08

Mt. Fuji and Fuji Q

If you do not want to book a one day tour, but instead adventure to Mt. Fuji by yourself, first you will need to go to Otsuki Station. The easiest way to get there is to catch the JR Chuo Limited Express train from Shinjuku Station.

Limited Express only takes about 1 hour from Shinjuku to Otsuki Station. These super fast trains do not come very often like other local lines, so it is better to plan ahead and check out the train schedule. I also recommend everyone to check out the JR Mt. Fuji package for a cheaper transportation deal.

People, who come to Japan for the first time, often ask me how to get to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo. Today, I want to share my travel experience of going to Mt. Fuji, and information about several attractions in that area.

01

 

If you do not want to book a one day tour, but instead adventure to Mt. Fuji by yourself, first you will need to go to Otsuki Station. The easiest way to get there is to catch the JR Chuo Limited Express train from Shinjuku Station.

Limited Express only takes about 1 hour from Shinjuku to Otsuki Station. These super fast trains do not come very often like other local lines, so it is better to plan ahead and check out the train schedule. I also recommend everyone to check out the JR Mt. Fuji package for a cheaper transportation deal.

 

02

 

 

This time I actually rode a tour bus that dropped me off at Otsuki Station. There aren’t many things to see around there, but I did find a very nice omiyage (souvenir) shop right next to the station which sells the very famous Shingen mochi (a type of rice cake) and other Japanese sweets. I did some research afterward and found out that this shop is actually very highly rated and considered prestigious among Japanese people.

 

03

 

Even the package itself looks very delicate. I bought two of these small packs for my friends and co-workers.Each pack cost about 1,000 yen and had 6 mochi inside.

Kikyouya Otsuki
Address: 1 Chome−2−1, Ōtsuki-shi, Ōtsuki,
Yamanashi-ken 401-0013
Phone number: 0554-23-2011
Hours: 9:00-19:00

 

04

 

 

Since I did not have enough time in the morning to have a proper breakfast, I went into a very tasty bakery called Time’s Cafe right across the train station. The bread there is very fresh and all handmade.

 

05

 

 

The shop itself is not very big, but there are many choices. The bread there was very yummy and at a very reasonable price. If you did not have breakfast just like me, it is a great place to stop by.

 

06

 

And yes, we are in Japan. Everything can be very cute.

Time’s Cafe
Address: 1-9-15 Otsuki,
Otsuki, Yamanashi-ken
Phone number: 554-56-9020
Hours: 10:00~20:00 (closed on Sundays)

 

07

 

 

From Otsuki Station, I took this funky looking Mt. Fuji themed train called Fujikyu Express. This express train has four stations: Otsuki Station, Mt. Fuji Station, Fujikyu Highland Station, and Kawaguchiko Station. I think riding the train itself is one of the highlights of my trip.

 

08

 

 

On the train, I was amazed by seeing Mt.Fuji getting closer and closer. There is also an option for paying an extra 200 yen for seats in the first cart. Not to mention that the view was gorgeous, the seats have more space and are more comfortable. I was able to get a seat in the first cart, and I really recommend everyone to do it if the seats are available.

 

09

 

 

No matter where you get off, if the weather is good,  Mt. Fuji looks magnificent from all distances and angles.

This was a picture I took at  Kawaguchiko station, right when I got off the train. I do not know the reason why, but every time when I stared at Fuji, I felt so calm and relaxed. It was supposed to rain for the whole week, but I was very lucky to have such nice weather.

 

10

 

Outside each train station, there are buses which go around popular places in the Mt. Fuji area.

 

Here is some information for each station:

Mt. Fuji Station is for people who want to view Mt. Fuji from Lake Yamanaka, or go shopping at Gotemba Outlets. There are buses going to these two locations.

Fujikyu Highland Station is for people who want to visit the famous Fujikyu Highland roller coaster amusement park.

Kawaguchiko Station is for people who want to view Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi, ride the Ropeway cable cart, transfer to Mt. Fuji 5th Station, or go to Oshino Hakai.

 

11

 

Fujikyu amusement park is very well known for crazy roller coaster rides. It is probably the best place to visit for intense roller coaster fans.

However, even if you are not a fan of amusement parks, there are still many other attractions for you to see and enjoy. There is a little French themed town called “La Ville de Gaspard Et Lisa”, an art museum for Mt. Fuji, a beautiful hotel resort and more.

 

12

 

 

One of the cafes in the French themed town that really caught my attention was called “Salon de THE” .

