By Jessica A Paje
I had a few visitors in town from California. They had their “Japan To-Do” list pretty much firmed up before they arrived. Ultimately, they wanted to leave Japan with experiences that would make lifetime memories. It made sense. I could totally relate, but let’s face it. Given they only had nine days to spend here, the to-do list could simply change in a snap.
However, there was one item on the list I made certain of doing. Rain or shine, a trip to see the iconic Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko was going to be a one-day adventure they would never forget.
On a Friday autumn afternoon in Yamanashi Prefecture, Mother Nature was on her absolute best behavior. We couldn’t have asked for better weather; the skies were blue and the only cloud in sight was the one that hovered over the snow-capped Mt. Fuji. Spectacular, amazing, incredible, and unbelievable, were the only words that were spoken amongst the group as we held our cameras and snapped away. The red and gold maple leaves enhanced the entire scene and gave it the perfect frame for photos.
What do we do now? Well, since climbing season is over, how about renting a pedal boat and take it for a spin on the lake? Situated on the northern coast of the Lake Kawaguchiko, we found a local cottage called Tozawa Center that offered swan boat rentals. Our group of four would require two boats since each swan could only accommodate two passengers. The cost was 1,500yen per boat for a half-hour. After payment, we were escorted to the pier and had a brief lesson on how to tie the boat back up once we returned from our excursion on the lake. It was very simple.
Off we went into the sunset, pedaling towards Mt. Fuji. It was yet another breathtaking view and a fantastic photo opportunity. Given we were the only two boats in the middle of the lake, we decided to have some fun and race towards Mt. Fuji. That really didn’t last very long because the faster you pedaled, the slower the boat moved, and the more you got wet! Needless to say, a 30-minute rental on the lake is more than enough time to the soak up the view and burn a few calories.
Not only does Tozawa Center provide swan boat rentals for visitors, they offer cottage rentals, a campground, fishing boats and the best view of Mt. Fuji! To access Tozawa Center at Lake Kawaguchiko, you can view a map here. We drove from Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, which took approximately 2.5 hours. Take Tomei Expressway → Gotemba IC → (National Highway 138 Highway-1 hour) → Kawaguchiko. Once there, you can drive around the entire lake in about 30-minutes or less. Many restaurant and souvenir shops surround the lake to make your stay much more enjoyable!
Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Yokosuka, Japan, for 5 years. In 2010, I arrived with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect ...