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Great Nature Spot, Lake Shibireko

Many tourists often choose urban area of Japan, such as Tokyo, not sightseeing spots in the lesser-known prefecture, Yamanashi. This is because not many foreigners know about Yamanashi’s attractions compared to Tokyo. Many foreign people who have never been to Japan are more likely to be attracted to Tokyo at first. Tokyo is a futuristic cosmopolitan city with leading-edge technologies. In Tokyo, there are skyscrapers and site-seeing spots. In those spots, people can buy anything by cashless payment. Moreover, the convenience of communication is at the highest level. People can take buses and trains which come less than every five minutes. But, if the tourists know the beauty and preciousness of the nature of Yamanashi Prefecture, they would be drawn to the natural spots in Yamanashi, such as Mt. Fuji, beautiful rivers, forests, and lakes. Among many, one of my favorite places in Yamanashi is Lake Shibireko (四尾連湖) and you should visit the lake once in a life. Let me tell you why you should go there.

I came to know Lake Shibireko through a Japanese anime Laid-Back Camp (Yurucamp). These days, I am into the anime that high school students casually camp out at the campsites in Japan. The spots at which the students camp out are based on the actual camping grounds in Japan. Lake Shibireko is one of the camping grounds introduced in Laid-Back Camp. One day, when I was watching Laid-Back Camp, I was impressed and attracted by the contrast between the cool-looking lake on the campsite and the many mountains turning the color from yellow to red. The lake that I was impressed with was Lake Shibireko. After I finished watching the anime, I searched for the views of Lake Shibireko on the internet because I expected that I could see more beautiful pictures than in the anime. Then the pictures of it, as I thought, showed more of nature’s beautiful harmony. The red and yellow colors were warmer and more vivid. The green color mountains in summer also showed me the freshness of nature. I've never been there even though I was born and have been living in Yamanashi for my entire life. So, by the impact of its beauty, I was driven to visit there.


Lake Shibireko is located in Ichikawa Misato town in the middle west of Yamanashi prefecture. It takes thirty minutes to go from the nearest train station, Ichikawa Daimon (市川大門) to the lake by car. The origin of the name of the lake is a dragon as the names of many lakes and mountains in Japan are also from the worship of the god dragons. The origin of the name of Shibireko is the god dragon with four tales called Bisaki Ryuoh (尾崎竜王). In the Edo period (From 1603 to 1868), the eight lakes located on the bottom of Fuji Mountain were called Fuji Hakko (富士八湖), and Lake Shibireko was one of them. Now, the five of the eight lakes, Motosuko (本栖湖), Shojiko (精進湖), Saiko (西湖), Kawaguchiko (河口湖), and Yamanakako (山中湖) are called Fuji Goko (富士五湖). Only the Fuji Goko is known as the most famous lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. However, Lake Shibireko still shows tourists the beauty and dignity of nature. In 1959, the lake was nominated as a prefectural nature park. In Laid-Back Camp, the characters camped out in fall and the mountains colored red and yellow made me feel the change of season. I went in July, so the view of the mountains is different from the view in Laid-Back Camp. The mountains were green and fresh. However, I was very impressed by Lake Shibireko’s nature because the green color of the mountains and the blue lake gave me a cool sensation, like washing away fatigue in daily life.


As soon as I arrived at the lake, I filled my lungs with fresh air. Breathing out the air, I felt all my sensations become keen. The smell of woods relaxed my mind, and the hugeness of the lake let me know how small I was in comparison with the surroundings. The circumference of the lake is 1.2 kilometers. It took 20 minutes to walk around the lake and when I finished walking, I felt a little bit tired. After walking, I went to the administrator’s cottage, Suimeisou (水明荘), and ordered a cup of Indian milk tea, Chai.


Taking a ship, the flavoring of many spices, such as cinnamon and clove, with the sweetness of milk filling my mouth and affecting my sense of smell and taste. If you visit Lake Shibireko, you should try this chai. The scent of spice and tea of Chai refreshes and gives energy to your tired body and mind. And if you like it, I recommend you to buy the packed Chai powder. You can enjoy it and relax your mind at your home, too.


In addition to this, Suimeisou manages a campsite where you can see the beautiful mountains which change their appearance each season with the atmosphere of the great nature of Japan.


In addition to camping, you can enjoy many activities. For example, bird watching, fishing, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Arriving at the lake, I heard various birdsongs and the loud voices of many people enjoying fishing and SUP. People on floating big boards were unsteadily paddling the lake. One of the people fishing was enjoying conversation and the other was feeling the nature of the lake while waiting for a fish’s bite. Such activities above are indispensable to fully enjoy Lake Shibireko. However, after the broadcasting of Laid-Back Camp, the number of fans and people visiting Shibireko is increasing, thus you should contact the campsite before they stay.


In this way, at Lake Shibireko, you can feel the nature of Yamanashi with the entire body. The atmosphere of mountains and lake gives you a relaxing time, and the activities give you enjoyment in nature. At the campsite, appreciating the beautiful view of Lake Shibireko, you can also enjoy a barbecue. If you are planning to travel to the east area of Japan, I recommend you visit Lake Shibireko and enjoy camping and other activities. You can get a precious experience that you never get in the urban cities of Tokyo.


Shibireko-Lake Website (Japanese):
四尾連湖/富士の国やまなし観光ネット 山梨県公式観光情報 (

Suimeisou Website (English):
Shibireko Suimeisou | Beautiful Yamanashi (

“四尾連湖(しびれこ).” 富士の国やまなし観光ネット山梨県公式観光情報, Accessed 12 June 2022.

“ゆるキャン△. ” アニメ『ゆるキャン△』ポータルサイト, Accessed 23 June 2022.

“四尾連湖 水明荘.” 水明荘, Accessed 23 June 2022.

Haruto Horiuchi

Published on

  • February 2, 2023


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