The Delightful View on the Top of Mount Fuji
Lake Tanuki (Tanuki-ko), located on Asagiri Plateau in the west of Mount Fuji, belongs to Fujinomiya City in Shizuoka prefecture and offers a wonderful view on Fuji-san. The body of water is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and its shores were arranged for green tourism with various low-impact activities such as camping, fishing, hiking and boating.
Lake Tanuki is an artificial body of water created in 1935 by using part of a nearby river’s flow to create a large water reservoir for agriculture. It is about 8 meters deep with a 4-kilometers circumference. Today, Tanuki-ko is both a nature reserve home to various wild animals and birds and a touristic spot popular among the locals for spending a relaxing weekend. Provided a sunny day, the site is indeed very pleasant regardless of the season. However, two periods are ideal to admire its colorful landscapes:
- Spring: from late March to early April, for the cherry blossoms’ pink and white hues,
- Autumn: from late October to mid-November for the red foliage of the maple trees.
Hikes with superb views on Mount Fuji
A hiking trail circles around the lake that anyone can use at their own pace, on foot or on bicycle. A bicycle rental service is available on site. You won’t get bored of the panorama on the surrounding mountains and especially on Mount Fuji 🗻 that dominates the landscape. Several observation platforms were laid out on the shores to the greatest pleasure of amateur photographs who can shot a beautiful picture of the volcano 🌋.
Each year near April 20 and August 20, Tanuki-ko becomes the place of a beautiful scenery known as the Double Diamond Fuji. The sun rises exactly at the top of Mount Fuji and shines like a diamond. This marvelous yet ephemeral phenomenon is reflected in the lake’s calm water. Visitors who would like to admire the inverted Fuji must be there by 6 a.m.
Longer walks can be made on the hiking trails climbing to the ridges of the mountains surrounding the lake, and going by Mounts Tenshigatake and Chojagatake. Part of the Tokai Hiking Trail (Shizen Hodo), a 1.700km long hiking trail created in the 1970s by the Japanese government to connect Tokyo and Osaka, is even accessible from Tanuki-ko.
Low-impact activities in the heart of nature
Hiking aside, other outdoor activities extend the time spent in the natural site, such as:
- Boat rental, to row on Tanuki-ko,
- Fishing, provided the purchase of a day pass,
- Note however that swimming in the lake is forbidden, even during the strong summer heats.
Except on the weekend and seasonal peaks, the shores of Lake Tanuki are quiet, without too many people. On a good weather day, it is the ideal place to read, meditate or just nap by the water.
Camping one night on the lakeside
The accommodation offer near the lake is quite interesting with a large choice between the comfort of a hotel 🏨 with onsen ♨️ or the outdoors of a camping site. The various areas are arranged to accommodate tents or to house visitors in small wooden cottages. It can be magic to arrive from Tokyo, spend the night under the stars and wake up with the Mount Fuji’s view.
Additionally, the shores of Lake Tanuki are equipped with convenient amenities to use by visitors who would like to travel light but with a minimum of comfort, while still in a friendly manner for the environment, such as:
- A shared cooking space,
- A barbecue (for rent on site),
- Several toilets 🚽 around the lake,
- Warm showers (for a fee); and,
- A playground for children.
Tanuki-ko is an attractive nature getaway to breathe a fresher air. The clear and calm waters as well as a the superior presence of Japan’s tallest sacred mountain are appeasing. The lake is a nice place to visit in Mount Fuji area as it is lesser known by foreign tourists, although quite popular with the Japanese.