Fujiyoshida is considered a stopover town between Tokyo and Mount Fuji. Built on ancient lava flows, the city spreads across the plain between the mountains and two of the Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes): Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako. It reaches the volcano’s base, on its northwest side, and includes the Yoshida Trail, the most widely used path to climb Mount Fuji in summer.
Fujiyoshida also has interesting things to discover all year long, beyond the hiking facilities. A stroll through the labyrinth of narrow streets evokes the charm and tranquility of the Japanese countryside—it feels like being in a postcard.
Particularly nice spots can be found around Shimoyoshida Station, such as the little Omuro Sengen Shrine, located at the south exit. Arakurayama Sengen Park is located north of Shimoyoshida Station and is famous for the Chureito Pagoda. Raised on a hill, the pagoda is a wonderful foreground motif of Mount Fuji pictures. The place is vividly colored by the pink of the cherry trees in spring and the red of the maple trees in fall. On the eastern part of the city, hidden among a dense cedar forest, lies the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine. Dedicated to Mount Fuji, it used to be the starting point for the pilgrimages to the sacred mountain.
In the south of Fujiyoshida city, the Mount Fuji Radar Dome Museum pays tribute to the men who built a meteorological research center on the volcano. Those who would prefer not to climb the mountain can still experience the weather at the top of Mount Fuji in a special simulation room in the museum.
Finally, in the northwest district, a transportation network connects by bus or train to the area’s other places of interest, such as Kawaguchiko Lake. Fans of excitement and onsen lovers can both find satisfaction nearby. Fuji Q-Highland amusement park offers some nice rollercoasters for adults and interesting themed villages for children. The Fujiyama Onsen resort welcomes Japanese and overseas visitors for a weekend of leisure and relaxation in a huge wooden building.
Fujiyoshida is easy to access from Tokyo for a full one-day visit. However, the transportation between the different places of interest is not very convenient. The train stops at the city’s entrance, and buses are not very frequent. It might be preferable to use other transportation modes, such as a car, a taxi or a bicycle, for the most energetic. Walking is not recommended as the distances are quite long, and many of the roads are not adapted for pedestrians.
Fujiyoshida city’s downtown atmosphere is not really exciting. The city falls asleep as soon as the last one-day trip tourists have left. Thus, staying for the night is not really recommended, except in resorts. During the daytime, visitors can enjoy udon noodles, the specialty dish of the area, in restaurants mainly located around Fuji Q-Highland and Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine.
How to get to Fujiyoshida
From Tokyo, Shinjuku Station:
By train -- ~2h with the JR Chuo Line, change in Otsuki for the Fujikyu Express Line to Fuji-Q Highland (¥~ 3,650 / ~US$ 33.40 or free with the Japan Rail Pass until Otsuki, up to ~70% of the total fare)
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
How long / when to visit
Allow one to two days (including Kawaguchiko)
Best during season changes, but also more crowded
Weather in Mont Fuji
-3 / 6°C
1 / 5°C
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Fujiyoshida city Official Website (in English)