Today I went to the Fuji Five Lakes region to check out the state of the blossoms at some of the popular cherry blossom spots in the area specifically around the Lake Kawaguchiko area and at Oshino Hakkai. The region has an elevation of approximately 1000 meters, and the flowers here typically bloom a few days later compared to the ones in central Tokyo. I observed the flowers in the Lake Kawaguchiko area to already be very attractive and expect the blossoms to remain at their best viewing through this coming week. The cherry trees in Oshino Hakkai, on the other hand, have only just opened, and I expect the best viewing period to start by the middle of next week.

Chureito Pagoda

Full Bloom

I started my day bright and early at Chureito Pagoda, a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in the Fuji Five Lakes area. The pagoda is located on a hill and is accessed by climbing about 400 steps or walking up a winding slope. I observed the cherry blossoms here to be at their best viewing today, delighting the many early birds with me at the pagoda. I expect the best viewing period to continue for the next seven days.

During the peak of the sakura season, the observation deck is limited to 50 people each time for five minutes. Depending on the time of day, the line to get to the observation deck may be as long as an hour or more. Visitors to the observation deck are requested to respect the rules of not entering the cordoned off areas and waiting in line patiently. A sakura festival is held at the base of pagoda until April 21. Festival food stands operate during the festival period.

Kawaguchiko Northern Shore

Full Bloom

Next, I made my way to the northern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko, another popular cherry blossom spot in the region. Like at Chureito Pagoda, I found the cherry blossoms here to be very attractive, and expect the best viewing period to continue through till next weekend.

Until April 21, there is a sakura festival held at Lake Kawaguchiko. During the festival, a craft market (10:00 - 17:00) can be found along the northern shores under the numerous cherry trees. Additionally, the cherry trees are illuminated from sunset till 21:00 during the same period.

Oshino Hakkai

Blossoms Opening

The last spot I visited today was Oshino Hakkai, an area known for its eight clear ponds. The cherry trees in Oshino Hakkai tend to bloom a few days later compared to the ones at Lake Kawaguchiko, and it is a good place to see cherry blossoms when the season at the lake is past its peak. As expected, the mainstream Somei Yoshino trees had just opened and the majority of the blossoms were still in their buds. I expect the best viewing at Oshino Hakkai to start by the first half of next week.