Spend a day exploring natural, cultural treasures around Mount Fuji
Stars and Stripes May 25, 2023
With a little bit of travel, recreational and photo opportunities await at the base of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji.
My family and I recently made a couple of stops out of the many worth visiting. Lakeside at the Fuji Five Lakes in Yamanashi prefecture is one. The other, just a short distance away, was recognized in 2013 by UNSECO for its cultural significance.
Lake Kawaguchiko is the largest of the five lakes that include Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. We visited the lake’s north shore during a midweek trip to get one of the best views of Japan’s highest mountain.
Fortunately we found plenty of free parking. Oishi Park, through which we accessed the lake, gives you a wide view of it and Mount Fuji.
From spring to late fall, a variety of flowers bloom in the park on Flowers Road. It spans a distance of about 1,150 feet. A small monument honoring Mount Fuji stands on the way to the shoreline.
Looking out from the lake’s edge with Fuji in the backdrop was a sight to see and very serene. The photos you’ll take there could be frame-worthy.
The park advertises fruit picking, including cherry, blueberry and tomato, from summer to fall.
The Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center has a cafe, snack shop and gift items. I grabbed an organic coffee before heading down the road to Oshino Hakkai, part of the Mount Fuji UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, just 20 minutes away.
Although not part of our stop, the lake is near Fuji-Q Highland, a popular amusement park, featuring high-speed roller coasters and other attractions.
At Oshino Hakkai, you can view Wakuike, a 13-foot deep, spring-fed pond teeming with koi.
Wakuike, one of eight ponds there, is so clear blue that the bottom is clearly visible. The ponds receive their fresh water from snow melting from Mount Fuji’s slopes, according to the Yamanashi-kantou website. The place attracts lots of local and foreign visitors.
You’ll find fresh fruit and vegetable vendors inside the main building. Several gift shops sell Fuji souvenirs and other local items.
There is a lot of recreation to be had around Mount Fuji, and many more trips are in the works to enjoy them.
On the QT
Directions: Within a two-hour drive of most U.S. military bases in the Tokyo area.
Times: Oishi Park and Fuji World Heritage are open all day.
Food: Both areas offer a variety of food, snack and drink options.
Information: Online: en.kawaguchiko.net/park-en/oishi-park; www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/english/recover/oshino-hakkai.html