12 Best Things To Do at Mount Fuji, Japan 12 Best Things To Do at Mount Fuji, Japan

12 Best Things To Do at Mount Fuji, Japan

Discover the epic scale of Mount Fuji, a towering 3765-meter-high volcano that’s iconic to Japan. The stunning snow-capped peak can be seen from near and far, complemented by candy-colored blossom trees in the spring and the vibrant foliage of the maple trees in the fall. Spend a few days in the region, going around the five main lakes to find the best viewpoints. Watch the sunrise, relax in the thermal waters of traditional Onsens, soar above the clouds by cable car, or find your inner zen at beautiful shrines with these top things to do around Mount Fuji!

Mount Fuji, Japan (Location)

Mount Fuji is located on Japan’s main and most populated island, Honshu. The Mount Fuji location is about 100 km west of Tokyo and is such a large volcano that it can be seen from all over Japan. On a clear day, you can even see it from some of the rooftops in Tokyo. For example, the Skytree or the Metropolitan Government Building. 

view mount fuji japan autumn

Although some people climb to the summit, most visit the five lakes at the base of the volcano:

  1. Kawaguchiko: The most popular and the easiest jumping-off point to discover all the things to do at Mount Fuji. This is also where the biggest village is: Shimoyoshida.
  2. Lake Yamanaka: The largest and the closest to Mount Fuji itself, offering some of the best views in the area.
  3. Lake Saiko: One of the lesser-developed lakes. Close to the open-air museum of Iyashi no Sato.
  4. Lake Motosu: The most remote and inaccessible. Featured on the 1000 yen Japanese bill!
  5. Lake Shōji: The smallest of the lakes and very tranquil because it’s less developed.
mount fuji view by bike

Things to do around Mount Fuji

Visiting the Mount Fuji area was our favorite thing to do in Japan — offering a perfect combination of nature, cute cafes, and relaxation. Watching the volcano appear from behind the clouds was one of our most memorable travel experiences to date!

There are so many incredible things to do around Mount Fuji that we recommend spending a few days here, especially in fall when you’ll see the maple tree leaves emerge in fiery reds and yellows.

things to do around Mount Fuji couple

1. Chureito Pagoda

A great viewpoint of Mount Fuji is above the village at Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine. This pretty red shrine sits on top of the hill, at the top of some steps that lead through charming woodland.

things to do around Mount Fuji chureito pagoda japan

However, for something extraordinary, we recommend hiking a bit further to the stunning Chureito Pagoda, one of the most iconic spots in Japan! This five-story, bright-red pagoda, built in 1963 as a peace memorial, is the latest addition to the shrine. At sunrise or sunset, it is one of the most known photography spots in the country, if not in the world, filled with people trying to get a snap of the snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji. 

Tip: If you want to visit with fewer people, we recommend visiting outside these two busy time slots.

things to do around mount fuji japan Chureito Pagoda

Getting to Chureito Pagoda

It’s approximately 20 minutes from the station to the first shrine. Hike 400 steps further up the hill (well worth it, we promise!), where you’ll find the famous Mount Fuji view. There’s a viewing platform that looks onto the red pagoda with the volcano in the background. 

autumn colors japan

More than 650 cherry trees surround the pagoda, so in spring, this is an exceptional spot, creating a pink candy-colored view out over the city and Mt Fuji. 

train station japan

2. Shiraito Falls

On the western side of Mount Fuji, discover the imposing Shiraito Waterfall! This magical 150-meter-wide waterfall curtain — which reminded us a little bit of Tumpak Sewu in Java, Indonesia — is truly a spot you cannot miss in Japan.

things to do around Mount Fuji shiraito falls fall

It’s also one of the best places to see Mount Fuji! On a clear day, from the viewing platform at the falls, there’s probably no greater view than this: a magical misty curtain of water flowing 20 meters down from the mountainside, set against a backdrop of the snow-peaked volcano.

things to do around Mount Fuji japan Shiraito Falls autumn colors

Your entire visit to the falls only takes 30-60 minutes, as it’s a short walk to the viewing platform. You can also follow the stairs down to the very foot of the falls, where you’ll find another viewing platform on the Takimi Bridge (please note that swimming is not allowed). 

