The famous Fuji Five Lakes west of Tokyo is a popular area for lake activities, onsen experiences, and exploration of the mountainous landscape and town Fujikawaguchiko at the foot of Mount Fuji.
Although there are plenty of things to do to stay for several days, it is also perfectly doable to visit the area around Lake Kawaguchiko on a day trip from Tokyo (Shinjuku Station). You will have enough time to explore the Fuji Five Lakes area and perhaps hike up the terrain for breathtaking views of Mount Fuji.
the square hotel GINZA is located in Ginza / Chuo in a lively neighbourhood and features a restaurant/café on site. Remarkable design. The hotel features a common hot bath. Located near the Antique Mall Ginza and the Wakayama Art Museum.
Hotel Gracery Asakusa has a top location in Asakusa near the vivid and popular streets around the old Sensoji Temple and is near the kitchenware street, Kappabashi Street. Ueno Station is within 20 min walking distance and Tokyo Skytree within 20 min.
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One of the easiest ways to travel to Fujikawaguchiko is by train to Kawaguchiko Station. Along the way, you will pass lush mountainsides and scenic rice fields.
The second last station before Kawaguchiko Station is Mt Fuji Station in Fujiyoshida, where you will also catch sight of the amusement park Fuji-Q Highland with its own Fujikyu-Highland Station.
The most popular train is the Fuji Excursion train (limited express), a 1-hour and 50-minute journey from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. As a direct connection to Fujikawaguchiko, this is perfect for a day trip.
The Japan Rail Pass covers the first part of the ride (until Otsuki). Japan Rail Pass holders will need a supplementary ticket for the last part of the trip (available on the train or upon arrival at Kawaguchiko Station).
Other options to reach Fujikawaguchiko are a guided tour from Tokyo, by bus, or by car. Kawaguchiko Station has, besides the ticket office, a tourist information centre, a souvenir shop, a café, and even a public footbath!
From Kawaguchiko Station, one can continue on the sightseeing buses to travel around the Fujikawaguchiko area. These include buses from Kawaguchiko Station to Fuji’s 5th station, a convenient place to start climbing Mount Fuji.
The Yoshida Trail starts at Fujiyoshida near the Mt Fuji Station and Fujiyama Onsen and is a popular trail up Mount Fuji.
The dormant volcano Mount Fuji is the tallest in Japan. The last eruption, the Hoei eruption, took place in 1707-1708, triggered by an earthquake. There have been a dozen eruptions in the latest 1500 years. Many of those occurred in the Heian era.
The mountain with the current symmetric peak is known as the ‘New Fuji Volcano’ (with eruptions beginning 10,000 years ago). Before then, there was the ‘Old Fuji Volcano’, which had volcanic activity already 100,00 years ago, continuing until 10,000 years ago, and even before then, there was the ‘Komitake Volcano’ with volcanic activity already 700,000 years ago.
Because of its geological history, symbolic value, and outstanding scenic beauty, the volcano has become an iconic image of Japan. Mount Fuji is today depicted in thousands of places – from trademark logos to being in every family photo album in Japan.
The region on the northern side of Mount Fuji is called Fuji Five Lakes due to its lakes with varying depths. The five scenic lakes at the foot of the volcano are Lake Motosuko, Lake Shojiko, Lake Saiko, Lake Yamanakako, and Lake Kawaguchiko. All lakes, but Lake Yamanakako, are located in Fujikawaguchiko, a resort town and the base for mountain climbing. Moreover, it is an area of many hot springs (onsens). The Fuji Five Lakes has been designated as a World Heritage Site (Fujisan Cultural Site).
Motosuko, Shojiko, and Saiko were once all part of a large lake, Lake Kosenoumi. That explains why the elevation of all three lakes is precisely the same (902m). They were separated in an eruption where the lava flows separated the water into three lakes.
Lake Saiko, located between Saiko and Shojiko, is known for its trouts and the dense Aokigahara Forest growing on lava rocks. There are also a few natural caves which are actually lava tubes with unique geological characteristics.
Lake Motosuko is by far the deepest, having a depth of 121m.
The Kawaguchiko Lake is divided by a 500-metre bridge, the Kawaguchiko Ohashi Bridge, built in 1968 for the lakeside traffic.
Around Fujikawaguchiko, there is no shortage of things to do, whether it is climbing or hiking, visiting a museum, a temple, relaxing in an onsen, or taking the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway up Mount Tenjo for panoramic views of the old volcano.
The Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway ascends to a large observation platform at Kawaguchiko Tenjozan Park with amazing views of Mount Fuji and the Kawaguchiko Lake. Nearby, there is another picturesque lookout and the Tenjosan Komitake Shrine. However, be warned that Mount Fuji often is enveloped in clouds. The views tend to be better in the morning and late afternoon!
Instead of taking the ropeway, you can also take a trail starting near Kawaguchiko Station, which goes up through the terrain to the observation deck. From there, continue along the ridge before hiking back to the lake, a bit further north. That is a great couple-of-hour hike with excellent views and good photo spots of Mount Fuji!
The employees at the tourist information centre at Kawaguchiko Station can indicate the route on a map. It may be wise to buy a few jingle bells for preventive use in the forest, as bears live here! (or play a few bell music tones on the phone along the way).
For the culturally interested, there are several museums around Lake Kawaguchiko. Otherwise, the town has plentiful resorts, hotels, hostels, and traditional Japanese ryokans. Visitors come year-round to enjoy the panoramic views of Mount Fuji, changing with the seasons, often snow-capped and sometimes not, at times crystal clear towards the blue sky and at other times shrouded in clouds and mystery.
The iconic mountain is also associated with festivals, and these times of the year draw more people to Fujikawaguchiko. There is the Fuji / Kawaguchiko Sakura Festival, as well as the Kawaguchi Asama Shrine Festival and Fuji Omuro Asama Shrine Festival in April, the Lake Kawaguchi Herb Festival in June / July, and the Kawaguchiko Lake Festival in August, to mention a few of the annual events.
Not surprisingly, the natural resources abound – depending on the season. Beautiful cherry blossoms line the lakeshore in spring, red leaves paint the landscape in autumn, and flowers in all colours adorn the lake town for the summer festivals.
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Lake Kawaguchiko (Fujikawaguchiko) – Fuji Five Lakes Day Trip from Tokyo / Shinjuku Station
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Lake Kawaguchiko (Fujikawaguchiko) – A Day Trip from Tokyo – Fuji Five Lakes:
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