Yamanashi is a landlocked prefecture that shares the border with Tokyo on the east side, and the mountainous area of Nagano and Shizuoka on the west side. Yamanashi is surrounded by many of the highest mountains in Japan including the highest, Mount Fuji. While it is accessible and close to urban cities, it preserves plenty of nature which provides a relaxing experience for tourists as well. Unique local foods such as Hoto Udon is a must try as well as the fresh fruits and sake. Despite of the rain-shadow effect, the land is fertile and different variations of sweetness of grapes and peaches are cultivated here! In addition, tourist attractions can be found everywhere, many of them located near Mt. Fuji, the most popular iconic mountain in Japan standing between Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefecture. In this article, we will focus on the best tourist spots in Yamanashi!
Fuji Five Lakes
Fuji Five Lakes (“Fuji Goko” in Japanese) refers to the five lakes located at the base of Mt. Fuji. It was named by Horiuchi Ryouhei, the founder of Fuji-Q Highland, which is a popular theme park in Yamanashi as well (we will introduce the park later). The Fuji Five Lakes, Yamanaka, Kawaguchi, Saiko, Shōji and Motosu lakes, were formed lava flows from multiple eruption of Mt. Fuji, hundreds of years ago. They are all designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason: they offer stunning views of Mt. Fuji and have beautiful surroundings.
The five lakes offer respective experiences and attractions with unique tourist spots. Lake Kawaguchi is one of them, situated at the north of Mt. Fuji. There are a variety of tourist spots including a hot spring resort, camping site, hotels, and more around it. When the weather offers a perfect condition, you can see another Mt. Fuji reflected on the surface of the water!
Lake Yamanaka is another member of the five lakes, and known as the largest lake among them. Located at the highest place, it offers a comfortable atmosphere with the fresh air. You can take an excursion ship called Swan Lake, or the smaller peddle boat to enjoy the view from the lake as well!
The views of Mount Fuji from Arakurayama Sengen Koen, is one of the most iconic photo spots of Japan as it is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji. It’s where you get to see Mount Fuji and the famous Chureito Pagoda, which was built as a peace memorial in 1963. The view is definitely worth the effort of climbing up the almost 450 steps.
Oshino Hakkai is a small village with eight beautiful ponds – Hakkai can be translated as eight seas, referring to the ponds. It is located between Kawaguchiko Lake and Yamanakako Lake, on the bottom of the former 6th lake of the area. The high quality water comes directly from Mt. Fuji, and offers a suitable environment for small fish to survive. As you look into the ponds, you will be amazed by the clearness and the lively fish swimming around. There are several souvenir shops selling a variety of merchandise around. The Japanese traditional buildings around the ponds make the whole area more scenic and attractive.
Although it is usually packed with tourist throughout year, it is definitely worth visiting if you are visiting the area. Just walking around the village while enjoying the spiritual atmosphere is memorable!
If you are an adrenaline-seeker and looking for more modern spots, Fuji-Q Highland is something that you shouldn’t miss! It is one of the most famous amusement parks in Japan, and visited by over 2 million people annually. It opened in 1968, and has been maintaining a high reputation with its thrilling rides such as exciting roller coasters. It also has a huge, terrifying haunted house called Senritsu Meikyu, which is considered one of the largest haunted houses in the world! You can enter the area without admission, and pay separately for each ride. The Free Pass is another option, which includes the admission and free unlimited rides for all attractions!
10am – 5pm
Free Pass: ¥6,200 (adults), ¥5,700 ~￥4,500 (children)
Located 1,900 meter above sea level, Kiyosato Terrace welcomes visitors with its breathtaking view. The cafe on the top of the highland park, is equipped with comfortable sofas outside from which you van admire the magnificent sight of the Kiyosato area and Mount Fuji. You can enjoy light meals such as lovely parfaits, fresh fruit, smoothies, coffee, and more served at a cozy cafe. Premium seats are available with reservation, which makes the experience better in a private space!
The terrace is accessible by a panorama lift which takes about 10 minutes to reach the top of the mountain. The cafe is open from May through November, and operate as a ski resort instead during winter season. It is located right at the top of the ski slopes.
