Local Nature

Exploring the Icon of Japan – Mt Fuji and Five other Hidden Treasures

When you look at postcards of Japan, you’ll invariably find many images of Mount Fuji in all its majestic glory. Certainly, one can only appreciate its true greatness by seeing the mountain (which is still technically an active volcano) in the flesh, but one may not know about the lesser known treasures that surround Mount Fuji.

Tours of Mt Fuji

There are several tour companies that offer coach driven tours and even package holidays around Mount Fuji, one of which is at japanican.com

As Mount Fuji is difficult to access by public transport, a guided tour is probably the best way to explore Mount Fuji. There are various courses can take, all stopping at various points of interest. There are several stops up Mount Fuji, with vehicles able to reach stop 5, around halfway up the mountain at the highest point. Continuing further requires proceeding on foot!

In particular, at stop 5, one can enjoy the limited-edition Mt Fuji shaped Melon bread to stock up on energy should you choose to climb further up Mt Fuji.

We would also recommend to check the weather forecast for the day that you visit, as clouds can often impede the view of the mountain. The Winter months (Oct-Dec) tend to be the best for view.

Below are five other areas around Mt Fuji that you may miss if just visiting the mountain alone.

Arakurayama Sengen Park and Shrine

If you want to take a postcard quality picture on your trip to Japan, this is place to come. It has prime photo spots with a beautiful red shrine and iconic pagodas, which can be taken with Mt Fuji in the backdrop. There is a climb up the 397 step passage to take the best photographs, and is particularly spectacular during the Cherry blossom or autumn leaf (Momiji) season.

Arakurayama Sengen Park and Shrine

Address: 3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi 
Access: 20-min walk from Shimoyoshida Station on Fuji Kyuko Line
Opening Hours / Holidays: Admission Free Open all year round
Official Website: http://www.city.fujiyoshida.yamanashi.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=575

Aokigahara Forest

On a northwestern flank of Mt Fuji, situated on 30 Square kilometres of hardened lava lies Aokigahara forest. This area features tall and slim trees that mark a striking and eerie presence. There is a reason that you may feel a strange presence when you visit this forest, as it has been historically notorious as a home for ghosts, as a common place for people take their own lives due to its isolated location. The forest’s popularity has been attributed to Seicho Matsumoto’s novel “Kuroi Jukai” (Black forest of trees). Certainly the place does have a dark history to it, but still offers its fascinations to those who visit.

Aokigahara Forest

Address: Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0300

Narusawa Ice Cave

Nearby Aokigahara forest is Narusawa ice cave, also known as a “natural refrigerator”. It is one of numerous lava caves in the surroundings, which is known to be cold throughout the year (average 3 degrees). However, despite its name, the inside area is surprisingly narrow. There was an ice container in the interior, which was provided as a gift to the shogun in the Edo period. There are stunning ice formations within, but beware of your head, as the walkways are rather low in places! It is for this reason that helmets are provided to you before entering.

Narusawa Ice Cave

Address: 8533, Narusawa, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi  401-0320
Tel: +81-555-85-3089
Opening Hours / Holidays: 9:00am - 5:00pm *It depends on seasons. 
Entrance Fee: Adults 350 yen  Children 200 yen
Official Website: http://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/foreign/english/spot/052.html

Oishi Park

In the park on the northern coast of Lake Kawaguchi, if the weather is clear you can see the mountain of Mt. Fuji over the lake. Between late June and mid July, lavender flowers are in full bloom. There are blueberry themed shops and open cafés that look at Mt. Fuji in the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Centre in the park.

Oishi Park

Address: 2108-14, Atsuhara, Fuji, Shizuoka  419-0201
Official Website: http://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/foreign/english/spot/p_8334.html

Mt Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen(Fuji Lake Hotel)

#fujilakehotel #富士レークホテル #fujisan #富士山 #hotspring #温泉

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A great place to experience a bath in the great outdoors, while viewing Mt Fuji, and the most popular of the hot springs around Mt Fuji. It is a particularly tranquil experience to gaze at the night sky while bathing in the outdoor baths. Popular for day trips, this natural spring has a pH of 10.3, the alkaline environment is said to be good for beautifying the skin.

Mt Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen(Fuji Lake Hotel)

Address: 1, Funatsu Fujikawaguchiko-machi Minamitsuru-gun,Yamanashi-ken 401-0301
Tel: +81-555-72-2209
Official Website: http://www.fujilake.co.jp/english/spa.html

Let's go to Mt Fuji!

We hope this article was illuminating and arms you with the knowledge to experience the sights, sounds and experiences around Mt Fuji. There is far more to see than what is listed in this article and we look forward to you making your own discoveries!

As most areas are more accessible by car, it may be beneficial to rent a car to drive around the area if you or one of your friends has a driving license. Many of the large rental car agencies such as Avis and Hertz will have English speaking services available if necessary where cars with fitted satellite navigation can be used for day trips, or longer. The below website can also be used to search for a car rental agency near you. Rentalcars.com:Car Hire in Tokyo. Happy travelling!

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Claudia Anderson

Claudia Anderson

Author & Translator