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Published: February 13th 2020
Our first view of Mount Fuji!
Mount Fuji! From our first glimpse out the train window it was with us all day. Gorgeous, majestic, atmospheric. Admiration for the mountain appears in Japan's earliest recorded literature, and it's easy to see why. I recommend staying overnight at Lake Kawaguchiko if possible, so you can view Mount Fuji both early and late.
Our first stop was the hike to Chureito Pagoda, most beautiful in the spring over top the cherry blossoms or in the autumn for the foliage. The pagoda is part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine and was built as a peace memorial in 1963, so it's not quite historical but does provide beautiful photographs (if you can find space for yourself among the crowds).
After this little hike we grabbed a tempura lunch in town at Idaten - recommended - and made our way by bus to the far side of Lake Kawaguchiko so we could enjoy views of Mount Fuji over the lake, with the intention of walking back into town. We got waylaid by an interesting art market and some snacks along the way, so had to catch a bus back to the train station, but made time for a stop at Ide
Sake Brewery for a tasting.
If you don't have time for a trip out of Tokyo to try to view Mount Fuji you can try to view it on a clear day for free at the viewing platform at Bunkyo Civic Center, coupled with a stroll through Koishikawa Korakuen Garden and then ramen at Mensho Tokyo (no veg options).
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