Enjoy Mt. Fuji with Some Fireworks! 5 Popular Sightseeing Spots Around Lake Kawaguchiko
Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes located at the base of Japan’s World Heritage Site, Mt. Fuji. With quick and convenient transportation links from Tokyo, you can even plan a day trip. The area provides plenty of sightseeing attractions, hot springs, and ways to enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji. This article will introduce you to some of the best spots around Lake Kawaguchiko.
- About Lake Kawaguchiko
- The Weather at Kawaguchiko
- Taste the “Hoto Nabe”, a Local Specialty
- Enjoy the Dramatic View From the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
- Capture a Stunning Photo of the Lake and Mt. Fuji at Oishi Park
- Listen to the World’s Largest Organ at Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
- Ride a Rollercoaster at Fuji-Q Highland
- Catch a Reflection of Mt. Fuji on the Lake Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Boat “Ensoleillé”
About Lake Kawaguchiko
Lake Kawaguchiko was formed by multiple eruptions from Mt. Fuji, Japan’s sacred and iconic mountain that has inspired many artists over the years. Here you can enjoy the changing beauty of Mt. Fuji as each season passes, whether that be the stunning view of cherry blossoms in the spring or the autumn colors in the fall with the mountain as a backdrop. In the winter you will see Mt. Fuji covered in white snow, and in the summer the area around the lake is a popular destination for those looking for a mountain retreat. There are firework festivals you can experience in the summer as well. The Kawaguchiko area is home to numerous sightseeing spots as well as hotels and traditional Japanese inns with hot springs.
The Weather at Kawaguchiko
The average annual temperature is 11°C in Kawaguchiko, which is approximately 5°C lower than Tokyo’s 16.4°C. Even in April, you would need a jacket. Between June and August is when the area attracts people looking to escape the summer heat, although the weather can actually be unpredictable, as when it rains the temperature tends to drop. The temperature tends to fall below 0°C between December and February; however, thanks to the relatively stable and sunny weather in the winter, the air will be clear and crisp. This means that your chances of seeing a perfect reflection of Mt. Fuji on the surface of the lake are significantly higher.
By train: Direct line from JR Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station
Fare: 4,130 JPY
Limited express service Fuji Excursion (via JR Chuo and Fujikyuko lines)
1 hr 52 min journey/Two round trip services each day
By bus: From Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal to Kawaguchiko Station
Fare: 2,000 JPY
1 hr 45 min to 2 hr journey / About 40 buses operating each day
(depending on the date and day of the week)
By car or rental car: From Hatsudai to Kawaguchiko
(Shuto Expressway to Chuo Expressway) / Approximately 90 min journey
※Once you are in Kawaguchiko, there are buses that take you to major sightseeing spots in the area. Another option is to rent a bicycle.
Taste the “Hoto Nabe”, a Local Specialty
Hoto Nabe is a favorite soul food for the people of Yamanashi Prefecture, where Lake Kawaguchiko is located. Hoto consists of flat, thick, and long flour noodles stewed with Japanese pumpkin and many other vegetables, meat, and miso (a traditional Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans with rice, barley, and other ingredients). The dish is served piping hot, which is perfect for cold winters.
Enjoy the Dramatic View From the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
This ropeway provides a 3-minute journey from Kawaguchiko-han Station to Fujimidai Station. At the summit of 1,140m, you will be greeted by a spectacular panoramic view of Mt. Fuji. The view of the fall foliage in autumn is exceptional. There is a 40 to 50-minute hiking course as well, so you could opt to walk up to the summit and head down by the ropeway.
Fare: round trip 900 JPY / one way 500 JPY
* Set discount tickets available with sightseeing boat or bus
Capture a Stunning Photo of the Lake and Mt. Fuji at Oishi Park
Facing Lake Kawaguchiko, Oishi Park is a great location for capturing the lake, Mt. Fuji, and the beautiful flowers that bloom along the promenade (from late April to early October) all in one photo. From June to July, many tourists flock to see the lavender field. Why not enjoy the superb view of the mountain at the Cafe or Kitchen “With a View of Mt. Fuji” while you wait for the best photo opportunity?
Listen to the World’s Largest Organ at Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
This theme park with European-style architecture is devoted to musical instruments. It is also a perfect though less well-known spot to catch a full view of Mt. Fuji. Enjoy listening to the sounds of precious music boxes, automated instruments, and also the world’s largest dance organ that is 20 meters long and an impressive, imposing sight. This is a fun activity to do, even on a rainy day!
Ride a Rollercoaster at Fuji-Q Highland
If you are in need of a thrill, you must visit Fuji-Q Highland, home to some of the world’s most popular, thrilling, and record-breaking roller coasters. If you are brave enough you can also experience one of the world’s largest haunted attractions. There are plenty of rides for little children as well!
Catch a Reflection of Mt. Fuji on the Lake Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Boat “Ensoleillé”
A major tourist attraction in Kawaguchiko, “Ensoleillé” is a sightseeing boat that will take you on a 20-minute cruise around the lake. It can be boarded from a pier that is a 10-minute walk away from Kawaguchiko Station. Take a moment to appreciate the spectacular view of Mt. Fuji from the deck. If you are lucky and the weather is clear, you might be able to see a perfect reflection of the mountain on the lake, known as Sakasa Fuji ("upside-down Fuji") in Japanese!
* Fare for adults: 1,000 JPY, children: 500 JPY
Easily accessible from Tokyo, Kawaguchiko is a perfect destination for a quick getaway. Why not visit Kawaguchiko to enjoy a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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