Have you read my previous Japan posts? You can find them all here.
Day 10 was the last day we were able to use our JR Pass (as it was a 7-day pass), so we wanted to make the most of it and travel somewhere outside of Tokyo. We had a guide book of places to visit in Japan, so had a flick through to find something suitable; it had to be somewhere not too far away, as we were making the trip in one day and it had to be on a JR line. There were a couple of options, but we eventually decided on Fuji Five Lakes or Fujigoko.
Fuji Five Lakes is a region about an hour and a half (by train) from Tokyo and is considered one of the best places to view Mount Fuji. The five lakes are Kawaguchi, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko, with Kawaguchi being the one that most tourists visit.
The plan was to leave really early in the morning, but we ended up leaving at about half 9 and made our way to Shibuya station. If you don’t have a JR Pass, then there is a round trip ticket to Fuji Five Lakes available at a discounted price for tourists, at just 5600¥ for the whole return journey. At Shibuya station, we got on one of the Limited Express trains to Otsuki station, around 70 minutes away. Otsuki station was relatively small, but we didn’t have much of a wait here for the train to Kawaguchiko. A lot of the trains at this station were covered in cartoon characters and illustrations. I particularly liked this Mount Fuji one.
The train from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko took about an hour and travelled through a lot of countryside, which made it a very pretty journey. It even passed by Mount Fuji, so we had a glimpse of Fuji before even getting to Kawaguchiko and the windows of the train were huge so that we had a great view. Being confused tourists, we got off at the wrong stop, at Fujikyu Highland Station, rather than Kawaguchiko station, so we had to walk a bit further than planned. Fujikyu Highland Station was located in the town near Fuji Five Lakes and right next to Fuji Q Highland, a large theme park.
By the time we had arrived at the station, it was lunch time and absolutely boiling, so we were keen to get some food and a drink. Unfortunately, what we didn’t realise, was that we had visited on a bank holiday and most places were just closing or closed. We wandered through the town, which almost seemed deserted, trying to find a place to get some food. In the end, the only place we could find was a convenience store. Here we bought a can of beer and a selection of different takeaway foods and snacks. I had a tonkatsu sandwich with a salmon onigiri.
We decided to eat our food by the lake, so continued the walk down to Lake Kawaguchi. On the way, we stopped by a garden centre to use the toilets and just have a look around. They sold pets here, which were so cute. I saw a couple of Shiba puppies, which I wanted to take home with me, they’re my favourite breed of dog.
After a twenty minute walk in the hot sun, we arrived at Lake Kawaguchi. There was a fair amount of tourists here, all enjoying the sunshine on and around the lake. You were able to hire boats and peddalos and there was a really great view of Mount Fuji. We sat down and ate our lunch overlooking the lake, before going exploring.
A path leads around the lake and over a large bridge that crosses the middle of the river. Up on a mountain nearby, you can see a cable car, that takes you to the top to see across the lake. We followed the path and crossed over the bridge. From here, there was a really clear across the river and of Mount Fuji. Once across, the path carried on around the lake.
On our way around, we took many photos and stopped to look at the beautiful scenery.
Once back to where we started, we began walking towards Kawaguchiko station. We stopped at a small gift shop on the way and I bought a Mount Fuji keyring and a selection of kit kats; wasabi, strawberry cheesecake and apple.
Once at the station, we got on the train to go back to Shibuya, where we were planning on getting dinner.
We wanted something quick and easy for dinner and after a quick google, found Uobei, a chain conveyor sushi restaurant.
It was absolutely packed in there and we had to wait in a queue, but it only took about ten minutes to sit down.
You sit in rows and each place has an iPad in front and a couple of rows of conveyor belts. Food and drink is ordered on the tablet and then whizzed out in front of you on a little train. Dishes were only 108¥ (80p), so we went slightly mad and tried a bit of everything. Not only did they have sushi and sashimi, but chips with a variety of toppings, rice, desserts and salads. For such cheap sushi, the quality wasn’t bad at all, probably in the same range as somewhere like Yo! Sushi in the UK, but so much cheaper!
On the iPads, every now and then a game will pop up and if you win, you can get a gacha from the machines at the front or a 10% off voucher for next time. As we had two separate bills, my parents got the 10% off voucher and I got a salmon nigiri gacha toy.
After a long day and a big dinner, we walked back from Shibuya to the apartment to go to bed.
My next post will be about day 11 in Tokyo, where we visited the Pokemon Centre, Harajuku and Roppongi!
Have you heard of Fuji Five Lakes before?
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Osaka – Trying new foods and going to a traditional tea ceremony
Mount Koya – Staying in a Buddhist temple
Kyoto Part 1 – Bamboo forest, Golden Pavillion and Gion, the Geisha district
Nara – Feeding the deer and visiting the worlds largest wooden building
Kyoto Part 2 – Temples, torii gates and lots of tradition
Tokyo Part 1 – Bullet train, shopping and a gig
Tokyo Part 2 – Shinjuku, Sunshine City and the Pokemon Centre