Mount Fuji is perhaps the most iconic landmark of Japan. For thousands of years, Mount Fuji has been regularly depicted in traditional paintings, ceramic creations, poems…. and to this day, Mount Fuji remains as one of the most photographed icons of Japan. This article will provide useful information and insights for creating the ultimate Mount Fuji experience, as we hope that you will come to Japan and see Mount Fuji in person someday in the future.
The best time of the year to see Mount Fuji is between November and April, when the climate is cooler, and the air is drier. If you would like to see the iconic snow-capped Mount Fuji, it is best to plan your visit between January and April, when there are sufficient volumes of snow piled on the peak, creating that picture perfect Mount Fuji for your viewing pleasures. To capture cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji all together at the same time, the best time is between mid to end of April, when cherry blossoms usually bloom in Mount Fuji's immediate surrounding vicinities.
Another important piece of advice - to ensure you are able to see Mount Fuji: try to be very flexible with your travel plans! It is important to pick a day that is sunny and completely clear without any clouds. On days that are sunny with chances of overcast, try to wake up early in the morning, when the air is thinner and there are better chances of seeing the iconic peak, before it goes into hiding behind layers of clouds.
Yes! Mount Fuji is open to hikers during the summer months of July and August, and it is best to hike Mount Fuji before the first week of August, also known as the Obon holiday week in Japan. While it may be quite cold up on the peak of Mount Fuji in July, it is usually less crowded while weather patterns also tend to be more consistent. Try to hike as a group for safety purposes and begin hiking around 6-7pm the night before to ensure you will reach the summit for sunrise.
One of the most popular spots to see Mount Fuji is Oishi Park, right by Yamaguchiko Lake. Oishi Park is ideal for watching sunrise and sunset, providing a direct view of Lake Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji. Oishi park itself is known for growing a variety of seasonal flowers all year round to decorate its iconic picture-perfect view of Mount Fuji. There is a nice shop at the park selling Mount Fuji themed merchandise, while also known for scooping tasty blueberry ice cream during summer months!
Home to one of the most famous views of Japan, you have probably seen this view all over Instagram, and almost every other travel brochure about visiting Japan! The Chureito Pagoda is located on the upper levels of Arakurayama Park, requiring a short hike involving climbing a flight of 400 steps to reach the top of the park. The best time of the day to visit Chureito Pagoda is in the late afternoon, where you can watch the sun set behind Mount Fuji for the day and listen to the afternoon bell chime echoes through the valley of Fujiyoshida City.
Located near the tourist hotel area on the southeast side of Yamaguchiko Lake, Tenjoyama Park can be accessed by taking the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway system. The cable car ride takes around 5 minutes and once you reach the top, you will be treated to a beautiful view of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. For an additional 500 yen, you can purchase a ticket to relive your childhood on the Mount Fuji Swing Set! Watch Mount Fuji in front of you as you gently swing yourself up, up and above, leaving everything behind as you immerse yourself into the moment. Tenjoyama Park can be extremely crowded during tourist peak seasons and weekends, so it is best to visit in the morning, preferably as early as it opens for the day.
Asama Jinja is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Shinto Shrine has been standing for over 1000 years. For thousands of years, many have made the pilgrimage to the Shrine, and worshipped by climbing the sacred hill to the iconic Torii gate on top directly facing Mount Fuji. Visiting Asama Jinja is a great way to combine cultural immersion and outdoor exercise at the same time. The climb can be strenuous and physically demanding, but the reward on the summit is most certainly satisfying and rewarding.
Fujiyama Twin Terrace offers a wonderful panoramic view of Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and the town of Kawaguchiko. Compared with other locations on this list, Fujiyama Twin Terrace is located at the highest elevation, therefore increasing the chances of seeing Mount Fuji's iconic peak even on days that are cloudy or overcast. It is best to access Fujiyama Twin Terrace between late Spring and early Fall, when the weather is warmer, and a designated shuttle bus serves between the summit and the parking lot. It is not advisable to visit during winter months, as the access road gets snowed in and becomes extremely difficult and treacherous to hike, and there are also no basic amenities such as vending machines and washrooms along the way. To access Fujiyama Twin Terrace, it is best to visit by car, as there are no public transportation options in the area.
Oshino Hakkai is a touristy village with 8 ponds, offering great views of Mount Fuji with traditional farmhouses within the village. There is also a restaurant and a souvenir shop, and it is a very popular spot amongst tourists and tour groups. The best time of the day to visit Oshino Hakkai is in the morning, when the sun is shining directly at Mount Fuji from the village, as it is also less crowded before all the tour buses arrive from Tokyo.
Lake Yamanakako is another great location to admire Mount Fuji. Compared to Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako is less congested and more laid-back. You will also find lots of beautiful swans swimming in Lake Yamanakako, providing unique opportunities to photograph Mount Fuji with its adorable residents.
Fuji Q Highland is a popular theme park with some of the most extreme roller coasters for the most courageous thrill-seekers! For those who are looking for a relaxing and peaceful way to enjoy Mount Fuji, Fuji Q Highland just unveiled its 55m observation sky deck, where you can walk around, relax and take pictures while the scariest roller coasters cruise by, carrying screaming riders who probably won't be able to enjoy the view just as much. Later this summer, a giant spiral slide is scheduled to be completed, providing a quick way for the Sky Deck visitors to exit by sliding down to the bottom within seconds. After all, no one ever says no to going on the slide, right?
Start planning your trip to see Mount Fuji with Wanderplans! Check out our guide for the Fuji Five Lakes area as well as other great spots within Yamanashi Prefecture! While Mount Fuji can be viewed from both Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures, my personal preference goes to viewing from the Yamanashi side. Based on personal experience, the weather almost always tends to be better from the Yamanashi side, perhaps because it is geographically located further inland away from the ocean, therefore generating more stable weather patterns with less layers of clouds. If seeing Mount Fuji in Japan is important to you, be sure to visit during end of winter and beginning of spring seasons; furthermore, try to plan at least one week based in Tokyo, and wish upon a star for excellent clear sunny skies in Japan throughout your visit! Flexibility is key, try to plan your trip to see Mount Fuji based on weather conditions, and go early during the day to maximize your chance to see the iconic peak of Mount Fuji with your own eyes!