Mt. Fuji is perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of Japan and it is an absolute wonder. If you are planning to pay a visit to see its beauties, here is a list of the top 6 places worth checking out.
First and foremost before we begin, some housekeeping business… I did not get a chance to put up a post two weeks ago on July 1st because it was Canada Day. This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday so it was quite the celebration. Then the week following that I lost Internet connection at home and somehow managed to get sick during summer so that’s that. Seems like every time I publicly announce I’d do something, my plan falls apart. Well, this is embarrassing… Either way I’m back on my weekly blog schedule (hopefully) so definitely don’t forget to sign up for newsletters in the side bar and stay tuned!
Secondly, it was my third blog anniversary on Thursday!!! Honestly if it weren’t for LinkedIn, I would’ve completely forgotten about this special day. I started blogging as a fun hobby and sorta like an online journal for myself to read back on to relive my travel memories. I work a regular 9-to-5 job so this still remains a hobby but through blogging, I’m so thankful to have been given such amazing opportunities to work with phenomenal brands and to also meet some inspiring individuals. My last blog post reached a new record of 100 comments and it gives me so much joy to see love and support from each and every one of you and I truly mean it when I say I can’t thank you enough. So enough with my cheesiness, here’s what you really came for…
1. Fuji Shibazakura Festival
During my visit to Japan in May, I was able to catch the Fuji Shibazakura Festival – aka pink moss festival. It was such an epic sight to witness and seeing pink moss lined up perfectly across the Mt. Fuji horizon was just an incredibly breathtaking experience that I will never forget. If you haven’t read my previous blog post ≪Everything you need to know about Japan’s Fuji Shibazakura Festival≫, you need to get on it. I share insights on how to get the festival as well as where to find the best photo ops. It’s a must read!
2. Chureito Pagoda
There’s no doubt we’ve all seen pictures online of a beautiful pagoda next to Mt. Fuji yet no one seems to really know the name of this famous shrine. I remember coming back from my trip here and talking with a Japanese girl who’s hometown is in that same area and she’d never even heard of this place. Even prior to my visit there, the amount of information I found online was way less than I expected for a place that is seemingly so popular.
Now mind you, it’s not exactly far to get to from Tokyo but the trip isn’t easy either. I was in Tokyo just couple months before I revisited again in May and I remember it being such a hassle to get to that my friend and I didn’t bother. So that may be why. If you’re looking to visit from Tokyo, you’ve been warned.
The main/terminus station in Fujiyoshida is called Kawaguchiko Station. Busses coming in from Tokyo will stop here. From the station, you then need to take the Fujikyu Railway Line to Shimo-Yoshida Station. If I remember correctly, it’s only 2-3 stops away and takes about 10 minutes or so. After you arrive at the station, head towards the exit and take a right. It might seem like you’re going in the wrong direction, but just follow the path. There will be photos of the pagoda on the stone pavement as well guiding you in addition to signs along the way. The walk is approximately 10 minutes.
Now the pagoda is technically inside a shrine called Arakura Sengen Shrine. There are close to 400 steps leading up to it and 400 may sound terrifying but trust me, it’s really not that bad. It took me 15 minutes and I constantly stopped to admire the gorgeous view behind so I’m sure it can be done under 15.
We missed the cherry blossom season just by a few months, bummer, but the view was spectacular nonetheless.
3. Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway
If you’re looking for a little romantic lovey dovey date itinerary suggestion, Mt. Kachi Kachi is your pick.
The ropeway ascends 400 meters from the shore of Lake Kawaguchiko to an observation deck on Mount Tenjo. The name Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway comes from the famous folk story Kachi Kachi Yama. It it set at Mount Tenjo and tells the tale of a rabbit getting revenge on a raccoon thief.
There are a couple cartoon character statues here of the rabbit and raccoon, making this a great spot to bring kids along but the real attraction here is the Bell of Tenjo (Bell of the Sky). I’ve heard a couple different variations. Some say the if you ring the bell whilst facing Mt. Fuji, your wish will come true. Others say it’s a bell for love and good health. They’re both pretty similar sayings and it’s essentially a bell for good blessings.
