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Lake Kawaguchiko – Mt. Fuji, Fuji-Q Highland, Art Museums, And Tips


Translated by Sandy Lau

Written by moet


Lake Kawaguchiko is a resort area by the foot of Mt. Fuji, close to Tokyo--around 1.5 hours away from Shinjuku via express train. Central Kawaguchiko offers views of the iconic Mt. Fuji, nature, hot springs, and entertainment. We introduce must-visit spots and ways to enjoy the area.

Kawaguchiko – A Mt. Fuji Resort Area Accessible from Tokyo

The Lake Kawaguchiko area in Yamanashi Prefecture, at the foot of Mt. Fuji, is a favorite vacation spot for a day trip or weekend away for many. It is around one and a half hours via bus or express train from Tokyo. In the central Fujikawaguchiko area, you can enjoy the beautiful nature, the lake, and other various entertainment, including hot springs and hoto noodles, the local cuisine.

The magnificent Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes and offers a superb view of Mt. Fuji rising in the distance. Entertainment facilities, restaurants, and hotels surround the lake. The proximity to Tokyo is another appealing feature, as it is directly accessible from Shinjuku without transfers.

Day Trip in Kawaguchiko

For those looking for a guided tour, Klook offers a day trip that leaves directly from Tokyo to the Lake Kawaguchiko and Mt. Fuji area. Don't worry about planning or figuring out your itinerary--just sit back and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and fun activities.

Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi Scenic Spots Day Tour from Tokyo

How to Get to Kawaguchiko

We recommend taking the express bus or railway if you are going to visit Kawaguchiko from Tokyo.

For those wanting to use the rain, the Fuji Excursion, which directly connects Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi and the Mt. Fuji area, is the best option. A one-way trip takes less than two hours to the last stop--Kawaguchi Station. The train is comfortable and offers beautiful scenery to riders. It is recommended to book seats in advance, as only a certain number of trips are taken each day.

The express bus is another option, as it travels from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko Station without any transfers. Without traffic, you will arrive in about one hour and 40 minutes.

After arriving at the Kawaguchiko area, using the Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Bus is very convenient. If you’ll be riding the bus multiple times, you can visit several locations mentioned below by purchasing the two-day Bus Pass (1,500 yen for adults, 750 yen for children). The pass is sold at the Kawaguchiko Station Bus Ticket Office and inside the Sightseeing Bus itself.

For information on other express and transit buses, please check the Fujikyuko Bus official website.

Another convenient option is the Mt. Fuji Pass, an all-inclusive pass that allows you unlimited use of bus and train transportation around the Mt. Fuji area, free admission to Fuji-Q Highland, and other attractions.

Shinkansen and Sightseeing Discounts Between Tokyo-Mt. Fuji! JR Flex Rail Ticket

For those leaving from Tokyo, another suggested option is booking a roundtrip Shinkansen ticket with Veltra. The ticket includes a discounted price on a roundtrip between Tokyo and Mishima, near Mt. Fuji, useable within a 7-day period. It also comes with the Tokai Bus 1-day Pass, a convenient ticket for buses in the area, and a Mishima Skywalk admission ticket, which offers gorgeous view of the iconic mountain.

See details on the Tokyo-Mt. Fuji ticket

5 Things To Enjoy In Kawaguchiko

Below we introduce five locations in Kawaguchiko you'll want to visit to make your trip complete.

1. Take A Photo with Mt. Fuji

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

First, we’ll introduce a few viewing spots where you can see Mt. Fuji clearly.

The first location is at the Kawaguchiko Amphi Hall on the north bank of Lake Kawaguchiko. Nearby you can take a photo of the large bridge in Lake Kawaguchiko with Mt. Fuji.

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The Oishi Park area, just past the west side of the lake from its north bank, is another popular spot. Here, you can enjoy Mt. Fuji seen beyond Lake Kawaguchiko together with the seasonal flower fields. From June to July is when you’ll be able to see lavender in full bloom (pictured above) across the entire field.

There are many great places on the north side of Lake Kawaguchiko with a view, so walk around and be sure to look for your favorite spot to take a photograph.

Kawaguchiko Circular Hall

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Oishi Park

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2. Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

The Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway is where you can see Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko from a slightly different point of view. The ropeway will take you up Mt. Tenjo. The ropeway was previously called the Kachi-Kachi Yama Ropeway as Mt. Tenjo is said to be the mountain where the folktale “Kachi-Kachi Yama” took place.

Once you’ve comfortably gone up the mountain by ropeway, head towards the observation deck on its summit. You can enjoy a large panoramic view of Mt. Fuji together with the foot of the mountain. The heart-shaped Heaven Bells area is also popular as a photo spot. If you’re tired, then we also recommend enjoying a snack such as dango or a matcha green tea float at Tanuki Tea Shop.

Lake Kawaguchi Fuji Panorama Ropeway

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3. Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

Next, we’ll introduce two museums that you can enjoy even in less-than-ideal weather. The first is Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum, housed in an eye-catching western-style building in a spacious garden.

Here you’ll find several highlights, including displays of large music boxes that were to be loaded onto the Titanic. There are also sand art concerts, using sand art together with music to depict stories, held three times a day.

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

Head over to the Rose Garden where you can enjoy multicolored roses on a sunny day. You can enjoy all 720 varieties of roses blooming in profusion during June when the flowers are in season.

Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

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4. Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

The second museum is the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, a museum that received three stars in the 2009 Michelin Travel Guide.

Here you will find works from Mr. Itchiku Kubota, a dyeing crafts artist, on display, housed inside splendid Japanese-style architecture. Itchiku Kubota is famous for resurrecting a long-extinct dyeing technique called tsujigahana with his own interpretation and skills. On the premises of the museum, you’ll also find a glass bead gallery, museum shop, as well as a tearoom.

