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Sights(Fujikawaguchiko Area)

Oshino Hakkai springs

Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset (registered in June 2013) revered as the "spring of the gods" since long ago, many legends have been told about this site. There are eight springs at Oshino Hakkai Springs. At one time, what we now know as Oshino-mura used to be a lake. Mt. Fuji erupted many times, gradually filling the space between Fujisusono and Mt. Misaka. This abraded and drained the area so that, over long period of time, the lake finally dried up. However, some springs that received water from Mt. Fuji's underground water reservoir remained. Oshino Hakkai is one of the representatives of those springs. Since the water quality, water volume, safety of the water (for drinking), and visual appeal were highly rated, the Environment Agency (current Ministry of the Environment) included it in its National Top 100 Spring Waters in 1985. It was also nationally recognized as a natural monument. Additionally, Oshino Hakkai Springs and the surrounding area feature a beautiful landscape that includes Mt. Fuji, making it a popular place for photography enthusiasts.

Mt. Fuji Radar Dome Museum

The Mt. Fuji Radar Dome is a symbol of meteorological observation in Japan and, now out of use, it has become an exhibition facility in Fujiyoshida City to spread the importance of meteorological observation.

Kawaguchi Asama Shrine

Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset (Registered in June 2013) In 864, Mt. Fuji had a historically large-scale eruption. The outflow of lava spread all over the town at the north side of Mt. Fuji, and segmented “Seno-umi.” This outflow of lava damaged the town seriously. In the next year, people held a festival of fire extinction, dedicated to the goddess of Mt. Fuji, Asamano-Okami, in obedience to Imperial command. Since then, the shrine constructed at that time has been still worshiped as the shrine dedicated to the goddess of Mt. Fuji for more than 1,000 years. Incidentally, Lake Saiko and Lake Shojiko were generated by “Seno-umi.” This fact indicates how large the outflow of lava was. The goddess of the shrine is Asamano-Okami (Konohana-no-sakuya-bime). An annual festival is held on April 25, and Daidai-Okagura-sai designated by the prefecture, so called “Chigo-mai” is held on July 28. This historically important shrine has a number of cultural assets, and in the grove of the premises, giant trees stand side by side. You can pray, walk in the woods, or spend time alone and put everything else out of your mind.

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine has a history of 1900 years. When Yamato Takeru-no-mikoto, the ancient Japanese emperor, went on an expedition east, he worshipped the divine spirit of Mt. Fuji from this location, declaring, ""Worship the mountain spirit of Mt. Fuji from the north!"" Then, a small shrine for Mt. Fuji was constructed here. The goddess of Mt. Fuji, Konohana-sakuya-hime-no-mikoto, Hikoho-no-ninigi-no-mikoto, and Ooyamazumi-no-kami are worshipped here. This shrine garnered religious attention as a site for worshipping Mt. Fuji from afar for quite some time. In the Edo Period, as the Fuji-ko (Mt. Fuji religion) spread, people would begin their mountain pilgrimage here, so it flourished as the starting point of the Mt. Fuji climbing road, called Yoshida Ascending Route. The shrine grounds, built in the beginning of the 17th century with Fuji-ko’s contributions, are magnificent, and you can feel that the shrine is the center of the Mt. Fuji religion.The shrine is a Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset. The main shrine, east shrine, and west shrine are national culturally important assets.

Fujisan World Heritage Center(Old Fuji Visitor Center)

Yamanashi prefecture newly established the South Hall as “Yamanashi Prefectural Fujisan World Heritage Center, which opened in June 2016. The center takes the lead in providing information on Fujisan’s outstanding universal value to many people visiting the World Heritage site Fujisan, and in preserving and managing the Site. North Hall (Fujisan Visitor Center Bldg.) The center is located at the entrance to Fuji Subaru Line and makes learning easy with the displays on the nature and culture of Mt.Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes and provides a computer to search for information. A short story (10 minutes) titled ‘Fuji-san; Kokoro-no-Furusato’, plays on 12 large screens in Japanese, English and Chinese. The center also provides tourist information on the surrounding area and the prefecture. Please enjoy light meal at the observation restaurant and shopping at shops.

