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The 18 Best Things to Do Around Lake Kawaguchi: Sightseeing, Shopping, Dining, and New Openings in 2023

The 18 Best Things to Do Around Lake Kawaguchi: Sightseeing, Shopping, Dining, and New Openings in 2023

Date published: 22 September 2023

Looking for things to do around Lake Kawaguchi? Situated in Yamanashi Prefecture at the foot of Mount Fuji, this area offers scenic boat rides, panoramic cable car views, and captivating sights of Japan's most famous mountain.

Experience the beauty of cherry blossoms in spring, vibrant foliage in fall, and snow-draped winters. Seasonal fruit picking is also popular. Here we'll share a curated list of fun activities in the area, including amusement parks, traditional kimono experiences, hot springs, and shopping delights.

Main image: Klook

Table of Contents
  1. Lake Kawaguchi - The Highly Popular Tourist Destination Near Mount Fuji
  2. Getting Around Lake Kawaguchi: Trains, Buses, and Rental Car
  3. Top 6 Recommended Tourist Attractions Around Lake Kawaguchi
  4. 6 Recommended Fun Experiences Around Lake Kawaguchi
  5. 3 Recommended Shopping Destinations Around Lake Kawaguchi
  6. Top 3 Must-Try Delicacies in Lake Kawaguchi
  7. Popular Annual Events and Festivals Around Lake Kawaguchi
  8. Helpful Links to Plan Your Trip to Lake Kawaguchi!
  9. Recommended Tours & Activities Around Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchi - The Highly Popular Tourist Destination Near Mount Fuji

Lake Kawaguchi's famous "Reverse Fuji" (Photo: PIXTA)
Lake Kawaguchi's famous "Reverse Fuji" (Photo: PIXTA)

Lake Kawaguchi is a major tourist hotspot near Mount Fuji and with highway bus routes and the Fujikyuko Line offering a direct route from Tokyo, it's conveniently accessible.

The area boasts a wide range of accommodations and attractions. Visitors can relax in hot springs with a view of Mount Fuji, enjoy various outdoor activities, and experience beauty in every season.

Additionally, Lake Kawaguchi offers the stunning "Reverse Fuji" view, in which Mount Fuji's reflection is seen perfectly on the lake's tranquil surface. This captivating sight alone draws many visitors to the area every year.

Getting Around Lake Kawaguchi: Trains, Buses, and Rental Car

Mount Fuji Climbing Train on the Fujikyuko Line (Photo: Fujikyuko)
Mount Fuji Climbing Train on the Fujikyuko Line (Photo: Fujikyuko)

Most tourists traveling to Lake Kawaguchi use trains or highway buses. Train choices include the direct Fuji Excursion from Shinjuku Station, JR Chuo Line expresses like Azusa and Kaiji, and other JR trains. The "Tokyo Wide Pass" is beneficial for international tourists, valid for these train routes and providing flexibility in choice.

For those coming from places like Tokyo Station, Shinjuku, Narita Airport, or Haneda Airport, highway buses are available. Despite varying arrival times due to traffic, they're favored by international visitors for their convenience and cost-saving benefits. For in-depth information about access:.

In addition to the Fujikyuko Line train, another popular transport choice in Lake Kawaguchi is the Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Bus (Red Line). Consider buying the "Mt. Fuji Pass" for 1, 2, or 3 days, which grants unlimited rides on the Red Line and other buses in the vicinity of Mount Fuji. Many local attractions also offer free entry or discounts with this ticket. Plus, it covers round-trip rides on the Fujikyuko Line to Tokyo, making it both affordable and handy!

Renting a car is a fantastic way to explore Lake Kawaguchi. Numerous car rental agencies, including Toyota Rent-a-Car and Nippon Rent-A-Car, are conveniently located near Kawaguchi Station. Given that most tourist spots around Lake Kawaguchi provide parking, it's an ideal option for families looking for a day of adventure.

Top 6 Recommended Tourist Attractions Around Lake Kawaguchi

Oishi Park: Enjoy the Natural Beauty of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

Oishi Park: Enjoy the Natural Beauty of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

Oishi Park, located on Lake Kawaguchi's northern shore, features walking trails lined with seasonal flowers. From spring's cherry blossoms to summer's lavender and autumn's broom grass, there's always a display to admire. It offers a stunning Mount Fuji view, opportunities for great photos, and on clear mornings, the captivating 'Reverse Fuji' reflection. It's a top attraction when visiting Lake Kawaguchi!

