The secret ice world underneath Mt. Fuji

icicles mt. fuji fugaku fuketsu
Located about 20 minutes by bus from Kawaguchiko Station, inside a forest formed by the ashes of Mt. Fuji’s past eruptions over a thousand years ago, a mysterious opening in the ground greets visitors into a different world. It’s the Fugaku Fuketsu Wind Cave, a 201-meter long lateral cave that maintains an average temperature of three degrees Celcius year-round. The cave was used until the Showa Period as a natural refrigerator to store seeds and silkworm cocoons. It features large icicles that are formed by water seeping through the porous rocks, as well as solidified lava moulded into a variety of shapes.

A 20-minute walk away is the Narusawa Hyoketsu Ice Cave, featuring two tunnels that wrap around a pit creating an annular shape. It also has impressive ice pillars that can reach up to 50 centimeters in diameter and 3 meters high in April. It was designated in 1929 as a natural monument by the Ministry of Education of Japan. The two caves and the Lakes Kawaguchiko, Siako, Shoji and Motosu are convenientely connected by route buses serving different areas and offer three lines, the green line, the red line, and the blue line. Visit this website to find out their schedules and a route map.

Two of our WAttention Ninjas got to experience a tour of the caves and the surrounding Aokigahara Jukai Forest, and this is what they had to say about the trip.

Jake Reiff

The Aokigahara Jukai Forest, at the base of Mount Fuji is home to the Wind and the Ice caves. These caves literally sent chills down my spine as they can be quite cold, so I would recommend visitors to bring a light jacket. It is a refreshing way to cool down on a hot day. Both the Wind and Ice Caves feature natural icicles that are formed from the ground up, however the Wind Cave has an extra exhibit that showcases how past generations used the caves as natural refrigerators. We joined an English tour where we learned a lot about the caves and took a walk in the Aokigahara Jukai Forest. In addition to the various activities that are available at the destination, the Green Line bus ride offers incredible sightseeing and photo opportunities such as Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Saiko, and Mount Fuji itself. The lakes are surrounded by lush green trees and resemble a miniature beach because of the people who set up tents on the sand shore. Almost every store on the way has Mt. Fuji themed items such as cookies, clothes, candy, etc. Gifts for family and friends that are exclusive to Japan will not be difficult to come by.
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Our trip started at Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal, where we rode a highway bus to Kawaguchiko Station. We then took the scenic Green Line bus where we could see breathtaking landscapes of the still snow-capped Mt. Fuji and the peaceful lakes around it. We then joined a tour to visit two caves created from solidified lava from Mt. Fuji’s past eruptions. Even though it was quite hot outside, surprisingly the caves remain cool throughout the year. The Wind Cave has a horizontal shape while the Ice Cave has a vertical shape, but both have huge icicles formed by water that filters through the rock. I was particularly impressed by the beautiful landscape surrounded by the two caves. The Aokigahara Jukai Forest is filled with lush nature, offering great photo opportunities. A must for any nature lover visiting Japan!

Franklin Balseca

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Sample schedule for a day visiting the Fugaku Fuketsu Wind Cave and Narusawa Hyoketsu Ice Cave shibazakuraschedulefinal

The Fugaku Fuketsu Wind Cave and Narusawa Hyoketsu Ice Cave

Open: from May 9th to June 15th, from 9am to 5:15pm, for other periods, please refer to the official website.
Entrance fee: Adults 350 JPY, Children 200 JPY
URL: http://www.mtfuji-cave.com/en/
Guided Nature Tour:
-1 hour visiting one of the caves and a walk around Aokigahara Jukai Forest is 10,000 JPY
-2 hours visiting both caves and a walk around Aokigahara Jukai Forest is 15,000 JPY.
-Tour available in five languages: English, Chinese, German, French and Korean.
Guided Nature Tour fax reservations:
0555-85-3497
Guided Nature Tour e-mail reservations: [email protected]

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with this useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

Guide to marvelous Summer Festivals!

fireworks festival summer japan
From firework festivals, shrine events and dance parades; among the hundreds of events going on during the hottest time of the year, here are some suggestions for you!