Lake Kawaguchiko

Those two lakes are dammed lakes that were formed by Fujisan’s volcanicactivity and they both belong to the Fuji Five Lakes. In a document likely written by Hasegawa Kakugyo in the late 16th century, Lake Yamanakako and Lake Kawaguchiko were mentioned as lakes in which he underwent religious bathing. In the “Sanju-ichi-nichi no Omaki” written in 1733, JikigyoMiroku (founder of the Fuji-ko faith) mentioned eight lakes as places for religious pilgrimage. Of those eight lakes, Lake Yamanakako and Lake Kawaguchiko, as part of the Fuji Five Lakes, have remained places for religious bathing pilgrimage. Lake Kawaguchikois the second largest in terms of area and has the longest shoreline of the Fuji Five Lakes. It is also the only lake of the five to be traversed by a bridge. Depending on the season, Lake Kawaguchiko can be surrounded by beautiful flowers or by a riot of fall colors. In the middle of the lake visitors can see Unoshima island, and when the surface of the lake is still and calm, one can see the famed reflection of Fujisan. Of the five lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko has the largest number of visitors, and is popular with fishing and water sports enthusiasts, etc. In the immediate area there are a wide range of facilities for visitors, such as large scale amusement parks and hotels, onsen hot spring resorts and art museums, etc.

Lake Yamanaka

Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset Those two lakes are dammed lakes that were formed by Fujisan’s volcanicactivity and they both belong to the Fuji Five Lakes. In a document likely written by Hasegawa Kakugyo in the late 16th century, Lake Yamanakako and Lake Kawaguchiko were mentioned as lakes in which he underwent religious bathing. In the “Sanju-ichi-nichi no Omaki” written in 1733, JikigyoMiroku (founder of the Fuji-ko faith) mentioned eight lakes as places for religious pilgrimage. Of those eight lakes, Lake Yamanakako and Lake Kawaguchiko, as part of the Fuji Five Lakes, have remained places for religious bathing pilgrimage. Lake Yamanakako is the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, and is shaped like a whale when viewed from the air. Due to its high altitude and its relatively shallow water depth, Lake Yamanakako freezes completely in the winter. During the winter months, one can enjoy ice fishing for wakasagi (Japanese pond smelt). This is an area where some Japanese families have second homes, due to its outstanding natural beauty and scenery. There are many attractions for visitors, such as facilities for water sports as well as for spending time in the natural environment, in addition to various art museums, etc. The area receives a great number of visitors every year.

Koyo Okada Photo Art Museum

Mr. Koyo Okada devoted his whole life to photographing Mt.Fuji. He used to be photographing Mt.Fuji, wearing wadded kimono from his favorite Japanese style hotel, and neighbors called him ‘Koyo-san’ with intimacy. He was born in Uonuma of Nigata prefecture, and his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were artists.He got interested in taking photos when he was in Waseda University, and he met Mt.Fuji seen from Oshino village when he was 21 years old. Since that time, the relationship with Mt.Fuji of more than 50 years had started. In the museum, there are a camera which he used for real, and the photo book that the cover was designed by the famous artist Taikan Yokoyama who was a close friend of Koyo.The life of Japanese people of those days with Mt.Fuji and the rural scenery at the foot of Mt.Fuji,which are in the picture, reminds us of the time and nature which Japan is losing. You should absolutely go to see his photos.

Fuji Spring Water Aquarium

An aquarium specializing in freshwater fish which are swimming in the clear spring water of Mt.Fuji. The exhibitions are centered on the aquatic life of Yamanashi’s rivers and lakes and fish cultivated within the prefecture. On the first floor there is a double-layered water tank, shore fish, deepwater fish, river fish, small creatures and a touching- tank. On the second floor there is a theater, an open lab corner, a virtual fishing corner and a library corner. This area is developed as a ‘Sakana koen' and is equipped with walking trail, play gym, and a pond. Kids can freely play in this park. While playing leisurely at several facilities such as ‘Jabi Jabi pond’ that you play in the water surrounded by the sand, 'biotope-style pond' that you observe the swimming fish, and the facility for bird watching, you can learn about nature.

Autumn at Lake Motosu

Lake Motosuko is located at the edge of east side of Fuji Five Lakes and is 13km in circumference, 4.7 square kilometers in area, and 138 m in maximum water depth. It is the deepest of the Fuji Five Lakes, and is also outstanding depth in the lakes in Japan. The clear azure water is magnificent and very transparent. The northern shore is the good place to view Mt.Fuji and the scenery was designed and printed on 1,000yen bills. In autumn, beautiful colored leaves bright the lakeside and create a mystic atmosphere. After taking photo of the lake with Mt.Fuji in the background, you should walk round the Lake. The colored leaves around Fukkozan-Motosuko temple near the lakeside are wonderful too. Enjoy the untouched nature leisurely at the foot of Mt.Fuji The best time to visit is from late October to early November. Main kinds of trees: maple, cherry trees, Japanese rowan, beech and Lacquer trees.

