The Fuji Five Lakes (富士五湖 Fuji-goko) are a group of five small lakes in Yamanashi prefecture, on the North side of Mount Fuji in Japan. From East to West, they are Lake Yamanaka (山中湖), Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖), Lake Sai (西湖), Lake Shoji (精進湖) and Lake Motosu (本栖湖).

Get in

Main approaches to Mt. Fuji

Access to the area usually involves passing through the town of Fuji Yoshida (富士吉田), located between Lakes Kawaguchi and Yamanaka. Fujiyoshida can be reached from Tokyo by taking the JR Chuo line to Otsuki and changing to the Fujikyu line, which passes through Fujiyoshida and terminates at Kawaguchiko. Starting 2019, there is regular limited express service between Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko. Weekdays have two roundtrips daily, while weekends and holidays have three direct roundtrips. This service is the Fuji Excursion, and trains are coupled and decoupled to Kaiji services at Otsuki Station.

Highway buses are available from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko and Yamanakako, and at certain times, directly to Kawaguchi Fifth Station (Go-gome) on Mt. Fuji. The bus from Shinjuku station takes approximately 1 hr 45 min. Buses are equipped with toilets and luggage compartments, and you get a seat assignment. Buses are also available to and from Tokyo station or Shinjuku station.

Get around


Extensive local bus service is available, particularly in and from Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) Station, which is the most popular launching point for exploration of this region or a climb of Mount Fuji. The Kawaguchiko Retro Bus (note the bus and bus stop signs say "Saiko Sightseeing Bus") serves the path around the lake, stopping at many of the local tourist attractions like the museums or parks. A two-day ticket costs ¥1,200 from the bus ticket office inside Kawaguchiko station. A regular local bus serves the five lakes and the caves, also popular tourist attractions.

Bus service is available from Kawaguchiko Station to Kawaguchi Fifth Station, the most popular place from which to start a climb of Mt. Fuji. The bus takes about 50 minutes. Climbing is not recommended outside of official climbing season (July and August) and the buses are restricted to the daytime. This means that if you do intend to climb, you will need to arrange a taxi early in the morning or late at night to get to Fifth Station.

There are many rental bicycle outlets outside Kawaguchiko Station. During periods of high traffic such as statutory holidays and the autumn leaves season, bicycles may be a faster way to move around the lake than the buses.

Map of Fuji Five Lakes

Most visitors come here for views of Mount Fuji, with many postcard shots taken from Lake Kawaguchi in particular.

Aokigahara and Lake Sai
  • 1 Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), along Highway 139 (western shore of Lake Sai). Also known as Jukai (樹海) or the "Sea of Trees", this forest is famous for its volcanic caverns and infamous as Japan's top suicide spot — in an average year, over 70 corpses are found.
  Note: Aokigahara is a very dense and scary forest. You can get lost very easily, and there isn't much you can do if you do get lost. Attempts to use a GPS, phone signal, or WiFi will be futile, due to the density of the trees. Do not wander off the trail or into closed off areas. As a summary, as long as you follow proper precautions, you'll be fine.
  • 2 Lake Shoji (精進湖). Lake Shoji is a small, horseshoe-shaped lake, idyllic-looking and with pretty views of Fuji. Boating and fishing rental available.
  • 3 Lake Motosu (本栖湖 Motosuko) (Buses every 30 minutes to an hour). Lake Motosu is the furthest out, also the deepest and clearest lake. Boating rental (paddleboat, rowboat) and a sightseeing boat available. You're not allowed to go out very far if you do rent a boat, though.
  • 4 View of Mt. Fuji on the ¥1000 bill (千円札の富士山) (Buses run frequently about every hour to half an hour to the visitor center from Kawaguchiko station on the east side of the lake, the spot is an hour walk from there. Bicycles rentals are available at the visitor center. The terrain is fairly flat around the lake. There is a bus that takes you directly to that spot once per day: from Kawaguchiko station, take the bus for Shimobe-onsen (下部温泉) and get off at Kouwansou-mae (浩庵荘前). Take note of the time of the return bus; if you miss it, you will have to make the one-hour walk to the eastern side of the lake to return to Kawaguchiko.). The image of Mt. Fuji on the back of the ¥1000 bill is taken here from the northeast shores of Lake Motosu.
  • 5 Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖 Kawaguchiko). The easiest to reach and the most touristic of the five; it's also the only one to have an island. There are several views on the Fujisan around the lake. You can see its reflections in the water from the north shores surrounded by cherry blossoms (spring) or lavender field (summer). You can also see the remains of the old lava flows from the Fuji to several places around the lake (in particular on the south shore)
  • 6 Mt.Fuji Panoramic Ropeway (富士山パノラマロープウェイ Fujisan panorama rōpuwei) (on the east of the lake). This short cable car climbs to a viewing platform next to mount Tenjō. There you can enjoy a nice view on the lake below and on the mount Fuji, and also have a tea and eat dango (rice flour dumpling). \500 one way; \900 roundtrip.
  • 7 Kawaguchiko Konohana Museum (河口湖木ノ花美術館), 3026-1 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minami-tsuru-gun (retro bus - Fuji Kyuko line). Mar–Nov: daily 09:00-17:00; Dec–Feb: M-F 10:00–16:00, Sa Su holidays 09:00-17:00. A museum of the popular Japanese children's book "Dayan the Cat" by Ikeda Akiko. Shows a lot of artwork from the artist's books in the world of Wachiworld. Has a lovely giftstore and cafe. Adults ¥500, children ¥300 (discount for groups of over 15 people).
  • 8 Momiji Corridor (もみじ回廊, Momiji kairō) (on the north shore, a few minutes walk from the Kawaguchi Konohana Museum heading West). Another celebrated tree-viewing spot. A variety of beautiful trees, including maples and gingkos, line a small river on a gentle slope. The trees are lit up at night during the autumn tree viewing season.
Maple ("momiji") corridor
  • Itchiku Kubota Art Museum (久保田一竹美術館). This small but gorgeous museum on the northeast shore of Lake Kawaguchi was designed by Itchiku Kubota himself - one of the most famous kimono designers in Japan. Kubota's life work was reinventing the lost dyework technique of tsujigahana, a technique used heavily in Muromachi-period kimono and subsequently lost to time. The museum houses the results of the incredible series of tsujigahana kimono he designed and made, known as the "Symphony of Light"; each kimono is designed to show a picture flowing from the back of one kimono to the next. The museum also features two different tea shops, one Western style, one Japanese style, that make a nice break in the sightseeing day. The grounds of the museum are an artwork themselves, with a stylised entranceway in the shape of a lone-standing doorframe in the forest. To get there, take the Retro Bus and ask the driver to let you off at the Kubota museum. Walk several steps in the direction away from the lake, and you'll see signs. The museum is off to the left in the woods, just another minute's walk, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Adult ¥1300.
  • 9 Momiji Tunnel (紅葉トンネル, Momiji tonneru) (on the north shore; on foot, from the last stop of the Retro Bus, walk (carefully) to the west along the road (no side-walk)). In autumn, the beautiful orange and yellow tones of changing leaves ("momiji") are beautiful, and there is also a nice view on the lake and the mount Fuji.
Momiji tunnel and view on the mount Fuji from the Kawaguchi lake shore

There are no real beaches, and no swimming is allowed in any of the five lakes. Paddleboats and rowboats are available for rental at most, and fishing equipment at some.

  • Fuji-Q Highland. One of Japan's largest amusement parks and home to Fujiyama (1996), briefly the world's tallest rollercoaster, and Dodonpa (2001), briefly the world's fastest.
  • Appare sightseeing boat (遊覧船 天晴(あっぱれ)). Modeled on Japanese traditional warship, this boat runs frequent 20-minute sightseeing rides on Lake Kawaguchi during the day. A bit pricey for such a short ride, but the views of Fuji are excellent, and it's a good chance to see more of the lake. The ship is equipped with a 50-inch monitor for a rainy day! Adult ¥1000.
Hike to Mt. Mitsutōge
  • 1 Hike to Mt. Mitsutōge (三ツ峠山) (Take the Mt.Fuji Panoramic ropeway to the top). The hiking time is 3 hours there and 3 hours back. The path is fairly well maintained.

Fujiyoshida is famous for its udon noodles.




Lake Motosu
  • Kawaguchiko Station Inn (河口湖ステーションイン). Small inn/hostel directly across from the train station, very convenient location. Single rooms available. Clean, friendly place with shared bathrooms on each floor, free internet, showers/laundry/Japanese baths on top floor, small restaurant.
  • Fuji Lake Hotel (富士レークホテル). Long-standing resort hotel since 1932. Guests can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji from both room and bathroom. The chartered barrier-free open-air baths are also popular.
  • Ubuya (うぶや). A high class Japanese-style inn with views of Mt.Fuji and Kawaguchiko from both the bedrooms and the large bathrooms. The bathrooms also feature an open-air bath.
  • Kasuitei-Ooya (花水庭おおや). Kasuitei Ooya is contemporary Japanese style inn standing just on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi. It has renovated rooms with private open-air bath and observation bathroom. Guests can enjoy more hot springs than ever before.
  • Fuji-View Hotel (富士ビューホテル). The Fuji View Hotel stands just on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi. Guests can appreciate natural beauties including the garden in the hotel property. The garden accommodates gorgeous view of blossoms of over 300 cherry trees in over 99,000 m².
  • Shūhōkaku Kogetsu (秀峰閣湖月). This hotel is near Kawaguchiko and All rooms and hot springs have a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji. Guests can enjoy the beautiful Mt. Fuji changing its feature from season to season.
  • Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko (ロイヤルホテル河口湖). The most reasonable hostel with hot spring in Kawaguchiko area.



Go next

Routes through Fuji Five Lakes
Otsuki  N   S  END
into    N   S  END
END  N   S  GotembaHakone
OkutamaOtsuki  N   S  FujinomiyaFuji
END  N   S  Minobu
END  W   E  → Doshi → Sagamihara

This rural area travel guide to Fuji Five Lakes is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!