Translated by Greg
Mt. Fuji, Cherry Blossoms, And A Pagoda - Discover This Iconic Image In Japan!
Do you know where to find one of the most iconic destinations in Japan? Chureito Pagoda is an internationally-known spot, with views of Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, and a five-story pagoda. We explain how to get there and how to take a great photo.
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When You Search for Japan on Google...
What appears when you enter Japan into Google Images?
Picture courtesy of Tourism Fujiyoshida
When you do, the image above often shows up. Mt. Fuji, a five story pagoda, and cherry blossoms are all captured in this iconic photo.
Have you ever wondered where exactly in Japan you can see this beautiful scenery?
This photo was taken in Fujiyoshida City in Yamanashi Prefecture.
In today's article, we explain how to get to Chureito Pagoda, a well-known sightseeing destination, the best area for photography, and tips on how to capture the most scenic picture.
Getting to Chureito Pagoda, an Amazing Sightseeing Spot
First, we will explain how to get to Shimoyoshida Station, the closest station to Chureito Pagoda when coming from Tokyo.
Getting here by train takes about two hours, and by bus it takes about ninety minutes. Please choose whichever method is most convenient for you. Both the train and bus to Shimoyoshida Station are easily accessible from Shinjuku.
|Method of Transport||Route||Fare|
|Train||At Shinjuku Station take the JR Chuo Line (Limited Express Kaiji). At Otsuki Station transfer to the Fujikyu Railway. You final stop is Shimoyoshida Station||3,930 yen|
|Highway Bus||At the Shinjuku Bus Terminal board the Shinjuku-Fujigoko Bus and get off at the
Shimoyoshida Bus stop
Next we'll give you directions from Shimoyoshida Station (Fujikyu Railway).
As soon as you exit from Shimoyoshida Station, you'll see a sign board (pictured above). Follow the arrow, then go along the narrow road on the right hand side.
From here it is ten minutes on foot to the entrance of Arakurayama Sengen Park. From the entrance of the park, it is another ten-minute walk to reach Chureito Pagoda. As we follow this route, our backs will be facing away from Mt. Fuji.
Next we'll make our way across the railway crossing and turn left (the opposite direction of the two people pictured).
As we go along the road which crosses through a field, we'll end up at an elevated expressway. Let's turn left here.
When we get to the top of the slight slope running alongside the expressway, make a right turn (there will also be a sign with direction).
After passing under the expressway and proceeding straight ahead, we will arrive at Arakurayama Sengen Park, where Chureito Pagoda is located.
This is the entrance to Arakurayama Sengen Park. Let's go up the stone steps.
From here we can see the magnificent Mt. Fuji!
This is a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji, but if you'd like to take a photo with the five-story pagoda in it, you should continue on.
However, please be aware that there are 398 stone steps that await visitors. Let's take a break first here before proceeding.
It is now time for the stairs. However, there is also a sloping path for those who have difficulty with stairs. Please choose whichever method you prefer.
You can access the top via car, but parking is limited and sometimes restricted when the park is crowded.
This time we are heading up the long set of steps to reach the stunning view.
Chureito Pagoda-Let's Find the Best Viewing Spot!
When we get to the top of the stairs, a towering red building greets us. This is the five-story wooden pagoda called Chureito Pagoda.
This structure was built as a memorial tower to commemorate those who lost their lives during World War II.
Next let's find where to take some photos.
The photography spot is on a slope at the back of the pagoda. Walk up the right hand side slope.
If we take these easy-to-climb stairs it'll be just a little farther. On rainy days it becomes slippery, so please be careful!
Just right behind the pagoda you can see a group of people. This is the observation deck that serves as our photo spot.
As the deck is only ten meters long and five meters deep, it is quite narrow. Enjoy taking your photos while being considerate towards the other visitors.
The photo that our writer actually took from this viewpoint is displayed below!
What do you think? Our writer was able to take a picture that looks almost identical to Google Images photo that appeared at the beginning of this article!
My picture was taken at the end of April. It was an ideal day for photography, with great weather and a cloudlesss sky.
The trees in the bottom half of the photo are sakura cherry trees. In mid-April, you can enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms, and in November the impressive autumn leaves make their debut.
Also, the Arakurayama Sengen Park Cherry Blossom Festival is every year during the middle of April. Along with the spectacular view, you can enjoy light snacks served at the yatai (food stalls).
Many people visit this festival and cars become prohibited at the pagoda, so we suggest walking from Shimoyoshida Station.
For details on the festival, please refer to the park's official site (Japanese).
The Best Times for Photographing Mt. Fuji!
If you've made the effort to come all the way to Shimoyoshida and climbed 398 stairs, you should visit when there is the best visibility of Mt. Fuji!
If you can, arrive in the morning. This is a suggestion from the writer of this article has resided in the area for three years. The air is crisp and there's a high possibility that the sky will be clear.
The next best time is the late afternoon. The red sky at sunset changes subtly from minute to minute, so you can capture a picture of Mt. Fuji at just the perfect moment.
This photo was taken at sunset during autumn, from the Fujiyoshida City, Shimoyoshida, 2-chome area.
During winter the humidity is low and you can get a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji.
On the other hand, the summer months can be very humid. Even if where you are is sunny and clear, the Mt. Fuji area will often be shrouded in clouds.
Clouds tend to appear around noon, so in the summer we recommend the 5:00 to 8:00 am time slot.
Relax at a Cafe after Trekking to the Pagoda
Finally we introduce a spot where you can take a break after your excursion. There's an adjoining cafe, Shimoyoshida Club at Shimoyoshida Station, where we began today's journey.
At this cafe you can enjoy coffee and a variety of drinks, as well as light meals like sandwiches. We recommend stopping by, whether you want to fortify yourself with a meal before starting your trek or relax after a long day of walking.
Capture the Perfect Picture of Mt. Fuji from Chureito Pagoda!
In addition to Chureito Pagoda, the Mt. Fuji area has countless areas with scenic vistas, including Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako.
The Shimoyoshida Station area, also offers a chance to try barhopping in Japan.
We hope you make a trip and see this breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji with your own eyes!