Tin Toy Museum in Kawaguchiko ‘Happy Days’

A white building on foot of Mt.Fuji on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko is the museum of ‘Kitahara Teruhisa’ which exhibits his toy collection for 40 years. The toys with the conception of ‘Things from Happy Days’, are on display. The toys are made with great care and you can feel the potential of Japanese craftsmanship. Even tiny parts are crafted finely including the fashion or looks of the people depending on the times. The place is filled with the passion of creativity. Tin toys like cars or airplanes, which were once exported to foreign country, are on display, and supplementary toys before the world warⅡtell us the magnificent world. You also see the dolls which used to be loved by girls, or the interesting monsters in Showa period. You will find something new as well as something nostalgic.

Funatsu lava tree molds(Kawaguchiko Field Center)

Kawaguchiko Field Center is located on the Ken-Marubi lava flow (1,050m above the sea level) at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji. Around the center, there are more than 100 lava tree mold caves, which are geologically very unique in the world. The lava tree molds are trees coated with solid lava, which flowed out from Mt. Fuji at the time of eruption. They are nationally designated as Natural Monuments. How about a guided walk through nature, strolling around a group of these unique lava tree mold caves? The special nature guides help you find paw-prints, and offer interesting knowledge about birds, plants, and nature, which you would not be able to learn on your own. If you want to enjoy the nature at your own pace, choose a Holiday Guide Walk for families. Or if you want to walk on your own, choose a Self Guide Walk and enjoy walking according to the guide sheet. Craft-making courses give you experiences of craftworks made of natural materials, such as a paperweight with pressed flowers, an owl made of pampas grass, and a paintable birdcall. Why don’t you make your own one-of-a-kind souvenir to treasure forever? All craftworks take about an hour and anyone can casually enjoy them. There is also the Sozo-no-mori camping site 500m away from the center, where you can enjoy day-camping from April to mid-November. Our staff will gently instruct how to cook outdoors, so even beginners can have an enjoyable time!

Yoshida Guchi Trail Nakano Chaya - Umagaeshi

Yoshida Ascending Route is one of the trails leading to the summit of Mt.Fuji. Many mountain climbers walk on this trail every year. However, unexpectedly, it is not well-known that you can start climbing at the foot of Mt.Fuji. There is the entrance in the precincts of “Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine”, and you can climb on foot up to the summit of the Mt.Fuji. It takes 70 minutes from Yoshida Ascending Route to Nakano-chaya (shop) and 75 minutes from Nakano-chaya to Umagaeshi. On the trail you will enjoy the colored leaves between Japanese red pines. The best time to visit is from late October to early November. Main kinds of trees: Japanese rowan, Fuji cherry and larch.

Lake Motosuko

Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset (Registered in June 2013) Lake Motosuko is the deepest and clearest of the Fuji Five Lakes, and as a result it is a popular spot for people interested in aquatic sports and camping. The lake is located at an altitude of 900m and is 121.6m deep at the deepest point, with the area of 4.7 square kilometers, was created by the eruption of Mt. Fuji, and has no inflow or outflow from a river. Its scenic beauty is exceptional. Including Lake Motosuko, five large lakes located on a line like a bow at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji are called the “Fuji Go-ko (the Fuji Five Lakes).” Based on the legend that Hasegawa Kakugyo performed the ascetic water practices in the lakes of Mt. Fuji in the late 16th century, many Fuji-ko (Mt. Fuji religion) worshippers pilgrimized along the eight lakes of Mt Fuji and performed ascetic water practices (Uchihakkaimeguri). Of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Motosuko boasts a particularly outstanding scenic landscape, and has therefore been the source of inspiration for many works of art. A greate number of photography enthsiasts, professional and amature, have loved Mt. Fuji and the lake, and taken a lot of pictures of them. One of those, is the famous photo of “Sakasa-fuji (Mt. Fuji and its reflection in the water of the lake), photographed in 1935 from Naka-no-kura Toge passing on the north-western side of Lake Motosuko, by Okada Koyo (1895 - 1972) who had been continuously photographing Mt. Fuji throughout his life. The photo was titled “Kohan-no Haru (Lake Side in Spring),” and adopted in the design for the 5,000-yen bill in 1984, and 1,000-yen bill in 2004.

Narusawa Ice Cave

Narusawa Ice Cave is a nationally designated Natural Monument. It is a 153m long lava cave with an air hole in a vertical circular shape, created after the outpouring of lava, and located in Aokigahara Jukai. There are ice pillars inside all year round. Walk around the circular cave, enjoying its various expressions.