Asakusa Summer Night Festival – Toro Nagashi

Follow the flickering paper lanterns floating down the river!

Toro Nagashi was first held in 1946, in memory of those who died in World War II. After a pause in 1965, the event came back to life in 2005; since then, it has become a popular annual summer event. Besides writing down the names of loved ones who have passed away, recently people also inscribe wishes on the paper lanterns and release them into the river. Attendees can light a lantern for 1,500 yen and watch the warm sea of shining lights from the riverbank.

toronagashi festival

Date: Aug 12, 2017 (Sat) Hours: 6:30pm – 8pm
Viewing Spot: Sumida Park Shinsui Terrace between Azumabashi and Kototoibashi Bridge
Access: 3-min walk from Asakusa Station (Tobu Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)

Fukagawa Hachiman Festival

Immerse yourself in one of Tokyo’s biggest summer festivals!

In addition to the Sanno and Kanda Festivals, the Fukagawa Hachiman Festival is one of the major Shinto annual events remaining from the Edo period. It is held on a large scale every three years (most recently in 2014), when the imperial carriage of Hachiman, the god of war, is carried through the streets together with 120 large and small portable shrines. The highlight of the event is a parade of more than 50 large portable shrines. Also called “Mizukake Water Festival,” the carriers, shouting “Wasshoi Wasshoi!” (Heave-ho in English), are splashed with water by those cheering along the roadside.

fukagawa hachiman matsuri festival water

Date: Aug 11 – 15, 2017 (Fri – Tue) Hours: 9am – 9pm
Address: Tomioka Hachiman Shrine, 1-20-3 Tomioka, Koto-ku Access: 3-min walk from Monzen-nakacho Station (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Toei Oedo Line)

Sumida River Fireworks Festival

Be enchanted under the sparkling night sky!

Japanese fireworks displays are popular for their kaleidoscopic colors and spectacular designs, and the one along Sumida River is no exception! Boasting a total of 22,000 fireworks and attracting about one million visitors yearly, this summer event is one of Tokyo’s biggest. Its history dates to 1733, when it was held in memory of the many victims of a severe famine. Since 1978, it has been an annual event, and people look forward to it with great anticipation year by year. Don´t miss the chance to see one of the most breathtaking fireworks displays in all of Japan!
fireworks sumida river tokyo hanabi
Date: Jul 29, 2017 (Sat) *In case of stormy weather, the event will be held on July 30th (Sun)
Hours: 7:05pm – 8:30pm
Viewing Spot 1: Between Sakurabashi and Kototoibashi Bridge
Viewing Spot 2: Between Komagatabashi and Umayabashi Bridge
Access: 10-min walk from Asakusa Station (Tobu Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)

Roppongi Hills Bon Dance Festival

Wear yukata and join the folk dance!

The Bon dance is a folk dance for greeting the spirits of ancestors. People line up in a circle and dance around a high wooden stage (yagura in Japanese). Feel free to jump in and follow the steps of the yukata-clad leaders on stage! The choreography is very simple, which makes it easy to learn quickly, even for those with “two left feet.” Glowing lanterns add to the traditional atmosphere and stalls abound to provide a variety of refreshments and snacks.

dance folk roppongi summer festival

Date: Aug 26 – 27, 2017 (Sat – Sun) Hours: 5pm – 8pm
Address: Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Access: Directly at Roppongi Station – Exit 1C (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line); 4-min walk from Roppongi Station –
Exit 3 (Toei Oedo Line)

Immerse in Japanese culture and experience yukata

buying yukata
With the amount of foreign visitors to Japan increasing each year, it’s becoming more common to see tourists immersing in Japanese culture and wearing a traditional kimono or yukata, especially when the hot, humid months make it more comfortable to explore around in these light, cotton garments. Whether you decide to buy or rent your yukata, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store

Main building 4F kimono floor
Shopping in a World of Class and Tradition

Founded in 1673 under the name of Echigoya, Mitsukoshi was known for specializing in kimono fabrics. In 1904, it became Japan’s first department store. The building houses historic objects from throughout the centuries, and provides a unique and authentic Japanese shopping adventure in Tokyo’s Nihombashi area. Before summer approaches, Mitsukoshi opens its annual yukata display in preparation for the season’s festivities. This year’s yukata theme is “flowers”; garments with fresh, tie-dyed floral prints in a variety of colors are on sale, including masterpieces from Chikusen and other renowned brands. While the wide selection of yukata and accessories may feel overwhelming at first, don’t worry: Friendly, knowledgeable assistants are eager to lend a hand in selecting the perfect yukata just for you. From colors and patterns to accessory combinations, they provide expert professional advice, making the shopping experience smooth for those who have no familiarity with yukata and/or may not be sure what looks best on them. If you are still unsure about your selection, do not hesitate to try on the yukata to see how it actually
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looks. The attentive staff knows exactly how to dress you based on your body type – and you will be amazed how quickly and gracefully they move! During the process, feel free to ask questions; they are more than happy to give you helpful tips. This surely is the most authentic way.
Hours: 10:30am – 7:30pm
Address: 1-4-1 Nihombashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku
Access: 1-min walk from Mitsukoshi-mae Station
(Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line)

Rutile

Traditional Yukata experience in Asakusa

rutile yukata rental service tokyo
Rutile, a yukata rental store in Tokyo’s cultural center Asakusa, invites you to stroll through the narrow sidewalks of the area while wearing Japan’s traditional summer garment. After submitting an online reservation, you can discuss about the additional services available once at the store. In addition to selecting your favorite yukata from a wide range of designs, they also provide hair styling, makeup and photo shooting services for a small extra fee. The streets of Asakusa provide the perfect setting for your traditional yukata experience. Enjoy firework festivals, discover hidden places, take a ride in a rickshaw or taste the many goodies sold at food stalls in the area. Rutile offers a special discount of 500 yen in addition to their reasonable prices for those who upload a photo to their private SNS accounts and mention the store during their experience.
Hours: 10am – 7pm
Address: A One Building 5F, 1-33-8
Asakusa, Taito-ku
Access: 3-min walk from Asakusa
Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
URL: http://rutile.shop/index.html

Yukata Hanabi

Take off in Japan’s traditional summer garment

Only 30 seconds away from Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya Station, start your yukata experience at Yukata Hanabi! Providing you with the best service, professional makeup and hair artists will take care of your fresh summer look. You can rent the yukata of your choice for a total of three days, which will relieve you of having to worry about the shop’s closing hours. It is also possible to purchase your favorite yukata for a reasonable price. Fully dressed, take to the streets of Shibuya and make your way to the many firework
hanabi yukata
and summer festivals around town! When you like Yukata Hanabi’s Facebook page, you will be rewarded with a 500 yen discount on your total fee.
Hours: 10am – 6pm (Sat & Sun) Opened when firework festival falls on a weekday
Address: Yushin Building 1F, 3-27-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Access: 30-second walk from Shibuya Station – New South Exit
URL: http://www.yukatahanabi.com/

Find out the best summer festivals to wear your yukata in this article.

Interview with a kimono influencer

german kimono enthusiast

Taking Over Tokyo’s Fashion Scene

From a small town in northern Germany to the massive metropolis of Tokyo, Anji SALZ, who calls herself a “kimono influencer,” told us about the latest trends in the kimono community.

Already owning several yukata back in Germany, received as gifts, she first wore a kimono in Kyoto and fell in love with the elegance. After moving to Japan in 2010, Anji dedicated her life to spreading the beauty of kimono as a casual garment. We met the designer of SALZ Tokyo on a sunny afternoon in Shinjuku to talk about her current projects, future plans and this year’s yukata trends.

