Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the most popular destinations in Japan for a day trip or a weekend getaway from Tokyo.
There are many awesome things to do in Kawaguchiko with something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque lakeside region.
The view of Mount Fuji across the lake is undoubtedly the main attraction, however, there are many other things to do near Mount Fuji that you should add to your list.
Let’s dive into this comprehensive guide to the attractions in Lake Kawaguchiko and everything else you should know!
QUICK ANSWERS: LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO JAPAN
To give you a bit of an overview of Kawaguchiko town, the lake, and the surrounding region, here are some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
WHERE IS LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO?
Located near the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan, Lake Kawaguchiko is a beautiful small town about 100km west of Tokyo, located in the southeastern Yamanashi province.
Kawaguchiko is also 100km north of Shizuoka City, about a 1.5-hour drive.
There are 5 Fuji Lakes where you can stay to see the views, and Kawaguchiko is the second-largest.
Click here or on the image below for an interactive map of Kawaguchiko Lake.
IS LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO WORTH VISITING?
Absolutely! Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the most beautiful and captivating places in Japan, with incredible views over Mount Fuji.
Of course, the town is known for the impressive views of Fuji-san, but there are also many other awesome things to do in Kawaguchiko during your visit.
Wander around the different parks, sit down and chill at some cafes, take in the Japanese culture, and visit the museums in town.
Despite being a small town, you’ll love spending a couple of days here.
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HOW TO GET TO LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO FROM TOKYO?
From Tokyo to Kawaguchiko town, you can use public transportation or rent a car. The former is cheaper but takes longer, and the latter is more convenient.
OPTION 1: PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Head to Shinjuku Station and take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station. You can use the JR Pass up until here.
Once you’re at Otsuki Station, change to Fuji Kyuko Line bound for Kawaguchiko Station. The cost is 1,170 Yen per adult and the journey time is 55 minutes.
OPTION 2: RENT A CAR
The second option is to rent a car in Tokyo and head out to Kawaguchiko Lake at your own pace. The distance is 115km and approximately a 1.5-hour drive.
Renting a car gives you more freedom and flexibility to move around, however, train travel in Japan is the most convenient and affordable when using the JR Pass.
READ MORE: JR Pass Japan
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HOW TO GET AROUND LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO?
Kawaguchiko is relatively walkable and you can easily stroll around town and along the lake while taking in the views of Mount Fuji.
Alternatively, if you want to go further and discover all the hidden corners, you can rent a bicycle and bike around Lake Kawaguchiko.
Some hotels offer free bike rental, otherwise, the best place to rent a bike is from NaturaBase and the cost is 1500 Yen per day.
You can also book a taxi to get you around the things to do in Lake Kawaguchiko, which is pricier yet practical.
THINGS TO DO IN LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO
If there’s a popular spot in Japan, it’s definitely Mount Fuji, and Kawaguchiko is by far the best place to take photos.
But there’s so much more to do here, so let’s go through the best things to do in Lake Kawaguchiko.
ENJOY THE VIEWS AT CHUREITO PAGODA
Let’s kick off this list of things to do in Kawaguchiko with the world-famous Chureito Pagoda, a five-story pagoda located just outside the town.
Surrounded by the majestic Mt. Fuji and the traditional buildings, standing at the Chureito Pagoda very well could be the highlight of your trip to Japan.
The Chureito Pagoda is inside the Arakura Sengen Shrine and you’ll have to hike 400 steps up to get there.
Note that you can’t walk from Kawaguchiko to Chureito Pagoda as it’s 7km away, but you can call a taxi or take a train to Shimoyoshida Station from Kawaguchiko Station, which takes about 13 minutes.
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MT. FUJI PANORAMIC ROPEWAY
The Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway is a cable car that takes you 1000 meters above sea level.
From here, you can see Lake Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji, and the views are simply spectacular.
Once you get here, you’ll be greeted with a long walkway where you can take photos, as well as a vast terrace where you can enjoy the views from.
Most visitors go up and down the mountain on the ropeway, but there is also a hiking trail that goes from the observation deck down the mountain. It takes about 30 minutes to walk down this trail.