Lake Sai Bat Cave

A nationally designated Natural Monument It was opened to the public in April 1998 and has lava stalactites and a ropy-lava bed. The cave has branch caves and the total is 350 meters long, which is the largest scale among lava caves at the foot of Mt.Fuji. Inside the cave, you can see stalactite and ropy-lava rock which were formed when the lava from Mt.Fuji’s eruption was exposed to air and got solid emitting gases. As it is not very cool in summer and is warm in winter inside the cave, and as it is different from other caves, many bats lived in the past for their hibernation. However, land developments and random trespassing brought the bats to the brink of extinction. Now, the cave is managed and the preservation area was placed in the back, so the number of the bat is growing little by little every year.

Mt. Fuji Fuketsu Wind Cave / Motosu Fuketsu Wind Cave

This club provides a hang glider school that offers hands-on flights with an instructor in a two-seat craft at a height of 360 meters, and a towing flight in a single-seat craft at a height of 3 meters for a distance of 100 meters, for 15 seconds. These hang gliding courses are available for visitors ages 4 and older.

Lake Saiko

The Fujiko (Fujisan’s worshippers) started to design a faith involving numerous pilgrimages to religious place including a pilgrimage to the “Uchihakkai” (the eight lakes around the base of the mountain including the Fuji Fives Lakes, Oshino Hakkai and a couple of lakes a little further from Fujisan). Although the places for these religious pilgrimages changed over time, the Fuji Fives Lakes, which include Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko and Lake Motosuko, continued to remain object of religious ablutions throughout the ages. Of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Motosuko boasts a particularly outstanding scenic landscape, and has therefore been the source of inspiration for many works of art. “Lake Side in Spring” is one of those. It was photographed by Koyo Okada, who has been continuouslyphotographing Fujisan throughout his life. His photograph was used in the design for the 5,000 yen and 1,000 yen bills. On the southern shore of Lake Saiko lies Aokigahara, otherwise known as the “Sea of Trees,” where one can stay either at one of the shoreline campsites or at one of the minshuku inns. The lakeshore is an expansive, peaceful environment that is often used by camping/open-air schools, music groups, etc. as a retreat. The Japanese kunimasu trout, which has been threatened with extinction, has made a return to these parts for the first time in 70 years and this has really become a major talking point. The kunimasu trout originally hails from Lake Tazawa in Akita Prefecture, but it is believed that some kunimasu were released into Lake Saiko and propagated. Furthermore, Lake Saiko is also the native habitat for a variant of the yamanakaensis, designated as a natural treasure by Yamanashi Prefecture.

Lake Shojiko

Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset (Registered in June 2013) Lake Shojiko has the smallest surface area of the Fuji Five Lakes. Its beautiful landscape was already introduced by the British gentleman, Harry Stewart Whitworth, in the Meiji Period as “the world's most beautiful lake, Shojiko” and “Oriental Switzerland.” The lake is located at a height of 900m above sea level, with the area of 0.51 square kilometers and the depth of 15.2m at the deepest point. Visitors can enjoy fishing Herabuna (deepbodied crucian carp) and canoeing. Lake Motosuko, a dammed lake created by the volcanic activity of Mt. Fuji, and Seno-umi received the outflow of lava from Mt. Fuji at the time of its eruption in the 9th century, forming Lake Shojiko. The five large lakes including Lake Shojiko, located on a line like a bow at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji are called the “Fuji Go-ko (the Fuji Five Lakes).

Diamond Fuji (Lake Yamanaka)

Diamond Fuji can be seen from Lake Yamanaka as the sun sets behind Mt. Fuji in twilight colors. It can be enjoyed over a long period from mid-October to late February, so it is recommended for those who are not early birds. It can be seen over a wide area of Lake Yamanaka. The place and times are on the linked website.

Kawaguchiko Muse Museum - YUKI ATAE -

Kawaguchiko Muse Museum ,considered as a brunch of Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, opened in 1993 and holds the regular exhibitions on the works of doll maker Atae Yuki’s. Muse is the goddess of art in Greek mythology. The museum has the purpose that many people including neighbors can be familiar with the small Muses of Atae Yuki’s works which are highly-praised even abroad, surrounding the rich environment near Mt Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. The works made of cotton cloth are so well-crafted and they are praised as ‘cloth sculptures'. The exhibitions are changed twice a year, and around 100 works are on display at any one time. Time required: 40 minutes.

Fujiyoshida Museum of Local History

The former Fujiyoshida Museum of Local History was renewed as “Fujisan Museum” in 2015. In the muserum, you can enjoy exhiliarating visuals of projection mapping projected on the 1/2,000 scale model of Mt. Fuji, and other valuable exhibitions concerning the Mt. Fuji religion.

