My Travel Diary

Mount Fuji… You beauty!

Cycling and hiking in Kawaguchiko

I arrived at Kawaguchiko Station following a bus ride from Tokyo to the sight of dark clouds and thick fog. As I was there to see Mount Fuji it was a disappointment. Luckily I planned to stay there for a couple of days and felt hopeful when I found out that the weather was meant to improve.

On my first day I decided to rent a bike and cycle around Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Saiko. Although it was fairly chilly and foggy I really enjoyed serene landscape that surrounded me. Lake Kawaguchiko is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, an area located at the base of Mount Fuji, and more developed than Lake Saiko where I saw mainly camping sites and small lodges. With just few people around I thought of Twin Peaks for some reason. Is there a version of this TV classic in Japan?

Kawaguchiko Lakeside

Kawaguchiko Lakeside

I would recommend to anyone visiting Japan to mix up their travel itinerary and explore more scenic and smaller places. Japanese urban jungle can wear you out and it is good to get a different perspective.

Mount Fuji is an active volcano and with 3,776 meters it is Japan’s highest mountain. On the second day I got lucky! When the sun was out Fujisan was peeking through the clouds and later that day it was also visible in all its glory. What a magnificent view that was!

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji

There are several viewing spots in Kawaguchiko but Mt. Tenjo is one of the best ones. You can either take the Kachikachi Roapway or hike up there – the path is clearly signposted.

Staying at K’s Hostel in Kawaguchiko was great. The dorms were slightly bigger than in their Tokyo branch, there was a spacious kitchen and comfortable lounge with few tables so it was not a problem to find a quiet corner and write or edit pictures. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. They even sorted out a reservation for the overnight bus to Kyoto for me. I am not surprised they get all these hostel awards and amazing reviews. Keep up good work guys!

My only comment about Kawaguchiko, since it is a resort rather than normal town, there is a limited number of options when it comes to eating out. Preparing your own food might not be a bad idea if tourist type of restaurants are not appealing to you.

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