Fuji san is a famous icon of Japan and from the moment I started to approach Fujiyama I realise why. The closer you get, this beautiful mountain starts to dominate the horizon making it the only thing you can see.
Fuji san on the horizon from Shinagawa
30th of December was the day we went to see Fuji san and thank god, it was a chilly, dry, winter day with clear, blue sky.
We took a highway bus from somewhere in Tokyo, headed to Fuji Q highland, the theme park near Fuji san.
Bus trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
Once there, we walked from the bus stop until we found a temple, the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine dedicated to Fuji san Shinto deity. Here, we could see the snow accumulating and decorating every element of the temple making it even more charming.
From the temple we returned to the main road which we walked up towards a very famous spot in the area. On our way, we decided to stop at a restaurant along the road for our lunch.
Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine perfect to take those great shots
As with so many other moments, there is no picture of this lunch, however I remember that we ordered the buta niku donburi, the rice bowl covered with pig meat. It was fatty, juicy and perfectly seasoned.
Looking for Lunch
Ready to resume our walk and burn those calories, we walked up to the Shimoyoshida Station and then climbed the nearly 400 steps up to the Chureito Pagoda to see for ourselves the very famous view of Fuji san.
The perfect clear blue sky made it even more worthwhile, the view was unbelievably beautiful making it the perfect place for, at least, an half an hour rest to take in the air and the view.
The traditional view from Chureito Pagoda
Now… from here we walked back to the station and got totally lost on our way back. (I almost drew a big ‘?’ on the map in the Tourism section).
I know that we followed the roller coasters on the horizon, eventually going underneath some of them, passing some exhibit of Evangelion and then surging back near the Fujiyama Onsen.
A picture of the town at the base of Mount Fuji
And so we made it to our last stop for this day, the Fujiyama Onsen, completely unplanne. We decided to go in and this was the best thing we could have done. My first Onsen experience in Japan and the perfect way to end our exhausting day near Fuji san.
When the day was done, we took our bus back to Tokyo and then the train and monorail back to Shinagawa.
This picture was from Google Maps. Remember it is not allowed to take pictures in Onsen!
There are a lot of ways to get to Fuji san by either train or bus. By train, you can get to Fuji, Fuji Q and Kawaguchiko stations by taking the Tokyo/Shinjuku – Kawaguchiko train that runs everyday but I was not able to find much information about this train so make sure you go to the tourist office and they can help you always with train’s schedules and itineraries.
Some of the train connections require at least one change, so the bus may be a good alternative. You can take a direct bus there with different companies that leave from Tokyo to Fuji Q Highland or Kawaguchiko Stations. Usually these busses will leave from Shinjuku and the trip can cost around 18 dollars.
In this map of the area from Google maps, the grey line on the top signal the JR train lines to Fuji and Kawaguchiko stations, it’s somewhat far away from Mount Fuji if you plan to hike.
The area can be quite expansive depending on what you are planning to see. Famous here are hiking Mount Fuji, seeing the Fuji 5 Lakes, visiting the Fuji Q Highland roller coasters and relaxing at the Onsen.
You can find all of these locations on the map bellow. I cannot say from experience what you can visit in the Fuji five lakes, but I can definitely recommend the Onsen, just make sure you study the correct procedure as there was no information when we went there.
Never forget to fully and thoroughly wash your body before getting in the water and remember to keep your hair tucked and out of the water
What would I do differently
I think we wasted a lot of time when we got lost. If that hadn’t happened maybe we could have used the time differently. However, I was not too annoyed by this because getting lost is also a way of seeing more than the beaten path (and this is exactly why we got lost).
I am really glad we went to the Onsen, it’s the perfect way to relax after a day walking, and that the sky was really clear blue. We were lucky, otherwise on a cloudy day the view of Fuji will not be this gorgeous. So do check the best day for visiting.
Next post will finally be about new year’s eve in Japan a really cool experience we were lucky to have, there was great energy all around.
However, I am afraid I will not be able to post for a while, I will be taking a vacation for the next two weekends. I wanted to leave the posts pre written and publish them remotely, but work has been crazy these last couple of days, and I did not have the time.
I’m really thankful for the new people following my blog, thank you, and I hope I can keep you interested for the next posts. Have a great time and safe travels everyone, see you soon!