Fuji Five Lakes, otherwise known as Fujigoko in Japanese, is one of the nicest day trips out of Tokyo by car. There are three or four different routes to the area in Yamanashi, which is located at the base of Mount Fuji. You can choose to take the scenic and slow route, through the country roads. My GPS told me that would take 3 and a half hours from Tokyo. Alternatively, the express route can get you there in over an hour if you’re lucky. The choice was easy enough.
What makes Fuji Five Lakes so special is that each one is famous for outstanding scenery, beautiful surroundings and excellent opportunity for photographs.
Prior to your trip, it is a good idea to decide exactly which lakes you want to see (if you don’t want to see all five). Arguably, the most beautiful and famous lake to view is Lake Kawaguchiko, closely followed by Lake Yamanakako. The other three, Lake Saiko, Lake Motosuko and Lake Shojiko are considerably smaller and a visit can be enjoyed with just a short drive.
The first place that we stopped off at was Lake Kawaguchiko. The huge lake has plenty of restaurants and shops around it and several excellent places from which to take a photograph.
From Kawaguchiko, it is a short trip to the nearby Lake Saiko. From most of this lake, the view of Mount Fuji is blocked except for one small area where Fuji can be seen from distance.
A 20 minute trip away will then take you to the area of the next two mountains.
Whilst in the area, a trip to the Chureito Pagoda is highly recommended. This is very difficult to find and you might find yourself zig-zagging across railways to eventually find the very small, thin road that leads you up to the Pagoda.
The Yamanashi area is certainly worth a trip. With all of the areas generally located around of Fuji-san, you can travel around easily and quickly by vehicle.