What fascinates you about kimono and yukata?
“Usually kimono have been passed down through generations and it feels like wearing a piece of art. I love that you can style and combine kimono quite wildly, the same as Harajuku fashion. You can go bold with patterns and colors, and it is a lot of fun! Match stripes and dots, or combine flower patterns and geometrical patterns. I just love how your whole posture changes, as it makes you feel more feminine and graceful. I also have the feeling that it changes me as a person. When I am walking in my regular clothes I tend to get stressed in crowds, but when I wear kimono or yukata I feel more gentle and kind. It changes my movements and I can take one step back.”

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
“First of all, I think of kimono as fashion. I have the feeling that many Japanese people don’t do that, as they feel intimidated by a lot of rules. I feel free and find inspiration in Harajuku fashion, kimono-wearing people around me, magazines or creative photo shoots. I like vintage clothes,

“The blue color makes me feel refreshed even on hot summer days, and fish are a specific summer motif in the kimono world! The checkered design is modern, yet transmits a retro atmosphere.”
“The blue color makes me feel refreshed even on
hot summer days, and fish are a specific summer
motif in the kimono world! The checkered design is
modern, yet transmits a retro atmosphere.”
especially clothes which tell a story. I also like to experiment and mix my outfits with western accessories – wearing sneakers and funky tights, while turning up the kimono a little to show the design.”
“This shade of green is my favorite color. I love bold colors, and the contrast between the yukata and the white arrow-patterned obi (sash) pops right into the eye – perfect for the next fireworks festival!”
“This shade of green is
my favorite color.
I love bold colors, and
the contrast between
the yukata and the
white arrow-patterned
obi (sash) pops right
into the eye – perfect
for the next fireworks
festival!”
Tell us about your mission.
“At the moment, I call myself a “kimono influencer.” I want to show interesting ways of styling kimono and yukata, as well as influencing and inspiring other people. Since kimono used to be standard attire, I would love to bring back this tradition. In my opinion, there is no special occasion needed to wear these garments – whether it is going shopping, dinner with friends or a park visit.”

What are your current projects and your future plans?
“Currently I am learning wasai (traditional kimono sewing), which involves the whole construction of kimono. I have almost finished my next project, which is a kimono made of python optic fabric. The bottom part, the bottom of the sleeves and the collar are made with real leather, which is quite difficult to sew. In the future, I plan to work with different kinds of modern technology that are already being used in the fashion industry, but I want to be the first to use them for my kimono designs. Further, I would like to create more creative photoshoots, as well as ways of styling the models.”

Watermelon yukata designed by SALZ Tokyo. “Watermelons give the ultimate summer vibes. Lace tabi ( Japanese socks with split toe) cover up naked feet but are still breathable in the heat.”
Watermelon yukata designed by SALZ Tokyo. “Watermelons give the ultimate summer vibes. Lace tabi ( Japanese socks with split toe) cover up naked feet but are still breathable in the heat.”
Follow her adventures at salz-tokyo.com or by her username "salztokyo" on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Follow her adventures at salz-tokyo.com or by her username “salztokyo” on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

WATTENTION WRITER PROFILE

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Tabea Greuner
Living and working in Japan since 2015. Always excited about discovering new places. Passion for photography, nature-lover & Japanese fashion expert. MORE ARTICLES BY THIS WRITERABOUT WATTENTION NINJA

Yukata, timeless elegance for the summer

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Summer time means matsuri (festival) time in Japan! And there is simply nothing more fashionable to wear to a traditional Japanese festival than a yukata! This casual version of a kimono is lighter in fabric (cotton or synthetic), and is the perfect practical garb for Japan’s hot and humid summers!

The History of Yukata

The first example of a yukata appeared around 1200 years ago and was called yukatabira. People started to wear them as bathrobes to soak up sweat and protect their skin from burns during steam baths. At the end of the Edo period (1603 – 1867), the number of public bath houses increased significantly, and the common population spread yukata culture as both an after-bath gown and as casual streetwear.
After World War II, the Japanese lifestyle became even more westernized, making the yukata attire less common. Beside during summer festivals and firework displays, they are most commonly worn in onsen (hot spring) towns. Ryokan, traditional Japanese hotels, provide these garments as standard robes for their guests, and many even wear them as they stroll through the streets.