9.30am – 4pm (May 23 – July 3)
9am – 4.30pm (July 4– November 8)
Hottarakashi Onsen is a hot spring spot situated in Yamanashi city. It was originally developed as a nursing home, but the plan was abolished later and only the open-air bath is remained. There are two type of baths, and they provide different health benefits and views. The newer one opened in 2003 is called Acchino Yu, and it is more spacious and the mild water is suitable for those who have sensitive skins. If you want to enjoy a better view featuring Mt. Fuji, the second bath called Kocchino Yu is the better option!
Hottarakashi Onsen (※Japanese only)
One hour before sunrise – 8pm
Admission ￥800 (adults)
Shosenkyo is a gorge situated in the northern part of Kofu city in Yamanashi. It is park of the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park, a huge national park at the intersection of Saitama, Yamanashi, Nagano and Tokyo prefectures. The giant rocks and cliffs carved by water throughout centuries create a beautiful, unique scenery. The shape of each rock and seasonal trees living around, add beautiful colours especially in autumn. Along the Arakawa river, there is a hiking trail of 4km passing several scenic spots such as Senga Falls and Nagatoro Bridge. Near the waterfall you can also take the Shosenkyo Ropeway to the top, which provides access to an observation point with panoramic views of the Southern Japanese Alps and Mount Fuji on clear days. There are a number of restaurants serving local foods as well!
Oshino Shinobi no Sato
Oshino Shinobi no Sato is a Ninja theme park near Oshino Hakkai in the Oshino village. Visitors can explore the park full of exciting activities and experiences in ninja costumes. Enjoyable the Ninja shows that are held every day by a professional performance group. There are also unique attractions such as Karakuri House, which features a number of hidden gimmicks that surprise you! They also organise some events and workshops including a Shuriken Dojo, where you can do some Shuriken practice and win a prize! Not only for children, but also for adults, it is a fun place to spend a whole day.
Shinobi no Sato
9am – 5pm
Admission fee ￥1,800 (adults), ￥1,000 (children)
Fuefukigawa Fruit Park
Yamanashi is widely known as a large producer of several kinds of fruit such as grapes and peaches. It also has some local wine brands, and Fuefuki Fruit Park is a great place to enjoy the tasty foods and drinks at once!
It is a huge park comprising of several areas including a cafe, restaurant, and souvenir shops. Outside, there is a lawn field with a playground and a smal, artificial lake where children can play around. From the highest point of the park, which can be reached by foot or by mini-train, you can have some amazing views of Mount Fuji on a clear day. There is also an hotel at the top where you can spend the night, admiring the magnificent night views with the illuminated dome.
Fuefukigawa Fruit Park
9am – 5pm
Check out our private tours!
If you need some help to organise your trip to Yamanashi, we are happy to be of assistance. You can book our private tours or we can make you a customized itinerary too. We want to make your trip to Yamanashi a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory!
Mt. Fuji Highlight Private Walking Tour
Visit the Fuji five lakes and other tourist spots around with our local guide who can help you make your trip even better!
Mt. Fuji Pilgrim Hiking (1st to 5th Station)
Take part in our private hiking tour to explore the sacred atmosphere of Mt. Fuji.
Where to stay in Yamanashi
- Fruit Park Fujiya Hotel – hotel located on the top of Fuefukigawa Fruit Park
- HOSHINOYA Fuji – resort near Lake Kawaguchi with amazing views of Mount Fuji
- Dormy Inn Kofu Marunouchi – Centrally located hotel with large sized rooms and good onsen facilities.
Thanks to the convenient location to Tokyo, Yamanashi prefecture has become an ideal trip destination from Tokyo. Although Yamanashi is relatively small as a prefecture, the abundance of nature and unique entertaining spots will make for a great trip. Why not visit this beautiful prefecture during your stay in Japan, and visit some of the places we introduced above?
If you would like to get more information about guided tours in Tokyo or other parts of Japan, please visit our website. We hope you have a good time in Japan!
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