The iconic Mt. Fuji has 5 lakes at the foot. Lake Kawaguchi is the largest of them.
|Mt. Fuji at Sunset|
This post is all about Lake Kawaguchi’s attractions, visitor information, helpful links, and an interesting folk tale again.
Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway
Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway is one of the most popular tourist attractions near Lake Kawaguchi.
The gondolas take us to the hilltop with breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.
|Lake Kawaguchi from Mt. Kachi Kachi|
It is also known as one of the best Autumn Color spot around Mt. Fuji. The local staff members say Mid-November, when all the trees turn red and yellow in the hill, is the best season to visit there.
Well, lets go!
Raccoon Dog and Rabbit welcome us at the station.
Return Ticket: 720 yen for adult, 360 yen for children
|Kachi Kachi Yama Ropeway Entrance|
When you get off, you’ll be here. A cozy place with a beautiful hiking course.
|Top of Mt. Kachi Kachi|
There is a Free Photo Service. The staff members will take a picture of you with Mt. Fuji from there by their camera and your own camera. It is really free to get the mini photo card. Don’t hesitate!
You’ll see beautiful nature of the hill, the towns and the long foot of Mt. Fuji.
|The view of Mt. Fuji from Mt. Kachi Kachi|
|Autumn leaves and views|
Whichever you are having a date there or not, this bell let us feel cleared up fronting with sacred Mt. Fuji.
|Mt. Fuji’s HEAD from Mt. Kachi Kachi|
So, Mt. Fuji managed to show me its head!
Why are Raccoon and Rabbit the characters in Mt. Kachi Kachi?
It’s based on a well-known Japanese folk tale titled, “Kachi Kachi Yama (=Mt. Kachi Kachi.)” It is said that this mountain is its scene.
Here is the story.
Once upon a time, an old couple, Raccoon Dog and Rabbit were living in a village.
One day Raccoon tormented Grandma. Grandpa got very sad, so Rabbit avenged her on Raccoon. Rabbit gave Raccoon some firewood kindly and followed him when he went up to a mountain. Rabbit made a fire by flint and put it on the wood on his back. Raccoon got burnt, screamed and regretted his wrongdoings. The flint’s sounds, “Crack, crack” is, “Kachi Kachi” in Japanese, so the mountain started to be called Kachi Kachi Yama(=mountain) afterwards.
However, there are some different versions for this tale. The problem is that the original is too cruel. Raccoon killed Grandma, and fatally, made Grandpa eat her by cooking soup for him! And Rabbit killed Raccoon in revenge for Grandma at last.
Totally TERRIBLE. Although I know many of folk tales in the world are a bit aggressive, I don’t think there are many as cruel as this.
So, in most cases, the story is published as a mild version, where Raccoon just bullied Grandma, Rabbit punished him and he apologized to them. At last little children can enjoy it on a picture book.
But somehow Mt. Kachi Kachi shows the original version on the panels…. Why?
I saw some Japanese visitors saying, “Really!? Kachi Kachi Yama is such a horrible story?”
Anyway, Rabbit is a guardian of justice here. They are sitting on gods’ place at the small shrine.
|A Rabbit at the shrine!|
Funny and cute!
And Raccoon is not treated badly, either.
Tanuki Chaya (=Raccoon Cafe.)
|Raccoon Cafe in Mt. Kachi Kachi|
These rice dumplings with sweet soy sauce were so warm, delicious and reasonable. I really recommend it when you visit there.
|Dango and green tea set – so refreshing…|
Tanuki Dango & Green Tea Set 360 yen
The pronunciation Tanuki is similar to “leave others behind” in Japanese, so these dumplings with Mt. Fuji printings carry the wish to be outstanding.
Cruising Ship “En Soleil” & Rental Cycle Boat
Just in front of Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway, you can enjoy the cruising ship in Lake Kawaguchi.
