Behold unprecedented views of Mount Fuji from Chureito Pagoda
By THERON GODBOLD | Stars and Stripes | Published: April 1, 2021
About an hour’s drive from most U.S. bases near Tokyo is one of Japan’s most scenic locations, the Chureito Pagoda.
The hilltop memorial provides an unprecedented view of Mount Fuji in the background with cherry blossoms, Fujiyoshida City and the iconic Asian pagoda in the foreground.
A 10-minute hike up nearly 400 steps brings you to these amazing views. Or you may wind your way along a paved road or take one of the many paths in the surrounding park.
Located on the outskirts of Fujiyoshida City, the Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument, the actual name of the pagoda, was built in August 1958 to enshrine the memory of almost 1,000 citizens of Fujiyoshida who died in wars after 1868, according to a plaque at the site.
Driving to the pagoda is a straightforward affair and parking is free at the base of the hill. Getting there by train is also simple. The Shimo-Yoshida Station on the Fujikyu Railway Line is a 10-minute walk from the park entrance.
With many paths leading you through a forest of ornamental cherry trees in Arakuyama Sengen Park, which surrounds the pagoda, there are sights to see other than the main attraction and the amazing views. Wandering the park or stopping for a packed lunch is a popular pastime for the locals.
Near the park entrance you will find the small Arakura Sengen Shrine that was founded in 705 for a protector deity, according to fujiyoshida.net.
Near the shrine you will also find bathrooms and a small vendor selling snacks like ice cream and drinks ranging in price in yen from the equivalent of $1 to $5.
If you seek a view of Japan as a whole, this spot is worth a stop to capture a city skyline, mountainous terrain and beautiful forests all in one photo.
Directions: The pagoda is 3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0011; Google coordinates are GR22+GH Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi
Times: Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Food: A small food stand at the base of the hill sells snacks and drinks for about $1-$5.
Information: Phone: +81555232697; Online: chureito-pagoda. com/summary