  • Oishi Park
    大石公園
    • Address 2525-11, Oishi, Fujikawaguchiko Town, 401-0305
    • Hours: open 24 hours
      Admission: free

Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine (Chureito Pagoda): The Pagoda With Mount Fuji View

Photo: Klook
Photo: Klook

The renowned photo of the Chureito Pagoda with Mount Fuji behind isn't digitally crafted—it's taken at the Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine, just a 10-minute walk from the Shimoyoshida Station on the Fujikyuko Line. To get to the viewing deck, you'll climb a lengthy staircase, and, be aware, there may be crowd control measures in place during peak times. But on clear days, the view of the pagoda and Mount Fuji is unbeatable. Particularly during April's cherry blossoms and autumn's maple leaf season, the spot buzzes with visitors. Its proximity to Lake Kawaguchi makes it a highly recommended stop.

  • Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine
    新倉富士浅間神社
    • Address 2-4-1 Asama, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0031
    • Official website (in Japanese): <a href=" https://www.arakurafujisengen.com/"> https://www.arakurafujisengen.com/</a>

Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum: A Quirky Taste of Europe

(Photo: kkday)
(Photo: kkday)

On Lake Kawaguchi's shores, the Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum features a grand European-style garden. Fairy-tale-like countryside homes sit nestled amidst the verdant surroundings, with Mount Fuji further enhancing the beauty. Inside, visitors can observe a unique assortment of music boxes and automated musical instruments from around the globe. Live performances entertain regularly, and the gift shop is full of fun keepsakes. This tranquil attraction is a favorite and highly recommended visit.

  • Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
    河口湖音楽と森の美術館
    • Address 3077-20 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0304
    • Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
      Closed: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & occasionally other days
      Admission:
      Weekdays - adults 1,800 yen, college & high school students 1,300 yen, junior high students 1,000 yen
      Weekends/Holidays - adults 2,100 yen, college & high school students: 1,600 yen, junior high & elementary school students: 1,000 yen.
      (Note: Prices may vary, especially during peak seasons. Check the official site for exact details.)
      Website:<a href="https://kawaguchikomusicforest.jp/en/">https://kawaguchikomusicforest.jp/en/</a>

Lake Kawaguchi Maple Corridor: Capture Autumn's Beauty Alongside Mount Fuji

(Photo: Klook)
(Photo: Klook)

The 'Lake Kawaguchi Maple Corridor' is a 150-meter path on Lake Kawaguchi's northern edge, featuring 400-500 maple trees. From early to mid-November, it dazzles with fiery reds and oranges, creating a tunnel of autumn foliage. From late October to late November, it's part of the Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival, and in the evening, the corridor is brilliantly lit, drawing worldwide maple admirers.

Nearby attractions include the Kawaguchiko Music Forest Art Museum, Kubota Itchiku Art Museum, and Kinohana Art Museum. The Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Bus (Red Line) from Kawaguchi Station takes you to the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum, and a 20-minute walk leads to the Momiji (Maple) Corridor.

2023 Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival Event Date
  • October 28 - November 23, 2023
  • Kawaguchiko Momiji Corridor Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival
    河口湖もみじ回廊 富士河口湖紅葉まつり
    • Address Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0304
    • Hours: open 24 hours
      Admission: free
      Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival Webpage:<a href="https://fujisan.ne.jp/en/pages/433/">https://fujisan.ne.jp/en/pages/433/</a>

Fuji-Q Highland: Theme Park Thrills with a View of Mount Fuji Against the Blue Sky

(Photo from past article a0004125)
(Photo from past article a0004125)

Fuji-Q Highland is a top amusement park in the Kanto region, offering panoramic views of Mount Fuji. The park is home to diverse attractions, including record-setting roller coasters, rides, themed areas, hot springs, and art museums. Entry is free, allowing visitors to browse, shop, and eat, with the option to buy ride tickets individually.

Easily accessible, it's connected to the Fujikyuko Line's Fuji-Q Highland Station and is accessible via direct highway buses from Tokyo stations, making it perfect for a day trip. The travel time is around 2 hours.

(Information and photos: PR TIMES)
(Information and photos: PR TIMES)

On July 20, 2023, Fuji-Q Highland debuted its latest roller coaster, "ZOKKON." The ride mimics the sensation of being on a motorcycle. Using linear acceleration, it sends riders on spins, loops, in reverse, and rapid dashes. Additionally, riders enjoy a unique soundtrack by the Japanese band "SEKAI NO OWARI," composed specially for "ZOKKON," played from built-in speakers. It's an electrifying ride and a top attraction at Fuji-Q Highland.

Fuji Gateway: A Relaxing New Haven for Family Fun in the Mount Fuji Area!

(Photo: PRTIMES)
(Photo: PRTIMES)

Launched in April 2023, Fuji Gateway is a multifaceted venue blending luxury camping, forest escapades, and tailored outdoor hiking tours. It features well-furnished camping zones, woodland adventure setups, and tailored Mount Fuji hiking expeditions. For a laid-back visit, the 'CLUB HOUSE' shop offers local craft beers, Mount Fuji souvenirs, and a welcoming café. A complimentary shuttle between Fuji Gateway and Kawaguchiko Station ensures easy transport.

This sanctuary lets visitors immerse themselves in the relaxed ambiance of the foot of Mount Fuji. Witness children delighting on the sun-kissed meadows and escape the daily grind in this peaceful setting.

  • FUJI GATEWAY
    フジ ゲートウェイ
    • Address Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0301
    • Hours: Vary by area, refer to website for details.
      Website: <a href="https://fuji-gateway.com/en/"> https://fuji-gateway.com/en/</a>

Bonus: Where to Snap the Perfect Photos of Mt. Fuji

Lake Kawaguchi is home to numerous iconic photography locations showcasing Mount Fuji's splendor. If your schedule allows, be sure to visit these spots for unforgettable photo opportunities!

Mount Fuji Photography Checklist:
  1. The 'Kawaguchiko Ohashi Bridge' where you can capture a complete view of 'Reverse Fuji.'
  2. The 'Honcho Shopping Street' with its retro charm as a backdrop.
  3. The renowned 'Oshino Hakkai' village, often claimed to offer the most beautiful view of Mount Fuji in Japan.

6 Recommended Fun Experiences Around Lake Kawaguchi

Take Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway to Tenjozan Park for a Bird's-eye View of Mount Fuji

(Photo from past article a0004124)
(Photo from past article a0004124)

The Lake Kawaguchi Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway leads to Tenjozan Park. Its station, Kawaguchiko Station, is a 15-minute walk from Kawaguchiko Station. You can walk or use the Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Bus. From the base, it's a brief 3-minute journey to Tenjozan Park Station, located at an elevation of 1,075 meters.

Mt. Fuji Dumplings and Mt. Fuji at Civet Tea House (Photo from past article a0004937)
Mt. Fuji Dumplings and Mt. Fuji at Civet Tea House (Photo from past article a0004937)

On the ropeway ride, you'll get sweeping views of Lake Kawaguchi and see Mount Fuji from various perspectives. The ride is especially captivating in autumn and winter, as the foliage enhances the landscape's allure.

  • Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
    ~河口湖~ 富士山パノラマロープウェイ
    • Address 1163-1 Asakawa, Fujikawaguchiko Town, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0303
    • Hours: Weekdays 9:30 AM - Last Ascent 4 PM (Last Descent 4:20 PM); Weekends and National Holidays: 9:30 AM - Last Ascent 5:00 PM (Last Descent 5:20 PM)
      Closures: None, open daily
      Website: <a href="https://www.mtfujiropeway.jp/en/"> https://www.mtfujiropeway.jp/en/</a>

Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Boat 'Appare': Spectacular Views of Mount Fuji!

(Photo from past article a0004937)
(Photo from past article a0004937)

A Lake Kawaguchi boat ride is really fun! The Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Boat 'Appare' is designed after naval ships from Japan's Warring States era. The 20-minute journey offers breathtaking views, especially on clear days with Mount Fuji in the background. On good days, you can stand on the deck for an unobstructed view. The tranquil lake paired with Mount Fuji's grandeur is truly captivating. And if conditions are right, you might even witness the enchanting 'Reverse Fuji' reflection!

  • Lake Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Boat 'Appare'
    河口湖遊覧船「天晴」
    • Address 4034 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0301
    • Autumn Season: September 1, 2023 - October 31, 2023
      Open: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM (last departure)
      Tours: Every 30 minutes (Frequency may change depending on the season)
      Closed: Operating conditions may vary due to weather and other factors.
      Website (Japanese/English): <a href="https://www.fujigokokisen.jp/contents/en/"> https://www.fujigokokisen.jp/contents/en/</a>

Lake Kawaguchi Canoeing: Paddle with Freedom in the Realm of Mount Fuji

(Photo: kkday)
(Photo: kkday)

Speaking of boating, you can actually canoe on Lake Kawaguchi, too. 'Fuji Roam' offers various outdoor adventures, including canoeing excursions on the lake with an English-speaking instructor. All the necessary gear, including life jackets, is provided, and beginners are welcome. Canoeing offers an intimate view of Lake Kawaguchi and magnificent Mount Fuji.

There are multiple options available, ensuring you can select the perfect experience for your preferences.

  • FUJIMANYUSHA
    富士漫遊社株式会社
    • Address 861 Katsushiyama, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0301
    • Website: <a href=" https://www.fujimanyu-sha.com/en/"> https://www.fujimanyu-sha.com/en/</a>

Pick and Enjoy Fresh Seasonal Fruits to Your Heart's Content in Yamanashi Prefecture

(Photo: Klook)
(Photo: Klook)

For many Japan visitors, fruit-picking is a dream come true. Near Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi, numerous orchards often team up with travel agencies to offer bus tours with fruit-picking sessions. Each season highlights a specific fruit: peaches in July-August, Kyoho grapes in August-September, Muscat grapes in September-October, and strawberries from December-May. Within a set time, you can savor as much fruit as you wish, making it a delightful treat for your palate!

Wear a Kimono and Take Pictures with Mount Fuji at 'Kimono Experience MEGUFUJI'

(Photo: Klook)
(Photo: Klook)

Dressing in a kimono and doing a photo shoot with Mount Fuji as a backdrop is a quintessential Japanese experience many tourists dream of. Near Kawaguchiko Station on the Fujikyuko Line, "MEGUFUJI" offers kimono rentals for all genders and ages, from elegant kimonos to hakama and even children's attire. Don your kimono, explore the sights, and immortalize your experience with stunning photos!

  • KIMONO MEGUFUJI
    KIMONO MEGUFUJI
    • Address 2-7-13 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi 403-0005
    • Facebook Page: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tokyokimonomegu/"> https://www.facebook.com/tokyokimonomegu/</a>

Fulfill Your Dream of Soaking in a Hot Spring with a View of Mount Fuji - Even Without Staying Overnight!

(Photo from past article a0004125)
(Photo from past article a0004125)

Though relaxing in hot springs with a view of Mount Fuji is a coveted experience, many tourists think it requires an overnight stay. Yet, near Fuji-Q Highland, the Fujiyama Onsen and other facilities offer same-day hot spring access. It's ideal for day-trippers to Lake Kawaguchi who still want to unwind.

  • Fujiyama Onsen
    ふじやま温泉
    • Address 4-17-1 Shin-Nishihara, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi 403-0017
    • Hours: 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM (last admission 10:00 PM)
      Morning bath: 6:30 AM - 9:00 AM (last admission 8:30 AM) (Restaurant and massage service hours vary. Please check the website for details.)
      Website: <a href="https://www.fujiyamaonsen.jp/en/">https://www.fujiyamaonsen.jp/en/</a>

3 Recommended Shopping Destinations Around Lake Kawaguchi

Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center: Shop for Yamanashi Souvenirs and Mount Fuji Gifts Along the Way

(Photo: PIXTA)
(Photo: PIXTA)

Next to Oishi Park, the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center is accessible via the Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Bus to its dedicated stop. The center features products made from locally harvested blueberries and cherries. It also offers Mount Fuji-patterned goods, like bags and wallets, plus Yamanashi wines and crafts. With a cafe serving light snacks and ice cream, it's an ideal spot for souvenir shopping and a treat after exploring Oishi Park.

  • Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center
    河口湖自然生活館
    • Address 2585 Oishi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0305
    • Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:45 PM (until 5:15 PM in winter, October to February)
      Closed: Open daily (Shortened hours during year-end and New Year holidays; actual opening hours and public holidays might differ.)
      Website (in Japanese): <a href="http://www.fkchannel.jp/naturelivingcenter/">http://www.fkchannel.jp/naturelivingcenter/</a>

Kawaguchiko Herb Hall: Enjoy the Fragrance of Flowers and Herbs in the Warm Sunshine

(Photo from past article a0004123)
(Photo from past article a0004123)

Kawaguchiko Herb Hall houses an internal herb garden showcasing around 200 herb varieties, including lavender, roses, and chamomile. Alongside a café offering treats like lavender ice cream and fruit crepes, the shop features a range of herb-based items: fragrances, essential oils, candles, incense, jewelry, and more. Don't miss the handmade honey cakes, crafted with Mount Fuji foothill water and a distinctive lavender twist. It's an excellent spot for exploration and souvenir shopping.