The cruise ship departs every 30 minutes, takes 20 minutes to return. 930 yen for adult, 470 yen for elementary school student.
|The wharf of En Soleil|
Tip: If you go to Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway and En Soleil on the same day, there is a combined discount ticket. It’s a great saving! And many of Fujikyu Line train tickets offer a discount for these attractions, so ask them.
The open-air deck in the 2nd floor is the best!
|Cruising to the best spot!|
There is a bridge half the way. This is known as a great spot to see, “Upside-Down Fuji (Sakasa-Fuji in Japanese.)” Lake Kawaguchi becomes a mirror which shows Mt. Fuji’s reflection on a calm sunny day. Sakasa-Fuji is counted as one of the most beautiful views of Mt. Fuji.
|This bridge is sign of the best Sakasa-Fuji spot.|
|Clouds and waves.|
See, how difficult the weather near a mountain is! It was a clear sunny day, but some clouds hid only Mt. Fuji’s head…
I strongly hope to meet Mt. Fuji on the ship someday.
Lake Kawaguchi Fall Foliage Festival is 1 to 24 November (in 2014.) The Maple Leaf Pass is quite famous.
Do you like the first photo of this post? Mt. Fuji is so beautiful at sunset.
Travel Information & Descriptions
How High Mt. Fuji is
Summit: 3776 meters high above sea-level (The highest in Japan.)
The 5th Station: 2305 meters high above sea-level
How High Mt. Kachi Kachi is
Where Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi are
In Yamanashi Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture. Yamanashi Prefecture is right west from Tokyo.
How to get to Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi
- By Train: The major way is to take JR Chuo Line Express from Shinjuku, change trains into Fujikyu Line at Otsuki Station and go to Mt. Fuji Station or Lake Kawaguchi (=Kawaguchiko) Station. It takes 2 hours from Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi.
- By Bus: There are some fast buses from Shinjuku, Tokyo Station, Shinagawa, Haneda Airport, etc.
- By Car: 98 km from Tokyo City
The ways to Mt. Fuji are quite complicated even for a Tokyo local, so it is a good idea to find a tour you like. There are also discount train tickets by JR and Fujikyu Railway.
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Where Exactly Lake Kawaguchi is
A 10 minutes walk from Kawaguchiko Station of Fujikyu Line.
There are also buses for sightseeing.
- Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway Official Website: http://www.kachikachiyama-ropeway.com/
- A Video to Go to Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway from Kawaguchiko Station: http://youtu.be/RqWRsNf90Dw Mt. Kachi Kachi Official Website prepared this video for international independent travelers. So kind!
- Cruise Ship En Soleil Official Website: http://www.fujigokokisen.jp/contents/ensoleille/
- Mt. Fuji Explorer: http://mtfuji-jp.com/ (You can choose English, Korean and Chinese.)
- Mt. Fuji Weather Forecast: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/yoho/321/ (By Japan Meteorological Agency. “Tobu-Fujigoko” is Mt. Fuji.)
- Japan Meteorological Agency’s Volcanic Warning Website: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/volcano/
- Mt. Fuji Fall Foliage Festival Official Website: http://www.fujiyama-navi.jp/kouyou/
Accommodation near Mt. Fuji & Lake Kawaguchi
Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi are not places of world wide hotels like Hilton, but there are some 5-star awesome traditional Ryokans. Most of them feature hot spring bathes (Onsen in Japanese) with stunning views of Mt. Fuji.
I picked up some fabulous hotels with high ratings.
- Kozantei Ubuya – Winner of the 2014 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award.
- Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso – A 5-star, traditional style, lakeside hotel. It is convenient to go to the attractions in this post and Lake Kawaguchi Station, too.
- Shuhokaku Kogetsu – You can expect to see Mt. Fuji itself and Mt. Fuji Reflected on Lake Kawaguchi (Sakasa-Fuji) on calm sunny days. breathtaking views.
- Highland Resort Hotel & Spa – A great hotel right next to Fujikyu Highland, the amusement park run by Fujikyu Railway.
- Links to other hotels near Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi