In the Kawaguchi area you can have magnificent views of Mount Fuji. Especially across the Kawaguchiko lake, one of the five lakes in the surroundings of Mount Fuji area, the mountain is beautifully portrayed on a clear day. It is also one of the easiest accessible places from Tokyo, with direct bus and train connections. The area is great for a day trip, but with all the many interesting and fun things to do in the Kawaguchiko area, a weekend trip here is definitely not a bad idea to do!
- Top places to visit in the Kawaguchi area
- Suggested routes in the Kawaguchi area
- Recommended Tours
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Top places to visit in the Kawaguchi area
We have already described the different options of getting to the Kawaguchiko area in our other blog how to get to Kawaguchiko area, this time we will talk about what to do around Kawaguchiko area. Let’s get started on your itinerary!
Enjoy stunning views at Kawaguchiko 5th station
From Kawaguchiko station, you can take a bus to the Fuji Subaru Line Gogōme, also known as Yoshidaguchi 5th Station or Kawaguchiko 5th Station. This station is a popular starting point for people climbing Mount Fuji, in fact, it is the most used of all four stations. With the easy access from Tokyo, many people also just go there to watch Mt. Fuji, without climbing it. From the station you also have great views of the Five Mount Fuji Lakes. The station is accessible almost all year round, snow conditions permitting, making it a popular sightseeing spot even outside of the climbing season.
For those of you wanting to climb Mount Fuji, this station is a good starting point. At the station you will find some restaurants and shops, to gear up properly before you start the journey to the summit. We always advise you to climb Mount Fuji during the season and with a guide, read more about these options here Mt. Fuji climbing tour
If you are interested in a tour with a knowledgeable, local guide, but don’t feel like climbing Fuji-san we also offer private tours in the area. Read more about this tour on our website Mount Fuji Highlight Private Walking Tour
Mt. Fuji 5th station
The bus from Kawaguchi station to the fifth station will take about 50 minutes one way, and cost you ¥1,570 for a one way tickets or ¥2,300 yen for round trip.
Arakurayama Sengen Shrine
When you head east from Kawaguchiko station for about 4 km, you will find Arakura Sengen Shrine. What makes this shrine extra special is the panoramic view from the top, from there you can see Mt. Fuji along with 5 storied Chureito Pagoda.
From the Arakurayama Sengen Shrine, 398 steps lead you to the top, where you will find the Chureito Pagoda. This great view is quite famous and has been featured in many guide books. Especially during spring season, when the sakura blossoms are flowering, this place feels almost magical.
Tip: Finish off your perfect day and watch the sunset from here!
Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Shrine
At the starting point of the Yoshida trail, you will find the Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Shrine, also know today as the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine. The Yoshida trail leads all to way to the top op Mount Fuji, though, few climbers begin their hike from here now. Many climbers do still visit the shrine before their ascent to pray for a safe climb.
Each year, the shrine is the centerstage for one of the three “most unique festivals in Japan”. The Yoshida Fire Festival is celebrated to mark the end of the Mount Fuji climbing season and to praise the gods. During the festival about 70 large torches are lit throughout the city, turning the main street into what it looks like a river of fire.
Official website Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Shrine
Lake Kawaguchi Mt. Tenjō Ropeway
This cable car is located at the lake side of Kawaguchiko. There are two cable cars and you can see the lake and Mt. Fuji from the top. Especially in autumn season, you can see the beautiful autumn colours of the tree leafs in this area, while riding on the cable car. The three minutes to the top will literally fly by!
Kachi Kachi yama
Admission ¥900 yen for round trip
From this beautiful park located at north side of Kawaguchiko Lake, you can see beautiful Mt. Fuji and its reflection in the lake. In spring and summer time, when the many flowers are blossoming at Oishi Park, the views are amazing. Especially from late June to early July, when the lavender flowers are in bloom and make the place look like it has a purple carpet, many people visit this picturesque spot. At Oishi park there are several restaurants and shops, making it a great spot for a break after a hike.