Entry Fee: At the time of writing, there is no entry fee for Shiraito waterfall; you only need to pay a small parking fee.

shiraito Mount Fuji japan

3. Lake Yamanaka

One of the best places to see Mount Fuji is the beautiful Lake Yamanaka, one of the five lakes that were formed hundreds of years ago due to a volcanic eruption. Of these five lakes, Lake Yamanaka is the largest and also one of the most popular, and it is home to many swans, making it extra special.

lake yamanaka mount fuji japan

Getting around Lake Yamanaka is easy; rent a bike or car and follow the 14 km cycling route around the lake. It’s also possible to walk around many parts of the lake (the entire walk takes 3 hours). As you go, stop to take photos of the beautiful scenery or have a picnic on the shoreline. 

Forgotten your picnic? There are also a few cafes on the lakeside that have fantastic views. We liked:

  • Papermoon
  • Noah
  • The Park
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restaurant view mount fuji japan

4. Lake Shōji

One of the smallest lakes around Mount Fuji but just as beautiful, Lake Shoji is a magical place to visit on your trip to the area. It’s a quieter and more unique spot to visit at sunrise when you can watch the early sun rays hit the volcano from the side. 

Head to Tatego-Hama Beach for the best photo angle. In the first light of the day, you’ll see the fishermen looking for their fresh morning catch. On a calm day, the lake looks just like a mirror, with a magical reflection of Mount Fuji and the sunrise colors. Don’t miss out on this top thing to do around Mount Fuji!

sunrise view mount fuji japan

5. Shimoyoshida

Don’t miss the Japanese village of Shimoyoshida – one of the best things to do at Mount Fuji! It’s the main ‘city’ in the area and is mainly known as a jumping-off point to visit the most famous lake, Kawaguchiko. However, it’s well worth a visit in its own right! 

mount fuji street view japan shimoyoshida

Head for the main shopping street, where you’ll find the iconic view of a bustling avenue filled with shops and Japanese character-filled signs and an incredible view of Mount Fuji at the end.

6. Stay in an Onsen Hotel

Onsens (hot springs) are part of Japanese culture with natural thermal baths heated by the volcano. We recommend staying in an Onsen hotel while on your trip to Mount Fuji. It’s the perfect way to relax after a busy day discovering all the top things to do around Mount Fuji. Here are some fantastic Onsen hotels in the area:

best hotels around mount fuji view japan
This is at La Vista, Fuji

7. Hakone

Hakone is an area 60km from Mount Fuji that’s famous for its beautiful woodland views of the volcano. There’s a lot to see, with most things centered around the vast Lake Ashi, from pirate ship cruises to cable car flights.

Tip: If you’re short on time, you don’t need to necessarily visit Hakone; you’ll get a perfectly good feel of Mount Fuji by visiting the Fuji Lakes. 

hakone shrine japan

Hakone Shrine

The sacred Hakone Shrine is well-known in the area because of its beautiful setting, floating on the lake’s shoreline. The vibrant red Torii Gate is holy for many; legend has it that there was once a nine-headed dragon who lived in the waters of Lake Ashi and was later defeated by a monk. It then became a lucky spot for locals, frequented by Samurai who would pray for strength before battle.

To get there, you can either hike to this spot (along the shoreline) or see it from the pirate ship cruise. 

hakone shrine mt fuji japan

Tenzan Onsen

Onsens (hot springs) are an essential part of Japanese culture, with nearly 3000 nationwide. The resorts, built around natural hot springs, provide a tranquil place for people to relax. Generally, as per Onsen rules, patrons are naked and refrain from talking to provide the most peaceful environment possible.

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12 Best Things To Do at Mount Fuji, Japan

The Tenzan Onsen is a great place to visit in the Hakone area if you have time, particularly after days of hiking, to relax tired muscles. 