CHIKUSEN, art shaped by tradition

If you are looking for a yukata that doubles as a piece of traditional art, Chikusen is the place to go. Dating
back to 1842, the closing years of the Edo period, Chikusen took its first steps in the Asakusa district of Tokyo.

chikusen yukata store

Kabuki: The Stepping Stone for Traditional Craftsmanship

Sen’nosuke (仙之助), Chikusen’s founder,ran a yukata shop specialized in dyeing filigree patterns. With his deep interest in theatre and haiku (traditional Japanese poetry), many in his circle of friends were kabuki (Japanese classical theatre) actors, novelists and other types of artists.
Since plain yukata were the norm, Sen’nosuke’s elaborate designs captured the attention of kabuki actors, who started asking him to design their stage costumes. The audience were impressed and the name Chikusen spread among the general public in no time. According to a book telling Tokyo’s historical anecdotes, “Chikusen” is a combination of the owner’s name, and chinchikurin, the Japanese word for “short person.” He took “chiku” from chinchikurin and added “sen” from his name – giving birth to the name Chikusen.
japanese design fabric boxes

Asakusa: New Cultural Mecca

japanese fabric design yukata
In Edo (present day Tokyo), people tended to spend a lot of money at markets and theaters. To control and improve the entertainment business, the Tokugawa shogunate decided to move the three biggest kabuki theaters of Edo to Asakusa. Edo culture was characterized by kabuki, which was at that time considered to be a casual sort of entertainment, and whose actors were considered to be trendsetters. The audience was impressed by the outfits and wanted to adapt to the new fashion, therefore Chikusen’s yukata became popular among the general population.

Relation with Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store

Asakusa turned from a business to an entertainment district. Meanwhile, department stores opened in Nihombashi and this area developed into a business district. Due to Chikusen’s strong relationship with this department store, the then-president suggested moving to Nihombashi. With yukata’s popularity at its peak, Chikusen had to deliver its products to Mitsukoshi three times a day. As it was only deliverable by hand carts, the new location could save a lot of time. Therefore, Chikusen relocated to Nihombashi shortly after World War II, and its headquarters have remained there.
japanese fabric for yukata blue

Key Dyeing Methods

Japanese dyeing methods yukata

Nagaita Chugata 長板中型
During the Edo period, a special dyeing technique for yukata was invented called nagaita chugata. First, a 12-meter long piece of fabric is tightened on a 6.5-meter long fir tree plank. Next, a stencil of about 40 centimeters is placed over the fabric and a special glue for resist printing (bosen nori in Japanese 防染糊) is added to the parts which are not supposed to be dyed. To obtain an even result, the glue is separately applied the same way to both the front and back. The most difficult part is adjusting the stencil on the back toth e print on the front evenly, in order to achieve a flawless pattern without fading the colors.
Nagaita Chugata 小紋中型
Another dyeing method is komon chugata, also called Edo komon, which is an original dyeing technique developed by Chikusen. The pattern is engraved on the stencil with a small, semicircle blade, which produces an intricate pattern of small dots or other detailed designs. This technique is especially challenging, since adjusting the delicate pattern on both sides is very complicated. Looking at the fabric from afar, it seems that there is no pattern at all, but as you take a closer look at the simple yet detailed design, it reveals its pure elegance. Since it was only possible to dye two rolls of fabric per day, many of Edo’s craftsmen were not able to produce nearly enough yukata for the whole population of Tokyo.
Chusen 注染
With the beginning of the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), a new dyeing method called chusen was introduced, which enabled the production of fabric in larger quantities. The patterns itself and the procedure of applying them stayed the same, but the stencil length changed from 40 centimeters to 90 centimeters. The glue is applied on a 12-meter long fabric, folded like a folding screen, and when this process is finished, it will be placed on the dyeing table. Afterwards the dye is applied with watering cans. With this new process, a craftsman was able to produce more than 100 rolls of fabric per day and the production increased dramatically.
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Traditional Designs with a Modern Twist
Chikusen’s trademark can be found in its historical patterns. Designers use stencils remaining from the Edo period and adapt and reform them to the current fashion trends. Compared to Japan’s western regions, the patterns of historic Edo are very simple and understandable for everyone. Simple designs such as dianthus, bamboo, sakura (cherry blossoms), hydrangea, waves and lilies are very common. Today, Chikusen is the only place that uses dyeing techniques from the Edo period.
Edo: Japan’s Trendsetter
Things which were popular in Edo spread throughout the rest of Japan, making the city the nation’s trendsetter in terms of all things cultural, including fashion. The “Edo-style” yukata with its dark indigo and bright white color combination were in high demand. According to a book written in late 19th century introducing Edo’s famous products, yukata was one of the popular souvenir item and had significant value.
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chikusen entrance exterior

