The 5 lakes surrounding Mt Fuji are incredibly picturesque and easy to navigate by local bus. The biggest and only lake connected to the rail system is Lake Kawaguchiko, this is where we stayed.
When To Visit:
Rainy season never puts us off, with a waterproof coat and a good pair of shoes we still enjoy being wherever we are, but the seasons really do effect your view of Mt Fuji, and that’s the only reason you bothered to visit right?
We stayed for 3 days in June (peak rainy season) and didn’t see the mountain once, we even got up at 4:30am everyday to catch sunrise (apparently the clearest time of day) and only saw tiny sections through the clouds.
My 2015 Visit was during October and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, so it’s really worth timing your visit to Fuji accordingly.
But don’t worry too much if you can’t re-arrange your trip around the rainy season, you’ll still have a great time whatever the weather!
Things To Do:
A full lap of the lake is about 12 miles, you can either walk or hire a bike, we did both but preferred the walk because we started at 4:30am and watched sunrise over the lake. By the afternoon when we had the bikes it was too busy and we had to keep stopping to let people past. Half day bike hire is ¥1,000 form the Samurise main office.
There are two beautiful herb and flower gardens, one on either side of the lake, (Oishi Park is the best) they’re wonderful if you’re into flowers or just want the perfect photo with Mt Fuji in the background.
You can take the bus up the mountain from bus stop number 7 just outside the train station, it comes every hour and takes about 45 minuets.
There’s also a tourist shuttle bus to take you around the 5 different lakes, you can buy a day ticket or pay for each ride separately.
First of all you need to get to Otsuki station, there is a direct train from Tokyo or you can take a local train from Yokohama to Hachioji and connect to the line there, both options are covered by the JR rail pass.
From Otsuki you’ll need to take the local line to Kawaguchiko (it’s the last stop so you can’t get lost). Sadly this little bit of track isn’t covered by the JR pass. Standard tickets cost ¥1,140 and express tickets cost an extra ¥400.
Where To Stay:
Accommodation is a bit more expensive surrounding Mt Fuji, we stayed at the Hostel Samurise and booked a family room (all they had left) for £44 per night, I thought it was expensive but your paying for location, it’s right next to the train station and everything is within walking distance.
The room was clean and the building was nice and small so there wasn’t much noise. The check in desk is actually at their bike rental shop which you can see as your pulling up to the station.
Organised Tours and Day Trips:
Click HERE for a full review of an organised bus tour from Tokyo that I did in 2015, it’s one of my first blogs and was the first time I traveled with just my cabin sized backpack, I’ve learned a lot since then!