  • Kawaguchiko Herb Hall
    河口湖ハーブ館・香水の舎
    • Address 6713-18 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0301
    • Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:45 PM
      Café Hours: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM (last order 7:30 PM)
      Closed: Open daily (Hours may shorten during year-end and New Year holidays. Actual conditions may vary.)
      Website (in Japanese): <a href=" http://www.fkchannel.jp/herbkan/"> http://www.fkchannel.jp/herbkan/</a>

Gotemba Premium Outlets: Shop to Your Heart's Content Near Mount Fuji

(Photo from past article a0001163)
(Photo from past article a0001163)

Gotemba Premium Outlets, Japan's largest outlet mall, is home to popular brands like Adidas, Nike, SEIKO, plus luxury names such as Gucci, Loewe, and Bulgari. Dining options include Eggs 'n Things, Shake Shack, and traditional Japanese restaurants. Offering tax-free shopping and multilingual assistance, it's international tourist-friendly. While shopping, you can relish the majestic Mount Fuji view.

Easily reachable, direct buses connect it to major Tokyo stations and Lake Kawaguchi. Many day tours to Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi also feature a stop at this popular shopping hub.

  • Gotemba Premium Outlets
    御殿場プレミアム・アウトレット
    • Address 1312 Fukazawa, Gotemba City, Shizuoka 412-0023
    • Hours:
      March to November: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
      December to February: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
      Closed: Annually on the third Thursday of February (Date may change without notice.)
      Website (Japanese/English/Korean/Chinese): <a href="https://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/">https://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/</a>

Top 3 Must-Try Delicacies in Lake Kawaguchi

Yamanashi's Must-Try Local Dish - 'Houtou' at Fudou

(Photo from past article a0002747)
(Photo from past article a0002747)

Houtou is Yamanashi Prefecture's signature noodle dish, similar to thick udon noodles. Served in a miso-vegetable broth and often in a traditional iron pot, its chewy noodles and rich broth are a hit with ramen lovers. While many eateries around Lake Kawaguchi offer Houtou, "HOUTOU Fudou" stands out for locals and visitors alike. We suggest sampling it during your Kawaguchiko visit. (LIVE JAPAN Editor's Tip: Start with the Houtou at the Kawaguchiko Station Shop for convenience!)

  • Hotou Fudo Kawaguchiko Station
    ほうとう不動(河口湖駅前店)
    • Address 3631-2 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0301
    • Hours: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
      Website (Japanese/English): <a href="http://www.houtou-fudou.jp/english.html"> http://www.houtou-fudou.jp/english.html </a>

Japan's Firmest Noodles? Fujikawaguchiko City's Specialty 'Yoshida Udon'

(Photo: Fuji Five Lakes Tourism Alliance)
(Photo: Fuji Five Lakes Tourism Alliance)

Yoshida Udon, native to Fujikawaguchiko City in Yamanashi, Japan, is renowned for its exceptionally firm udon noodles — arguably the firmest in Japan. Paired with a soy and miso broth, boiled cabbage, horse meat, and "suridane" (a blend of sesame seeds, Sansho pepper, and chili seeds), it offers a singular, memorable taste.

Around Lake Kawaguchi, numerous eateries, like Takegawa and Yoshida Udon Kurayoshi, serve this dish. Each spot has its own twist on Yoshida Udon, inviting you to sample various styles and discover your favorite.

Fuji-Q Highland's New Popular Dining Options for 2023

(Information and photos: PR TIMES)
(Information and photos: PR TIMES)

In August 2023, Fuji-Q Highland introduced three new buzzworthy dining options: "VILLAGE VANGUARD DINER," a Japanese burger chain known for its high-quality ingredients and 100% pure beef burgers; "bintje," a Belgian fries shop that has garnered long lines in Asakusa; and "Giraffa," a curry bread specialty store from Kamakura. Each offers exclusive menu items, ensuring you won't go hungry while enjoying your time at the park!

Popular Annual Events and Festivals Around Lake Kawaguchi

Helpful Links to Plan Your Trip to Lake Kawaguchi!

Lake Kawaguchi, the primary tourist destination of the Fuji Five Lakes, presents plenty of ways to appreciate Mount Fuji. From sightseeing boats and canoeing on the lake to catch Mount Fuji's reflection, to cable car rides for elevated views, it's an optical treat. For detailed guides on where to stay in Lake Kawaguchi, what to do around Mount Fuji, and local accommodations, check out these in-depth articles:

Recommended Tours & Activities Around Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

*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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