Let me start my post with saying that Mount Fuji is breathtaking. It is absolutely majestic and out of this world. Visit this place if you can and stay a few days in Kawaguchiko. It is worth your time.
There are a number of places you could visit to see Mount Fuji from Tokyo. My husband and I decided we want to spend a night in a place covered by JR Pass and had nice views. Somewhere we could have nice walks even without too much touristy places. We ended up choosing Lake Kawaguhiko.
We started our journey by taking the JR trains to Otsuki and then switching to the Fujikyu Railway trains. There are faster and easier options but we decided to go this route since we had the JR Pass. Note that the whole trip isn’t covered by the pass and we had to pay extra at Otsuki. From there, we were able to take the scenic train, which was painstakingly slow, lol, but gave you a very nice view of the countryside and there were announcements on the speaker which talked about what you see on the way.
We got off the train at Shimoyoshida to visit the Churieto Pagoda. The pagoda is roughly a 15 minute walk from the station. You’ll pass through rural Japan and I swear to God I would move here in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, when we got there Mount Fuji had other plans. She did not want to show her pretty face. We stayed there for an hour hoping the clouds would disappear but with the number of tourists there (and Covid-19 being an issue) we decided to head to Lake Kawaguchiko instead.
On the train to Kawaguchiko, I Googled for specialty food in the area. Hoto Noodle Soup is a Yamanashi prefecture specialty. It is made by stewing flat udon noodes and vegetables in miso soup. Right across the station, there is this famous restaurant that serves it called Hoto Fudo. We ordered one bowl of the Hoto Soup and cold soba to share. The broth for the Hoto Soup was so good and perfect for cold weather. The real hit for me was the noodles they used. The noodles were thick and so freaking chewy. The soup itself didn’t have a lot of meat and had more veggies. It was so good I wanted to eat it again but honestly one bowl is too big for one person!
At Kawaguchiko, we didn’t really want to visit any of the touristy places. We originally only wanted to ride the ropeway to get a better view of Mount Fuji but decided against it since it was a gloomy day. We rode a bus to reach the Oishi park which was near our hostel. On the bus ride was where we got our first glimpse of Mount Fuji. IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL.
At this point of my post, I will run out of things to say so let me just share all of the wonderful Mount Fuji pictures we took as our day ended in Oishi Park.
Next morning, husband and I decided to wake up extra early to see Mount Fuji at sunrise. Surprise, we missed it. We still woke up relatively early so we got some nice pictures. The bus back to the station starts at 9:15 AM so we decided to walk all the way back. It was a long walk but it was worth it. Just look at all these photos!
By the time we got at the station, the buses were already running. Some might say that we should have just waited for the first bus back but honestly I wouldn’t do things differently. We certainly enjoyed the walk because of the small parks around the lake and Mount Fuji giving us a different view of her majestic self every few steps. Just thinking about that walk makes me want to do it all over again. I would highly recommend doing that unless you’re physically unable to or you’re fuzzy about doing a six kilometer walk in -5C weather in February.