A Day Exploring the Fuji Five Lakes Area - Oshino Hakkai


The typical tourist takes a day trip from Shinjuku to visit the Fuji Five Lakes. To beat them, do not start the trip from Tokyo. I started from Numazu although an even better alternative was Gotemba, but the budget hotel chain I liked didn't have a choice there. I got a Mt. Fuji-Shizuoka Area Tourist Pass Mini, which costs 5080 yen and covers JR lines in Shizuoka and Fujikyu buses that take an hour from Gotemba to Kawaguchiko.

Numazu is south of Fuji but you can easily spot the mountain from town and along the train journy to Gotemba.

At This Stop

The Fujikyu bus is generally deserted so you don't have to fight the crowds and pre-reservation is not possible or needed. Buses depart from bay 2 at Gotemba right next to the ticket counter where the agent spoke some limited English to help you get on your way.

Study the bus schedules and plan your itinerary in advance as they generally hourly or 2x an hour. I suggest you stop at Oshino Hakkai first, a series of 8 ponds fuelled by natural springs that offer a perfect frame to Mount Fuji. This area is frequented by bus tours so you will encounter crowds. From the bus stop, cross to the other side and continue down the road past the bridge. On the other side of the river, turn into the path on the right and you will see the 1st pond - Okamaike., which looks like boiling water in a pot.

Continue walking along the riverside path and you will see a few bridges up ahead.

Cross the bridge to your right and remember to look back to spot Mount Fuji.

Choshiike looks like a sake bottle, with spring water gushing out from the bottom.

Continuing along the river, you will soon reach the town centre and plenty more tourists.

Wakuike's water is so good it was selected by NASA in 1983 to make snow for a space experiment.

A few steps from here, Kagamiike is accessible from inside the shops, which are free to enter. On the outside, you can look for Fuji's reflection from the spring water.

In between these ponds are lowrise buildings. Without this deluge of tourists, this is actually a serene residential area.

The furthest pond is Shoubuike, with a stone monument on a small island framed against the mountain.

The only section with an admission charge is for Koinoike and Sokonashiike, which are privately-owned. 300 yen later, you gain access to an elevated platform for a panoramic view.

It took me about an hour to wander around taking pictures. Watching the bus schedule carefully, I ventured back to the same bus stop where I got off to board the next one to Kawaguchiko.

My Day in the Fuji Five Lakes Area

Depart From


Arrive at

Covered by the Pass?

Numazu 7:45am

JR Gotemba Line

Gotemba 8:27am


Gotemba 8:40am

Fujikyuko Bus to Kawaguchiko

Oshino Hakkai 9:31am


Oshino Hakkai 10:31am

Fujikyuko Bus to Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko 10:55am


Next Stop - Kawaguchiko
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