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

Another special feature of this museum is that the outdoor scenery that museum-goers can enjoy. At the traditional Japanese garden which blends nature and human expertise, visitors can enjoy the seasonal changes, and each year many people are drawn by the gorgeous autumn foliage in the fall.

Itchiku Kubota Museum

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5. Fuji-Q Highland


Picture from Enjoy the Scream Machines at Fuji-Q Highland! Hotels and Access

Fuji-Q Highland is an amusement park very popular with young adults. It is most well-known for its numerous thrilling rides and attractions. The park is packed with Guinness World Record-holding rollercoasters like FUJIYAMA, Takabisha, and Eejanaika, known for their height, speed, and great angle drops.

In addition to attractions, there are also giant mazes, haunted houses, and the La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa area based on a French picture book. Hotels and restaurants are also located close by, so we suggest taking advantage of these facilities if visiting the park.

For thrillseekers, we recommend purchasing a ticket in advance. The free pass offered by Klook allows you unlimited access to the exciting rides at Fuji-Q Highland.

Fuji-Q Highland Free Pass Ticket

Fuji-Q Highland

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Relish Yamanashi Cuisine in Kawaguchiko

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Hoto is a dish we recommend for visitors searching for local Kawaguchiko food.

Hoto is a regional dish of Yamanashi, made by boiling wide wheat noodles and vegetables such as pumpkin in miso. The flavor of the dashi stock and sweetness of the vegetables go well together, giving it a deliciousness that spreads throughout the body especially in the chilly seasons. Popular in the Kawaguchiko Station area are Hoto Fudo, which has vegetarian and vegan options, and Koshu Hoto Kosaku.

Recommended Travel Itineraries For Kawaguchiko

Next, we’ll introduce a recommended travel plan which includes the spots we’ve introduced so far in this article. You’ll be able to visit enough of these spots if you have one to two days in Kawaguchiko, and visitors time to spare will easily be able to enjoy the charms of the town if they stay two nights.

Two Days in Kawaguchiko

After arriving at Kawaguchiko Station by either express bus or the railway, first head to the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway. After gazing at the wonderful scenery, take the bus to taste hoto or udon, Yamanashi specialties, for lunch.

In the afternoon, leisurely visit the art museums. After the museums, check in early if you’re staying at a hotel with hot springs or a ryokan (Japanese inn) and relax from traveling.

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Hana Terrace, a commercial facility, gazing out onto Mt. Fuji on the bank of Lake Kawaguchi

On your second day, stroll around the Oishi Park area. After exploring, take a break at a café or enjoy yourself while shopping at Hana Terrace, a facility lined with shops selling fashionable Japanese goods and sweets made with fruits produced in Yamanashi. Alternatively, you can visit Fuji-Q Highland for the day.

If you’ll be purchasing souvenirs and gifts, then we recommend the souvenir shops next to Kawaguchiko Station, Fujisan Station, and the Fuji-Q Highland bus stop.

Three Day Trip in Kawaguchiko

If you’ll be staying another night, we suggest traveling a little further and visiting Lake Saiko, located on the western side of Kawaguchiko, or Fujiyoshida.

Near Lake Saiko is a forest called Jukai where courses and guided tours are provided for visitors walking through the forest.

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine located at the entrance of Mt. Fuji’s mountain trail

In Fujiyoshida, the next town over, you can find the Chureito Pagoda, a popular photography location. Here you can see Mt. Fuji together with the five-storied pagoda, and Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, located at the start of Mt. Fuji’s mountain trail. These spots can be visited by bus or train from the Kawaguchiko area.

Seasonal Event Information

Lastly, we’ll introduce event information. There are various festivities held in each season as the flowers and autumn leaves reach full bloom in the Kawaguchiko area.

April: Fujikawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

In Kawaguchiko, the cherry blossoms reach their peak annually around the middle of April. You can see rows of cherry blossom trees along the shore on a walking trail near Kawaguchiko Amphi Hall. During this period, you can enjoy snacks at food stalls set up near the lake.

April to May: Fuji Moss Pink Festival

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

After the cherry blossom season is over, next comes the shibazakura (moss pink) season. The sight of the ground carpeted in a brilliant pink is stunning.

June and July: Herb Festival (Yagizaki Park and Oishi Park)

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

At Yagizaki Park (Japanese) and Oishi Park, both known as photo spots where you can clearly see Mt. Fuji. The lavender are in season from June to July.

November: Autumn Leaves Festival (Maple Corridor)

5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko

Picture courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The autumn leaves will change to bright red slightly earlier than in Tokyo, starting from the end of October or beginning of November. Several food stalls will be lined up in the area of the Maple Corridor, located on the north bank of Lake Kawaguchiko.

The elevation of the Kawaguchiko area is high, so it becomes very cool in the winter. However, by braving the cold you’ll be able to see an even more beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. The snow on Mt. Fuji will melt during the summer between June to September, so we recommend coming during other seasons if you want to see Mt. Fuji covered in snow.

We also recommend traveling via a rented bicycle on days with suitable weather. There are several rental bicycle shops such as fujisanbike in front of Kawaguchiko Station.

Enjoy Kawaguchiko in Every Season

This article introduced must-visit places and ways to make the most of your trip in Kawaguchiko. There are aspects of this area to explore, from the great outdoors and viewing art, to local foods and riding thrilling attractions. All these things are in a location conveniently accessible from Tokyo.

There are still many more places to visit in the Fuji Five Lakes area not mentioned in this article, like Lake Yamanakako and Lake Saiko, located nearby. Take time to visit this area while appreciating scenery of each season.

Main image courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.