Aokigahara-jukai forest and lava caves
Aokigahara forest is a beautiful forest on the northern foot of Mt.Fuji. The Japanese name of the forest is Aokigahara-jukai, jukai means sea of trees. The forest was formed on the lava plateau after the eruption of Mount Fuji in 864. It can be difficult to navigate your way as the forest is very dense. Because of the high density of trees you will hardly feel any rain drops, the forest will protect you from rain, wind and snow! Sadly for this reason and the remoteness of this forest, this place is also known as the suicide forest. However, it is a very beautiful place to go hiking, just make sure you don’t get off the trails and is recommended to go with a guide.
In the vicinity of the Aokigahara forest there are some deep lava caves, such as the Fugaku Wind Cave and the Narusawa Ice Cave. When you are in the area, a visit to these famous caves are a must. The temperature in both caves is somewhere between zero and three degrees all year round, but don’t let that stop you from witnessing these miracles of mother nature.
Ide shuzo Sake brewery
Very close to Kawaguchiko station, there is a sake brewery called Ide shuzo. This small family run brewery has been making sake for 21 generations, using water from Mount Fuji. At the brewery you can learn more about the process of making sake, or just to sample the finished product!
A tour is offered in English twice every day at 9.30am or 3pm and a reservation is required. The reservation can be made online for ¥800 per person (including sake tasting).
Sake tour ¥800 (including sake tasting)
Sake tasting ¥500
Oshino Hakkai springs
Hakkai meaning eight seas, referring to eight clear springwater ponds at the foot of Mount Fuji that Oshino Hakkai is famous for. It is located between Kawaguchiko Lake and Yamanakako Lake, on the bottom of the former 6th lake of the area. The water from the ponds is of very good quality, containing some of the nation’s best spring water! You can even drink water from one of the pools.
Most of the pools are filled by melted snow that has run down from Mount Fuji and some are inhabited by koi fishes. Around the pond, there are many traditional Japanese houses and a museum that is also worth to visit! Oshino Hakkai is also a popular destination for cherry blossom viewing, and usually the best viewing time takes from early to mid April.
If you are interested in a tour around Kawaguchiko area, please contact us!
If you would like to climb / hike the mountain in Tokyo, consider a trip to Mount Takao!
Suggested routes in the Kawaguchi area
1. Highlights cycling route
Many of the accommodations in the area offer bicycles for rent, sometimes it is even included in the price. The area around Kawaguchi lake is great to discover by bike. A suggested itinerary below.
Duration: Approx. 7 hours
A: Kawaguchiko Station
B: Arakurayama Sengen Shrine
C: Oishi Land
D: Ubuyagasaki Shrine
E: Sake brewery
2. 5th station and secret forest route bus route
This route covers 5th station, Aokigahara forest and Narusawa Ice cave. But if you have time, you can combine it with the sake brewery or the ropeway!
Duration: Approx. 7 hours
Costs: About ¥3,600 for transportation + ¥350 per person for the ice cave
B: Kawaguchiko 5th station
C: Kawaguchiko station
D: Aokigahara and Narusawa Ice Cave
3. National Treasure Bus route
How about going to National treasures? In this route you will visit Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Shrine and Oshino Hakkai first. Then head back to Kawaguchiko and go to Mt. Tenjō Ropeway.
Duration: 7 hours
Costs: ¥1,030 yen for the bus + ¥900 yen per person for the ropeway
A: Kawaguchiko station
B: Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Shrine
C: Oshino Hakkai
D: Mt. Tenjō Ropeway
If you would like to have a guided tour to the Kawaguchiko area and visit some of the places, let us know! We have local guides in the area that are happy to show you around. We can personalize the tour to your needs and give you an unforgettable experience.
We had a marvelous day out with Yumiko. She was an incredibly nice and knowledgeable guide. We saw some lovely things with her and had a great time. Lunch was a particular highlights as we were introduced to Hoto noodles – much nicer than Udon! The traditional village we saw was also an eye opener. The cable car and the views from the top were breathtaking, and the local handicraft village was also excellent. I would recommend this trip and this excellent,. personable and just downright nice guide to you all.by Mark, Maus and Ju (10/13/19)
Other tours / activities
Recommended hotels with Mount Fuji views:
These are our recommendations for the Kawaguchiko area, what do you think of them? Any places we missed out, that you can recommend; let us know! What is your favourite place or activity in the area? Let us know in the comments!
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