VIDEO| Take a spring drive to Japan’s Fuji Five Lakes

Nenba Village (Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi)
Nenba Village (Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi)

VIDEO| Take a spring drive to Japan’s Fuji Five Lakes

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Take a drive from most U.S. military installations in the Kanto Plain in the right direction and you’ll find yourself immersed in an impressive UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mount Fuji and its surrounding five lakes, Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Shojiko and Motosuko, are a popular driving destination year-round. The UNESCO inscription describes this region as a “sacred place and source of artistic inspiration.”

Motosuko (Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi)

Because this area is a little over 3,000 feet above sea level, the cooler temperatures means spring arrives here a month later than in Tokyo and many other cities in the Kanto Plain. So, although cherry blossoms were long gone in Tokyo, during my visit to Mt. Fuji I enjoyed peak blossoms framing the beautiful landscape.

Saiko (Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi)

The five lakes each have their distinct colors and look, so visit them all if you can! The largest of the two— Yamanakako and Kawaguchiko— tend to be the busiest as they host many hotel, sports and resort facilities.

If you visit the area in spring, don’t miss and drop by Nenba Village aka “Saiko Iyashinosato Nenba” located at the west end of Lake Saiko. Here you can take a close look inside dozens of old traditional Japanese folk houses selling various wares and treats. The view Mt. Fuji with the thatched roofs in the foreground is incredible. Check it out!

Nenba Village (Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi)

Fuji Five Lakes
Click here to see the website.

Saiko Iyashinosato Nenba
Click here to see the website. (Japanese)

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