Kawaguchiko Konohana Museum

This is an art museum with the theme of Wachifield, a mysterious land created by Ikeda Akiko that is inhabited by Dayan the cat. Original pictures of Dayan the cat and others are on display, and dishes made with homegrown strawberries at the restaurant café ‘Olson-san no ichigo’ are very popular. There are other delicious café dishes, and the elegant space with high ceiling will provide you a special tea time that you usually do not have. Music concerts are held a couple of times a year, so you can enjoy the unconventional atmosphere created by the food and the music. Welcome to the mysterious world of ‘Wachifield'.

Yoshida Ascending Route

Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage Site Asset (Registered in June 2013) Yoshida Ascending Route is one of the essential components in demonstrating the outstanding universal value of Mt. Fuji as an “object of worship.” Yoshida Ascending Route is a mountain trail up to the summit on the east side of Mt. Fuji, from the starting point at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine, located at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji. The 2nd station of Yoshida Ascending Route (1,720m above sea level) is a place where, according to legend, an idol of worship with the inscribed year in the late 12th century was dedicated, and supposedly a site for ascetic practices was formed in the 13th to 14th century at the latest. Even now, a lot of climbers use this route. The tradition of the main mountain trail for worshippers of the Mr. Fuji religion has been handed down from person to person.

Lavender on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko

In June, you can see the purple color of lavender near the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko, or by the side of the town road. The lavender plants are in full bloom in mid-June. Around this time, the Kawaguchiko Herb Festival is held in the venues of two big parks in Fujikawaguchiko Town (Yagizaki Park and Oishi Park). Plants of several kinds of lavender are on sale in that event. Oishi Park is known as a photographing spot, popular among photography enthusiasts, where you can take pictures of the lavender with Mt. Fuji with its wide skirt. The best time to see the flowers is late June to early July.

Seiryu no Sato(Home of Spring water) in Yamanakako Hananomiyako Koen(Flower Garden)

Seiryu-no-Sato (Home of spring water) is located in Hananomiyako koen. This is the place where all generations including kids or elder people can enjoy. Kujiraga-ike Pond was made copying the shape of Lake Yamanakako. At Iwashimizu waterfall and Myojin waterfall 80 cm wide and 100 meters high, you will feel the splash from the flowing down water. The special-features of the place are the garden of tree molds, and the observation and experience zone underground. These lava tree molds were made by the lava from the eruption of Mt.Fuji more than 1000 years ago. Long time ago, trees growing in this area, were covered with a lava flow and left as wood molds. After you enjoy in the flower dome, you can go active at Seiryu-no-Sato under the blue sky.

Shibokusa Sengen-jinja Shrine 17 Japanese Yew Trees

A designated Natural Monument of the prefecture.

Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

This museum contains the works of the textile artist Itchiku Kubota who revived the traditional fabric dyeing technique of Tsujigahana. Tsujigahana flourished in Muromachi period and then disappeared just as suddenly. When Itchiku Kubota was 20 years-old, he was absolutely-fascinated with the beauty of the fabric dyeing and created his own contemporary style called Itchiku Tsujigahana. His works is highly-praised not only in Japan but also in foreign countries through exhibitions.

Lake Kawaguchiko Tenjoyama Park. A hiking course with 100,000 hydrangeas.

Mt. Tenjo, standing next to the shores of Lake Kawaguchi has an altitude of 1,075 m. The story ‘Mt. Kachi Kachi’ from Otogi Zoshi by the author Dazai Osamu was set here. The 100,000 hydrangeas on the side of Mt. Tenjo were planted by volunteers from Fujikawaguchiko Town in 1999. It is common for visitors to take the Mt. Tenjo Park 'Mt. Kachi Kachi' ropeway from the shores of Lake Kawaguchi to the top of Mt. Tenjo, then enjoy the hydrangeas on the 70 minute hiking course from the summit to the bottom of the mountain. The sight of the 100,000 hydrangeas blazing across the slopes from Nakabadaira 15 minutes down from the summit to the foot is spectacular. The best time to visit is from mid-July to early August.

Forest of Christmas / Santa Claus Museum

A fairy tale museum of the concept of 'Valuing the invisible things’. Japan’s largest Christmas spot which boasts a worldwide Santa Claus collection and other collections of Santa, Christmas, fairies and angels separated by era, country and artist.

