We left Tokyo today to head to our next destination - Fuji Five Lakes (Fuji-Goko / 富士五湖). We took JR Train from Hatchobori to Shinjuku station, then changed to Ltd Express Azusa train to Otsuki station (all covered by JR Rail Pass).
From Otsuki Station, we took the local Fujikyoku train to Kawaguchiko (not covered by the JR Rail Pass). The standard ticket is JPY1140, but there is a faster train which would cost JPY200 extra.
And boy, our eyes were treated to majestic views of Mt. Fuji.
Truly, another thing off the bucket list (well now that I have seen it, another item comes up on the list: to trail the Mt. Fuji. Maybe another time... .) . I would love to come back during spring or autumn, where I imagine the colors will be more vibrant on the mountains.
Upon arrival at Kawaguchiko station, we bought the 2 day pass for red line and green bus (unlimited use) and includes ferry ride and Kachi-kachi ropeway (ticket JPY2300). It is a good deal if you have a bit of time to explore Fuji-Goko as the bus pretty much cover almost all areas of it.
We deposited our day bags inside the coin locker at Kawaguchiko station then boarded the green line bus to head towards Lake Saiko.
Our first stop was at the Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine (point 54 on the tourist map).
Then we boarded the bus again (it came every 1/2 hours) and stopped at point 67 on the tourist map (Nenba Minshuku Guest House) as it has a restaurant where we had lunch, then some awesome shots of Mount Fuji.
From there we headed towards Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nenba (point 68 on the tourist map). From point 67 to 68 it was a short and pleasant walk, so rather than wait for the bus, I suggest to just walk (waiting for the bus would probably take longer anyway).
|stall selling ayu river fish|
Compared to Gokayama or Shirakawa-Go - where people still lives in the traditional houses - , the small village of Saiko Iyashi is now more designated for souvenir shops. It is still beautiful though, and it is a very interesting experience to don a rental Kimono or a samurai armor from one of the shops (only for JPY500), and strolled around the small village in your get-up for make-believe.
***We had dinner at Hana, only 1 minute walk from our accommodation. It serves Yakiniku style meal, where you grill your meat at the table.
It was good but I think it was a bit pricey for the amount of food we got.
Were given some cookies (as it was christmas).
205-1 Azagawa, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0303
For our stay in Fuji-Goko, we stayed at Koraku Onyado Fujiginkei, For two rooms (4 people) for two nights, we paid a total of JPY127000, and this tariff includes breakfast. For the fee, it is incredibly really good for value.
Fujiginkei, although more hotel than ryokan - has impeccable service and location. The view from our rooms was superb, as well as the view from the outdoor onsen on level 7. Even though it was cold, immersing my whole body in the hot outdoor bath while watching Mt. Fuji from the distance will definitely be an unforgettable memory.
And closing the day with night shot of the splendor our eyes were treated to from our room's window.