Explore the Fuji Five Lakes

Spend three days exploring the Fuji Five Lakes at the northern base of Mt. Fuji, where you’ll find hot springs, outdoor recreation, and awe-inspiring views. The clear waters of these five lakes reflect Mt. Fuji in vivid detail, making for unbeatable photo opportunities, particularly in the spring and autumn seasons. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Fuji Five Lakes, mixing rugged outdoor recreation with leisure and relaxation.

Go JapanGo Japan2 months ago
Explore the Fuji Five Lakes

Day 1

Lake Kawaguchi

Enjoy an overnight stay near Lake Kawaguchi while exploring the surrounding sites by day. The best views of Mt. Fuji can be had in the morning, as haze and clouds tend to obstruct the mountain as the day wears on. Wake up early and head to the north side of the lake for some of the best views. Nearby attractions include Fuji-Q Highland , numerous hot springs, the Kawawguchiko Music Forest, and several museums.

Lake Kawaguchi
Lake Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway

Mt. Tenjo towers over the east side of Lake Kawaguchi and is easily accessible via the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway . Ride 1,000 meters to the top to enjoy panoramic views. Along the way, you’ll encounter numerous monuments and kid-friendly scenes depicting a local folktale, in which a clever rabbit takes revenge on a scheming tanuki (raccoon dog). The mountainside is particularly stunning in June and July when hydrangea bloom in vivid color. More active travelers can opt to hike the mountain, with the trailhead starting from nearby the ropeway station.

Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway, 1163-1 Azagawa, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Oshino Hakkai

Head to Oshino Hakkai to marvel at a collection of serene ponds surrounded by well-preserved dwellings from feudal Japan. With Mt. Fuji as a backdrop, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported inside one of the classic Japanese woodblock prints of Hokusai. Learn about the area’s history at open-air museum Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, and enjoy lunch at one of the numerous pondside food stalls.

Oshino Hakkai
Oshino Hakkai, Shibokusa, Oshino, Yamanashi, Japan

Lake Yamanaka

As the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Yamanaka is a good option for finding overnight accommodation, with a handful of hotels and inns in the area. You’ll also find hot springs on the western side of the lake with gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji in the distance.

Lake Yamanaka
Lake Yamanaka, Yamanakako, Yamanashi, Japan

Day 2

Lake Saiko

If you’re interested in camping, fishing, or boating, head to Lake Saiko. Though the views of Mt. Fuji are mostly obstructed, this is a great base to explore the numerous hiking trails that snake through the mountains. Bordering Aokigahara Forest , you’ll come across three caves accessible to tourists. The Bat Cave is the largest, with numerous chambers and tunnels.

Lake Saiko
Lake Saiko, Saiko, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Iyashi no Sato

Similar to Oshino Hakkai , Iyashi no Sato on the northeastern end of Lake Saiko consists of around two dozen traditional thatched-roofed houses that have been refurbished and converted into restaurants, souvenir shops, museum exhibitions, and gallery spaces. Explore the village to learn about various traditional crafts, practices, and the regional culture.

Iyashinosato ancient japanese village
Iyashinosato ancient japanese village, Saiko, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Narusawa Ice Cave

On the Lake Saiko side of Aokigahara, three caves have been equipped with pathways and stairs, allowing you to enter without requiring special equipment or guides. In addition to the large Saiko Bat Cave, the Narusawa Ice Cave and Fugaku Wind Cave are also worth a visit. From early winter to mid-spring, large pillars of ice freeze inside the Narusawa Ice Cave. Centuries ago, this cave was used to store ice for the region. A 15-minute walk away is the Fugaku Wind Cave, which boasts a similarly enchanting frozen pond.

Narusawa Ice Cave
Narusawa Ice Cave, 8533 鳴沢 Narusawa, Yamanashi, Japan

Aokigahara Forest

Stretching across the northwest base of a mountain next to Lake Saiko, the expansive Aokigahara Forest grows on top of a lava plateau, with many of the hemlock and cypress trees over three centuries old. The lush forest thrives with small animals and abundant bird species. There are several walking paths and trails you can take to explore Aokigahara. Given its incredible density, the forest is easy to get lost in, so be sure to stick to the trails.

Aokigahara, Narusawa, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Lake Shoji

The smallest of the lakes, Lake Shoji, borders Aokigahara Forest , and offers arguably the most gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji (from the northeastern bank). This area is largely undeveloped, save for a few hotels on the north side. Adventurous travelers will enjoy camping and hiking, while more leisurely travelers may consider renting a cottage or “glamping” in a tipi.

Lake Shōji
Lake Shōji, Shoji, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Day 3

Lake Motosu

The westernmost Lake Motosu is known for being featured on Japan’s 1,000-yen bill. Not only does the northeastern vantage point offer gorgeous views of the mountain, but the crystal-clear lake water is also perfect for outdoor recreation such as kayaking and swimming. From April through June, witness a colorful expanse of blooming tulips, which add a touch of pink and purple to views of Mt. Fuji.

Lake Motosu
Lake Motosu, Yamanashi, Japan

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