Majestic Mount Fuji is recognised worldwide as the icon of Japan; often depicted in art and photographs and visited by locals and foreigners alike for its scenic beauty and historical elements.
Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san, is the highest mountain in Japan and is known to be one third of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains”. A trip to Japan would not be complete without visiting this sacred mountain – but it’s not just the views that makes it worth visiting! We’re going to give you a couple of reasons why you should visit this spectacular location! 😄
1. Easy Accessibility!
Credit: David Hsu on Flickr
First things first! Before we can talk about Mt Fuji, we’re going to have to talk about getting to Mount Fuji! The wonderful thing about travelling in Japan is that everything has been made easily accessible for travellers, so here are the easiest ways to head to Mount Fuji via public transport.
Credit: Muza Chan
By Train: Easiest route would be to take the “direct limited express” train from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station (JR Chuo Line) which will take approximately 70minutes for 2500Yen. From Otsuki, take the Fujikyu Railway Line to Kawaguchiko Station for another 55 minutes at 1140 Yen.
*Take note that the popular Japan Rail Pass and other JR passes are not valid between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko, however the JR Tokyo Wide Pass does cover the entire journey.
By Bus: Take either a Fujikyu or a Keio Bus (there’s one or two direct buses operating per hour!) from the Shinjuku Bus Terminal to Kawaguchiko Station. A one-way journey will take approximately 2 hours and will cost 1750 Yen.
*Do take note that the Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses!
Credit: Chichacha on Flickr
The two major transportation hubs in the Fuji Five Lake region are Kawaguchiko Station and Fujisan Station, both located along the Fujikyu Railway Line. Retro buses, the Fujikko Bus or even regular buses are the best way to get around the area, depending on where exactly you’d like to go!
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it now? 😉
2. Halal Food is available!
Now that we’ve got that covered, let us entice you with some food! Okay, let us at least try to entice you with it. Despite Japanese food being one of the best in the world, (how can you say no to sushi and mochi and omg GREEN TEA ICE CREAM!) we’re aware that it can be a wee bit tricky to find halal food around some locations in Japan. But you don’t have to be worried about halal food at Mt. Fuji! There is a well-known certified halal restaurant located at Kawaguchiko named Alladin Indo Restaurant (アラジン インドレストラン) that serves delicious Indian food!
Credit: Hiracha on Instagram
Try the delicious naan and tandoori or maybe the briyani rice if you’re looking for something hearty! Vegetarian options are also available for those who don’t eat meat!
Opening Hours: 11am-3pm (Lunch) and 5pm-11pm (Dinner)
Address: 288-1 Funatsu Fujikawaguchiko Minamitsuru-gun Yamanashi
Contact No: 0555-72-6755 (+81-555-72-6755)
3. A halal HOTEL is available too!
Credit: Syariah Hotel Fujisan
Wait, what? Yes you read that right! If you’re worried about where to stay during your trip to Mount Fuji, Syariah Hotel Fujisan is here to save you! Opened in July 2016, Syariah Hotel Fujisan is a Muslim friendly hotel owned by Yamashita Shigeru in hopes of attracting Muslim visitors and travellers alike!
The hotel provides prayer rooms and prayer mats, and also provides qibla indicators in each of their available western style guest rooms. Not only that, guests can also reserve halal meals during their stay there so you’re rest assured of delicious halal meals when you’re visiting Mount Fuji! And if you’re interested to barbeque your own meals, they can provide halal meats as well 😄
Official Website: http://fuji-bb.jp/syariah/
Price per night: 5400 Yen (stay only, not inclusive of meals)
Address: Minami Tsurugun Fuji Kawaguchiko-cho Funatsu 6713-1, Yamanashi-ken 401-0301
Contact No: 0555-83-5588
4. Mountain Climbing for Thrill Seekers
Credit: Skyseeker on Flickr
Fuji san is 3776 meters high, which makes it Japan’s most prominent mountain and one of the three holy mountains. For centuries, many have climbed it as a form of holy pilgrimage; as Shintoists believe that Mt. Fuji is sacred to the Goddess Sengen-Sama, while Japanese Buddhists believe that it is a gateway to another world.
Today, travellers and climbing enthusiasts from all over the world flock to this sacred mountain. If you’re interested to climb Mt. Fuji during your visit, climbing season ranges from early July to mid September only, as climbing is prohibited during the other seasons (especially during snow season).
Make sure to study and prepare yourself before the climb! Despite how charming the mountain may be, climbing up such a high altitude poses different challenges and should not be taken lightly! It will be tiring, but it will definitely be worth it.
More information on climbing Mt. Fuji here: http://www.fujisan-climb.jp/en/
5. Beautiful Views from the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji
Credit: Guilhem Vellut Flickr
Comprising of Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko and Lake Motosuko, the Fuji Five Lakes are located at the northern base of Mt. Fuji, and is one of the best places to view Mt. Fuji from a close distance.
