Lake Motosuko

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View of Mount Fuji at Lake Motosuko

The view from what is now a parking lot at Lake Motosuko, of sacred Mount Fuji foregrounded by the placid surface of the lake, is among Japan’s most iconic sights. Since 2004, it has appeared on the 1,000 yen bill, with the image used based upon a photograph shot in 1935. Pull a bill from your purse or wallet, and you will see that this cherished view has remained virtually unspoiled in the intervening years. Dependent upon timing and weather conditions, you may see Mt. Fuji reflected upon the lake’s surface just as the prewar photographer’s lens captured it; the Japanese call this spectacle sakasa-Fuji (“upside-down Fuji”).

Lake Motosuko

Lake Motosuko, 121 meters deep beneath its lapis lazuli-hued surface, is the westernmost and deepest of the famous Fuji Five Lakes, and the ninth deepest lake in Japan. Part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Motosuko is popular for a range of activities including windsurfing, canoeing, and yachting. Its waters are among the clearest on Japan’s main island Honshu and are especially appreciated by divers and fishermen.

The lake’s surroundings make for great camping. Several campsites are situated around the lake’s 11.8-kilometer perimeter, and Motosuko features prominently in campsite-based manga/anime/TV drama Yuru Camp.

Pottery and tools dating back thousands of years have been retrieved from the bottom of the lake, indicating that villages once existed here prior to Lake Motosuko being formed in the ninth century. That was when an eruption of Mount Fuji transformed a larger, prehistoric lake into three smaller pools of water.

Lake Motosuko’s bottom also figures in the ancient myth that a dragon resides down there. Since the seventeenth century the lake has been the site of rituals enacted by Fuji-ko pilgrims who worship Mt. Fuji as a deity, and these ceremonies may occasionally still be glimpsed today.


Venue Address

Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun and Minobu-cho, Minamikoma-gun

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