Please note: In general, those with tattoos are not permitted to enter Onsens because of the long-running stigmatization in Japan. The Tenzan Onsen does allow people with tattoos, although reviews are mixed, so please bear that in mind before visiting. 

japanese slippers

Hakone Open Air Museum

For a unique thing to do around Mount Fuji, visit the impressive Hakone Open Air Museum, an impressive hillside park home to sculptures from famous Japanese and international artists. There is also a large exhibition hall within the gardens, home to many of Picasso’s works.

things to do mount fuji hakone open air museum

Hakone Ropeway 

Jump on the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car ride that takes you over the sulfur vents. Cable cars depart every minute from Sounzan Station and travel 4 km to Togendai Station at the summit. On the way, you’ll have fantastic views across the lake and Mount Fuji. 

If you have the time, get off at the stop Owakudani, where there is still an active volcano crater! Don’t worry; the activity is continuously monitored, and if it is too high, the cable car will not stop.

Entry Fee and Opening Times: One-way: 1,480 yen (14 USD). Open from 9 AM to 5 PM (March – November) and until 2.15 PM from December – February.

cable car mount fuji

Mishima Skywalk

Visit Japan’s longest suspension bridge: Mishima Skywalk! The 400-meter-long bridge sits suspended 70.6 meters above the ground, looking out over a beautiful valley. It’s the perfect place to get fantastic views of Hakone’s natural beauty, especially in the fall when the surrounding woodland bursts into fall colors. 

Entry Fee: 1,100 yen (8 USD). Open from 9 AM – 5 PM all year.

8. Momiji Corridor

One of the top things to do around Mount Fuji is to walk along the famous Momiji corridor! Because of the little stream below, when the leaves drop, it gives it a tunnel-like appearance, full of vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves.

things to do around mount fuji japan Momiji Corridor

If you follow the trail to the end, you will reach Lake Kawaguchi. Continue on to the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum, home to the works of the Japanese textile artist Itchiku Kubota. It’s well worth a visit to see the pretty gardens and his hand-painted silk kimonos.

Tip: Just a 10-minute drive from the Momijii Corridor is the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway. Take the cable car to the top (round-trip tickets cost 900 yen/6 USD).

bridge mount fuji japan

9. Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine

Discover this ancient and peaceful shrine, nestled deep in a woodland full of mammoth cedar trees — some of which are over 1000 years old! The shrine is incredibly important to the Japanese, who purify the mind and body by praying at the shrine before climbing Mount Fuji. 

Follow a tranquil pathway between the ancient trees and moss-covered lanterns before passing through one of the largest Torii gates in all of Japan. This might just be one of the most special shrines in Japan and an absolute top thing to do around Mount Fuji! 

Entry Fee and Opening Times: Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine is just a 20-minute walk from Fujisan station. It’s free to enter and open all year round.

10. Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba

Welcome to Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and traditional Japanese village once known as ‘the most beautiful village in Japan’. However, after a great typhoon in 1966, a massive flow of water and mud (named the ‘mountain tsunami’) destroyed the entire thatched-roof village. 

things to do around Mount Fuji saiko iyashi-no-sato nenba

The town was rebuilt as an open-air museum in 2006, now carefully preserved and protected by UNESCO. Everything looks exactly as it did all those years ago and gives you a great insight into what life would have been like in the village. 

Spend some time wandering between the houses, which are now home to art galleries, souvenir shops, a history museum, and cafes. You can even book a class to do traditional crafts within the old homes, for example, pottery or incense making. 

After a busy morning of activities, enjoy a yummy soba noodle lunch at this cafe within the park, and look out for Mount Fuji peeking behind the clouds in the background.

Opening Times and Entry Fee: 9 AM – 5 PM (last entry 4.30 PM). Tickets cost 500 yen (3.50 USD). Parking is always available as there’s a big parking lot on the edge of the village. 