Truth be told, this one didn’t have as much of a wow factor for me personally but it could possibly be because the area was under construction. And as someone who’s been single for a few years now, I may be bitter about the whole couple, cutesy, cheesy bell charade hahaa.
More information about ticket prices and hours of operation, head on over to their official website here.
4. Outdoor Onsen/Infinity Pool
Not so much of a specific location, but I highly highly highlyyyyy recommend staying at an onsen ryokan that has outdoor onsen (hot spring) baths with views of Mt. Fuji. It is super duper uber relaxing and you really feel like you are one with nature. If you’re lucky, the onsen may even serve a little sake for your enjoyment 😉
Please note that Japanese onsens are enjoyed completely butt naked and photography is strictly not allowed at any public bath. I was alone, however, and so I quickly snapped a few photos on my phone. Man the things I do for my blog…
Photo from Enoshima Island Spa’s official website.
If an onsen ryokan is out of your budget or you simply want to enjoy a fun pool sesh for half an hour, look no further than Enoshima Island Spa. The spa is located on Enoshima Island and can easily be done as a half-day trip from Yokohama or Kamakura. Photography is again not allowed hence I don’t have much to entice y’all with but coming here during sunset is the best way to conclude the day period. Nothing can beat that, ever.
Photo from HealthyTokyo.com.
Enoshima Island Spa offers both hot spring onsens and regular pool amenities and spa massages. Full day entrance is ¥3,120 (~$35 CAD) or if you visit after 6pm, admission is ¥1,932 (~$21).
5. Hotel de Yama
Photos from the official Hotel de Yama website.
This was a total fluke of a find for us. We’d just arrived in Hakone and was seeking help at the nearby tourist information center when my dad caught sight of a hanging poster with beautiful flower bushes layered one on top of another in front of the magnificent Mt. Fuji. We obviously had to ask about it and turns out, there is a famous hotel in Hakone called Hotel de Yama, which has a gorgeous garden full of bright colored Azaleas and an extraordinary view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi.
My lovely parents who sometimes get mistaken as my grandparents lololololololololol. Dead XDD
The thing with Fuji-san is if you’re lucky, the weather Gods will let you get a little peek. Hakone was very cloudy the first day we arrived and although the second day we did see Mt. Fuji from our hotel, we were headed back to the airport therefore couldn’t make a revisit to Hotel de Yama. That said, we unfortunately did not get to see the promising views like the poster showed. Regardless, it was still quite the experience! It was so cute seeing little blobs of flower bushes and I felt like I was playing hide and seek with everyone behind these giant bushes. Also in case you haven’t noticed, my name is a flower too so I’m crazy about flowers, flower fields, flower bushes… I just love me a good frolic in the field!
6. Fuji-Q Highland
Photo from japan-guide.com.
Last but not least, Japan’s infamous amusement park known to comprise some of what used to be known as the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters. Yes, that’s right. I said roller coasters. You can enjoy Mt. Fuji from a roller coaster.
I am by no means an adrenaline junkie and I visited with my parents who are over 60. Don’t think their hearts can handle that amount excitement no more lol! Needless to say I did not pay a visit. However, our hotel in Fujiyoshida did have a view for it and we passed by it on the train as well and it looked… fun… sorta? Again, I’m not into getting my heart rate up to 153 beats per minute so it’s not my cup of tea, but if you’re all about amusement parks and scary rides then go for it! Let me know your experience after too so I can live vicariously through you.
There you have it, top 6 spots I suggest to look into when you plan your Mt. Fuji trip. If you’ve enjoyed the post, it would mean the world to me if you could share it with your friends and let more travellers discover the beauties Japan has to offer. And psttt I recently started a Facebook and Pinterest account @mysuitcasejourneys. Be sure to follow me there and until next week!