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19 Things to Do Near Mount Fuji: Top Sightseeing Spots in Yamanashi Prefecture

19 Things to Do Near Mount Fuji: Top Sightseeing Spots in Yamanashi Prefecture

Date published: 20 June 2021

One of the most enduring symbols of Japan, Mount Fuji is beloved by Japanese and visitors alike. And even if you don't plan to climb the mountain itself, there are lots of scenic places to visit in the area, many with lovely views of Fujisan.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Mt. Fuji
  2. 2. Takeda Shrine
  3. 3. Kai Zenkoji Temple
  4. 4. Erinji Temple
  5. 5. Fuji Sengen Shrine
  6. 6. Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art
  7. 7. Minami Alps National Park
  8. 8. Yatsugatake Chushin-Kogen Quasi-National Park
  9. 9. Fuji-Q Highland
  10. 10. Lake Kawaguchiko
  11. 11. Oshino Hakkai springs
  12. 12. Lake Yamanaka
  13. 13. Don't miss the region's Koshu Wine
  14. 14. Try Hoto, Yamanashi's Regional Dish
  15. 15. Check out the Lake Kawaguchiko Fireworks Festival and Kojosai
  16. 16. Fujisan World Heritage Center
  17. 17. Narusawa Ice Cave
  18. 18. Lake Kawaguchiko Herb Festival
  19. 19. Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka

1. Mt. Fuji

1. Mt. Fuji
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

A timeless symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji is a majestic sight to behold, near or far, at any time of the year.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The sacred volcano straddling Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures is a haven for mountain climbers in the summer, and home to some of Japan's most lush nature.

Japan's tallest mountain, Mt. Fuji is easily accessible from central Tokyo, with public transport taking you as far as halfway up the mountain.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

2. Takeda Shrine

2. Takeda Shrine
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Kofu's premier shrine, Takeda Shrine, is dedicated to the master strategist of the Feudal Era, Shingen Takeda.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

This 100-year-old shrine houses many cultural artifacts detailing the life and achievements of the legendary Daimyo Lord.

History mingles with nature when cherry blossoms line the shrine grounds in the spring, making Takeda Shrine a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization
  • Takeda Shrine
    武田神社
    • Address 2611 Kofuchumachi, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-0014
    • Phone Number 055-252-2609

3. Kai Zenkoji Temple

3. Kai Zenkoji Temple
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Built on the orders of Takeda Shingen himself, Kai Zenkoji Temple is home to the largest wooden structure in East Japan.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

This temple became a respository of sorts for the fabled warlord, who feared the loss of valuable treasures in his various battles. One such notable example is the statue of Amitabha Tathagata.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization
  • Kai Zenkoji
    甲斐善光寺
    • Address 3 Chome-36-1 Zenkoji, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-0806

4. Erinji Temple

4. Erinji Temple
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The family temple of Lord Shingen, Erinji is a sprawling yet calm temple complex on the edge of Koshu City.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The stunning Japanese gardens were designed by a famous Buddhist priest called Muso-Kokushi, and nowadays are cherished as a national treasure. The imposing Sanmon gate is also an important asset, the original gate having been burned down during the feudal era, but faithfully rebuilt.

  • Erinji Temple
    恵林寺
    • Address 2280 Enzanoyashiki, Koshu, Yamanashi 404-0053

5. Fuji Sengen Shrine

5. Fuji Sengen Shrine
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Nowadays most visitors to Mt. Fuji head straight to the 5th station halfway up the mountain, but a visit to Fuji Sengen Shrine, Mt. Fuji's true gateway, should not be overlooked.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The breathtaking corridor of cedar trees lining the path up to the shrine resembles a natural cathedral, and the shrine itself is a stunning complex of vermillion surrounded by the verdant greens of the forest.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

6. Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art

6. Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art

Located just 15 minutes by bus from Kofu Station, the wine-colored complex of the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art is home to over 10,000 works. The star of the show is the Millet collection, works by the French painter who inspired artists including Van Gogh, with some of his most famous works on display, including "The Sower."

The Museum itself is a great location to relax, with the surrounding Arts Park giving a peaceful backdrop of nature for some light recreation.

  • Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art
    山梨県立美術館
    • Address 1 Chome-4-27 Kugawa, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-0065

7. Minami Alps National Park

7. Minami Alps National Park
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

There's more to the Yamanashi mountains than Mt. Fuji! The Minami Alps National park is a dense cluster of some of Japan's highest peaks, including Japan's 2nd, 4th and 7th highest mountains (Kita-dake, Aino-dake, and Akaishi-dake, respectively).

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Minami Alps National Park is compact yet full of challenging peaks to test even the most seasoned climber, and their efforts are rewarded with some of the most incredible views of Mt. Fuji.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization
  • Minami Alps National Park
    南アルプス国立公園
    • Address Around Ashiyasuashikura, Minami-Alps, Yamanashi

8. Yatsugatake Chushin-Kogen Quasi-National Park

8. Yatsugatake Chushin-Kogen Quasi-National Park

This wide park that spans both Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures boasts lakes, white birch trees, and alpine plants, all encompassing the Yatsugatake peaks at its center.

Kiyosato and other highlands, with their pastoral scenery reminiscent of European landscapes, capture the hearts of their many visitors. Stand at the top of 5,059 ft high Utsukushi-Mori, turn 360 degrees, and take in an incredible view, including Mt. Fuji, the Minami Alps, and Oku-chichibu.

The foothills of Yatsugatake are reserved for intensive dairy farming for the production of fresh milk, as well as agricultural farming of cabbage, lettuce, and other vegetables suited to the high altitude.

