VIDEO: Japan Destinations: Fuji Five Lakes

VIDEO: Japan Destinations: Fuji Five Lakes

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.
Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Fuji Five Lakes. 

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo and most of the military bases in the Kanto Plain area by car or train.
Described as a “sacred place and source of artistic inspiration” during its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fuji Five Lakes area is home to natural wonders like Mt. Fuji, the pristine lakes, eight ponds of the purest water and cultural wonders like villages of traditional homes and buildings. For decades and probably longer, many have drawn inspiration from this beautiful getaway, and you can too!
Some of the must-see spots in the area include:

•    Fuji Five Lakes - The Fuji Five Lakes are located in different areas surround the foot of Mt. Fuji. Each boasts a distinct color and look. The largest of the five are Yamanakako and Kawaguchiko which are also the busiest thanks to the many hotels, sports and resort facilities they are host to. Saiko, Shojiko and Motosuko, the three other lakes remain untamed and surrounded by the tangled and wild Aokigahara Jukai forest. Interestingly, these three lakes are still connected via underground waterways and consequently maintain the same surface level of 2,952 feet above sea.

•    Saiko Iyashinosato Nenba - Located at the western end of Saiko, Nenba Village, also known as “Saiko Iyashinosato Nenba,” features traditional folk houses and a small river with Mt. Fuji as a bright backdrop. When you visit the village in late April, cherry trees lining the river bloom their gorgeous pinkish blossoms for an impressive sight. Take a stroll through the village and explore the interior of some which have been converted into shops selling various crafts and pottery. 

•    Oshino Hakkai - Between Lake Kawaguchiko and Yamanakako, you’ll find Oshino Hakkai, a set of eight ponds revered for their crystal-clear waters fed directly from the snow that melts of Mt. Fuji every year. This was once considered a sacred site for pilgrims making the ascent to Mt. Fuji. The pilgrimage would start with a soak in each pond for purification before making the climb to the top.  While you’re there make a stop at the small, open-air museum “Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan.” This attraction in the village is a touch of the village life, with traditional farmhouses, tools, houshehold items, swords and armor.
While you're there, don't forget to sample the local dish, Hotou. This miso-based broth soup features flat and thick noodles, a variety of meat options, and chunks of hearty local vegetables like pumpkin, green onions and mushrooms.  This delicious and warm noodle soup will energize you after all the walking you’ll do in the area.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Fuji Five Lakes through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!


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