Mt. Fuji

Fujisan’s value as a World Cultural Heritage arises from the fact that it has become an “object of worship” and a “source of artistic inspiration” through its magnificent landscape and its sacred aspect. The scope of the Fujisan Mountain area corresponds to altitudes above 1,500m as it is considered as the most important part of the mountain. This area has been depicted numerous times in famous pictures and it also represents the part of the mountain that is seen as the land of the deities (above the Umagaeshiline, top altitude a horse can go to). The scope is the 8 th station and above, where Asama no Okami (Fujisan’s Goddess) is thought to be enshrined. It also corresponds to the view from Lake Motosuko, currently represented on the 1,000 yen bill. There are several reasons why Fujisan (the Japanese moniker for Mt. Fuji) is known as the premier mountain in Japan – it is the highest peak in the land at 3,776m, and it has an unusually beautiful shape. Fujisan has the same striking appearanceregardless of the direction one views it from; a remarkable natural symmetry that down the ages has been captured in song, verse and by famous artists in their paintings. Across the country, many places bear the name “Fuji” as a testament to the great mountain’s influence on the Japanese people. The early morning is often the best time to try and capture a photo of a cloudless Fujisan. Another popular photo is the morning sun just cresting the peak, a phenomenon known as “diamond Fuji.”

Shiraito no Taki waterfalls

Shiraito no Taki waterfalls gushes out Fujisan's spring water across approximately 200m. It is thought that in the 15th and 16th centuries Hasegawa Kakugyo, who is thought to be the founder of Fuji-ko, conducted religious practices here and practitioners primarily of Fuji-ko made pilgrimages and conducted religious practices here. Located in the southwestern foothills of Fujisan, this waterfalls has its source in Fujisan’s spring water. The water off the curved rock wall measuring 20m high and 200m wide looks like vertically arranged thin strands of silk thread (Shiraito), hence the name given to this waterfall. Located near to Shiraito no Taki Waterfalls are the Otodome Falls, which features a 26m-drop and an intense, noisy water flow. Both of these falls have been selected as part of the 100 most famous waterfalls in Japan and they complement and contrast each other well.

Hitoana Fuji-ko Iseki

The Hitoana wind cave (lava cave) which, according to legend, are the "place where Sengen Daibosatsu (a name for the goddess of Fujisan) resides," are a sacred place. It is said that Hasegawa Kakugyo, who is thought to be the originator of Fuji-ko, underwent religious training and vanished entering Nirvana as a result of ascetic practices here in the 16th and 17th centuries. On the shrine compound there remain approximately 230 monuments that adherents set up to pray for or pay homage to Kakugyo and other predecessors and to record the number of worship-ascents they completed. After climbing up a long flight of stone steps, visitors can see stone monuments to the left and right of the entranceway. Each of these monuments, which are reminiscent of gravestones, is actually an artifact built by specific sects of Fujiko, the Edo-period Shinto groups dedicated to the worship of Fujisan. These monuments were designed to show the power and influence of each of these groups. The shrine in the central front position is the plain Hitoana Asama Shrine, which has a very simple form that is pleasing to the eye. On the right is the entrance to one of the hitoana, or caves formed by volcanic activity. Unfortunately these caves are currently not open to the public. They stretch back some 90m and then become more and more cramped and inaccessible as they go deeper into the hillside.

Omiya-Murayama Ascending Route(present Fujinomiya Ascending Route)

This ascending route begins at Fujisan HonguSengenTaisha shrine, goes past Murayama Sengen-jinja Shrine, and leads to the south side of the summit. It is thought that the activities of Matsudai from the beginning to the middle of the 12th century were the catalyst for people to begin climbing the mountain. After that, ordinary people began to make worship-ascents of Fujisan. People climbing Fujisan were depicted in Fuji Mandala painted on Silk, which is thought to have been made in the 16th century. The scope of the constituent element is 6th station of the present Fujinomiya Ascending Route and above. This ascent of Fujisan starts with a relatively gentle slope. During the ascent, the route does take in some sections where the going gets tough over some rocky terrain. This route will get you to the Kengamine peak in the shortest amount of time. If the weatherconditions are good, you will have a great view of the mountain Hoeizanand the Southern Alps, as well as the Izu Peninsula and Suruga Bay during your ascent. Looking from the south side near the peak, you can expect to see a magnificent sunrise. Sir Rutherford Alcock, the British Consul-General to Japan, took this route when he completed the first recorded ascent by a non-Japanese in 1860.

