THE BEST VIEW

So… it’s the Sakura season again! If you’ve been following Japanese social media groups on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or anyone who is travelling in Japan right now, you should know that they’re all boasting about the pretty sakura everywhere. I am so jealous.

cherry blossom mt fuji
source

Have you seen this? The most famous postcard photo of the Mt Fuji during the Sakura season. You’d be wondering, where exactly is this place, that has such a perfect view of Mt Fuji? And it’s none other than Lake Kawaguchi 河口湖! Any closer, you’d have to go climb the Mt Fuji yourself. But that would also mean, you can’t get the whole view of Mt Fuji, so… it’s up to you. 🙂

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Thatched roofs found predominantly in Lake Saiko district
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overview of Lake Kawaguchi from above (not shown: Mt Fuji is to the left of this picture)
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view of Mt Fuji in the Lake Saiko district

Here’s a little overview of Lake Kawaguchi: it’s located in Fujikawaguchiko, southern Yamanashi Prefecture near Mt Fuji. It’s one of the Fuji Five Lakes, and it’s the most accessible and developed of all. While some have argued that Lake Saiko, which is easily accessible via bus when in Lake Kawaguchi, offers a better view of Mt Fuji, I’d say they’re beautiful in their own ways from personal experience. The other 3 lakes are further out and you would probably have to rent a car to drive yourself.

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view of Mt Fuji from above in Lake Kawaguchi districtUntitled
the ropeway
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Lake Kawaguchi Station: the place where you alight

Getting there: From Tokyo, you can head over to Lake Kawaguchi via train or bus. Bus is more common and the cheaper option. Depending on where you’re staying in Tokyo, you can choose to depart from either the Shinjuku or Tokyo station. These are also main stations in Tokyo so head over at least half an hour before your bus departure time to ensure you have enough time to get lost. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this, the Japanese themselves get lost as well because it’s really huge. Just wait till you get there. 😉 p/s I’m not kidding on this, the Japanese buses will leave on time so they won’t wait.

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Red & Green lines bus routes

Transportation around Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Saiko: If you’re going on a 2D1N trip like many other travellers, you can simply get a 2 days Ticket in a form of a postcard and you can hop on and hop off around the 2 lakes on the Red-Line and Green-Line for the entire period you’re there! It costs 1200yen for an adult. Also, remember to note the bus intervals and check the bus timing at each stop. 🙂

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my stay at a ryokan with onsen 
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sunset from my balcony
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as we were situated quite far out from the main area, we called for a japanese dinner delivery 😉

Where to stay: If you can’t converse (or well enough) in Japanese, Lake Kawaguchi is the best option to stay since it’s the most developed. There are many English instructions everywhere and there’s a tourist centre at the Station per se where you can seek help. Therefore, it’s best to book a night of stay in the vicinity. Some ryokans do pick up for their customers at the Station, so if you want to know what time, you can ask the customer service people to even help you make a call / help you translate.

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music forest
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What to do:

If you don’t have a lot of time or you’re doing a day trip, here are some suggestions on the places to give priority to:

1. Viewpoint of Sakasa-Fuji (reflection of Mt Fuji in the lake) and the stops before/after it.

2. Sightseeing Ropeway to see Lake Kawaguchi and Mt Fuji from above. It’s also a good rest stop to have a meal.

3. Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum – a well decorated small area that makes you feel that you’re in Europe!

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If you’re doing a 2D1N trip, in addition to the places above, you can also visit

4. Lava cave in Lake Saiko

5. Yachonomori Park in Lake Saiko

6. Onsen Town (there’s 2 to choose from), unless your ryokan provides onsen too!

7. Kawaguchi Herb Hall

hope this would inspire you enough to head over to Japan right now! how about you? have you been to any of the five lakes? I’d like to know! 😉

keep travelling,
J

  • such great tips! 🙂 amazing photos too. i’ve always wanted to do onsen during winter! hehe

  • thanks annie <3 hahaha you shoulddddddddd, it's such an experience! I tried outdoor onsen during winter in Hakone, and it was a lot of fun! you freeze your face off but your body stays warm! hehehe

  • Beautiful photos and great tips! Would love to visit here someday! 🙂

    http://www.mintnotion.com

  • thanks a lot eden! 🙂 you definitely should! xx

  • La Travelera

    This is beautiful. Fantastic pictures! I have never been in this part of the world.
    I would love to visit it.

    http://latravelera.blogspot.com

  • Hi! Thank you 🙂 You definitely should, there’s much to be discovered over here in Asia 🙂 and thanks for dropping by! x

  • Cathi Dio-Co

    My husband and I are traveling with a 2yo toddler and my 80yo mother who cannot walk far so mostly would need to be pushed on a wheelchair. Are there very long walks and steep climbs (not friendly to wheelchairs) in your daytrip itinerary (Sakasa Fuji, Ropeway, and Music Forest)?

  • Hi Cathi! All 3 locations do not require any form of hiking/ long walks so you’re definitely safe! For the ropeway, you’ll have to take a cable car up so I guess that should be fine as well. Have a good time in this beautiful place! 🙂