Where to get the best views of Mountain Fuji

Updated: Jul 25

Source: https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/things-to-do/where-to-get-the-best-views-of-mount-fuji

The highest peak in Japan standing at 3,776m, Mountain Fuji is beloved for its elegant, perfectly symmetrical shape. It's the icon of Japan, and whether you're in Tokyo for a short time or you've lived here for decades, a clear view of the mountain never gets old. While it’s possible to get a glimpse of the mountain in the capital when the weather is clear, you're better off traveling out of the city to get the perfect view.

Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nemba

Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nemba is a former farming village turned open-air museum, situated not far from the shores of Lake Saiko, which is one of the Fuji Five Lakes. Its quaint countryside setting provides an ideal photo op, with the towering Mt Fuji acting as a backdrop to charming traditional thatched houses.

Nemba village was destroyed by a massive landslide in 1966. The twenty ‘heritage’ houses that you see today are true-to-original reconstructions, now home to craft shops – think pottery, incense-making and weaving. The site as a whole is a museum, documenting the daily lives of the farmers back then, as well as the tragic disaster that occurred over half a century ago.

Make sure to take a souvenir photo on the little bridge that overlooks the scenic village, with Mt Fuji in the background – you can even dress up in a kimono or samurai armor, available for rent nearby at ¥1,000 per person. Art enthusiasts should check out the on-site gallery for its regularly changing exhibitions by local artists. During our visit we met famous illustrator and producer Kosei Maeda of the hit anime ‘Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi’, which aired from 1975 until the early ‘90s.

Information: 9.30am-4.30pm; ¥500, children ¥250


Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai fulfills all your requirements for that Instagram-perfect shot of Mt Fuji – imagine a rural Japanese village featuring small thatched huts and little ponds of crystal clear water, with the star mountain in the distance.

A small sightseeing village between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako (two of the Fuji Five Lakes), Oshino Hakkai’s ponds receive their water straight from the slopes of Mt Fuji. For nearly a century, the mountain’s snowmelt has been filtered through porous lava layers, turning it into clear spring water. You can take a sip of this pure water at pond Waku.

At the thatched houses, you can shop for souvenirs, local produce and crafts. Some of them are restaurants, serving soba, udon and other Japanese dishes. There’s also a museum on-site, displaying old farming tools, household goods and even samurai armour and weaponry.

Information: Free admission, except for the area around Sokonuke-ike that belongs to the museum: ¥300, primary school students ¥150, younger children ¥100.


Chureito Pagoda at Arakura Sengen Shrine

This marvelous view of the famous Chureito Pagoda overlooking Fujiyoshida city and Mt Fuji is almost as iconic as the peak itself. Set against a slope, the five-storey structure belongs to the Arakura Sengen Shrine and was built in 1963 as a peace memorial.

Regardless of the season, you can expect great views year-round. You’ll find the pagoda surrounded by pastel pink cherry blossoms in spring, lush greens in summer and fiery red leaves in autumn. In winter, the tiered roof turns white with snow. Get your cameras ready.


Northeastern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko

You’ll find this jaw-dropping panorama at the northeastern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko, right next to the Kawaguchiko Music Forest. It’s especially popular in spring, when shutterbugs flock to the site looking to capture the sacred mountain with a frame of pink sakura, courtesy of the dozens of cherry trees by the shore. On windless days when the lake is exceptionally still, you might even be able to take a shot of the majestic mountain and its reflection on the lake's surface.

If you’re not afraid of heights, board the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway at the eastern shore, which goes up to an observation deck near the summit of Mt Tenjo. From there you can look out to Lake Kawaguchiko on one side and Mt Fuji on the other.

Information: Ropeway: 9.30am-4.20pm, Sat, Sun & hols 9.30am-5.20pm. ¥900 round trip, primary school children ¥450, free for younger children.


Lake Ashi

Hakone is not only known for its many onsen (hot spring) resorts, it’s also home to the expansive Lake Ashi, the symbol of this mountainous region formed about 3,000 years ago. There are a few ways to get to Mt Fuji here. Looking from the southern shore at Moto-Hakone, you’ll also get a perfect trifecta of the lake, the mountain range behind and Hakone Shrine’s famous red torii gate. Or shoot from the deck of the fun, kitschy sightseeing ‘pirate ship’ that sails on the lake several times a day.

Fujimi Terrace

If climbing Mt Fuji sounds a bit too ambitious, you can still enjoy the icon of Japan from one of the best vantage points in the area: the Fujimi Terrace at Izunokuni Panorama Park in the scenic Izu Peninsula.

The park is located just under two hours from Tokyo Station and it offers a blissful getaway from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. To get up to the sky-high terrace, just hop on the park's 1,800m ropeway, which will take you up to the summit of Katsuragi Mountain at 452 metres above sea level in seven minutes.

Information: Ropeway: Feb 16-Oct 15 9am-5.10pm, Oct 16-Feb 15 9am-4.40pm. ¥1,800 round trip, children ¥900.


Giant swing at Mt Tenjo observation deck

For a panoramic view of Japan’s national treasure, head up Mt Tenjo near Lake Kawaguchiko. Take the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and you’ll come to an observation point near the mountain’s summit.

The observation deck at Mt Tenjo features a pair of massive swings, measuring 3.5 meters in height. It's set up at the highest point of the observation deck, giving you a direct view of Mt Fuji that will take your breath away.

Note that the swings are only open from 10am-11am and 1pm-2pm daily. There’s an extra session on weekdays (2.30pm-3pm) as well as over weekends and holidays (2.30pm-4pm). To enjoy the new attraction, you’ll need to get a ticket (¥500 per person) at the adjacent Tanuki tea house.

Information: Ropeway: 9.30am-4.20pm, Sat, Sun & hols 9.30am-5.20pm. ¥900 round trip, primary school children ¥450, free for younger children.


Zekkei Panorama Kairo observation deck at Mt Tenjo

Get panoramic views of Mt Fuji, Lake Kawaguchiko and the entire city from high in the sky at the Zekkei Panorama Kairo observation deck. It’s on the Mt Fuji Panorama Ropeway, which goes from ground level all the way to the top of Mt Tenjo, 1,075 meters above sea level.

To get there, board the ropeway from Lakeside Station, which will take you on a 2-minute-20-second journey up the mountain. Once you arrive at Fujimidai Station, walk a few minutes up the slope to reach the observation deck.

You’ll be able to get stunning views of Mt Fuji at eye level, although be aware that the view is much better on clear days. The observation deck is free to visit.

Information: Ropeway: 9.30am-4.20pm, Sat, Sun & hols 9.30am-5.20pm. ¥900 round trip, primary school children ¥450, free for younger children.

Fujiyama Tower at Fuji-Q Highland

Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi is not only known for its record-breaking, terrifying roller coasters, but it also makes for a great day trip from Tokyo, especially in winter when you’ll have clear views of a snow-capped Mt Fuji.

If you’re looking to get the views without the adrenaline rush, head up Fujiyama Tower. This 55m-tall Fujiyama Sky Deck, built beside part of the Fujiyama roller coaster, boasts the same grand view of Mt Fuji that you probably missed while screaming on the ride.

The tower is also home to the Fujiyama Walk: a course where you can traverse midair with no guardrails but just a harness to keep you tethered to the tower. Best of all, Fujiyama Tower is just outside Fuji-Q Highland, so you won’t need a park ticket to enter and enjoy the view.

Information: Fujiyama Sky Deck: 12noon-8pm (last entry 7.45pm), ¥1,000, junior high and high school students ¥800, primary school students ¥600, younger children ¥500. Fujiyama Walk is currently closed.


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