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Kawaguchiko in Summer | Best Views of Mt. Fuji


It has been more than 2 months since my birthday, and I've been busy running around chasing summer locations around Japan despite the heat waves. Finally I have some time to sit down and update this blog post. Autumn season will come soon (end of Nov - early Dec for Kawaguchiko area), so this will also be useful for seeing Mt.Fuji framed by the beautiful yellow, orange, and red autumn colors. 

Luxury Hotels with balcony views of Mt. Fuji

Kukuna Hotel
This hotel is on the eastern part of Lake Kawaguchi. There are two types of rooms that come with a private balcony onsen with floor to ceiling windows and a breathtaking unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji. This hotel is usually fully booked months in advance when tourists are allowed into Japan, so we took the chance to stay here while there's less overseas visitors. 

Why I love this hotel:
  • Tatami style rooms: you sleep on an elevated platform off the floor, but it's a large space, so plenty of room to roll around - perfect for those who have kids 
  • Kid friendly: the hotel provided kids size room wear including slippers. The dining area also has highchairs and kids bowls, plates, and cutlery. 
  • Dining options: they have a buffet-style dining area with delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Dinner is served in courses but you have options to choose from. 

Hoshinoya
This is a glamping hotel, nestled on a mountain side. You don't need to set up a tent, however you get to have the camping experience throughout the grounds. The rooms are in simple concrete buildings, and certain rooms have outdoor balconies with mini fire heaters to keep you warm on colder days, and a direct view of Mt. Fuji. Up the hillside behind the "cabins" is a place called "sky terrace". There are walkways leading up through the forest. There's a bar, a bonfire, and a library. In the evenings they have live music (think acoustic guitar and calm singing). 

Why I love this hotel:
  • Camping without the hassle: as I've described above, you get to be in nature, but with comfort
  • Kid friendly: they provide everything including ponchos, rainboots, and backpacks which are kid size. There's also slippers and toiletries for kids. 
  • Breakfast "picnic" box: you can enjoy a breakfast picnic at your private balcony while soaking in Mt. Fuji. This is all prepared and laid out by staff.

 




Places to visit around Kawaguchiko area

Makaino Farm

This farm is 40mins drive Southwest of Kawaguchiko. Although a bit far, this is a spot that is enjoyable for everything, as a family, as a couple, and for all ages. There's not only farm animals you can feed and pet, there's also many food options, activities and crafts. Some activities you'll have to sign up in advance, such as feeding a calf, herding sheep, and a GTV tour. From the top of the hill, you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day (unfortunately both days we went were cloudy so the photo you see is photoshopped for effects). You can even choose to camp here if you want! 

 

 




 

Oishi Park

In the summer seasons, Oishi Park has fields of lavender and also lavender ice-cream. The entry is free, and there's also a gift shop full of Mt. Fuji merch that is only sold in this area. Because the temperature is slightly cooler here, you'll also be able to find a Rose garden in the end of June/early July. 

This park is just on the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi and is easy to reach. 




Arakurayama Sengen Park & Torii in the Sky

These two places are my favorite nature spots to see Mt. Fuji. One is on the Northwestern side just up a side of a hill top is the Torii in the sky. There is no public transport up there, but it's a very easy hike up the road. 

Arakurayama Sengen Park is further west and you'll need to take a train there, or it's a short drive. If you take the steps all the way up you'll see an iconic view of Fuji along side a pagoda. 

You can read more about both these places in my previous blog from my trip to Kawaguchiko in Autumn




Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

This is a half outdoor and half indoor museum which showcases interactive musical displays (such as marble runs which play xylophone pieces, or wind chimes), and also music boxes. This paces has this whimsical feeling which makes it feel like you're in Europe! You can also dress up in some mediaeval costumes and wander around the gardens. There were roses when we went at the end of June. This is definitely a fun places for those with young kids! 

 


Getting to Kawaguchiko

From Shinjuku station, there is a train that runs directly to Kawaguchiko station. It departs Shinjuku at 8:30am and 9:30am. If you are using the JR Rail pass, please go and make reservations in advance and not on the day of since seats are most likely to be sold out. 

If you'd like to ride on the special "Fuji Tozandensha" which is a 2-car wooden tourist train with beautiful views of Fuji on the way, you can take the express train from Shinjuku to Otsuki station, then transfer to the special train. You should still make reservations as spots are limited. 

Another option is to hire a driver or rent a car yourself. The drive should be 1.5-2hrs depending on how fast you drive. 

 


Time and time again, I find myself returning to Kawaguchiko to see Mt. Fuji. There's a reason why Fuji has been loved for centuries. In all the seasons, from all directions, Mt. Fuji is ever magnificent in its beauty. And from Kawaguchiko, you can see Mt. Fuji over a lake, from a hill top, framed by cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. It's a trip that you'll never forget. 





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