In 2020, Japan Wonder Travel was given a project by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to promote 14 selected prefectures that have been affected by typhoons. We offered 20 internationals living in Japan, the opportunity to travel to several destinations and share their experiences while traveling and also after.
Aala – Yamanashi and Shizuoka
My name is Aala, I am French and I have been living in Japan since 2011. I have a blog about Japan that I started in 2011 and I have been travelling around the country. I had the opportunity to do a 3 days trip, with my friend Lucas-san, in Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures and we were really excited because the weather was going to be great and we really wanted to enjoy some of the best views on Mount Fuji while discovering some other great things this areas have to offer.
Day 1, Yamanashi Prefecture : Kawaguchiko
It was around 07:30 AM when we took the bus in Shinjuku to head to Kawaguchiko lake and start our journey around Mount Fuji. We were really excited and we felt that it would be a great journey. After about a 2 hours bus journey we finally arrived at our hotel to drop our luggage and then we headed to our first destination. The weather was cloudy, so we couldn’t see Mount Fuji on that day, but it was ok because we would go to Itcihiku Kubota Museum for our first visit.
At this museum we could learn about Itchiku Kubota and his textiles dyeing to make some kind of really unique kimono. I had never heard of him before and it was a great opportunity to get to know his work while enjoying seeing some really gorgeous and unique kimonos.
After the museum we went back to Kawaguchiko station to ask where we could enjoy some Yoshida Udon and they recommended us a nice and local restaurant. We walked about 10 minutes and then we enjoyed our bowl of local noodles that were delicious and actually not expensive at all.
With our stomach full we headed to the bus station to go to our next stop: Oshino Hakkai. Once there, we just walked around that unique looking village with thatched roofs building right at the bottom of Mount Fuji. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t good enough so we couldn’t enjoy the view of the volcano, but the place was perfect for a nice walk, to enjoy some snacks and also buy some souvenirs.
It was already the end of the day for us so we went back to our hotel for the check-in. We were staying at Hotel Konansou Kawaguchiko which offers an amazing view on Mount Fuji and also a great dinner in private rooms, a Kaiseki style meal that was gorgeous and delicious!
Day 2, Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture
Today was the day, the kind of day that you know everything will be perfect and actually everything was more than perfect. We started really early to go to Kawaguchiko Asama Jinja, a shrine that has a Torii with maybe the most gorgeous view on Mount Fuji you can get! It took us a while to reach to that place, early in the morning, before the sunrise, but it was definitly worth it! We got to see one of the most beautiful view on Mount Fuji, the kind of view you will always remember and we were really lucky because the weather was just perfect!
We then headed back to the hotel to eat our breakfast, that was really tasty and huge, before enjoying a private onsen bath with view on Mount Fuji. And then we headed to our next spot for the day: Arakurayama Sengen Koen. I’m pretty sure most of you have seen a photo of this place, it’s maybe the most iconic spot in all Japan. It’s where you get to see the Mount Fuji and the Chureito Pagoda. After going up the 450 stairs, and because the weather was perfect, we could take that same photo and enjoy the view.
After that we just walked our way down to Yoshida city from where we could also enjoy an amazing and unique view of Mount Fuji right in the middle of the city! And then we took our train to Kawaguchiko station, just to realize that the train actually goes along Mount Fuji too, so you can enjoy another great view.
After a lunch at the restaurant in front of Kawaguchiko station, during which we tried Hoto Udon, we took the bus for about 2 hours to reach the city of Fujinomiya in Shizuoka prefecture. We checked-in at our ryokan (Kappo Ryokan Ogawa-So) and we just relaxed for the night there.
Day 3, Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture
Because we didn’t get enough of Mount Fuji, we needed to enjoy it more and that third day of our trip was, again, with perfect weather, at least in the morning. Can you imagine waking up in the morning in your futon at the ryokan, looking through the window and seeing Mount Fuji right in front of you ? Even better, can you imagine soaking in a private rooftop outside onsen with a view on Mount Fuji? This is exactly how we started our day that day and it was an amazing experience that we concluded with a delicious breakfast at the ryokan, Japanese style.
After that we went to Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha, a shrine in Fujinomiya that is dedicated to Mount Fuji. It was a really beautiful shrine and we could enjoy some Kawazu-zakura in full bloom. Then it was time for us to head to Fuji World Heritage Center, a place totally dedicated to Mount Fuji. It’s kind of a unique place that is made to look like a reverse Mount Fuji and in which you can learn a lot about the volcano and even enjoy an amazing view on it from its’ observatory desk, which we did of course!
After that visit we jumped in a train to go to Numazu city for our next visit. But before the visit we stopped at a local restaurant in front of Numazu station to enjoy some tendon (bowl of rice with fried seafood and vegetables) which were really good!
Then it was time to head to Numazu Imperial Villa Memorial Park, for the last visit of our 3 days trip. Once there we could discover that huge and gorgeous house that was built at the beginning of the 20th century, right in front of the ocean. The visit was quite nice even if the weather was cloudy. And it was a good opportunity to learn more about the imperial family during that era.
This is it, after that last visit it was, already, time for us to take the shinkansen back to Tokyo. Our trip was over but we came back with a lot of great memories and some great photos too. We could enjoy Mount Fuji views from different spots while discovering some less-known spots and eat some delicious local foods.
Definitely worth the trip… our final words
Let’s say it, this 3 days trip was definitely amazing, 100% worth it! I have been living here for 9 years already and I never enjoyed so many gorgeous views of Mount Fuji on a short trip like this. And on top of that, I could also discover new places, learn more about local culture and eat some delicious local food.
I know that a lot of us, when we come to Japan, often go to Tokyo and we dream of viewing Mount Fuji. I think that you should definitely put Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures on your to-go list, because they offer more than just Mount Fuji! You can also check this article to find more spots to see Mount Fuji
Hotel Aala-san stayed during the trip
We were very excited to work with Aala-san, and all the other guests for this project, and will continue to do our best to promote the less known destinations as much as we can. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram to find another project with us.
And of course, if you need any help to find hidden gems in Japan, Japan Wonder Travel will happily help you out.