6 Gorgeous Views of Mt. Fuji
The UNESCO World Heritage inscribed Mt. Fuji is a symbol of Japan. Standing at 3,776 metres, it is the highest mountain in the country and instantly recognizable by its near perfect cone shape. Each summer, droves of hikers tackle its rocky face for the chance to see an unforgettable sunrise from the summit. For those who prefer to see its beauty from afar, there are countless vantage points all throughout the region, each showing a different perspective. Whether visiting in spring, summer, autumn or winter, as long as the weather is clear, there is never a bad time to experience Japan’s most beloved mountain. These are six of the best views of Mt. Fuji.
Popular year-round as a day trip from Tokyo, Kawaguchiko is the most famous of the Fuji Five Lakes. For a classic view of Mt. Fuji framed by vibrant-red Japanese maples, head to the lake’s north shore. In November, photographers and nature-lovers descend on the section of road around the Momiji Tunnel. On a still day, you might also be lucky to see a perfect reflection of the snow-capped mountain on the surface of the lake.
Yamanakako Flower Park
From spring through autumn, Mt. Fuji stands boldly behind vast fields of colorful flowers. Depending on the season, you can see nemophila, tulips, poppies, zinnias, cosmos or sunflowers. Yamanakako Flower Park is one of the closest parks to the mountain and with no buildings obstructing the view, it is a favorite spot for many Fuji-lovers.
In recent years, the view of Mt. Fuji from Arakura Sengen Shrine has become one of the most iconic images of Japan. From the base of the shrine, a stone staircase leads visitors up 398 steps to Chureito Pagoda. The climb will test your fitness but the view from the top is definitely worth it. The most popular time to visit is in April when the 5-storied pagoda seems to float above a cloud of soft pink cherry blossoms.
Riding the bullet train
If traveling to or from Tokyo on the bullet train, be sure to keep your eyes peeled around Fuji City. While riding the bullet train is an exciting experience in itself, catching a glimpse of Mt. Fuji out the window makes it even more special. As a bonus, from late spring, the tea plantations of Shizuoka are lush green and make for a beautiful contrast to the blue-tinged mountain in the distance.
Mt. Kintoki (Mt. Ashigara)
For a rewarding hiking day trip from Tokyo, Hakone is a great option. Mt. Kintoki is named after the folk hero Kintaro, a strong boy who lived with animals in this very mountain range. Along the trail, you’ll pass a shrine dedicated to Kintaro and a giant statue of his axe. Towards the top the path gets a little steep, but the summit offers a glorious view of Mt. Fuji and its south-eastern foothills.
Bunkyo Civic Center
Because of Mt. Fuji’s towering height, it can even be seen over 100 kilometers away. One of the best observation decks in Tokyo from which to admire the snow-capped mountain is in the Bunkyo Civic Center. Free to enter, the 25th floor of this office building gives visitors sweeping views of the dense city below. And to the south-west, visible right through the middle of the Shinjuku skyscraper district, Mt. Fuji stands proudly watching over the nation’s capital.