The first glimpse of Mount Fuji is always the most magical; it might be from your airplane seat as you approach Tokyo, or on a clear day from the streets of Tokyo. Wherever you see it from, you’ll surely be captivated by the sheer beauty of its snow-capped peak.
Mount Fuji is actually a volcano, one that’s dormant, not dead. It last erupted in 1707, and has a eruption cycle of 300 years, so its latest eruption is slightly overdue. Nevertheless, geologists aren’t too worried and tourists should definitely not let it affect their plans. Waking up to a glorious view of Mount Fuji, however, is an even better experience and a tranquil getaway from Japanese city life (after plenty of shopping in Shibuya, of course!).
Here’s a few hotels that offer spectacular views of Mount Fuji (富士山, Fujisan) from the five fuji lakes.
Sunnide Resort at Lake Kawaguchi
Pictures of this resort are enough to take your breath away. Step out of your room and you will be greeted by Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the five Fuji lakes, which dot the northern plains of Mount Fuji. The view of Mount Fuji, seeming to rise from the calm waters of the lake, is truly unforgettable.
The resort itself is a charming and traditionally Japanese, with some rooms equipped with private, open air hot tubs (onsen). Request for such a room, if possible; immersing yourself in a warm tub of water with Mount Fuji looming over you might be just what you need to forget your work blues. Communal hot tubs are also available and are a great place to make new friends with fellow guests.
Rooms also feature lovely Japanese furniture, like tatami, a mat made of rice straw. The resort promises to allow its guests to immerse themselves in a non-pretentious, authentic Japanese experience.
Food at the resort is splendid and servings are generous. Expect many courses of traditional Japanese food, including lobster sashimi, and cups and cups of Japanese tea.
Price & Getting There
Prices start at 14,700yen per pax per night for a standard room of Sunnide Resort, inclusive of two meals. If the price is too steep, there are a few more affordable hotels near Lake Kawaguchiko.
Getting to the resort is tricky; hop on the Keio Express Bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo, which brings you to the Kawaguchiko 5th Station. From Kawaguchiko Station, take a Fuji Kyuko bus bound for Oishi Petite Pensions Mura and get off at the Sunnide bus stop (bus ride about 20 minutes).
Yamanakako Shuzanso at Lake Yamanaka
Yamanakako Shuzanso is another hotel with a fantastic view of Mount Fuji. Like Kawaguchiko Sunnide Resort, Yamanakako Shuzanso sits on the edge of one of the five Fuji lakes, Lake Yamanaka. Lake Yamanaka is the largest of the five lakes and is home to exotic species of fish, including black bass and bluegill.
The resort has both Western-style and Japanese rooms and is fully air-conditioned (hardly necessary though, considering the cool temperature of the region). Its most interesting feature, however, would be its observation deck on the top floor, which offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and its lush surroundings.
At the hotel’s restaurant, visitors will be treated to a creative fusion of Japanese and Western dishes, including pasta and ramen.
Price & Getting There
Prices start at 8900yen per night, inclusive of two meals, for a standard room. Hop on an express bus from Shinjuku Station to the Yamanakako Bus Terminal; the hotel offers a complimentary pick-up service from the terminal.
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