2-Day Trip to Fujigoko (Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji) in winter 1/3
What do you think about visiting Mt. Fuji in winter and enjoy snow and Japanese high quality Omotenashi? Most people climb or visit Mt. Fuji during either spring or summer time. Unless you really love mountain climbing, many of you might want to have something extra besides Mt. Fuji viewing. For those of you who might feel that way, I would like to highly recommend “Fujigoko”, Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji. It’s the only spot you can get an overall view of Mt. Fuji. In order to enjoy a picturesque view of Mt. Fuji covered with snow, my recommendation is to stay over a night in the area. Here I would like to share how I fully enjoyed the Five Lakes and Mt. Fuji in two days so that you can use it as reference. Have a wonderful time in this highland resort, which is most close to Mt. Fuji.
8:40 Got on Chuo Kosoku Bus at Shinjuku Station
10:32 Arrived at Lake Kawaguchi
11:10 Got on Saiko Area Tour “Retro Bus”
11:50 Arrived at “Iyashi” no Sato NEMBA
12:00 Soba noodle Lunch at “Shousen”
13:00 Historical Experience, wearing the armor
14:15 Got on Saiko Area Tour “Retro Bus”
14:18 Arrived at Wild Bird's Forest Park
14:20 Visited Lake Saiko Winter Festival
15:18 Got on Saiko Area Tour “Retro Bus”
16:03 Arrived at the Lake Kawaguchi Herb Museum and Change buses
16:07 Got on Lake Kawaguchi area tour bus
16:21 Arrived at Itchiku Takeuchi Art Museum
16:30 Checked in at the hotel, “Shuhokaku Kogestu”
17:00 Got on a courtesy bus to Oishi Park
17:05 Arrived at Oishi Park
17:05 Visited "Niagara Winter Illumination"
18:00 Got on a courtesy bus back to the hotel from Oishi Park
18:05 Arrived at the hotel
20:00 Enjoyed winter fireworks from hotel room
20:20 Fireworks finish
21:00 Took a bath
22:00 End of Day1
『How to Get to Mt. Fuji』 If you plan to visit Mt. Fuji from Tokyo area, I would like to recommend “Fuji Five Lake Enjoy! ticket”. This is quite a value for money!
This special 4,350 yen per person ticket includes:
• Highway Express Bus Round trip ride (Shinjuku-Kawaguchi)
• Sightseeing Bus free ticket (either Kawaguchi and Saiko area Bus or Fujikko-go Fujikyu Bus. Ticket is effective for two days)
• Fujigoko area tourist facilities discount entrance ticket
By using this package ticket, you won’t get lost once you get on the bus at Shinjuku station and enjoy free bus ride in the Fujigoko area during your stay. Plus you have a free ticket to the tourist spots in the surrounding area. Although you might find the bus seat is a bit compact, it goes directly to your destinations in two hours. Enjoy the ride in the “Japanese- size” seat!
“Fuji Five Lake Enjoy! Ticket”
Available at Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (Not available at travel agent)
How to buy: Make a reservation for bus ride either by phone or online. Then, go to Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal and ask for Fuji Five Lake Enjoy! Ticket.
Bus Ride Reservations:
Keio Expressway Bus Reservation Center 03-5376-2222 (Open 9:00-20:00)
Fujikyu Expressway Bus Reservation Center 0555-72-5111 (Open 7:30-18:30)
Kawaguchi/Saiko Area Tour Bus
Nostalgic Japan: Saiko Iyashino-Sato Nenba (Healing Village)
『Nostalgic Japan: Saiko Iyashino-Sato Nenba (Healing Village)』 -Communicate with local people in the traditional houses-
At the Saiko Iyashino-Sato Nenba, one of the most beautiful thatch roofing houses village in Japan have been reconstructed for tourist visitors. You will notice every house is numbered for your easier reference. In the No.5 house (“Kutsurogi-ya”), local grannies will welcome you in the traditional thatch roofing house and serve you a cup of free tea and little sweets. Just sit around the fire and relax. Their great hospitality put you in a healing atmosphere regardless of language barrier.
“Hinomiya”(No.12) is an art gallery that displays Japanese traditional culture and local artworks from the Age of Civil Wars with help of local volunteers. You can try on samurai armors, ninja costume and kimono as much as you like just for 500 yen. (If you try a same thing in Kyoto, it will cost you 20 times as much.) Even if it’s first time to put on kimono, their professional staffs will assist you putting it on in 5 minutes or so on top of your T-shirt or something equivalent. Then you can go out and walk through the village. Why don’t you take pictures wearing traditional Japanese cloth with picturesque Mt. Fuji in the background? It would be a lovely post on Facebook or other SNS.
“ Saiko Iyashino-Sato Nenba "
Open hours: March-November 9:00-17:00, December-February 9:30-16:30
Closed: March-November Open every day, December-February Wednesdays except 12/31, 1/28 and 2/11
Entrance rate (used for facilities maintenance):
Adult- 350 yen, Child (6 years and above)- 150 yen
Access: Retro Bus 50 minutes from Kawaguchi Station, Get off at the Saiko 'Iyashi no sato NENBA
Soba Restaurant “Shousen” at Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nemba
『Try Famous Japanese Soba Noodle!』 Shousen’s semitransparent and chewy soba noodles are highly recommended and it has a pronounced scent. Many of soba enthusiasts take the scent of soba seriously. Their noodles are characterized by black particles of the new crop of buckwheat berries. You might get worried what they are, but they are nutritious. It is usually said darker soba noodles are good for your health. I would recommend you to eat soba noodles at first without a dipping source. You will enjoy the taste of soba noodle itself. From your second bite, to enjoy its scent and smooth sensation when swallowing, it is acceptable to make noise while eating soba.
『Eat Soba Noodles Together with Tempura』 Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. It is very popular to eat tempura together with soba noodles. Shousen’s Tempura is one of the best! Served using local fresh vegetables, they are very tasty and crunchy. Please note it takes some time to cook Tempura. So you should get to the restaurant early enough during your visit in order to enough waiting time
『Enjoy Art created by actual nature』 Saiko Winter Festival is to view frost-covered trees which can be viewed only in winter. In cold climates, frost is composed of delicate branched patterns of ice crystals formed as the result of fractal process development. Ice sculptures of "silver frost" on the trees can reach 10m and is breathtaking in the winter setting. It is full of strength and utterly impressive. At night the natural works of art are lit up for a mysterious and romantic winter atmosphere.