Today I would like to share with you all a few pictures taken last month when we traveled over the weekend to Kawaguchiko, a small town right at the feet of Mt Fuji. People usually travel to Hakone, and so did I eight years ago. My husband however climbed Mt Fuji last summer and he went first to Kawaguchiko before reaching station 5 by car. He wanted to bring us to visit this place and enjoy the onsen (=hot spring). Kawaguchiko is only a couple of hours away from Tokyo which makes it an easy get-away spot for the weekend.
This is the very first apparition of Mt Fuji from the highway. It took me by surprise, it was quite magical to suddenly see the majestic and much loved mountain with its snow cap. Even the kids were excited to see Mt Fuji so close to us!
Kawaguchiko is also famous for its lake, and is actually located in the so-called Five lakes of Mt Fuji area. We didn't have time to visit to all five lakes as we were there for a very short time but according to the guides, Kawaguchiko lake is the easiest to access by public transport - we rented a car though which is far more convenient when you have kids!
You must try the hoto noodles while staying in this area, a very popular dish. We stopped at the restaurant above on the other side of the lake - I have no idea what's its name though. It was a kid-friendly restaurant and it was very delicious (so much I forgot to take a photo of my lunch set!).
Kawaguchiko is not lacking hotels and other accommodation options, and since we couldn't book any room in advance, we decided to try our luck and just see on the spot. A room usually includes Japanese dinner + breakfast and I am very sure most places will have their own onsen too. We ended up at the Fuji Royal Hotel in a spacious Japanese style bedroom. It was not incredible but it was (again) kid-friendly, neat and clean with a good onsen and food included (budget about ¥12,000 per adult and half this price for kids).
Japanese style bedroom means there is tatami on the floor and futon to sleep on instead of regular beds. Your futon will be prepared while you are taking your dinner, so don't be surprised if the room is bare when you get in!
The dolls were on display (photo below) in the hotel lobby for the celebration of the upcoming Hinamatsuri (March 3) - also called Girl's Day. Japanese families with little girls will start displaying their dolls in February and take them off immediately after the festival. The dolls represent the emperor, empress, attendants and musicians. I believe that most families will have the emperor & empress to start with, and slowly build up their collection (dolls are usually pricey and the whole display takes a lot of space). I'd love to have my own set for next year!
~ Things to do in Kawaguchiko ~
Well, you don't necessarily go to Kawaguchiko just for climbing Mt Fuji. The area has plenty of things to offer from hiking to trekking, fishing and there is even a huge attraction park with a roller coaster that will make your heart goes up & down. It seems to be famous for its cherry blossom or autumn display of colors - I will have to check it out myself before giving you my opinion.
We just went to see the Oshino Hakkai, or eight ponds filled up by the melted snow of nearby Mt Fuji. The water is filtered though layers and layers of lava and is really super clear. Very enjoyable, especially with kids!
I didn't have a chance to ask what the "corn wall" was for, but I assume they were drying up under the sun. What do you think?
All my photographs were taken with Instagram, you can follow me for daily pictures of our adventures in Japan (look for etincellestudio).
Have a great weekend!