Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san, is one of Japan’s most iconic and revered natural landmarks. Its symmetrical cone, capped with snow, has inspired awe and wonder for centuries. If you’re planning a trip to Japan and want to witness the majesty of this legendary peak, here are the five best places to see Mount Fuji, complete with details on how to get there, the ideal times of year to visit, and what makes each location unique.
1. Chureito Pagoda, Arakurayama Sengen Park
How to Get There: Located in Fujiyoshida City, you can reach Chureito Pagoda(忠霊塔, Chūreitō) via a 2-hour train ride from Tokyo to Shimoyoshida Station. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the pagoda.
Best Time to Go: Late April to early May is ideal for cherry blossoms, and November for autumn foliage. However, any clear day will offer a fantastic view of Mount Fuji.
What Makes It Unique: Chureito Pagoda, with its red color and five tiers, offers a captivating contrast to Mount Fuji’s serenity. The panoramic view from this vantage point is framed perfectly by the pagoda’s structure. This is certainly one of the best places to see Mount Fuji on anyone’s list.
2. North Shore of Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)
How to Get There: Take a 2-hour train from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko Station, followed by a short bus or taxi ride to your desired viewing spot around the lake.
Best Time to Go: Late autumn and early spring provide a mix of clear skies and seasonal beauty, making November a fantastic time to visit.
What Makes It Unique: Lake Kawaguchi is the most popular of the Fuji Five Lakes, with the North Shore offering unobstructed views of Mount Fuji, especially during clear mornings when the lake reflects the mountain’s beauty.
3. Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako)
How to Get There: Similar to Lake Kawaguchi, you can take a 2-hour train ride from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko Station and continue by bus or taxi to Lake Yamanaka.
Best Time to Go: Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities around the lake while taking in Fuji’s splendor.
What Makes It Unique: Lake Yamanaka is the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes and is renowned for its calm and tranquil waters, providing mirror-like reflections of Mount Fuji.
4. Mount Fuji 5th Station
How to Get There: This location is a bit more challenging to access. From Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, take a highway bus to Kawaguchiko, and from there, you can arrange a tour or a bus to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (富士スバルライン五合目, Fuji Subaru Line Gogōme, also known as Yoshidaguchi 5th Station or Kawaguchiko 5th Station).
Best Time to Go: The 5th Station is accessible year-round but is most popular during the climbing season in July and August. If you want to see Mount Fuji without climbing, late autumn to early spring is ideal.
What Makes It Unique: The 5th Station is the closest point accessible by vehicle, and it provides a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape, with Mt Fuji as its centerpiece.
5. Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), Hakone
How to Get There: Take the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Odawara, and from there, you can explore the Hakone region, which includes Lake Ashi.
Best Time to Go: Late autumn offers stunning foliage around the lake, but the views of Mount Fuji can be hazy during the summer months.
What Makes It Unique: Lake Ashi is framed by lush forests and often enveloped in mist, creating an ethereal backdrop for the elusive views of Mount Fuji. The lake itself adds a serene and tranquil element to the experience, topping our our list of the 5 best places to see Mount Fuji.
Conclusion: The Best Places to See Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is a symbol of Japan’s natural beauty and cultural significance. Each of these locations offers a unique perspective of this iconic peak, whether through framed by a stunning pagoda, reflected in tranquil lakes, or observed from its lower slopes. Be sure to check the weather forecast for the best chances of a clear sighting, and prepare for an awe-inspiring experience in the shadow of Mount Fuji.
And finally, here are 10 Amazing Facts About Mount Fuji.
- 9 Reasons for the Importance of Mount Fuji in Japanese Culture
- 6 of the Most Prominent Mount Fuji Ukiyo-e Art Prints
- Why is Mt Fuji called Fujisan?
- Introducing Two New Contemporary Mount Fuji Art Prints
- The Iconic Power of The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai
Add some zen to your space with some art from the Art of Zen shop.
Featured image at top by Chris Feser of a Chinese guardian lion at Mount Emei in China.