Suyama Ascending Route (present Gotemba Ascending Route)

This ascending route begins at Suyama Sengen-jinja Shrine and leads to the southeast side of the summit. Although the route's origin is unclear, its existence in the year 1486 can be confirmed by ancient documents. The route incurred catastrophic damage from Fujisan's Hoei eruption (1707), and then it was fully restored in 1780. The scope of the constituent element is the altitude of 2,050m (where the present Gotemba Ascending Route is) and above, and the area around Suyama Otainai (altitude of 1,435 - 1,690m). Compared with other routes up Fujisan, this route has fewer huts and the difference in altitude between the start point and the peak is considerable. The walking/climbing distance is long, so this is really a route for experienced climbers and people in good health. The route is peppered with volcanic rocks as well as volcanic gravel and climbers will have a firsthand view of the beauty of mother nature during their ascent. This route will take you past the Ginmeisui (silver water) well, where snowmelt water appears from cracks in the cooled lava. Locations of rites and prayer sites used by holy men from the Murayama Sengen Shrine still remain today. The Fuji Tozan Ekiden long distance race uses part of this route, and every year many runners participate in this event.

Subashiri Ascending Route Description

This ascending route begins at Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine, converges with Yoshida Ascending Route at 8th station, and leads to the east side of the summit. Although the route's origin is unclear, a Buddhist tablet with the year 1384 carved on it has been excavated there. Many adherents of Fuji-ko and other religious beliefs began to use it in the late 18th century. The scope of the constituent element is 5th station and above. Until the convergence with the Yoshida Ascending Route at the 8th station, the adjacent woodland filters the sunlight and climbers can enjoy being in nature as they slowly ascend Fujisan. There are small huts at each station, so people ascending for the first time can feel at ease as there are ample facilities should they need to take a break. Once through the woodland section, climbers will be in the best position to see the first light of the morning. The conditions change from woods to rocky terrain. Coming down the mountain, there is an approx. 2km-long section of sandy soil underfoot. As the sand is soft, one can run very fast and yet feel very little strain on their legs.

Mountaintop worship sites

Religion-related facilities such as shrines are distributed around the crater wall at the top of the mountain. Once people began making worship-ascents of Fujisan, temples were built, Buddhist statues, etc. were offered, and religious activities at the top of the mountain became systemized. Even now, many climbers do things at the top of the mountain such as worshipping of "Goraiko(sunrise)", or circling around the crater ( a ritual called "Ohachimeguri"), and the essence of Fujisan worship is thus reliably passed down to modern times. The main crater consists of 8 “mine”(peaks), with the Kengamine peak designated as the highest point in Japan. The “ohachimeguri” ritual of circling the crater is about 3km in length and takes in many famous sights, such as the tora-iwa rock formation, said to resemble a tiger, the kaminari-iwa thunder rocksand the umanosehorse-back formation. Near the base of the crater, some 200m deep, one can witness some very dynamic scenery. Looking down on to a sea of clouds with the sun behind you, Fujisan casts a huge triangular shadow on the clouds. Having this enormous silhouette in front of you is a strange experience and gives a fresh perspective on the beauty of Fujisan.

Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine (Subashiri Sengenjinja Shrine)

Fuji Sengen Shrine became the starting point of the Subashiri Ascending Route. It attracted many adherents of the Fuji-ko religion, and there remain approximately 70 commemorative markers indicating things such as a person climbing Fujisan 33 times. According to shrine legend, it was built in 807. Although it incurred major damage from the Hoei eruption (1707), it was rebuilt in 1718 and has since been repeatedly repaired to reach its current state. When the main shrine hall was restored in 2009, it was discovered that some sections of the hall had been built using beams that were around 300 years old. The shrine to the deity Ebisu is made entirely from zelkova and there is a wonderful carving of a dragon that has to be seen to be believed. The “Nobushige no Taki” waterfall delivers water to the “Sengen no Mori” compound, which measures some 16,500m2. The waterfall creates a refreshing spray of water mist. In spring, the Sargent’s cherry trees near the main torii gate bloom to give bright pink blossoms. Many wild birds visit the shrine and it has become rather popular with birdwatchers as a result.

Yamamiya Sengen-jinja Shrine

According to the historical document of Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, Yamamiya Sengen-jinja Shrine was the predecessor of Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine and was built by Yamato Takeru. There is no building in the place for the inner shrine, and it is presumed that the unique configuration of creating a place for worshipping Fujisan from afar remained in a form of ancient Fujisan worship in which the mountain was worshipped in order to ward off eruptions. Past the torii gate surrounded by Japanese cedars, visitors are led along a path lined with lanterns to the main shrine hall. Shrine fencing marks off this sanctuary and the most important site is home to a sakaki tree, an evergreen sacred to the Shinto religion. There is a real feeling of something sacred at this shrine location. Earthenware artifacts dating from the 12th to 15th centuries are used in the Shinto rites performed here, which underline the depth and the history behind this faith. In the dense forest surrounding the shrine one can come across what the locals call “Yakeishiyama,” a hill created by lava flows.

