Hi, my name is Joo Fei, a close friend of Olivia! I’m excited to share my recent trip to Japan, and hopefully this will inspire you to step out and see more of the world 😀
Before we jump into my Fuji adventures, let me share a bit of background story. Last November, I flew over to Japan during the winter holidays. It all started because a friend of mine, Yan Rui, went on student exchange program to Sendai, Japan. I told her once that if I had the chance, maybe I’d go and visit her. So one day I randomly researched flight tickets and stumbled upon a promotion – SGD 262.97 for Singapore – Tokyo and Osaka – Singapore, both with AirAsia via Bangkok!! That was insanely cheap, and so with little (read: no) research, I bought the tickets.
Thus happened my impulsive Japan trip. I treated it as a preliminary trip before I bring my mother over. She has always wanted to visit Japan – probably from all the Japanese documentaries we used to always watch together. If you’re Singaporean, you’d know – the ones right before the 8pm news 😀
Things to do in Mount Fuji
For this particular post, I will be sharing my adventures at Japan’s most iconic landmark, Mount Fuji. This town was my base for this trip. So here are the top five things to do when you visit Mount Fuji!
1. Mount Tenjo
Mount Tenjo is located beside Kawaguchi Lake, and its observation deck is one of the best spots to view Mount Fuji. One can opt to climb up the mountain but a round-trip by the cable car costs only JPY 720 (~SGD 8). Of course, you can also get a one-way ticket and afterwards make your own way down. Up on the mountain, you get panoramic views of Mount Fuji and I must say, it is really breathtaking.
2. Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station
After some splendid views of Mount Fuji, I decided to take it a step further and experience being on the mountain itself. Therefore, I made my way to Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Probably the most accessible part of Mount Fuji, the station lies at the halfway point of the Yoshida Trail, which leads from Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine (see next point!) to the summit of Mount Fuji.
My bus ride from Kawaguchiko station to Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station took 50 minutes and cost JPY 2,100 (~SGD 24). The experience of being on the mountain was unforgettable. The wind was so strong and cold and the visitors, including me, hardly left the souvenir shop-cum-station to get out to take photos. But that’s the kind of weather you will experience on the mountain, and do come prepared with appropriate clothing. This experience is definitely recommended!
3. Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine
Before the cold wind got into my bones, I took a bus down to my next destination – Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine. In Japan, there are a lot of Fuji Sengen Shrines (shrines dedicated to Princess Konohanasakuya, the Shinto deity associated with Mount Fuji), and Fujiyoshida is one of them. You will pass by this shrine if you climb the Yoshida Trail to get to Mount Fuji.
There are one to two buses per hour to Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine from Kawaguchiko station. You can also go directly from Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, like I did. A bus ride from Kawaguchiko costs JPY300 (SGD3.43).
4. Chureito Pagoda
Chureito Pagoda is located one train station away from Kawaguchiko, at Shimo-Yoshido. The five-storied pagoda overlooks Fujiyoshida City and Mount Fuji, and from there you get great views all around. It is especially beautiful at sunset, so I’d advise you to visit the other places I mentioned during the day and drop by Chureito Pagoda at sunset. You will get a totally different feel!
One JR (Japan Rail) train ride from Kawaguchiko to Shimo-Yoshido costs JPY 300 (~SGD 3.5). From the station, you will have to walk for 15 minutes (including a 5-minute climb up the mountain) to visit the pagoda.
5. Benifuji Onsen
The best way to end a tiring day is to take a dip in an onsen bath! I Googled and found Benifuji Onsen, the only onsen around Kawaguchiko with a view of Mount Fuji. Admission is JPY 700 (~ SGD 8) and you are allowed to spend as much time in the onsen as you like. Bring your own modesty towel, but everything else like toiletries are all provided. No photography is allowed in an onsen but I can assure you, the experience of soaking in a hot spring bath, which has a perfect view of Mount Fuji, is indescribable! You have to experience it for yourself!
So there you have it – the 5 things that you can do when you are visiting the area to see Mount Fuji. Of course, there are many other towns you can use as a base, like Hakone. Another possibility is to visit the Fuji-Q Highland theme park. I didn’t do it but I’ve heard good reviews!
So I hope you have enjoyed reading my post. Stay tuned for my next one on exploring Kyoto! Sayonara~
P.S. Unfortunately, in the end I did not get to meet Yan Rui because she was busy with school work and Sendai was kind of out of the way. I kind of felt guilty, but we managed to meet up in Singapore when she came back last week 🙂