  • Yatsugatake Chushin-Kogen Quasi-National Park
    八ヶ岳中信高原国定公園
    • Address Near Hokuto, Yamanashi

9. Fuji-Q Highland

9. Fuji-Q Highland

What could be more exhilarating than a rollercoaster? Why, a rollercoaster with a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji, of course!

Fuji-Q Highland is a thrill-seeker's paradise, with no less than seven rollercoasters, including the mighty Fujiyama. For those looking for a less hair-raising experience, there's plenty of fun to be had, including a Thomas The Tank Engine-themed area for children and a wide array of restaurants.

10. Lake Kawaguchiko

10. Lake Kawaguchiko
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

If you have ever seen the iconic image of Mt. Fuji reflected in the calm waters of a lake, it is almost certainly Lake Kawaguchiko.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, the area is packed with outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, and other water sports. A journey around the lake's edge is rewarding any time of the year, particularly in the Fall when trees flush a stunning array of autumnal colors.

11. Oshino Hakkai springs

11. Oshino Hakkai springs
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Known as the "Spring of the Gods" since ancient times, Oshino Hakkai Springs is a cluster of eight hot springs ("Hakkai" literally means "Eight Seas").

Once a grand lake, eruptions from Mt. Fuji separated the area into these attractive ponds, the banks of which are populated by traditional Japanese buildings. The still waters, handsome surroundings, and dramatic backdrop of Mt. Fuji make Oshino Hakkai endlessly photogenic.

  • Oshino Hakkai
    忍野八海
    • Address Shibokusa, Oshino, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0511

12. Lake Yamanaka

12. Lake Yamanaka
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The biggest of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Yamanakako offers some of Japan's best views of Mt. Fuji, with nothing but nature in view as you look up at Japan's loftiest peak.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Despite its size, Lake Yamanakako is quite shallow and at a high altitude, meaning it completely freezes over in winter. Stepping out onto the lake's surface for ice fishing is an experience you'll never forget!

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

13. Don't miss the region's Koshu Wine

13. Don't miss the region's Koshu Wine
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Koshu wine, a product of Yamanashi Prefecture, dominates the Japanese wine scene, accounting for half of all wine made in Japan.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

The roots of Koshu wine are deep and international, going back to 1877 when Masanari Takano and Tatsunori Tsuchiya studied vinification in France. Katsunuma is the densest cluster of Koshu wine production, where wine lovers can admire displays of equipment in the Budo-no-Oka ("Grape Hill") Wine Center and enjoy fruit picking in the peak season.

14. Try Hoto, Yamanashi's Regional Dish

14. Try Hoto, Yamanashi's Regional Dish
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

With mysterious origins but generally believed to be from China, Hoto is a Yamanashi speciality dish with a long history tied to the area.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

From its roots as a nutritional boost for Lord Shingen's troops during the feudal era to the present day, where it is recognized as a simple, healthy meal, Hoto should be part of any tourist's culinary adventures in Yamanashi.

15. Check out the Lake Kawaguchiko Fireworks Festival and Kojosai

15. Check out the Lake Kawaguchiko Fireworks Festival and Kojosai

The last of the annual summer festivals of the Fuji Five Lakes area, this ritual, which is said to purify and wash away all evil, originates from Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine, and consists of sending out several hundred lanterns to float in small boats over the lake.

The main ceremony is preceded by an afternoon concert, while over 5,000 fireworks bring the festival to a close as they light up the summer sky.

16. Fujisan World Heritage Center

16. Fujisan World Heritage Center

Located right at the foot of Fuji and surrounded by verdant woodland, the Fujisan World Heritage Center is an excellent port of call for anyone wanting a more in-depth understanding of Mt. Fuji and how intertwined this mountain is with the country's history and culture.

It also provides some excellent views of the mountain itself, as well as a cafe and restaurant.

  • Fujisan World Heritage Center
    富士山世界遺産センター
    • Address 6663-1 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0301

17. Narusawa Ice Cave

17. Narusawa Ice Cave

Formed by one of Mt. Fuji's eruptions long ago, Narusawa is an enigmatic exploration into the bowels of Mt. Fuji.

The cave is conveniently located just off the Mt. Fuji Panorama Line Highway. Even in the height of summer, the enigmatic Narusawa Ice Cave is frozen all year round, making it an excellent way to escape the summer heat.

18. Lake Kawaguchiko Herb Festival

18. Lake Kawaguchiko Herb Festival

Held through mid-June to mid-July, the Fujikawaguchiko Herb Festival is a surprisingly big event – even for those who never considered themselves herb enthusiasts!

Yagizaki Park and Oishi Park display an abundance of fragrant herbs and flowers, in addition to a variety of stalls selling crafts, teas, snacks, and of course, herbs. Lavender is the centerpiece of the show, with the lavender-flavored ice cream coming highly recommended.

  • Yagizaki Park
    八木崎公園
    • Address 897-1, Kodate, Fujikawaguchiko Town, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0302

19. Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka

19. Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka
©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Budo-no-Oka is a sanctuary of grapes and wine and the heart of Koshu Wine country. Perched atop a hill of vineyards in Katsunuma, visitors to Budo-no-Oka can taste and purchase about 180 brands of wine, all of which pass a vigorous quality screening by Koshu City.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Your wine can also be enjoyed from the restaurant that affords commanding views of the area. Round off your visit with a dip in the "Tenku no Yu" hot spring, with equally panoramic views.

©Yamanashi Tourism Organization
  • Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka
    甲州市勝沼 ぶどうの丘
    • Address 5093 Katsunumacho Hishiyama, Koshu, Yamanashi 409-1302
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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