CHIKUSEN

Hours: 9am – 5pm
Closed: Sat, Sun & national holidays (open Sat from Apr – Jul)
Address: 2-3 Kofuna-cho, Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

WATTENTION WRITER PROFILE

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Tabea Greuner
Living and working in Japan since 2015. Always excited about discovering new places. Passion for photography, nature-lover & Japanese fashion expert. MORE ARTICLES BY THIS WRITERABOUT WATTENTION NINJA

A Relaxing weekend around Lake Kawaguchiko with your family

DAY 2


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Start your day with a well-balanced breakfast on the top floor of Highland Resort Hotel & Spa and enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji from large panorama windows. Get ready and make your way to the Fujikyu Highland Station on the Fujikyuko Line, and get off at Kawaguchiko Station or you could also take the free touristic bus connecting the hotel to Kawaguchiko station.

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After exploring the vicinity of the station, set off for a 46min walk to the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko. A stunning view of cherry blossoms embracing Mt. Fuji awaits you.

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After a 43min walk back to the eastern shore, hop onto the Kachi Kachi Yama Ropeway, which will take you to Kawaguchiko Tenjo-yama Park.

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Starting from the foot of Mt. Tenjo at Kawaguchi-Kohan Station, the ropeway takes you to the summit at Fujimidai Station within three minutes. Enjoy a superb view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko, and if you are lucky, even the Southern Alps!

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Mt. Tenjo (1,075 meters) is the setting of the Japanese folktale, “Kachi-kachi Yama” by Dazai Osamu, in which a rabbit outwits an evil tanuki (Japanese raccoon) by setting him on fire and letting him drown in a river. In theme with the story, the ropeway as well as the observation area is decorated with cute cartoon characters of the rabbit and tanuki.

These pictures are from before the restoration.

The observatory facility, with its souvenir shop and heart-shaped bell, is under construction until summer. The pictures shown here are from before the renovation.

If you only purchased a one-way ticket, enjoy the 45min hiking trail down Mt. Tenjo, and pass the Nakabadaira observation area, which features a monument of Osamu. During summer season (mid-July through the beginning of August), you can enjoy a hundred thousands of hydrangea flowers blooming in a dozen different colors.
After arriving at the foot of the mountain, make your way back to Kawaguchiko Station and take the train to Shimoyoshida Station.

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From there, signs will lead you to the Arakurayama Sengen Park, which houses the five-storied Chureito Pagoda. The pagoda is located about 400 steps apart from the Arakura Sengen Shrine and was built in 1963 as a peace monument. Surrounded by cherry blossoms, with Mt. Fuji in the background it’s the perfect photo spot!

