Pretty much this whole trip to Japan for was the sole purpose of seeing and photographing Mount Fuji. This is my 4th trip to Japan and the 4th time of travelling to the five lakes area to try and see the elusive Fujisan. One of my errors in my previous trips was banking all hopes on Fuji being visible on a single day. This time we booked 7 nights in the area and hired a car in order to make the most of our week in the inaka, Japanese countryside.
It was the weekend when we traveled from Hachioji to Kawaguchi-ko, and as the five lakes region is such a popular destination (especially in cherry blossom season) the only train with seats left was at 7:30am. This did mean that we were able to get to Kawaguchi-ko station by 9am, and got a lovely view of Fuji from the Fujikyu train.
Once we arrived in Kawaguchi-ko we headed for our first hotel, as we were staying in three different places over the 7 days (sounds hectic but there was a logic in there somewhere). The first stop was K’s house Mount Fuji view, I will be writing about the lodging separately but this is an amazing place to stay. From our room we had a wonderful view on Mt Fuji, and there was also a roof terrace that all guests could access too. From 12:30 we had booked a tour around the area with K’s house (we did the same tour, but the whole day, in 2013). So to kill time we picked up some conbini lunch and walked around Kawaguchi-ko lake. Unfortunately the famous clouds of Fuji were making their presence felt!
After lunch we joined the tour group. The afternoon session includes stops at the infamous “suicide forest” aokigahara, the wind cave, shiraito falls, lake motosu (1000 yen note view) and Oishi park.
Shiraito falls is a really wonderful place, the longest (widest?) waterfall in Japan. Unfortunately the clouds were covering the snow cap at this point and we couldn’t get the shot of falls and Fuji. Next we jumped into the bus and headed off to Lake Motosu, which is featured on the back of the 1000 yen note, and so is quite the famous view! Although without the cloud hat haha.
From here we started back towards Kawaguchi-ko with a drive by of Lake Sai, and as you can see the clouds were almost gone, so we excitedly headed to our next stop, Oishi Park.
Oishi park is a very popular spot for viewing Mount Fuji, and is well known for their plants which frame Mt Fuji in different blooms and different points in the year. As of yet the blossom here wasn’t at full bloom, but down a small jetty you can get uninterrupted lake views (although I preferred the pampas grass).
Once back at the start of the tour one of the staff very kindly drove us back to our hotel, we even made some friends there that we talk to even now. Once back at the hostel we shimmied up onto the roof terrace (you have to climb through a window- it is allowed though!) and got to watch as the light faded from the sky.