Exploring Fuji Five Lakes a family adventure for Yokota teen

by James O'Leary
Yokota High School junior

You probably know all about the Saiko Forest, ice caves and different views of Fuji, but what else is there to do around Japan's great lakes? Well, my family and I recently went on an adventure to find out. 

 

It all started as another quest to find more surfing spots, but when that plan failed, we went on to discover the new and unknown attractions I’m about to reveal to you today. 

 

It was a very hot day, and disappointed at not finding good beaches, we looked for other bodies of later. The nearest lake, Motosu, had earlier been recommended to us by the awesome outdoor specialist at the Yokota Air Base’s Yujo Community Center. An amazing source of knowledge on everything you want to do in Japan, he said Motosu was a perfect place to kayak, windsurf, and SUP. He was right! 

We found Motosu a refreshing escape from city life, as it is the least populated of the Fuji Five Lakes. Rentals for equipment ranged from ¥800-2,000. There was also a cool yellow submarine taking people around the lake. 

 

About 20 minutes from Motosu we found another place to beat the heat: Jimba Falls. Just a 5-minute walk from the parking lot, we found a good-sized waterfall with a shallow pool of water at the bottom. This would be a fun place to go with little ones, too, as it's a safe place to play in the water. (We saw a lot of Japanese families enjoying the place). 

 

On the way home, we stopped at Lake Kawaguchiko at Oishi Park, which was an amazing free flower garden. There were countless different types of flowers including lavender, 6-feet-tall lilies, and some interesting plant that looked like Dr. Seuss’ Truncular trees. But, what really made it great was the fact that both Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko were behind these flowers. The view was breathtaking. 

 

These three places made for one of our family's best weekend day trips. All the places we went are suitable for young children. At Lake Motosu, renting row boats or hopping on the yellow sub would be good choices. The wading pool at Jimba falls is a must, and if your children are good, you can buy them blueberry ice cream at Oishi Park before heading home.

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