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Read about convenient accommodation and shops near Mt. Fuji by clicking HERE

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with this useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

WATTENTION WRITER PROFILE

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Tabea Greuner
Living and working in Japan since 2015. Always excited about discovering new places. Passion for photography, nature-lover & Japanese fashion expert. MORE ARTICLES BY THIS WRITERABOUT WATTENTION NINJA

Convenient accommodation and shopping options near Mt. Fuji

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CABIN & LOUNGE HIGHLAND STATION INN

Are you traveling on a low-budget? Then we have the best solution for you and your friends! Whether you plan an exciting hiking adventure, or you want to have fun at Fuji-Q Highland, the Cabin & Lounge Highland Station Inn provides you with a comfortable accommodation for a reasonable price! This recently opened capsule hotel is just a minute walk from Fuji-Q Highland Station. The Hotel is divided by a women’s and a men’s floor, which is only accessible by a security card.

The floors have their own lounge, and the cabins are equipped with comfortable semi-double size mattresses, USB and power outlets, as well as dimming lightning and free wi-fi.

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The lobby lounge on the first floor is the perfect place to relax as you plan your next adventure with the large selection of guidebooks and pamphlets available.

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For guests who plan to visit the Fuji-Q Highland on the same day as checking in into the Hotel, the entrance for the amusement park will be free of charge!
Around the hotel’s vicinity includes a convenience store, karaoke, restaurants, a camera and mobile phone shop, the bus stop, and a climbing equipment rental shop.

LA MONT MOUNTAINEERING GEAR RENTAL SHOP

The La Mont Mountaineering Gear Rental Shop right next to the Cabin & Lounge Highland Station Inn, equips you with the best and necessary equipment for your hiking adventure.

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The friendly staff gives advice on how to correctly use walking sticks, as well as how to choose the right hiking boots or jacket for you. They also provide women and men clothing in a variety of colors.

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At the sales corner, you can even buy barely used goods for a fair price.

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The shop also provides a powder room for women to get ready for their hikes, as well as lockers where you can store your luggage! Next to the entrance is the guidance counter for foreign tourists, which provides you with information about the area.

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If you are not able to visit the store itself, a convenient rental service is available online. Choose your preferred outfit, pay the rental fee, and have it delivered to your house.

FUJISAN STATION HOTEL

Footsteps away from the Mt. Fuji Station

If you have decided to visit the Mt. Fuji area, but haven’t a clue where to stay for the night, FUJISAN STATION HOTEL is a great option, as it is only two minutes’ walk away from Mt. Fuji Station.

FUJISAN-STATION-HOTEL

The hotel offers single, twin, double and triple rooms to cater to single travelers as well as family groups. Although designed in the modern style, FUJISAN STATION HOTEL preserves a great mountain atmosphere. Also available are guest rooms with a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.

FUJISAN-STATION-HOTEL-room

The hotel has a nice restaurant with a spacious, open air feeling. Enjoy the breakfast here with a stunning view of nature.

fuji-hotel-dining-room

The hotel staff is ready to help guests with tourism information. A variety of pamphlets are available in the lobby for those who want to do some homework before setting off.

FUJISAN-STATION-HOTEL-reception-2
FUJISAN-STATION-HOTEL-reception

With its convenient access and excellent service, FUJISAN STATION HOTEL is the place to relax at your own pace and explore the Mt. Fuji.

FUJISAN STATION HOTEL

Address: 2-7-12 Matsuyama, Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture
Access: Two minute walk from Mt Fuji Station
URL: http://www.fujisanstation-hotel.com

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with this useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

WATTENTION WRITER PROFILE

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Tabea Greuner
Living and working in Japan since 2015. Always excited about discovering new places. Passion for photography, nature-lover & Japanese fashion expert. MORE ARTICLES BY THIS WRITERABOUT WATTENTION NINJA

A Relaxing weekend around Lake Kawaguchiko with your family

DAY 1


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Make your way straight to Fuji-Q Highland amusement park by taking the Fuji-Q Highway Bus – Resort Express from Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Shibuya Station (Mark City), or directly from Haneda Airport. The amusement park is located in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, on the foothills of Mt. Fuji! The comfortable bus ride takes 1hr40min to your destination, and free wifi is also available.
As you get closer to Fuji-Q Highland, a stunning view of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed from your seat! To experience this area to its fullest, a stay of two days is recommended, and the Highland Resort Hotel & Spa, which is located right in front of the gates of Fuji-Q Highland, is the best to relax after an exciting day.