Credit: Yoshikazu Takada Flickr
Lake Kawaguchiko is the easiest to access of the five, and offers the most things to do and see for foreigners and locals alike! First time visitors would appreciate the views from both Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanaka. Just make sure to bring alllllll the cameras you have, for stunning views like these aren’t easy to come by! Beautiful lakes and a picturesque view of Mt. Fuji in the backdrop? Talk about a photographers’ paradise!
Access: 10 minutes walk from Kawaguchiko Station via the Fujikyuko Kawaguchiko Line.
6. Fuji Shibazakura Festival!
Credit: Kumiko Nakashima
Fuji Shibazakura (better known as pink moss or phlox moss in English) Hanami is held yearly from mid April to early June at about 3 kilometers south of Lake Motosuko in the Fuji Five Lakes area. Located at the Fuji Motosuko Resort, stunning fields of shibazakura bloom during this time, celebrating gorgeous hues of pinks, whites and purples with equally stunning contrasting views of Mt. Fuji in the backdrop!
Credit: Daisuke Tashiro
Delicious shibazakura themed food and souvenirs, alongside of shibazakura flowers are sold during this festival, attracting visitors from all around the world for a surreal experience. Try and visit during the early mornings, as it can get pretty crowded during this time!
More information here: http://www.shibazakura.jp/eng/aboutus/
7. Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park for Roller Coaster Lovers!
Credit: Bryan on Flickr
Looking for a change of scenery after being overwhelmed by the beautiful sights Mt. Fuji area has to offer? Why not spend a couple of hours at the famous Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, noted for its thrilling, record-breaking roller coasters and anime-themed rides and attractions? 😄
Credit: Nick Turner on Flickr
Located next to Fujikyu Highland Station, Fuji-Q Highland is one of Japan’s most popular amusement parks, and we’re not surprised as they’re constantly opening new rides and attractions, including Guinness World Record breaking roller coasters!!! Definitely not for the faint of heart! Families with children can also visit other kids’ attractions that are all based on popular anime series! Whatever you choose to do, Mt. Fuji is still a visible sight from the amusement park, so that’s a big plus for visitors!
Official Website: https://www.fujiq.jp/en/
Opening Hours: 9am-5pm (or 6pm on weekends/public holidays)
Fees: 1500 Yen (Entrance only)/ 5700 Yen (Entrance + Unlimited Rides)
8. Hot Springs with Mt. Fuji views!
Tired after a long day of climbing and sightseeing, and looking for the best way to relax? Do what the locals do and soak in a relaxing hot spring and feel your worries melt away. Hot springs are the best when the weather is especially cool though, so if you’re in the area during early Spring or late Autumn (or Winter if you’re brave enough to face the icy weather), make sure not to miss this unforgettable experience!
Credit: Hotel Green Plaza
If you’re looking for a private onsen as opposed to a public bath house, check in to a beautiful ryokan for an authentic Japanese stay! Just be sure to find one along the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko for guaranteed views of the sacred mountain!
9. Go Back to Nature with Fun Activities!
Credit: Jordy Meow
Enough with the laptops, smart phones and spending countless hours connected to the Internet. Travelling to Mt. Fuji allows you to go back to nature and spend time with family and friends or loved ones in a peaceful, natural setting. Not only do you have a spectacular view, you also have a wide choice of activities to choose from – from water sports, romantic picnics, exploring gorgeous green tea plantations, or even hiking in the Aokigahara Forest (this one’s a bonus for thrill seekers as well, as the forest has a backstory on its own!).
Credit: Yoshizaku Takada on Flickr
If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, then go back to basic with cycling activities, relaxing boat rides at the Fuji Five Lakes or camping at the base of Mt. Fuji! You’re sure to find something you’ll love doing here, so be prepared for some time away from the WWW!
10. Discover Japanese culture and history
Credit: Izu Navi on Flickr
Other than the sights, the food, the shopping and the climb, visiting Mt. Fuji is by itself an experience on its own. Discover the history of Mt. Fuji and why it is deemed a sacred mountain, and explore the many Buddhist Temples, torii gates and Shinto shrines around the area! “Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha” and “Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja” shrines are great to start with as they play major roles in the sacred history of Mt. Fuji!
Credit: Moyan Brenn on Flickr
You can also get a taste of traditional tea ceremonies (with a view!) while you’re here, and make sure to stay in a ryokan for the utmost Japanese experience! If you’re looking for more history surrounding Mt. Fuji, then be sure to pay a visit to the Fujiyoshida Museum of Local History!
So now that you know what to expect should you decide to visit Mt. Fuji, make sure you get your cameras ready because you’re going to take pictures like there’s no tomorrow! For ultimate views, try and go during the Spring or Fall months for the most beautiful colours surrounding the majestic mountain! See you at the peak!