Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes) [富士五湖]
1) Fuji-Q Highland 2) Arakurayama Sengen Park
3) Shinobi-no-Sato 4) Oshino-hakkai
5) Shiraito Falls
Red circles are the 5th stations and are the entrances of mountain trail.
Fujigoko is the name of the area with main five lakes at the northern foot of Mount Fuji.
These five lakes are dotted within about 30 km from east to west.
And, each lake is at a distance of 13 to 15 km from the top of Mount Fuji.
These lakes are located at the level of about 800 to 1,000 meters.
They are the dammed lakes formed by the eruptions of Mount Fuji.
And it is thought that the western three lakes were originally one lake several tens of thousand years ago.
So it is presumed their waters link underground.
Current five lakes were formed by the eruption in 937.
Of course, we can see beautiful Mount Fuji from anywhere around these lakes.
And these are popular for various outdoor activities such as fishing and camping.
Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖)
Lake Kawaguchi in spring
Kachikachi-yama Ropeway near Lake Kawaguchi
Lake Kawaguchi is called Kawaguchiko in Japanese.
It is the second largest lake of Fujigoko, and is located north of Mount Fuji.
The size is about 5.5 km from east to west and the width is about 0.5 to 1.5 km.
From the northern lakeside, we can see the view of Mount Fuji reflected on the surface of the lake.
There is Kawaguchiko terminal station of Fuji Kyuko railway about 0.6 km southeast of the lake.
It is also the bus terminal, and the express buses from Tokyo and the route buses to the 5th station of Mount Fuji and some spots around Mount Fuji.
So we can visit here most easily among the five lakes.
Around the lake, there are a few art museums, restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops.
For anglers, there are many fishing goods stores and rental boats.
A pleasure boat is in service, and it tours around the lake for 20 minutes.
The boarding point is at the southeast part of the lake and is about 0.6 km north of Kawaguchiko station.
Near the pier, a ropeway to the eastern hill is operated.
(The hill is often called as "Kachikachi-yama".)
The scenery of Mount Fuji is seen directly on the observatory.
Lake Sai in summer
Lake Shoji in winter
Lake Sai (西湖)
Lake Sai is called Saiko in Japanese.
It is the second largest lake of fujigoko, and is located north of Mount Fuji.
It is a lake located about 1.5 km west of Lake Kawaguchi.
It has a length of about 3.5 km from east to west.
To the south and southwest of this lake, Aokigahara forest spreads.
There are only two villages of small inns around this lake.
Instead, there are several campsites.
There is no popular spot, so the lakeside is calm.
Lake Shoji (精進湖)
Lake Shoji is located about 5 km west of Lake Sai, and it is the smallest lake among the five lakes.
"O" in the word "Shoji" is pronounced long, so it is called Shôjiko in Japanese.
This lake contains much plankton, so many small freshwater fish such as crucian carp and Japanese smelt live in the lake.
Here is also one of the angler's favorite lakes.
On the northern lakeside, there are some hotels.
Lake Motosu (本栖湖)
Scenery of Lake Motosu on 1,000 yen bill
Pleasure boat of Lake Motosu
Lake Motosu is called "Motosuko" in Japanese.
It is a lake located about 2 km southwest of Lake Shoji.
This lake is the deepest among the five lakes, so the color of the water is beautiful blue.
Current 1,000 yen bill had an image of the scenery of Mount Fuji from the northern lakeside.
The most popular leisures are camping, fishing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, etc.
But it is said that clarity of the water is getting bad because of increase of such leisures recently.
A pleasure boat shaped like a pretty submarine is in service. (Sorry to say, it can't go under the water!)
It tour around the lake for 25 minutes, and the boarding point is at the southeast part of the lake.
Lake Yamanaka (山中湖)
From an observatory near Lake Yamanaka
Lake Yamanaka in winter
Lake Yamanaka is called "Yamanakako" in Japanese.
It is a lake located about 12 km southeast of Lake Kawaguchi.
It is at an altitude of 982 meters which is the highest position among the five lakes.
The depth is about 15 meters, and is the shallowest lake among the five lakes.
So it sometimes freezes all over at midwinter.
Near the northern shore, marimo (moss ball) grows wild in the lake.
There are many resort villas around the lake, so here has been one of the popular resort areas since old times.
There are many hotels and ryokans.
How to get here
To Lake Kawaguchi
By express bus, about 2 hours from Shinjuku station.
Or, by limited express of JR Chuo Line, from Shinjuku to Otsuki, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Then, by Fuji Kyuko (Fujikyu) railway, from Otsuki to Kawaguchuko, about 47 minutes by limited express, about 57 minutes by local train.
To Lake Sai, about 30 minutes by route bus ("Retro Bus").
To Lake Shoji, about 23 minutes by route bus for Motosuko or Shin-Fuji.
Get off at Shojiko-iriguchi stop, and walk about 1 to 2 km to the nothern lakeside.
(Only a few buses go through the northern lakeside.)
To Lake Motosu, about 25 minutes by route bus for Motosuko or Shin-Fuji.
Get off at Motosuko stop, and walk about 0.5 km to the lakeside.
To Lake Yamanaka, about 38 minutes by route bus for Gotenba.
The bus go through Fuji-Yoshida, so you may change to the other bus at Fuji-Yoshida station of Fuji Kyuko Railway.