Murayama Sengen-jinja Shrine

Once Mt. Fuji's volcanic activity subsided around the 12th century, people such as Matsudai began to conduct ascetic training on the mountain. This expanded, and in the beginning of the 14th century the religion Shugen-do practiced on Fujisan was formed. Murayama Sengen-jinja Shrine (also called Koho-ji) was at the center of this. Until the late 19th century, Shugen-do practitioners managed the Omiya-Murayama Ascending Route. Passing under the torii gates and climbing the stairs towards the shrine itself, there is the second torii gate. There one cannot help but notice the magnificent gingko tree that stands at the top of the rise. The tree marks a location used by climbers and holy men to spiritually cleanse their bodies, and visitors can see in the main hall the evidence of artifacts from religious teaching that used to take place, such as the placards used by priests-in-training. Inside the shrine grounds is a Dainichido Hall, which marks the close links between Shinto and Buddhism, as well as a sacred tree – a magnificent cedar – which points the way to heaven. In front of the main hall is the altar shrine and past that is a torii gate that rejoins the path.

Suyama Sengen-jinja Shrine

Suyama Sengen-jinja Shrine became the point of origin of the Suyama Trail. The shrine pavilions as well as the trail incurred major damage from the Hoei eruption of 1707, and the current inner shrine was rebuilt in 1823. According to shrine legend, it was built by Yamato Takeru, and wooden markers indicating the buildings' construction dates make it possible to confirm that the shrine existed in 1524. Since an influential feudal lord from the Takeda clan made an offering of his long sword, armor and horse here at this shrine, the Suyama Sengen-jinja Shrine has been an important location for people ascending Fujisan from the southeast foothills. Passing through the vermillion torii gate that faces the Yozawa River, one is presented with an avenue of Japanese cedars that are 300 to 500 years old. These giant trees create a serious, grave atmosphere and the temizuya (place for ritual cleansing of hands and mouth with water when visiting shrines) and shrine office are decorated with offcuts from the holy tree depicting important events throughout the shrine’s long history.

Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine

The shrines that were built to worship Fujisan as Asama no Okami are Sengen-jinja shrines, and Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha shrine is the headquarter of Sengen-jinja shrines. According to the historical document of the shrine, it was moved to its current location from Yamamiya. Religious beliefs gathered there beginning around the 9th century, and the current shrine pavilions were built under the special protection of Tokugawa Ieyasu. In addition, in the wake of Ieyasu's dedication, the area of Fujisan from 8th station to the top is managed as a sacred symbol of the goddess. The compounds of the shrine contain "Wakutamaike Pond," which is Fujisan's spring-fed pond, and in the past religious believers would use its water to purify their bodies here before climbing Fujisan. This pond is fed by a source of snow- and ice-melt water that has passed through countless layers of volcanic rock before bubbling up from the ground to fill this pond. As a result this pond and its water have been designated as a Special Natural Monument. Within the spacious shrine grounds there are a number of attractive buildings, such as the main shrine hall, which is an unusual two-story construction that lends it a splendidly ceremonial appearance. During the cherry blossom season, with Fujisan in the background, the vermillion colors of the shrine buildings look especially beautiful contrasted with the pink of the sakura, almost as if the scene is from a scroll painting rather than something that exists in the real world.

Fujiyama Museum

The museum was constructed for the 75th anniversary of Fujikyuko Co., Ltd with the cooperation of Horiuchi Koankai Foundation, and was completed in July 2003. It displays pictures of Mt.Fuji collected by both the organizations over a period of 40 years.

Lake Sai Shores

The best time to visit is from late October to early November. Main kinds of trees: maple, beech, cherry trees and Japanese rowan.

Kawaguchiko Stellar Theater

An outdoor concert hall. Capacity: The outdoor concert hall can hold up to 3,000 people. The small indoor hall can hold up to 200 people. Sound, lighting, piano (extra usage charge) Parking: 700 spaces

Lake Yamanaka Sound Village

The facilities can be used by amateurs and professionals for music camps, rehearsals and recordings, and top class musicians use the VICTOR Yamanakako Studio in the grounds.

Fuketsu Wind Cave area

Japanese oak parent tree and parasitic species such as Japanese white pine and Northern Japanese Hemlock. Age: Over 300 years old.