Japan is known for its strong culture, superb restaurants and ultra-modern cities. What most tourists often forget about is that Japan has its fair share of natural wonders to explore as well. One of these happens to be Mount Fuji. With an almost perfect conical shape, Mount Fuji is considered by many to be the most coveted sight to see in the entire country. However, Mt. Fuji is not the only stunning spot to see during a day trip from Tokyo. If you want to capture the true essence of this Japanese icon, then try to spend a few days in the region referred to as Fuji Five Lakes.
Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko and Lake Motosuko are situated at the northern base of Mount Fuji and they are collectively called the Fuji Five Lake region. Regardless of which lake you choose to stay near, you will be privileged with beautiful panoramic views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding countryside. This region also makes an excellent base for climbing the mountain.
Of the five lakes, Kawaguchiko tends to be the busiest because it serves as the primary transport hub in the region. Aside from its accessibility to the mountain, it is also known to be an outstanding hot spring resort town, which also has its fair share of attractions. Kawaguchiko is also particularly popular during the cherry blossom season, which is from mid-April until November. During this time, the seaside promenade is a picturesque spot to marvel at the cherry blossoms.
Lake Yamanakako is the largest among the five lakes. It is also the second most developed lake just behind Kawaguchiko. This lake’s eastern and western ends are occupied by small charming towns with various accommodation facilities. There are also restaurants and camping grounds all around Yamanakako. If you happen to have a 1000 yen bill, you can try to capture the very same picture that is printed on this Japanese bill. And after capturing the incredible scenery of Mt. Fuji, why not try to relax at one of the public hot springs baths around Yamanakako. One of these establishments, Benifuji no Yu even offers great views of Fuji from its baths.
Lake Saiko is the next door neighbour to Lake Kawaguchiko. You will get views of Mt. Fuji from this lake by heading out to its western end. Saiko is surrounded by wooded mountains, which adds to its appealing scenery. It is also home to a few campsites. These are just some of the reasons why the lake has become a favoured spot for outdoor activities like boating, camping, fishing and hiking. Saiko also maintains a hiking trail network, which leads to the hills, mountains and to the extensive forested area called Aokigahara Jukai.
If you would prefer more of a tranquil feeling while in the Mount Fuji region then consider visiting Lake Shojiko or Lake Motosuko. Both of these still offer breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, but since they have less development and fewer accommodation choices available, they tend to be quieter with fewer tourists. To get the best photos of Fuji from any of the five lakes, wake up early on a clear day and capture the reflection of Fuji on the surface of the water.