Among the national symbols of Japan, Mount Fuji wins hands-down as the most easily recognizable. For one, it is really tall (at 3,776 meters and is Japan’s highest mountain), and with its snow capped, asymmetrical shape, it can be sighted even from Tokyo on a clear, sunny day.
Mount Fuji, or commonly known as “Fuji-san”, is so iconic that it is frequently depicted in Japanese art, and even printed on the Japanese 1000 yen note! That’s not all, you may be familiar with The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Japanese artist Hokusai, where the blue and white images depict the area around Mount Fuji in a dramatic cresting wave, as the mountain stands proudly in the background. All these make a trip to Tokyo incomplete without getting a good sight of the mountain!
However, Mount Fuji is not visible all the time due to changing weather and seasons. Read on to find out when is the best time to visit this iconic mountain and what else you can do around the area.
Winter is the best season to see Mount Fuji
Yes, that’s right! If seeing Mount Fuji is one of your main goals when visiting Japan, plan your travel dates around December and January to get the best views of the mountain and its peak unobstructed by clouds. The best time of the day to spot the mountain is early morning between 7.00am to 10.00am, so be sure to set that alarm clock! The dry winter air also makes it possible to spot the mountain all the way from Tokyo! From April to September, visibility of the mountain will be pretty low, especially during the typhoon season in September.
Summer is the only time to climb Mount Fuji!
If your intention is to climb Mount Fuji, the summer months of July to mid September provide you the only window opportunity to do that, when the trails and mountain facilities are open. Take note that there are several trekking routes according to difficulty, so choose wisely! Despite its last eruption was in 1707, Mount Fuji remains an active volcano so, you might also want to keep tabs on earthquake eruptions in the area.
The best spots to see Mount Fuji
Visit one of the five Fuji lakes to get a picturesque view of the mountain and its surrounding natural landscape. Lake Kawaguchi is the most accessible and popular of the Fuji Five Lakes. Pro tip: The best place to view Mount Fuji is from the north side of the lake. Want to see the “Thousand Yen View” in real life? Head over to Lake Motosu, but be warned that the lake is the least accessible if you don’t have a car. If you don’t mind some exercise, it’s a one-hour walk to the famous 1000-yen bill viewpoint from the bus stop.
On a clear day, you can spot Mount Fuji all the way from Tokyo. There are a few observation platforms such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observation Deck, Tokyo Tower, Roppongi Hills, and the Tokyo Skytree. If you have a morning flight at Haneda Airport, head over to the observation deck on the fifth floor of the international terminal for an amazing view of the mountain in the first peek of the morning light. Best part is, it’s the ONLY spot that is open 24 hours!
Lastly, if you’re traveling from Tokyo to Kansai via the shinkansen, you might stand a good chance of seeing Mount Fuji too! Sit on the right side of the travel direction if you’re going from Tokyo to the Kansai area. Likewise, if you’re going from Kansai to Tokyo, sit on the left side of the direction of travel.
What to do around Mount Fuji
If you’re not into hiking, don’t worry, there are still plenty of activities you can do around Mount Fuji. Known for its hot springs a.k.a onsen and views of the mountain, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among the Japanese as well as tourists. If you’re looking to get away from Tokyo’s hustle and bustle, Hakone is a great destination for a day trip!
Apart from spotting the mountain, you can also visit the Hakone Shrine and take pictures of the famous torii gate which appears to be floating on water. While you’re here, take a serene cruise around Lake Ashi for a scenic view of the mountain. Have a hassle-free trip with Traveloka’s Mount Fuji and Hakone Tour, where you could choose to return by bus or shinkansen.
Do note that due to increasing seismic activity, visitors are warned to stay away from Mount Hakoneyama for the time being as potential eruption could occur. The Hakone town government has announced the closure of Owakudani from 19 May and the Hakone Ropeway Co. also announced that it has suspended operations between Sounzan and Togendai stations for the time being. If you’re travelling to Mount Hakone, there will be bus services starting 19 May.
If you want to see Mount Fuji in its full splendor, knowing the best time to visit Japan will help avoid disappointment. We hope our short yet sweet could help you plan your itinerary. Itterashai!
Pack your bags, hop on a flight and you’ll get to experience a piece of Japan in no time. Keen to take a tour to see Mount Fuji and its surrounding attractions? Then, book now to get even better deals and discounts here!