In 2013, Japan’s first symbol Mount Fuji has finally been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Since then, Mount Fuji has been getting more popular in and outside the country.
The Fuji Go-ko are five lakes located by the mountain’s feet!
The five lakes of Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji takes place in both Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, but these five lakes all lay in Yamanashi‘s side of the site, 900 meters above the sea level.
Let’s have a look at them, starting by size:
Lake Yamanaka (山中湖)
It is the widest among these lakes, and more than 4 million visitors come to this spot during the year.
During spring and summer you can enjoy it by renting a bike or a boat.
Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖)
Kawaguchi Lake is known for the hot spring town of Fuji Kawaguchi-ko Onsen-gō located on its east bank.
The Music Forest is also by the lake, a place where you can take the ropeway to access Mount Tenjō, have a cruise on the lake, camping, have dinner at ryokans and buy local products.
Boat rentals and fishing shops are many, convenience stores sell fishing material and so on.
Lake Motosu (本栖湖)
It’s the deepest among Fuji’s five lakes, and the transparency of its water is remarkable.
Also, on the 1.000 yen note you can see Mount Fuji’s shape reflected on Mototsu’s Lake surface.
Lake Sai (西湖)
Sai Lake is a sort of dam which has been formed by Mount Fuji’s volcanic activity, and the famous Aokigahara forest takes place on its southern bank.
The lake coast is provided with two inns and other camping sites here and there.
The “Iyashi no Sato” open air museum, is located on the northern bank. Although this site is not actually an historical village, here is plenty of traditional style building reconstructions, and many of them are small restaurants and gift shops.
It is a spot where the view on Mount Fuji is particularly beautiful.
Lake Shoji (精進湖)
In Japan it is said that beholding Mount Fuji from Shōji Lake’s northern part is very special.
Also, Aokigahara Forest spreads around the lake area. There’s a legend saying that one who enters Aokigahara Forest can’t manage to get out, but excursion roads and guide panels are provided. This forest is saldy known as a place where many people come to commit suicide.
But don’t worry! The tourist side is a perfect spot where you can enjoy picnics in the parks and camping sites nearby.
The upside down Fuji
Depending on the season, many landscapes of these lakes can be appreciated.
Among those, the “upside down Fuji” is a must: we are talking about the volcano shape reflecting on the surface of these lakes, when the water is still and the weather good.
In spring, the cherry blossoms frame sorrounding the view on Mount Fuji is extremely Japanese. You can also enjoy summer leaves’ green contrast, fall’s colored foliage and silvered landscapes in winter.
Access to the area
To discover how to reach the Fuji 5 lakes area, click here!
After we got in front of the cute wooden Kawaguchi-ko Station by bus, we got a map at the tourist office and asked about some trip advices. Then, we walked to the lake, just five or ten minutes away by foot.
If the weather is nice you can surely see Mount Fuji from here.
During spring, autumn and winter most of the days are sunny, the view is awesome.
Many days are cloudy in summer but, even though you can’t see Mount Fuji, this spot makes you feel relaxed: have a bath at the hot springs and do some shopping.
While we were walking along Kawaguchi Lake’s bank I noticed many swan boats and fishermen’s boats.
There is a long bridge linking the lake’s opposite banks on its narrowest part, where the view of Mount Fuji is gorgeous.
When we visited the Fuji Go-ko during the autumn we went to Sai Lake’s Iyashi no Sato open air museum.
The sky was clear and Mount Fuji’s summit lightly covered by the snow was very nice.
Iyashi village is a place where you can experience the life of the 60s in this area.
Although it is just a reconstruction, we could totally feel like going back in time.
Close to Sai Lake, a limestone cave called Kōmori-ketsu takes place.
At the feet of Mount Fuji there are, in fact, many caves due to the past eruptions, and Kōmori-ketsu is one of those.
In ancient times this was the winter shelder of many bats, but nowadays they don’t populate the cave anymore.
You can’t see bats, but you can explore this 350 meters deep cave. In certain points the ceiling is very low, and it felt like a real adventure.
The Fū-ketsu cave isn’t far. The inside temperature is about zero degrees throughout the year, therefore it was used as a natural fridge in the past. Around the entrance of the caves, a lush vegetation, with huge trees, takes place.
If you enter the Aokigahara forest you can reach the cave called Hyō-ketsu.
This spot is very cold, so don’t forget to wear proper clothing even during summer!
Hyō-ketsu is wonderfully lighten-up, so you can see blue and purple ice stalactites and icicles.
Comparing Sai to Kawaguchi lakes, the atmosphere of the former is much quieter than the latter’s one.
Its nature and peace spread in every direction.
This was just a brief introduction about the natural spots one can enjoy around Mount Fuji. Of course, there is plenty of other interesting things to see, but what wr described before is just what impressed us the most.