Mt. Fuji has been an iconic representation of Japan. It’s one of the imperative identities of the country. The mountain contributes to the country’s natural features. Being such, it made its way to the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites in 2012. It is designated as “cultural” heritage site rather than “natural” since chosen due to its sacredness and a source of artistic inspiration to its people.
Fuji san is Japan’s tallest mountain. It bestrides the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures but you can also view it at some part of Tokyo if you’re lucky since it’s just 100 kms from the city. Mt. Fuji is a solitary beauty that become so popular to both Japanese and foreign tourists. This admired peak is 3,776 meters in height and rises above villages, sea and lakes – adding beauty to its exquisiteness.
There are many spots to view Fuji san but it needs luck and prayer to have even a glimpse of its crest. They say weather starting from October makes this stratovolcano shy and hide itself behind clouds from wishful tourists. Luckily on our recent visit, we were provided with a good weather and opportunity to take some snaps before it played hide-and-seek on us.
1. Arakura Sengen Shrine
This is where Chureito Pagoda is located which offers stunning view of Mt. Fuji. Fuji san, together with the pagoda allows you to capture superb shots. That is, if clouds are friendly enough to share the mountain with you. 🙂
- Public Transpo – The shrine is a 10-min walk from Shimo-Yoshida station (Fujikyu Railway Line). The pagoda is located up the hill so it will take another 5-min walk on the way up.
- Car – You can access it HERE for navigation. There is a road leading to the park next to the pagoda but driving up is not allowed during peak seasons on spring and autumn time.
- Fee: Entrance and parking fees are FREE.
- There are advantages if you’ll take the stairs going to the pagoda. There are angles to view the mountain all the way up that may suit your photography preferences. There may be about 400 steps but the views are worthy to lose some calories.
- Schedule your stopover here in the morning. Clouds are not that gracious to your camera lens in the afternoon. 😀
2. Kachikachi Ropeway
A ropeway that will bring you to the summit of Mt. Kachikachi in just 3 minutes. The observation area is elevated at 1,075 meters and offers panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.
- Public Transpo – To reach the ropeway entrance requires a 15-min walk from Kawaguchiko Station. Or if you prefer to take a bus, a 10-min bus ride from the station and get off at Ropeway-mae bus stop.
- Car – Map can be accessed HERE. Parking is available across the Fujiyama Cookie store. Parking fee is FREE but subject to availability due to number of tourists visiting the place.
- Fees: You can visit the site directly for possible savings if you want to avail their other services and packages. Click HERE.
3. Lake Kawaguchiko Excursion Ship “En Soleil“
“En Soleil” means “get a lot of sunshine“. You can really get a lot of it if you are in its observation deck on a sunny day. The deck is an open area where you can enjoy the views of Mt. Fuji from the lake. Enjoy also the breeze from the refreshing wind of the lake. The voyage takes approx. 20 mins, as it turns back before it reaches Unoshima Island.
- Access: The ticketing booth for the excursion ship is just walking distance from Kachikachi Ropeway’s entrance.
- Fee: Jpy750 if you have ropeway tix yet purchased separately from the boat’s; Jpy1,500 if ropeway plus excursion boat; and Jpy1,000 for regular price.
- Fuji is on the left side of the ship upon leaving the shore. As the ship turns around, get your camera ready and transfer to the right side.
- Decide beforehand if you wanted to ride both the ropeway and the ship. There can be lesser prices upon purchase if you avail the two in one time ticket-buying.
Enjoy and have fun!