11. Momiji Tunnel

Although similarly named, Momiji Tunnel differs from Momiji Corridor (and it’s only a 6-minute drive away!). This is another popular spot in fall for photography as the beautiful warm colors provide a stunning backdrop to Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji. Here is the exact location of Momiji Tunnel

Tip: Fall is the most spectacular time to visit Momiji Tunnel, particularly in the mornings when you’re more likely to get a clear view of the volcano. 

things to do around mount fuji japan Momiji Tunnel

12. Climb Mount Fuji

One of the most popular things to do around Mount Fuji is to ascend the mountain itself! This hike is undertaken by thousands of keen hikers every year, and you don’t have to be experienced; plenty of beginner hikers make the journey with a guide.

The hike typically takes two days, with a night spent in one of the climber’s huts on the mountainside. In the morning, you’ll ascend to the summit in time for sunrise — magical!

Best time to climb Mount Fuji: The climb can only be done from July to mid-September. Please note that the trail is busiest during the holidays (mid-late August). Make sure to leave time to acclimatize to the altitude before your ascent.

Best Places to View Mount Fuji

There are plenty of unique places to get an incredible view of the sacred volcano. Some of the best places to view Mount Fuji are:

  • Shimoyoshida – a shopping street that sits directly in the shadow of the volcano.
  • Chureito Pagoda – iconic viewpoint with a bright red pagoda.
  • Shiratio Falls – cascading waterfall curtain with Mount Fuji as the backdrop.
  • Momiji Tunnel – stunning trees on the lakeside, best seen in fall.
  • Lake Shoji – head for Tatego-Hama Beach for the best photo spot!
  • Lake Yamanaka – where you’ll find many swans swimming in the lake.

Tip: Can’t make it to Mount Fuji? On a clear day, you might be lucky enough to see Mount Fuji from the Tokyo Skytree.

Best Restaurants & Cafes in Mount Fuji

As Mount Fuji is iconic to Japan, you’ll notice that the volcano has been used as inspiration for a multitude of foods. There’s no better place than Fuji to try the tasty replicas – from volcano-shaped bread to cookies, curries, and everything in between! Some of our favorite restaurants and cafes in the area are:

  • The Park cafe
  • Shaw’s Sushi Bar
  • Hoto Tempura Wakana
  • FabCafe Fuji
  • Taverna La Cura
  • Troisieme Marche
  • Y’s Cafe’tta
  • Natural Food Cafe Con Brio
  • Hakone Sushi
  • Noah
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Make sure to bring your reusable water bottle with you; you can drink water from the taps in Japan! This is a good way to save money and travel plastic-free.

Where to Stay in Mount Fuji

We recommend staying in one of the traditional Onsen hotels in the area, allowing you to relax and immerse yourself in Japan’s thermal bath culture. We stayed at La Vista FujiKawaguchiko. However, anywhere around Kawaguchi Lake will put you at the center of all the best things to do at Mount Fuji.

Tip: Mount Fuji is one of the most popular areas in Japan. Because of this, it’s best to book your accommodation well in advance, as prices rise in high seasons, like spring and fall.

where to stay around mount fuji japan

How Many Days in Fuji?

Many people visit Mount Fuji on a day trip from Tokyo, which is achievable and will still give you a glimpse into the area. However, 2 – 3 days would be best to enjoy the incredible natural atmosphere and see all the things to do around Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji Day Trip 

A Mount Fuji day trip is possible from cities all over Japan. However, Tokyo is the closest and is, therefore, the best choice if you have limited time.

  • Train: From Tokyo, it’s between 2-3 hours by train, depending on the type of train you take.
  • Car: Alternatively, you can hire a car and self-guide around Fuji (driving time from Tokyo is approximately 2 hours). 
  • Tour: The most convenient way to do a Mount Fuji day trip is on an organized tour from Tokyo, which includes return transportation and any entrance fees.
visit mount fuji by train

How to Visit Mount Fuji

The nearest airport to Mount Fuji is Tokyo Haneda or Narita. Narita is further away (60 KM east of Tokyo), so we recommend flying into Haneda and traveling to Fuji from there.

Find flights to Mount Fuji ✈️

Fun fact: If you fly west from Tokyo Haneda airport, you might see Mt Fuji. We had a fantastic view of it while sitting on the plane’s right side.

