A weekend away in Kawaguchiko to visit Mount Fuji
When we think of Japan we tend to think of ultra modern cities, great food and super-fast transport. That’s what we were expecting when we visited. After a month travelling around this fantastic country we also came to realize how beautiful the Japanese countryside is. After spending 10 days crazy days in Tokyo we decided to head out to go and see Mount Fuji.
We were taking a risk as every traveller returning from Mount Fuji was saying that it was way too foggy to see the mountain. We had no choice as we had to get a boat to Shanghai within a week. Plus when you visit Japan you just have to see Mount Fuji, even if it is through the fog.
We decided to base ourselves in Kawaguchiko as it is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji and its only 1hr 20 mins away by train from Tokyo. As we got closer to Kawaguchiko station we knew we were going to be in for a great weekend. From our train carriage we had crystal clear views of Mount Fuji. Sometimes when you visit a place for the first time you get a sense that you have been there before. It’s normally because you have seen so many images or film clips of that particular place that you have a sense of familiarity. That’s what I felt when I saw Mount Fuji for the first time.
I have seen a few mountains in my time and Mount Fuji is the most striking one of the lot. It is the perfect shape for a volcano. We could not hike it during our visit as it was November. The peak season for hiking Mount Fuji is from mid July to the end of August. To be honest we were happy just to have it on our doorstep for a few days.
Kawaguchiko is a beautiful little town. It sits on a large lake (of the same name) and has plenty of your Japanese modern amenities that you come to expect. During our visit all the leaves of the trees were showing off their autumnal colours, giving it the feel of New England. Japan is rightly famous for its cherry blossom season but the fall season gives it a close run for its money in my view. Another thing to be expected in Japan is the amazing food. Kawaguchiko is no exception. I think I had the world’s best Pork Tonkatsu in this little town.
When we were not taking millions of photos of Mount Fuji, we were taking millions of photos of the wonderful Japanese gardens and countryside. We would just wander around aimlessly seeing where we would end up. I love doing that in new places, you really get to discover hidden gems.
Another thing to look out for in Japan is the hostels. They have to be the best in the world. They are super clean, they have great amenities and they are decent value (for Japan.) We stayed in K’s House and loved it.
If you are planning a visit to Tokyo, please keep free a couple of days to visit Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji. It will add a different dimension to your trip.
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