In the Five Lakes area, Lake Kawaguchiko is renowned for its autumnal views of Mount Fuji surrounded with Japanese red maple trees. Although more confidential, Lake Motosu is also a sight to behold in spring with its vast flower lawns, hued in rose, violet and white in a vernal tribute to the sacred mountain.
Shiba-sakura’s scientific name is phlox subulata. It is a hardy plant also called "moss phlox" or "pink moss" for its creeping characteristics and vivid colors. Shibazakura bloom just after cherry trees, during April to late May. Its flowering is the occasion for a second o hanami, except you can’t spread blue tarpaulin underneath!
Several different species of moss phlox are on display, as well as tulips, anemones, and muscaris, all adding a pleasant touch to the landscape. This festival is by the way an excellent spot for photographers. The park’s maps are even marked with the best shooting spots to capture the flower scenery with Mount Fuji in the backdrop.
After filling your eyes with marvelous landscapes, you might need to fill your stomach: numerous street food stalls are gathered in a special area of the park. We recommend trying Yamanashi prefecture’s specialty dishes, made of noodles and meat. Besides, Japanese classic deserts are all flavored with sakura for the occasion.
Shibazakura Fuji Matsuri is really worth the visit when traveling in the Five Lakes area in spring. It is a thoroughly thought touristic attraction, including path accessible to visitors with reduced mobility. Lake Motosu is laying on a plain, so the view on Mount Fuji is guaranteed, even though clouds may hide its snowy top.
This visit can be combined with Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, then Arakurayama Sengen shrine and the famous Chureito pagoda, offering another beautiful panorama on the region.
How to get to Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri
By bus -- From Kawaguchiko:
- ~ 35 minutes by local bus local, regular departures between 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from the station
- Combined ticket roundtrip + park entrance: ¥2,000 / (~US$ 18.20) per adult and ¥1,000 / (~US$ 9.10) per children under 12 years old
Or from Tokyo:
- ~ 2h30 direct bus, departures from Shinjuku "Expressway Bus Terminal"
- Reservation required: ¥2,200 / (~US$ 20.10) one way
Direct buses operate only during the festival's period
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
- Adults, Middle and High School Students: ¥600 (~US$ 5.50)
- Elementary School Students and Children: ¥250 (~US$ 2.30)
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
Open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., only during the blooming season from mid-April to the end of May
How long / when to visit
During about one month, from mid-April to the end of May, allow one to two hours
The Golden Week in early May is to be avoided due to congestion
Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri cancelled in 2020 as a precautionary measure in the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in Japan