The cable car starts working at 9:30 am and there are departures every 5 to 10 minutes, which is pretty convenient.
Note that it can get pretty crowded, and you may have to wait up to 30 to 45 minutes to get in.
The admission will set you back 900 Yen ($6.60) for a roundtrip or 500 Yen ($3.70) for a one-way ticket.
VISIT AOKIGAHARA FOREST
One of the most intriguing and free things to do near Mount Fuji is an excursion through the Aokigahara Forest.
Nicknamed “the Sea of Trees,” this lush forest covers 14 square miles at the northern base of Mt. Fuji.
An excellent destination for hikers and nature lovers alike, visitors are enthralled by its silence.
It’s one of the quietest places in Japan with enigmatic caves, massive trees, and diverse wildlife.
With established trails and fascinating legends, this is your chance to explore the Japanese countryside far from the crowds.
HAVE FUN AT FUJI-Q HIGHLAND AMUSEMENT PARK
The area near Mount Fuji is known for its lakes and beautiful shrines.
But if you’re looking for a unique way to experience Japanese culture while having fun, then Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park is your place.
Located in Yamanashi, this amusement park is home to some of the most thrilling roller coasters in the country.
Other than the amazing rides, there are several restaurants around as well as street food, which I recommend!
As you can expect, many tourists are here too, and entering each ride might take up to 30 minutes.
I recommend spending at least half a day here to enjoy the roller coasters, the food, the walk around, and everything else!
I recommend booking your ticket in advance, especially when visiting around the cherry blossom or during the summer. Get it here below:
BOOK HERE: Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park
SPEND SOME TIME AT OISHI PARK
Oishi Park is another awesome spot in town that I recommend visiting, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love as soon as you arrive.
The park offers stunning views of Mt. Fuji, which are comparable to those you get at Chureito Pagoda, but you can enjoy the reflection of Mount Fuji on the lake and the lavender flowers too.
Other than taking photos and roaming around, there are two ice cream stores inside the park where you can buy a small snack.
Unlike other places and parks near Mount Fuji, Oishi Park isn’t as crowded and, when it gets busy, there’s enough space around for everyone to enjoy. So make sure to come over and relax!
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TAKE A STROLL AT MOMIJI CORRIDOR LAKE KAWAGUCHI
Taking a stroll at Lake Kawaguchi is sure to make for a memorable experience near Mount Fuji. It reminded me of the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, and I’m sure it won’t disappoint!
The lake is lined with over 1,000 maple trees forming a colorful path – locally known as Momiji Corridor – making it an enchanting natural scenery you can’t find anywhere else.
If you’re staying for the night, I suggest you come in the evening and take a photo of all the illuminated trees and paths!
With its blooming seasonal colors and incredible mountain views of Mount Fuji, walking along Momiji Corridor is one of the must-see attractions in Lake Kaqaguchiko region.
TAKE PHOTOS AT SHIMOYOSHIDA HONCHO STREET
Located in Fujiyoshida town, just 5 minutes walk from Fujiyoshida station, is this idyllic shopping street with an incredible view of Mount Fuji looming in the background.
If you’re an avid photographer and want to capture a unique photo of Fuji-san, then head on over to Shimoyoshida Honcho Street and put your composition skills to the test!
Related Article: Best Affordable Camera For Landscape Photography
RELAX AT OSHINO HAKKAI SPRINGS
Another impressive place you can’t miss out on is the Oshino Hakkai Springs, nestled between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako.
The springs consist of eight interconnected ponds set among green surroundings and a peaceful environment.
The eight ponds are fed by snow melt from Mount Fuji. The snow melts and then filters down the mountain through porous layers of lava.
Note that the springs have become pretty popular with tourists and, therefore, don’t expect raw, untouched nature as you’d get at Aokigahara Forest.
Nonetheless, it’s an incredible spot that you can’t skip while being near Mount Fuji.