From the airport or Tokyo, visiting Mount Fuji is possible in several ways:


Renting a car is an excellent way of discovering all the best things to do around Mount Fuji. Hire your vehicle from any city in Japan and drive towards the peak of Fuji in the distance. Not only will you get beautiful views on your journey, but driving on the roads in Japan is super easy; everything is very well organized, and the roads are in excellent condition.

  • Tokyo: 2 hours
  • Kyoto: 3.5 hours
  • Osaka: 5 hours
mount fuji rent a car japan


Taking the bus to Mount Fuji is the cheapest and most direct option. Many of the trains may require you to switch onto the bus for the final leg of your journey anyway.

How to Visit Mount Fuji from Tokyo by Train

The train is a good option for reaching Mount Fuji from Tokyo, and you have a few options for your trip. Head for Shinjuku station in the city center and take one of the following train: 

The Fuji Limited Express Train

This departs directly for Kawaguchiko every morning at 7.30 AM, 8.30 AM, and 9.30 AM. There is also an extra train at 9.02 AM on weekends. This is the priciest option.

Regular Train

A couple of regular trains leave from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko. However, they are commuter trains, so they only leave Tokyo at night (departing Shinjuku at 6.22 PM and 7.19 PM).

Bullet Train (Shinkansen)

Option 1: Take the bullet train from Tokyo Station to Mishima (45 minutes). From here, you can jump on a bus to Kawaguchiko (1.5 hours). (Book your train here)

Option 2: Take the bullet train from Tokyo Station to Odawara. From here, switch trains to Hakone-Itabashi.

What if I have a Japan Rail Pass?

Is the JR Pass worth it? (Calculate it here) The Japan Rail Pass gives you unlimited access to all public transport on the JR-line throughout Japan, so it’s a great option if you take the Shinkansen (bullet train) several times. It’s also multi-use for other trains, ferries, and buses throughout the country. JR has its own calculator for you to find out whether it’s worth it.

Bullet train JR japan


Another great way to visit Mount Fuji is a multi-day tour, which generally includes accommodation, transportation, and entry fees. It’s also a great way to meet people and learn more about the area from a knowledgeable guide.

Tours & Tickets 🥾View all
hakone shrine lake view

Getting Around

Once in the Fuji area, you can use the bus to reach most of the places we mention in this travel guide. We recommend using Google Maps for up-to-date routes and timetables.

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You can also rent bicycles at many places. This is especially fun during the warmer months when you can enjoy the bike paths around the five main lakes. Please note that there aren’t bike paths everywhere, so you’ll spend most of your time riding on the roads. 

bike rental

We rented a car for three days to visit all the main things to do at Mount Fuji. Driving around here was also very pleasant as the traffic isn’t crazy and is generally peaceful.

How Much Does Fuji Cost?

Like a lot of Japan, visiting the area around Mount Fuji can be expensive. In general, though, the entry fees for most sites are reasonable. The higher costs are for food, transport, and accommodation. We recommend booking your hotel far in advance, especially in high season. 

Costs of Traveling in Mount Fuji

Travel on a budget in Mount Fuji, from $620 − $500 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1750 − $3400 USD, and high-end from $3120 − $4610 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

* Average daily costs
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Tip: It’s worth looking into a Mount Fuji tour as it can work out cheaper, depending on your travel wishes.

Best Time to Visit Fuji

Mount Fuji stands at a huge 3765 meters high! Because of this, in the warmer months, it’s often not visible due to cloud cover. We recommend visiting in the colder winter months from November – February, when you’ll find the clearest days.

road with autumn colored trees

You can also get lucky with clear days in the Spring. Plus, you’ll also have pink moss at the base of Mount Fuji and cherry blossom trees covering the area in candy-pink hues.


Tip: Morning is the best time to see Mount Fuji, so wake up as early as possible to get the best view! Sunrise is an extraordinary time in this area; you won’t find anyone sleeping. Instead, everyone is outside, gathering around the lake to get their shot of the colorful sky. 

19/04/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/japan/mount-fuji/
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  • Y Lee

    Lots of details, must have taken you days and months to put them together in an enjoyable read. Many thanks for your superb work.

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