Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Five Lakes near the base of Mt. Fuji. I think it’s the best place to get great views of the mountain and spend a day. Last year I climbed Mt. Fuji and seeing the mountain from Lake Kawaguchiko was really cool. The lake is fairly large and there is a boat tour you can go on. There’s also biking, hiking, good eats, and spectacular views of Mount Fuji as the backdrop. If you only have a day to spend or want that iconic lake and mountain views then Lake Kawaguchiko is a great choice.
Getting to Lake Kawaguchiko
The best option for getting to the lake is by hired car or bus which takes about an hour one-way. There are several daily departures from the main train stations (Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya). Fujikyu and Keio Bus go between Shinjuku Bus Terminal in Tokyo and Kawaguchiko Station at the lake. The easy way to get a bus ticket is go to the website and purchase. Then find your way to the meeting point and go. Check out japan-guide.com for details.
My preferred way is to take a train because I think they are comfortable and fun. Just go to on of the major train stations and purchase tickets there. However, the train, although lots of fun, is not direct. Here’s what we did. It seems complicated but in actuality the journey is quite enjoyable.
- At the Shibuya train station counter we explained our destination and purchased tickets.
- Go to Shinjuku train station and find the JR Chuo Line. Then go from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station.
- From Otsuki, take the Fujikyu commuter line to Kawaguchiko Station.
- Wait for the last station called Kawaguchiko before getting off the train. The station just before Kawaguchiko is called Fujisan and so many people get confused and disembark early.
Once at the Kawaguchiko station there are buses out front that’ll take you around the lake. At the time of this writing, the Red bus goes all the way to the far side of the lake. The bus ticket window is inside the station to the right as you enter from track-side.
At the last stop on the far end of the lake are a few decent restaurants, gift shop, and a cafe. I highly recommend you try the soft-serve ice cream sold inside the cafe.
Something cool to buy from the gift shop is blueberry flavored tea. Both the tea and blueberries grow around the area and the two combined is pretty good.