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KUBOTA ITCHIKU MUSEUM
Kubota Itchiku was a local artist that revived the art of Tsujigahana silk dyeing, which is nowadays used to decorate kimonos in the Muromachi Period (1333-1573).
Itchiku loved the textile displayed at the National Museum in Tokyo and devoted his life to it, hence this museum.
Here, you can learn about the silk history in the region, roam around the beautiful garden at the entrance, and see some of the best kimonos he created back in the day.
The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and the entrance fee costs 1300 Yen ($9.50).
HAVE LUNCH AT MIYAKI UDON
For a quick break in a traditional, delicious restaurant, Miyaki Udon has got you covered.
This unassuming restaurant is renowned for its traditional udon dishes, all made using handcrafted noodles. On top of that, you should know that the place is famous for horsemeat.
The place is mostly for locals, so they don’t have a menu in English, but a little translation from Google Translate will do.
For just 350 Yen ($2.50), you’ll get a delicious bowl of noodles and that’s really all you need after a day exploring around!
SEE THE YAMANASHI GEM MUSEUM
The Yamanashi Gem Museum, located just a short walk from Lake Kawaguchiko, showcases an array of precious gems and stones from all over the world.
Here, you can see the various types of gems on display, like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
The museum also features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn more about the history and science behind these beautiful stones.
It’s not an activity for everyone but it’s definitely a nice thing to do near Mount Fuji if you’re interested in gems.
The museum opens at 9:00 am and closes at 5:30 pm, and the admission will set you back 600 Yen ($4.50).
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ONSEN AT HOTEL MIFUJIEN
There are different onsens in town, but a hotel that opens to non-staying guests is Hotel Mifujien.
Here, the hot springs are on the top floor and you can see Mount Fuji while relaxing in the tub. Note that the onsen has 2 pools, one indoor and one outdoor, which are separated for men and women.
Apart from that, they also have towels so you don’t need to bring your own, which is super convenient.
All in all, out of all the activities near Mount Fuji, this is one of the coolest, so make sure to add it to your itinerary.
DRINK SAKE AT IDE SHUZO BREWERY
Experience the unique taste of sake at Ide Shuzo Brewery, a family-owned brewery that will keep you entertained when visiting.
Located just a short walk from Kawaguchiko Station, Ide Shuzo offers 2-hour sake-tasting sessions for only 500 Yen ($3.70)!
And if you want to include the brewery tour, that will cost you 1500 Yen ($10). What is so unique about this brewery is that they make the sake with water sourced directly from Mount Fuji.
For this reason, you can’t find the same taste anywhere else in the world!
The brewery is open daily from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. What to say, it’s just one of the coolest things to do near Mount Fuji!
HAVE A BREAK AT LAKE SIDE CAFÉ KU
Tired of walking around and want a quick break? Lake Side Café Ku is a fantastic option – It’s cheap, it’s delicious, and it’s photogenic.
They have chairs near the window where you can sit and take in all the views over the mountains. Plus, the food they offer is as tasty as it gets.
And if you’re in the mood for it, make sure to try their matcha tea, it’s to die for!
SIGHTSEEING BOAT TOUR ON KAWAGUCHIKO LAKE
Last but not least on this list of things to do in Kawaguchiko is a sightseeing boat tour on the lake.
It’s a short 20-minute boat ride that departs from the shores of Lake Kawaguchi and will take you across the lake for breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding landscapes.
Operating hours are Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The cost is 1000 Yen per adult and 500 Yen per child.
BEST TOURS IN LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO
Other than joining a tour to Lake Kawaguchiko, I also recommend taking a day trip from Tokyo to Hakone, which is also worth it.
These are the best tours you can join to Kawaguchiko!
WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO
There are dozens of hotels in Kawaguchiko, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of luxury travelers, budget backpackers, and everyone in between.
Luxury: La Vista Fujikawaguchiko
Mid-Range: Mount Fuji Panorama Glamping
Budget: Haleluya Guest House
OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO
Didn’t find the perfect accommodation above to suit your needs?
Use the interactive map below to search all the available hotels in Lake Kawaguchiko. Simply enter your dates of stay and hit the search button!
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