Written by Milan
Fall In Love With Mount Fuji - 3 Autumn Photo Spots In Fujiyoshida
Autumn is one of the best seasons to see and capture the picturesque Mt. Fuji on camera. Fujiyoshida City in Yamanashi Prefecture is the northern gateway to the active volcano and a place where it is visible from anywhere you look up.
Have you ever wanted to take a beautiful picture of Mount Fuji? If you have, then read on as this article introduces three places in Fujiyoshida where you can take amazing pictures of Mount Fuji and the autumn landscape.
It also includes some tips for you to take a picture worthy of hanging on the living room wall to show off to friends, family or fellow photographers.
Prepare for the Photo Trip to Mount Fuji
It's best to check the weather around Mt. Fuji before you go. If it's cloudy you won't be able to take a good picture of the peak. The morning hours are best as the sunlight is softer and not as harsh as around midday.
For detailed information on Mt. Fuji, please check out this article: Mount Fuji - How To Get There, Climbing Guide And Other Tips.
You can pack a picnic basket or just stop at one of the many convenience stores along the way to Fujiyoshida. In any case, don’t forget to take your camera and your creativity.
Train from Tokyo to Shimoyoshida Station
You can get to Arakurayama Sengen Park (Chureito) by train but having a car makes it easier to get to many scenic places in Fujiyoshida City. Check out Tabirai for hassle-free car hire.
If you take the train, get off at Shimoyoshida Station, exit then turn right and walk towards the train crossing. Don't forget to take a small slip which has the timetable for Kawaguchiko and Otsuki Stations.
Once you cross the train tracks to the other side, turn left and follow the path to the park which will take about 15 minutes.
Photo Spot No. 1: Arakurayama Sengen Park and the Chureito Pagoda
This magnificent shrine gate (torii) and a path lined with Yoshino cherry trees will welcome you to the Arakurayama Sengen Park.
Don’t let the 398 steps scare you. Trust me, the view is worth every huff and puff, so take your time climbing up, and enjoy the view of the Yoshino cherry trees, 650 in total, which are charming in spring with Mt. Fuji in the background.
Standing 19.5 m tall, the vermilion-lacquered five-story Chureito Pagoda was built in 1958 to commemorate those who died from the first Sino-Japanese war in 1868 to World War II. It is known as a “symbol of Japan” in textbooks around the world.
Beware of these animals who also love looking at Mt. Fuji.
You too can capture this iconic photo angle that many magazines and publications produce, just make sure that it’s not cloudy. The season to climb Mt. Fuji officially closes on September 11th due to the snow that makes the trail impassable from the 5th station up.
Believe me, it looks even better in real life.
Since the slope area on the right is the perfect spot to take postcard photos of Mt. Fuji and the pagoda in one scene, it's always crowded so tripods are not allowed.
It is midday and the clouds have started rolling in so why not take a lunch break while gazing at Mt. Fuji, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
Access to Arakurayama Sengen Park and Chureito Pagoda
It's 20 minutes on foot from Shimoyoshida Station. By taxi from from Mt. Fuji Station it takes 10 minutes and costs about 1,200 yen. The parking lot caters to 87 regular cars.
Photo Spot No. 2: Kaneyama Waterfall
You can hear the sound of the Kaneyama Waterfall crashing and feel the crisp cool breeze as you cross the busy road from the Fujisan Museum car park and walk down the uneven steps and into Fujimi Park.
Kaneyama Waterfall is a scenic spot where you can relax at, listen to the sounds of nature and, of course, take photos. The water comes from Lake Yamanaka and flows toward Fujiyoshida city via the foothill village of Oshino. The rocks around the waterfall are formed from lava and the basin is deep so do take care especially just after heavy rains.
This place confirms the old saying that "the best things in life have free entry".
If you want to go beyond the waterfall safely, you must go back on to the main road and walk around.
While strolling, you can hear the sound of the stream that is as peaceful as staring at the maple leaves.
Don’t let this electric fence mistake you for a bear looking for honey!
The falls is conveniently located near the national road ROUTE 138 and across the street from the Fujisan Museum (the former Fujiyoshida Museum of Local History). The nearest train station is Fujisan Station and the closest highway bus stop is Oshino iriguchi.
Photo Spot No. 3: Fujisan Museum Area
If you're wondering why people are so fascinated by Mt. Fuji or why it became the object of religious reverence, then head over to the Fujisan Museum to find the answers through the interactive exhibitions. The entry fee for adults is 400 yen and for students 200 yen. The museum is open from 9:00 to 17:00 except Tuesdays when it's closed.
Around the area, there is a park which allows visitors to get artistic with their cameras. Beyond the trees is Miyashita Cottage, an example of old architecture.
Hanging outside the walls of the two cottages are persimmons (kaki) which were first cultivated in China and are said to have healing properties. The sweet edible variety is called “amagaki” while the bitter variety pictured here is called “shibugaki” which can be seen hanging outside farmhouses to be dried for days in the harvest time of October and November to bring out the sweetness.
You can enter for free and visit the Miyashita Cottage, a place that will help you understand how people used to live here in the past.
Access to the Fujisan Museum Area
From Mt. Fuji Station, take a 15-minute Fujikyu Bus bound for Lake Yamanaka and get off at Sun Park Fuji-mae. By taxi from Mt. Fuji Station it takes 15 minutes and costs about 1,500 yen. The car park is free.
Give It Your Best Shot!
You’ll find yourself taking more photos than your battery can handle in Fujiyoshida because of the many scenic spots. Are you up for the challenge of taking creative and unique photos of the mighty Mt. Fuji?