prefer an adventure, can walk up the hiking route too.

3. Oishi Park Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center is one of the best places around Kawaguchiko to appreciate the seasons. For those who love photography, one of the best seasons to visit this place is during summer, especially in June and July.

Full day Fuji Five Lakes excursion

Explore the famous Fuji Five Lakes with a professional guide and a private car, an experience like no other.

Your first stop is the most famous of the Five Lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko. You will embark on a pleasure cruise to see the beautiful scenery around the lake.

Then take a stop at Itchiku Kubota Museum, this museum is devoted to Kubota Itchiku, he was one of Japan’s greatest kimono artists. Among the exhibits are kimonos with themes such as nature, the cosmos and seasons, and an unfinished masterpiece that consists of 80 kimonos, which together form a picture of Mt.Fuji.

After lunch (included: local specialty hoto noodles) head for a drive around Lake Saiko and Lake Shojiko, two other picturesque lakes in the area. You will also get a glimpse of a mysterious forest that was born after Mt.Fuji erupted, the Aokigahara Sea of Trees Forest.

Finish your day with a visit to Sengen Shrine, a historical shrinethat was used to honor Japan’s most sacred mountain, located in a cedar forest at the bottom of Mt.Fuji. This shrine was constructed in 788AD and was the focal point of Mt.Fuji worship and pilgrimage.

How to get to Mount Fuji from Tokyo

Depending on what it is you plan to do there (climbing to the summit, exploring the surrounding lakes, soaking in a hot spring or shopping), your choice of transport is going to differ. Here is an overview of how you can get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji.

For travelers exploring independently

For independent travelers with their own ideas, planning to explore the area, we provide some general information about public transportation as a starting point.

From Shinjuku station by bus or train

If you want to take the train from Shinjuku, take the Azusa, Super Azusa or Kaiji train on the Chuo line, and change in Otsuki for the Fuji Kyuko line to Kawaguchiko station.

However, buses are the best way to get to Mt.Fuji since it is much easier for foreign visitors. From Shinjuku station, buses to Mt.Fuji area generally depart from the Barea on the 4th floor of BUSTA and are bound for Mt.Fuji station or Kawaguchiko station.

Transportation in the region

Buses are the major means of transportation in the region. The omnibuses are generally the easiest way for tourists to get around. There are three lines starting from Kawaguchiko station. For transportation between Fujiyoshida, Oshino Village and around Lake Yamanakako, the Fujikko Bus can be useful, although buses run only once every one or two hours.

Another tourist bus is the Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop Bus that departs from Kawaguchiko Station every 90 minutes and stops at multiple sites of interest, including the Chureito Pagoda and Oshino Village, before looping back to Kawaguchiko Station.

A rental car can also be a convenient way to get around, especially if visiting places outside of central Kawaguchiko. Similarly, a rental bicycle can be an attractive way to get around, although some roads in the region are rather busy and distances between the lakes are considerable.

Passes and tickets

Several passes are available for the Fuji Five Lake area:

1. Fuji Hakone pass: 8000 yen (access from Tokyo, within Fuji Five Lakes and neighboring Hakone area)

2. Fujigoko Enjoy ticket: 4350 yen (round trip by highway bus from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko or Yamanakako)

3. Fujisan Fujigoko Passport: 3550 yen (unlimited use of Fujikyu buses around Fuji Five Lakes, including the omnibuses and Fujikko Bus on two consecutive calendar days)

For travelers needing private guide and car service

Traveling to a new place can be stressful and tiring, especially when you are not familiar with the local culture, language, and the layout, so a guided tour may be advisable when visiting Mount Fuji.

Asia Highlights offers many choices for you and your family to experience Mount Fuji and the surrounding area like no other!

Our knowledgeable guides will explain and demonstrate the local culture and manner so you can explore every area like locals do! We will provide a private car to take you around, thus you can travel with ease. All this at an affordable price!

We will provide meals and water. You can also borrow some equipment if needed like walking poles, rainwear and binoculars, so as to make the most of your vacation without any hassles. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Climate of the Fuji area

The least amount of rainfall occurs in January, with an average of 62 mm. In September, the precipitation reaches its peak, with an average of 267 mm. The temperatures are highest on average in August, around 26.6 °C. With 5.8 °C on average, January is the coldest month of the year.

Early July to mid-September is the official climbing season, when the trails and mountain facilities are open. During this period the mountain is usually free of snow, the weather is relatively mild, access by public transportation is easy, and the mountain huts are operating. Please note that climbing Mt.Fuji outside the official season is illegal.

Mount Fuji in art

From the 14th century onward, Mt. Fuji became a popular motif in painting, literature, crafts, gardens and other artistic fields, to the extent that it was becoming a standard image of Japan.

Of the many popular representations of Mt. Fuji in popular culture, the three best known are those produced by Hiroshige (1797-1858) in the ukiyo-e prints, Tokaidogojusan-tsugi (Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road) and the Fuji sanjurokkei (Thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji).

The most famous single image from the series is widely known in English as The Great Wave off Kanagawa. It depicts three boats being threatened by a large wave while Mount Fuji rises in the background. While generally assumed to be a tsunami, the wave was probably intended simply to be a large ocean wave.

Guided tour of Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes

Being only a couple of hours away from Tokyo, Mt Fuji mesmerizes visitors with its beautiful appearance. It is recommended to visit Mount Fuji with a guided tour. Not only will you be guided by a professional tour guide, you will also have your own private car to commute around, so you can enjoy your holiday to the most, without hassles.

Asia Highlights offers you a two-day tour to the beautiful Mt.Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes. Eventhough we are not taking you to the summit, you will still get to experience Mt.Fuji, by walking from the 5th to the 7th Station, which is around halfway up the mountain.

Lunch and bottled water will be provided so you do not have to worry. A good pair of walking shoes and appropriate clothing is required.

After taking a good hike on the first day, you will be taken to the Fuji Five Lakes the day after. Make sure to bring your photography equipment, because you will be visiting one of the most famous destinations around Mount Fuji.

On arrival to Kawaguchiko Lake, you will embark on a cruise that will take you around the biggest and most well-known of the five lakes. Then take a stop at Itchiku Kubota Museum to see and appreciate one of the greatest kimono artists in Japan.

After lunch (will be provided), you will be taken to Lake Saiko and Lake Shojikoand you will also get a glimpse of Aokigahara Sea of Trees Forest. Explore one of the historical shrines at the bottom of Mt.Fuji, before returning to Tokyo.

Explore Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes with Asia Highlights

Escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and go to the countryside to find the best Mt. Fuji viewpoints. To make it easy for you, arrange aprivate tour from Tokyo with a private-car and a professional guide – only with Asia Highlights. We can craft every tour so you can have your very own vacation without any hassles. Contact us if you have any questions!

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