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Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/26 07:48
We are Rethinking whether we want to do an overnight in the Mt. Fuji area Vs. doing a day trip from Tokyo. I have been advised if we decide to overnight to stay on the North side of Lake Kawaguchiko instead of where we originally booked (Highlands Resort & Spa) but which hotels/ryokans under $250 usd would one suggest? Also how is doing Mt. Fuji as a day trip from Tokyo? While it is certainly doable, It looks to me like it wouldn't allow a lot of time there but I do not know what all is in the area to do and of couse we always take the chance that Mt. Fuji won't be visible which could happen either way.
by Flying Tiger  

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/26 08:56
Do you want to go to Fuji itself (you can't see the mountain when you are on it), Hakone, or Kawaguchiko?
Also, how long do you want to look at the mountain for? Five minutes, 10? Gets a bit dull after that. Make sure you have something else planned for your day as it is a decent time commitment to get there/back for a potentially low probability of seeing Fuji, and more likely a mountain under cloud.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/26 15:53
Viewing Fuji is like paper, scissors, rock. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Staying the night gives you an extra chance of viewing it. Do note if it's summer it won't have snow on it. Finding other things to do is a good option in the area.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 00:14
Yes this is why we are struggling a bit with this. We know seeing (not hiking) Mt. Fuji is hit or miss and really do not care about the amusement part our hotel is near. Other than the ropeway and a museum, what else is there to do around lake kawaguchiko in April to spend our time? I had hoped to get some good footage of Mt. Fuji. We have 2 days to do something and thought a a visit to the area for one day would be nice after being in and around Tokyo. After here we will be headed down to Kyoto hopefully by Shinkansen part of the way. Since we are dragging luggage, I like the idea of going a few places and making day trips from there or staying immersed in that city/town. Mt. Fuji is iconic and train pictures don't do it justice so if we stay on the North shore for a night or two, where should we stay (hotel or Ryokan) and is there enough to do and see?
by Flying Tiger rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 01:45
If early April, maybe you can hit the cherry blossoms season? I'm not 100% sure on the timing of that.
If late April, perhaps you can go to the Shibazakura festival (this is the Fuji pink moss flowers you see in pictures). It is located on the west, near Lake Motosu and there will be buses that take you from Lake Kawaguchi.
There is the Itchiku Kubota Museum, Music Forest, some nice trails around the area, and generally if you stay on the north side of the lake you get a nice view of both the lake and Mt Fuji, so you can also just relax and enjoy the view from a balcony. I think this is why the recommendation was to stay on the north side, since you can only have either lake or mountain view on the south side, but not both.
As for accomodations, there are some rental villas/cabins on the north side that may fit your budget. Lake Villa Kawaguchigo, Villa Ensoleille, etc. You're coming fairly close to your travel dates, so I would recommend to check sites such as booking.com and just browse for what's available. Prices are likely high due to the aforementioned cherry blossom, Fuji flower, and also golden week season.
by Anon (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 01:55
To add, I'll be visiting Japan in early May and had entertained staying overnight in the Fujigoko area on our way to Kansai like you. However, the trip from Fujigoko to Kyoto or Osaka is not as direct or fast from my research. And my mother is also not keen on rural sight seeing being the bulk of this location's activities. So I ended up scrapping this plan. Fwiw, I did see Mt Fuji from the shinkansen window on my previous trip and it was clear as day so I'm satisfied for now.
by Anon (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 04:56
Thank you so much. Would you trade a day (1 day) in Mt. Fuji area for an extra day in Kyoto (4 days)? I see that getting from the 5 lakes area does take a while to get to Kyoto but check in is at 3 PM. Like some, I do prefer less transfer's the better as I get confused with the different rail companies.
by Flying Tiger rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 05:36
I think that is a personal choice, depending on how much you really want to see Mt. Fuji and how much of a nature vs. town person you are.
There are many sites in Kyoto to visit so adding another night will give you more flexibility. I don't know what your onward itinerary is, but Osaka and Nara are also short train rides from Kyoto for day trip options should you run out of things to do.
by Anon (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 08:58
Prices are likely high due to the aforementioned cherry blossom, Fuji flower, and also golden week season.
Prices are just high, not because of cherry blossom season. GW and other public holidays and weekends also jack up the prices. It is close to Tokyo, so many people can have an easy break from the city (like Hakone). With high demand they can charge high prices for rather average and sometimes dated accommodation.
I find the area "scruffy" rather than picturesque and there are so many onsen you can have in a day. I'm not a fan of Hakone, but I at least find it has more to do. Kawaguchiko also has the downside of being a PITA for onward travel to places like Kyoto - it consumes a lot of precious time in what are often short holidays. Extra time in Kyoto would be better.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 09:17
We (Tokyo residents) enjoyed an overnight trip at Kawaguchi-ko area.
Day 1: took the trains from Shinjuku to get there; took the ropeway for a view; lunch along the way; took the boat cruise on the lake; bus ride/partly walked to the maple leaf area (marked as gMomiji Tunnelh on the map here on Japan Guide); then to a hot spring hotel on the northern shore. Leisurely soak in the hot spring and dinner.
Day 2: Mt. Fuji was visible the next morning; took the bus back to Kawaguchi-ko station area; took a bus to the bat caves and another cave in the Saiko Lake area; stopped at the gem museum; travelled back to Tokyo.

Itfs not that there is genough to doh on the northern shore itself; you move around the lake and enjoy the scenery along the way.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/1/27 09:46
I was extremely fortunate.

In May 2016, I went to Kawaguchiko on the recommendation of a dear friend. I spent a night at Sunnide Resort http://www.ryokan.or.jp/english/yado/main/93554 on the northern shore of the lake. After an early morning train ride to Fujikawaguchiko Station , I took the bus to the Shibazakura festival area. The trip was long as it was May 5th and in the middle of GW; the traffic was horrible. I spent some time there and upon my return, I called the hotel to pick me up and take me there. I was fortunate as the weather that day was beautiful and was able to capture some good shots of Fujisan. https://i.imgur.com/0mAYkPk.jpg All I wanted was a nice, peaceful day and night there. I woke up at 3am to get night shots of Fujisan in low light and after breakfast, I took the train back to Shinjuku for lunch. It was all I wanted to do and all I needed to do there. It was just to relax and it hit the spot. I was lucky because I was clear one day and the morning was crisp and Fujisan was still visible. I won't repeat it because the likelihood of that happening again is quite remote. I has made my reservation about 5 months prior, so I was indeed lucky.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Re-thinking Mt. Fuji area 2020/2/3 23:38
I'd recommend considering renting a camping vehicle. My brother rented one from www.jomoncarrental.com when he came with his wife and two friends. They enjoyed Tokyo and Kyoto, like most tourists, but were able to make it to the lakes of Fuji at a time they knew it would be good weather, by checking on their iPhones for weather forecasts. They also made it all the way to Kumano Kodo, which for them was the highlight of the trip (natural hot springs beside a crystal clear river, where they could dip between cold and hot, for as long as they wanted, with BBQ in between & great camping spots).

You'll have a much better trip using a vehicle than taking public transport. Don't be one of those people waiting for a bus and being limited to going only where local buses take tourists to. There's a lot more to discover and stop to see along the ways. Motosu Lake is stunning and great for photography too.
by John Holts (guest) rate this post as useful

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