Mt. Fuji clearly needs no introduction and is definitely on most travelers’ bucket list. Likewise, I decided to book a day tour from Tokyo to view Mt. Fuji since I happened to be in Tokyo. However, since it was Summer season, I failed terribly to see Mt. Fuji in its fullest glory. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the tour as I got to visit many scenic places and after all, Mt. Fuji still has its charm regardless of the season.
When is the best season and time to see Mt. Fuji?
Spring and Winter would be better months to catch an unblocked Mt. Fuji as visibility tends to be better during colder seasons. The active volcano often gets blocked by clouds during Summer especially so DO NOT expect to capture clear views of the Mt. Fuji during Summer (sheepish smile). The best timing to see Mt. Fuji is in the early morning as well as late evening. Avoid going in the middle of the day due to harsh lighting from the sun.
Best places to photograph Mt fuji
1. Arakurayama Sengen Park
Arakurayama Sengen Park is probably the best park to visit for that instagrammable view of Mt. Fuji. The best season to visit the park in my opinion is during Spring as you can capture Mt. Fuji, the seasonal cherry blossoms and that iconic five-storey pagoda all together in your million-dollars shot. Depending on the time you visit the park, be prepared to queue at the observation deck to get your solo shot taken.
Also, be prepared to climb many stairs to reach the observation deck at the top, but I can assure you that the view is worth the climb. For certain parts, you may choose to take a longer path by going up slopes, but ultimately to reach the observation deck, stairs are unavoidable. Don’t worry, on your way down, grab a cherry blossom soft serve ice cream to quench your thirst.
Arakurayama Sengen Park
Address: Shimoyoshida-Kitagawa 3620 Arakura Fujiyoshida City
Nearest station: Fuji Kyuko Line, Shimoyosida Station
How to get there: 10 minutes on foot from Fuji kyuko Line, Shimoyoshida station
Parking information: Free parking
Opening hours: 24 hours
2. Kawaguchiko Craft Park
Took a lunch break at the Kawaguchiko Craft Park which is conveniently situated at the Lake Kawaguchiko area. Besides enjoying the Mt. Fuji view while having a free foot bath, you can sign up for one of their many craft workshops such as candle making, pottery painting and silver accessories making.
Had lunch at the cosy Kawaguchiko Craft Park Cafe and ordered the Yamanashi specialty, Hōtō noodle soup (1000 yen) which consists of udon noodles and vegetables stewed in miso soup.
Kawaguchiko Craft Park
Address: 3118 Kawaguchi Fujikawaguchiko-machi Minamitsuru-gun
Opening hours: 9.30am – 5pm
Website: Kawaguchiko Craft Park
3. Lake Kawaguchi
Lake Kawaguchi is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes and also the most accessible lake via public transport. It is also the only lake that has a bridge extended across it. Head away from the Oishi Park river front to get a more peaceful and calm view of the lake and Mt. Fuji (that is if it isn’t hiding behind the clouds).
Address: Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi, Japan
Nearest station: Fujikyuko Line, Kawaguchiko Station
How to get there: 15 minutes on foot from Kawaguchiko Station, Fuji Kyuko Line
4. Kawaguchiko Oishi Park (河口湖大石公園)
Not surprisingly, Oishi Park is coined as the best spot to view Mt. Fuji. Besides getting an excellent view of Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji, you get a field of seasonal flowers blooming in the foreground. In one shot, you get to photograph the flowers, lake and Mt. Fuji. How insta-worthy is that! Here are the different types of seasonal flowers that bloom at Oishi Park.
- Late Apr: Tulip, Narcissus , Rapeseed
- Early May: Moss phlox
- Late Jun – Early Jul: Lavender (The Herb Festival)
- Late Jun – Early Oct: Niagara Falls of flowers (Begonia)
- Mid – Late Oct: Kochia (summer cypress)
Fresh local food and products made from blueberries, a local specialty, can also be found at the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center. If you are keen to enroll in some hands-on local experience, they have fruit-picking sessions at the farm.
- Late Jun – Mid Jul: Cherry picking
- Early Jul – Mid Aug: Blueberry picking
- Mid Aug – Early Oct: Fruit tomato picking
What I was more excited for was the Lavender soft-serve ice-cream which costs 500 yen (6.50 SGD). Pretty steep price but there’s no better way to end off the entire Lavender field experience.
Address: Japan, 〒401-0305 Yamanashi, Minamitsuru District, Fujikawaguchiko, Oishi, 2585-2 地先
Parking information: Lots of parking lots available
Opening hours: 24 hours
5. Lake Sai Iyashi no Sato Gemba Village
If you want to avoid some crowd at Lake Kawaguchi and Arakurayama Sengen Park, you can consider exploring this traditional Japanese village which is also known as a healing village. This restored village of thatched roof houses looks out into Lake Saiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes, and has a stunning Mt Fuji backdrop. Head to the top of the village where you can get a better and unblocked view.
If you don’t get to see the Mt Fuji like me, you can explore some of the activities in each of the thatched roof house. There’s traditional craft-making activities, museums and galleries, as well as some tea houses. Kimono and Samurai costumes are available for rental from 1,000 yen (12.50 SGD), to complete your Insta-worthy shot with this traditional backdrop.
At the entrance of the village, you will find a few local stall vendors selling seasonal fresh fruits and local snacks. My new-found friend, Julia, and I got 2 peaches for 500 yen (6.50 SGD) and they are so sweet and juicy. Highly recommended to try them out during your visit to the village.
Lake Sai Iyashi no Sato Gemba Village
Address: 2710, Saikonenba, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun
Nearest station: Fuji Kyuko Line, Kawaguchiko Station
How to get there: (By car) 25 minutes from Chuo Expressway | (By Retro Bus) 50 minutes from Fuji Kyuko Line Kawaguchiko station
Parking information: Free parking
Opening hours: (March to November) 9am-5pm | (December to February) 9.30am-4.30pm – closed on Wednesdays
Cost: 350 yen for Adults and 150 yen for Children (Elementary and Junior high students)
Mt. Fuji Day Tour from Tokyo
Even though Summer wasn’t the right season to view Mt Fuji in its full glory, the day tour brought us to several other popular and scenic spots to increase our chances of catching it! In the case where you can’t choose your traveling dates and happen to be in Tokyo during Summer, hope this article helps you to know what you can expect. If you are intending to capture Mt Fuji during Winter and Spring (you get to see cherry blossoms too), this Mt. Fuji day tour from Tokyo would be perfect and ideal.
Hope you enjoyed reading my experience with Mt Fuji and found it useful. If you would like to see more, do follow my adventures on Instagram (@theskypassport).