Mount Fuji, Japan's iconic peak, is best viewed up close from select locations in Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures. Our focus is on Lake Kawaguchi, the second largest of the five lakes encircling Mount Fuji, located in the town of Fujikawaguchiko. Renowned as the gateway to Mount Fuji, this scenic lake offers a plethora of attractions. In this feature, we'll highlight Lake Kawaguchi's charm, especially in autumn, and introduce serene spots perfect for relaxation.
Lake Kawaguchi offers stunning views of Mount Fuji from every angle, with its crystal-clear waters mirroring the changing seasons. In autumn, the lake's shores are a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and golden leaves, creating a breathtaking spectacle. Come spring, cherry blossoms blanket the area, drawing both local and international visitors to this enchanting seasonal showcase.
Along the lake's edge, a quaint pier features charming duck-shaped boats and rowing boats available for visitors to explore the serene waters of Lake Kawaguchi.
You can explore this lake at any time.
Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/kgnn8awa7EMtZJyT7
Oshino Hakkai, a picturesque village known for its crystal-clear river water sourced from Mount Fuji, offers a firsthand experience of this natural wonder. Tourists flock here to marvel at the purity of the water from this iconic mountain.
The village, set against the majestic backdrop of Mount Fuji, is dotted with ancient buildings, enhancing its allure. Ideal for leisurely strolls amidst natural beauty, Oshino Hakkai is also home to charming ponds surrounded by small shops selling local crafts and delicacies.
A highlight for food enthusiasts is the village's renowned Kusamochi, a Japanese sweet, also known as "yomogi mochi," made by using rice flour and Japanese mugwort leaves. If you visit Oshino Hakkai, this is a must try!
Official website: http://www.vill.oshino.yamanashi.jp/8lake.html
Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/ffDWg8H1MCUZcMMf9
Maple Corridor (Momiji Kairo, 紅葉回路) stands out as a premier destination in Lake Kawaguchi for witnessing autumn foliage. This breathtaking spot features a river lined with towering maple trees, forming a natural tunnel.
As autumn progresses, the corridor becomes a vibrant canvas of red, yellow, and brown leaves, reminiscent of a picturesque painting. This narrow street, embodying the essence of Japanese autumn, offers spectacular views and is a great spot for photos.
This year, due to unique weather conditions, the foliage has transformed into an extraordinary palette. Deviating from the usual reds, the maple leaves have adopted hues of pink, yellow, and green, adding an unprecedented beauty to the landscape.
Official website: http://www.town.fujikawaguchiko.lg.jp/
Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/5VYVU3KYM4rbLrbM8
Travel Station: Kawaguchiko Base
Travel Station: Kawaguchiko Base (旅の駅) in the heart of Fujikawaguchiko town, is a delightful stopover for visitors. This hub offers an array of shops featuring souvenirs from Yamanashi Prefecture, Kofu City, and other regions near Mount Fuji. A must-try here is the local specialty "Hoto," a regional culinary delight.
The facility boasts a unique and aesthetically pleasing bathroom, making it a go-to spot for souvenir shopping and dining. Highlighting local produce, the shop showcases Lake Kawaguchi's renowned sweet and juicy green muscat grapes, alongside a variety of seasonal fruits and fruit-based products.
Souvenir enthusiasts will find items infused with local flavors like muscat grapes and peaches, as well as an assortment of Mount Fuji-themed keepsakes.
Don’t miss the charming Baum Kuchen cake, shaped like Mount Fuji, and the popular mizu mochi (raindrop cake), a favorite among international visitors.
Additionally, the shop offers a selection of agricultural produce, dairy items, cheeses, and various local alcoholic beverages.
Travel Station: Kawaguchiko Base exudes a cozy ambiance, inviting visitors to unwind and soak in the mesmerizing autumn foliage visible from October through November. Additionally, the food court area tempts with delectable culinary options, including Lake Kawaguchi's signature dish, "Hoto." Setting itself apart from typical eateries, the menu here presents unique variations of Hoto, like mushroom and clam Hoto soup, or an inventive hoto curry soup enriched with cheese.
Business hours: 9:30–17:30
Official website: https://www.kawaguchikobase.com/
Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/2XwsVt5dySJqSPQv9
We hope this guide proves invaluable for first-time visitors to Lake Kawaguchi, illuminating just a few of its many enchanting spots. Beyond these recommendations, Lake Kawaguchi is brimming with captivating attractions waiting to be explored. May this article serve as a helpful starting point for those new to Lake Kawaguchi, and here's to a journey that becomes a treasured memory!
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