Fuji-san is perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of the land of the rising sun and it is incredibly beautiful. If you are planning a trip to Japan, here are top six spots to enjoy the best views of Mt. Fuji.
1. Chureito Pagoda
We’ve all probably seen pictures of a gorgeous red pagoda next to Mt. Fuji. Yet whenever I bring up the name, no one seems to have a clue as to what I’m talking about. It of course doesn’t help either that there’s limited information about it online. That being said, here is everything you need to know about visiting Chureito Pagoda.
Keep in mind that the pagoda is situated within a shrine called Arakura Sengen Shrine. The easiest way to reach Chureito Pagoda is to depart from Tokyo.
If you have a Japan Rail Pass, take the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station. Next, transfer to the Fujikyuko Line (which is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass) to Shimoyoshida Station. From there, the shrine is a 20-minute walk away.
Alternatively, you can also take the Fujikyu or Keio Bus from Shinjuku Bus Terminal. Hop off at Kawaguchiko Station then take the Fujikyu Railway Line to Shimoyoshida Station. From there, it’s the same walk as the previous route. Exit the station and take a right. There are signs as well as pictures of the pagoda on stone pavements all along the way.
When I visited in 2017, I took the bus. A one-way fare cost 2000 yen (roughly $20 USD or $25 CAD) and the ride lasted no more than two hours. If you plan to visit during cherry blossom season, be sure to reserve your ticket online in advance.
Now I don’t remember exactly how much the subway ride was, but it definitely wasn’t as expensive. (If I remember correctly, there are only about 2-3 stops to Shimoyoshida Station.) If you plan to take public transportation, I recommend to consider getting a Suica card in Japan.
How to Reach Chureito Pagoda
Once you arrive at the shrine, there are close to 400 steps leading up to Chureito Pagoda. 400 may sound terrifying, but it really isn’t that bad. Trust me. It took me around 15 minutes and I constantly stopped to admire the gorgeous view behind so I’m sure it can be done even quicker.
Chureito Pagoda is a fantastic idea for a short day trip from Tokyo.
Despite missing the cherry blossom season by a month or two, the view of Mt. Fuji was spectacular nonetheless. I highly recommend that you come here for hanami in March/April!
Try to arrive early in the morning. Mt. Fuji is notoriously known for being shy and clouds can start moving in fairly quick in the late morning to afternoon period.
2. Fuji Shibazakura Festival
Fuji Shibazakura Festival is an annual flower festival that takes place mid-April to the end of May in Fujikawaguchiko. In my opinion, it is the number one best place to see Mt. Fuji. I mean would you just look at that view!?
For more information on directions and ticket prices, give my Fuji Shibazakura Festival guide a read.
3. Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway
If you’re looking for a little something more romantic, Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway 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.
Atop the ropeway are statues of the cartoon rabbit and raccoon, making this a great spot for kids. However, the real attraction here is the Bell of Tenjo (Bell of the Sky), which is a bell for love and good health. It is said that if you ring it facing Mt. Fuji, your wish will come true.
Hours of Operation
During regular periods, the ropeway operates from 9:00AM to 5:00PM with last descent scheduled at 5:20PM.
December 1st to February 28 marks their winter season, and the hours are adjusted to 9:30AM to 4:30PM with last descent at 4:50PM.
Roundtrip tickets for adults are 900 yen per person. (Approximately $8 USD or $11 CAD.)
4. Outdoor Onsen/Infinity Pool
This one’s not really a specific location, but I strongly suggest spending one night at an onsen ryokan that has outdoor onsen (hot spring) baths with views of Mt. Fuji. It is such an incredible experience and if you’re lucky, the ryokan may even serve a little sake for your enjoyment 😉
Please note that Japanese onsens are enjoyed completely nude and photography is strictly not allowed at any public bath. Fortunately, I was alone so I quickly snapped a few photos on my phone for this post. You can find more information on this specific outdoor onsen here.
Photo from Enoshima Island Spa.
If an onsen ryokan is out of your budget or you are rushed on time, look no further than Enoshima Island Spa. As its name suggests, this spa is located on Enoshima Island and is a fun day trip from Yokohama or Kamakura. Again, photography is not permitted, but check out some of these sunset photos.
Photo from HealthyTokyo.com.
Hours of Operation
April to October is considered regular season. The spa operates from 12:00PM to 8:30PM with night spa beginning at 6:00PM. Last admission is at 7:30PM.
November to March is considered winter season. While hours remain the same, night spa begins at 5:00PM instead. (Last admission is unchanged.)
During regular season, full day entrance is 3,175 yen per person. (~$30 USD or $40 CAD.) Night spa is discounted at 1,965 yen (~$18 USD or $24 CAD).
During winter season, full day entrance is 2,750 yen per person. (~$26 USD or $34 CAD; night spa prices remain unchanged.)
Due to an association with yakuzas/gangsters, tattoos are not permitted at most public onsens. When visiting Enoshima Island Spa, I witnessed several guests get turned away for having tattoos. If you have a tiny one, you may be able cover it with a bandaid or special waterproof tattoo coverings. I advise inquiring in advance just to be sure.
5. Hotel de Yama
Photos from Hotel de Yama.
Founded in 1948, Hotel de Yama is one of the most famous hotels in Hakone. In spring, its garden becomes a bright colored painting with pink and red azaleas blooming against a breathtaking backdrop of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi.
My lovely parents who sometimes get mistaken as my grandparents XDD
As mentioned above, Fuji-san is quite timid. We unfortunately didn’t get the best views of Mt. Fuji on the day of our visit. Regardless, the garden itself does make for a perfect spot for an afternoon stroll.
6. Fuji-Q Highland
Photo from japan-guide.com.
Last but not least on the list of best places to see Mt. Fuji, we have Fuji-Q Highland. It is infamously known for what used to be the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters. Yes, that’s right. I said roller coasters. You can actually enjoy views of Mt. Fuji from a roller coaster!
Hours of Operation
Please refer to business hours on their website.
One-day pass starts at 6,100 yen per person. (~$58 USD or $76 CAD.)
I am by no means an adrenaline junkie so I enjoyed it from the comfort of my hotel room (which conveniently had a view of it). If you do decide to go, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
In addition to my six suggestions, these crucial things to know about Japan will help make your trip even more enjoyable. Don’t forget to pin this for later and see you in the next post!