Following our Tokyo report earlier this week, today we headed to the Fuji Five Lakes region to see how the autumn colors have progressed. Located at the northern base of Mount Fuji and at approximately 1000 meters above sea level, the Fuji Five Lakes region is one of the best places to see Mount Fuji from a close distance. Lake Kawaguchiko is the most popular of the five lakes in the region as it is the easiest to access and offers more sightseeing compared to the other lakes. Seasonal flora like cherry blossoms, pink moss and autumn colors can also be seen in the region, adding another highlight in addition to the country's iconic mountain.

Today, I visited some popular autumn color spots in Fuji Five Lakes. I found the leaves at the spots I visited to be approaching their best, but were nonetheless very attractive already. I expect the peak of the season to start from next week and continue through towards the end of November. Additionally, there is an autumn leaves festival in Lake Kawaguchiko, which is held from 9:00 to 19:00 daily until November 23, and there are also food stalls and a craft market near the northern shore of the lake during the festival.

Chureito Pagoda

Approaching Peak

I started my day bright and early at the popular Chureito Pagoda. The place is extremely popular during the cherry blossom season, but of late, it seems that its popularity does not wane that much outside of spring. Today I found the cherry trees to have scant leaves, while the maple trees along the flights of stairs up to the pagoda were sporting shades of red, orange, yellow and green. The best colors were at the base, around the start of the approach up to the pagoda. I expect the colors to improve over this weekend and the best viewing to continue through for the next week or so baring inclement weather.

Kawaguchiko Momiji Tunnel

Approaching Peak

From the pagoda, I made my way west to Lake Kawaguchiko's momiji tunnel, a particularly scenic section of road that is lined with maple trees. Despite being fairly early, the 10-car parking area was almost full when I arrived, and I took the last spot. I found the maple leaves here to be colorful, and green was the less dominant color. The colors should improve over the next few days, and I expect the best viewing to start from next week and continue through till around the end of November.


Approaching Peak

I continued moving west and went to Koyodai, a small mountain south of Lake Saiko. The mountain's name literally means autumn color platform, and many maple trees can be found on the way up to the top, where a paid observation deck (300 yen, 8:30 - 17:00) offers visitors a 360 degree panoramic view of the surroundings. Today, I found the colors to be approaching their best and expect them to improve over the next few days.

Kawaguchiko North Shore

Peak Color

Finally, I returned to Lake Kawaguchiko, this time checking out the autumn colors around its northern shores. I found the maple leaves along the main road to be vibrant red, and expect them to remain at their best through this weekend and until next weekend at the very least. This is the main area for the Lake Kawaguchiko autumn leaves festival, which is held daily from 9:00 - 19:00 until November 23, and visitors can look forward to craft markets, food trucks and live performances. The trees along the main street are lit up in the evenings until 22:00.

Kawaguchiko Momiji Corridor

Approaching Peak

Perpendicular to maple trees along the main road is the momiji corridor, which is made up of parallel rows of maple trees along a small canal. I found that while the leaves facing the outside were vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow, the leaves on the inside were still mostly green. Nonetheless, the autumn colors were very attractive, and I expect the best viewing to continue over the next week or so. The momiji corridor is right beside the main area for the Lake Kawaguchiko autumn leaves festival, which runs from 9:00 - 19:00 until November 23, the trees along the corridor are illuminated in the evenings until 22:00.