Area, Guides

LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO

Lake Kawaguchiko (河口湖) is the most easily accessible of the Fuji Five Lakes with train and direct bus connections to Tokyo. A hot springresort town with various tourist attractions and views of Mount Fuji is located around the lake’s eastern end, while the northern and western shores are mostly undeveloped.

The best views of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from the lake’s northern shores and are particularly breathtaking during the cherry blossom season around mid April and the autumn colors around the first half of November. One of the nicest spots for cherry blossoms is the seaside promenade near the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, while photographers will enjoy the “Momiji Tunnel” for autumn colors, a maple tree covered road section along the lake’s northern shore.

Be warned that even though Kawaguchiko is located right at the base of Mount Fuji, the mountain is not always visible because of clouds. Visibility tends to be best in the early mornings (usually before 9am) and in the late afternoons, while clouds often obstruct the view during daytime even on days with fair weather, and especially so during the hazy summer months.

Among the wide range of other tourist attractions available around Lake Kawaguchiko are hot spring baths, various museums, the Fuji Q amusement park, boat tours and a ropeway leading onto a small mountain next to the lake. Kawaguchiko is also a good base for climbing Mount Fuji, although most people start their ascent from Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station halfway up the mountain these days.

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