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A marvelous view of Mt. Fuji or the thrilling rides of Fuji-Q Highland are guaranteed from your room. Choose between Japanese-style rooms, the popular character rooms (such as the Lisa and Gaspard Rooms or the Thomas Rooms that feature items from the character’s adventures), or indulge in the luxury of the Grand Executive Floor, where the rooms are designed to be in perfect harmony with Mt. Fuji which is majestically displayed in front of the panorama window.

This room resembles Lisa’s apartment in the Pompidou Centre, the institute of culture in Paris.  ©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre
This room resembles Lisa’s apartment in the Pompidou Centre, the institute of culture in Paris. ©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre
 A reproduction of Gaspard’s apartment in Paris. ©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre
A reproduction of Gaspard’s apartment in Paris. ©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

A room at the Grand Executive Floor with a view at Mt. Fuji.
A room at the Grand Executive Floor with a view at Mt. Fuji.

Start your adventure in the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park at the Ferris wheel and be ready for the impressive view of Mt. Fuji, which awaits you on the top!

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Besides the many thrilling rides and haunted houses, get on a 4D flight simulator “Fuji Airways”, chairs surrounded by a large screen, and engage in a flight around Mt. Fuji! Experience the sacred mountain during all the four seasons thanks to footage of drones and motor paragliders carrying 6k cameras. The ride even features an original orchestral work named “Mt. Fuji,” by famous composer Joe Hisaishi.

Fuji Airways
Fuji Airways

Another popular attraction is the Thomas Land, which is themed after the British children’s book series, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends!

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited

This family friendly theme park is designed for all to have a good time! Get on a train ride with Thomas or one of his friends, ride the mini roller coaster or climb through a 3D maze, among many other exciting attractions!

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited

Don´t forget to take a picture at the Thomas’ Monument and try out the many different snacks and dishes at the cafés and restaurants, which are cutely shaped in the form of Thomas and his friends!

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited

Even if you are not aware of the characters yet, you will definitely fall in love with them in no time!
Stroll through La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa, located right in front of the park’s entrance, and meet Gaspard and Lisa, two famous French picture book characters. With traditional French architecture and a small replica of the Eiffel Tower, this space offers visitors with a lively European atmosphere.

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

The two-tiered merry-go-round provides the perfect view of the entire town. Stop by at the cafe BRIOCHE, and get your hands on some cutely designed breads and pastries! The most popular item is the custard filled bread shaped like Mt. Fuji.

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

At the souvenir shop, purchase park-limited, as well as official Gaspard and Lisa themed items. On the second floor, you will find a reproduction of Georg Hallensleben’ atelier, the creator of Gaspard and Lisa. Learn more about the characters, or watch the animated seriesin a small cinema.

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

If you are craving sweets, make your way to the patisserie and get your hands on pastries in the shape of Mt. Fuji or cookies in the design of Gaspard and Lisa.

©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre
©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

Subsequent to La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa, the Fujiyama Museum houses a collection of paintings focusing on Mt. Fuji by prominent modern artists. The mountain has been a graceful yet majestic motif for artists throughout all centuries, and this museum owns a collection of traditional and modern paintings. See the works of the famous ukiyo-e artist, Hokusai Katsushika, as well as Hiroshige Utagawa and Yayoi Kusama. You can also purchase some unique Mt. Fuji souvenirs, relax at the café or participate in craft workshops.

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After your adventure filled day, unwind at Fujiyama Onsen (hot spring) next door, which provides free admission to hotel guests of Highland Resort Hotel & Spa!

Continue to DAY 2

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with this useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

WATTENTION WRITER PROFILE

Image_

Tabea Greuner
Living and working in Japan since 2015. Always excited about discovering new places. Passion for photography, nature-lover & Japanese fashion expert. MORE ARTICLES BY THIS WRITERABOUT WATTENTION NINJA