Swan at Fuji Five Lakes with Mount Fuji in the background, Japan
Vacations to Fuji Five Lakes, Japan
Located just 97 kilometers from Tokyo, Fuji Five Lakes is an area that boasts peace and tranquility in spades. That's not to say it's not exciting, however. Many adventurous travelers use this area as a "base camp" for expeditions up famous Mount Fuji, while the lakes offer plenty for kayakers, swimmers and other outdoors enthusiasts.
The fact that Japan's highest mountain and its most iconic and sacred volcano is within such easy reach means visitors are often drawn to the area for the views – along with Tokyo's Shibuya Crossing, it's one of the most Instagram-friendly destinations for the modern traveler. Depending on the season, you can enjoy soft pink cherry and plum blossom in spring, lush greenery throughout summer, vivid red maple in the fall months, and the most striking of snowy landscapes throughout the winter.
The old-fashioned inns – known locally as ryokan – are well worth a visit as a warm welcome is always guaranteed. While there, tuck into a plate of delicious, local, seasonal food. The focus is on lots of small courses and the meals are usually comparatively cheap, especially when the high standard of service is taken into account. In fact, you may have to remind yourself not to tip, as it's considered bad form in Japan. Instead, take your small change to one of the many picturesque shrines in the area, where it can be offered to the gods in exchange for good luck.
The Fuji Five Lakes area is rich in onsen, traditional volcanic baths, many of which are outdoors and offer a unique experience of harmony with the surrounding nature. There is little as relaxing as lazing in a natural hot spring, soaking up the minerals, while wildlife scurries past and a breeze tugs gently at your hair.
Hike Japan's iconic and sacred volcano, Mount Fuji
Admire the reflection of Mount Fuji's perfect cone