My first impression of this cafe was “Wow, this is a really fancy cafe with really big windows.” I thought it was more like a high end steak house than a regular place for coffee and brunch, and when I realized it was a cafe, the surprise was even bigger.

 

13

 

The interior is gold and white, which reminds me of those magnificent dance halls in some French movies.

In this cafe, all the seats face the direction of the windows. The arrangement of the seats made me feel like I was in an IMAX theatre.

14

 

This is the real surprise of this “weird” setting. Yes, the view was 10/10! “SALON DE THE” was designed and built for this dreamy french garden + the Mt. Fuji view.

And I swear it looked so much more stunning in real life than this picture I took. It was like a beautiful moving drawing that everyone can easily appreciate. This is the place I will definitely revisit with the person I love.

15

 

 

In this small french town, I could find Lisa and Gaspard everywhere I went. If you like the cartoon or just generally cute things, this is also a good place for funny and cute photography.

La Ville de Gaspard Et Lisa
Website: http://www.lisagas-town.jp/sp/
Address: 5-6-1 Shinnishihara, Fujiyoshida,
Yamanashi Prefecture 403-0017
Phone number: 555-23-2111

16

I am a nature explorer, and am always very excited to see fascinating natural phenomenon.

From Kawaguchiko Station, I took a bus to a place called the “Fugaku Wind Cave”. Before entering the cave, I was able to enjoy a short stroll in a primeval forest. The air feels extremely fresh, and really helped me relax my mind and body.

17

 

 

It was about 16 degrees Celsius outside the cave, but inside the cave it was covered by ice. According to some information, this cave is made of lava from Mt. Fuji, and has a very long history.

Even during the summer time the cave still keeps the same temperature around 0 degrees C~3o degrees C,  just like a fridge made by mother nature. For entering the Wind Cave, the entry fee is 290 yen for adults and 140 yen for children. There is also another cave called “The Ice Cave”, which is not far away from the Wind Cave. If you are planing to see both of them, there is also a set discount ticket.

Fugaku Wind Cave
Address: 2068-1 Aokigahara Saiko, Minamitsuru-gun,
Fujikawaguchiko-machi 401-0332, Yamanashi-ken
Open: Feb 16~Mar 15  9:00~16:30

18

 

 

There are five lakes around Mt. Fuji, however I did not have enough time to visit them all. Among the five lakes, Lake Yamanaka intrigues me the most, because of the famous Mt. Fuji with swan lake view. And of course, I wanted to try the swan boat too.

 

19

 

 

I wish my wedding in the future can be held next to a beautiful lake with many elegant white swans. On top of that, there is the unbeatable Mt. Fuji view, so Lake Yamanaka seems to be the perfect choice.

 

20

 

 

The best way to view Mt.Fuji from Lake Yamanaka is definitely by riding this swan cruise. It takes you around the whole lake, so you can enjoy Mt. Fuji from different angles.

 

21

 

 

Unfortunately, I could not get a clear view of the mountain because of the thick clouds.However,the view was still very gorgeous and I recommend everyone to visit. Just some more facts about Lake Yamanaka, it is the largest lake of the five lakes, and is in the shape of a whale.

Lake Yamanaka
Address: Yamanakako, Minamitsuru District,
Yamanashi Prefecture

 

 22

 

 

The last destination I visited was a gigantic shrine called “Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja”. This shrine has more than 700 years of history, and it is considered one of the most powerful shrines in the Mt. Fuji region.

In order to go inside the shrine,there is a long way to pass through. Make sure you do not walk in the middle of the road, because it is said that the god of the shrine walks in the middle. We certainly do not want to get in their way.

 

23

 

 

There is a stream inside the shrine. The water is actually melted ice from Mt. Fuji. To Japanese people, water from Mt. Fuji is very pure and tasty. This shrine is also one of the four entries for climbing Mt.Fuji.

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja
Website: http://sengenjinja.jp/english/
Address: 5558 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida,
Yamanashi Prefecture 403-0005

Last but not least, the most important thing for going to Mt. Fuji is the weather. When it is raining or very cloudy, it is very hard to see Mt. Fuji. When I first visited Mt.Fuji a several months ago, I actually did not see the mountain at all, and it was not a fun experience. If the weather is good, no matter where you go, I promise that you will enjoy the sacred mountain as much as I did.

Thank you very much for reading, and have fun traveling in Japan.

Written by Meng Xu
Edited by Christine

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