Mt.Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko (Photo: Varsha Vaswati)


Best views of Mt.Fuji, up-close and personal

Mt.Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko (Photo: Varsha Vaswati)
Varsha Vaswati   - 4 min read

The Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) region lies at the northern base of Mount Fuji about 1000 meters above sea level, around the 5 lakes Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. It is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from a close distance and also a good base for climbing the mountain (July-August). Among the lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko is the easiest to access. Also the most recommended views of Mount Fuji are those from the lake’s northern shores during the cherry blossom season around mid April and the autumn colors around the first half of November.

As we were yet to be up, close and personal with Mt.Fuji, we headed out for this lake one fine Sunday morning. The previous evening, we made reservations for the 7.40am Fujikyu Highway bus bound for Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku, as the earlier bus at 7.10am was already fully booked. Next day,we set out early morning and reached the Shinjuku highway bus station at around 7.00am and tried our luck if we could get seats on the immediate 7.10 bus and there just in those hurried 5 minutes, with some shuffling, the computer popped up two vacant seats for us. We zooooooomed into the bus doubly charged!

It was lovely weather that day and it took us a comfortable 2 hrs to reach Kawaguchiko. There we took the local Retro bus 2 day pass for unlimited use along the shoreline of Lake Kawaguchiko. We straight away went to the last stop Shizen Seikatsukan and started walking backwards along the shoreline.And thereafter the views were simply breathtaking!

The gentle pink cherry blossoms sweeping in the cool breeze accentuating the magnificence of the snow-capped Mt.Fuji towering right in front of us. It could not get more perfect than this! A few steps further and slightly down the slope,the lake waters were rippling right next to our feet and reaching out right till the base of Mt.Fuji on the other side.

Walking on along the curved shoreline, we reached the Kawaguchiko Museum of Art which seemed less of a museum and more of a shop from inside. But the adjoining trail offered nice views with the cherry blossoms lined pavement and people relaxing on the benches. After having some snacks,we referred to the map in hand and found that we had missed the Kubota Itchiku museum on way. After spending a good two hours in absolute awe at this wonderland of silken art, we took the Retro bus for the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, a small theme park and museum devoted to automatic musical instruments. What better way to spend a lovely spring afternoon!

Soon thereafter, we again boarded the retro bus and headed for the Fujinoyado Ohashi stop. There we walked across the bridge enjoying some more stunning views of Mt.Fuji until we reached the nearby Yamanashi Gem Museum which displays gems, precious stones, and large quartz crystals from Japan and around the world. Half of the museum is a store for purchase of precious jewelry and trinkets. We then went to the adjoining Herb Hall and bought us some lovely aromatic potpourri.

After a while, we took the bus back to the Kawaguchiko station and wound up this lovely Sunday trip with an early dinner of fried chicken and pasta whilst we waited for the highway bus for Shinjuku, our hearts still resounding the melody of the day.

P.S. If you are planning for more than a day trip to Kawaguchiko you can also consider climbing up Mt.Fujiyama or racing your pulses at the nearby Fuji-Q Highland amusement park too!

Varsha Vaswati

Varsha Vaswati @aame.varsha