Mount Fuji, Japan, is a registered UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The restaurants and area around Mt. Fuji are full of visitors to Japan. But why do foreign visitors really visit Mt. Fuji? We interviewed travelers who have been around Mt. Fuji and asked the following questions: what was the purpose of your trip, and how did you like it?
What made you decide to travel around Mt. Fuji?
“Mt. Fuji was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2013. The surrounding shrines and lakes were included in the World Heritage List, so I wanted to visit.” (Australian man)
"A while ago, I was on the Shinkansen and saw Mt. Fuji out the window. It was so beautiful; I knew I wanted to go someday.” (American woman)
“I wanted to take my children to Fujikyu Highland.” (Italian woman)
A typical reason that tourists want to visit is that it is a World Heritage Site, and the beauty of Mt. Fuji is known all over the world.
Unfortunately, some tourists have had issues because of bad weather or incorrect information about how to go about seeing the mountain. Therefore, we recommend that you prepare as much as you can in advance.
Mt. Fuji is a place highly recommended by tourists! Here is some information for adult travelers.
“The Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine that is in the guidebook was really nice because I could see the five-storied pagoda and Mt. Fuji at the same time. I went in the autumn and I was able to take a lot of beautiful pictures – and I am not a professional photographer. The cherry blossom season looks beautiful, as does the night view. The stairs around the shrine were long and a bit hard to climb, but it was good exercise,” laughs an Australian man
“When I looked up Oshino Hakkai on the internet, it was beautiful. It felt like a sacred place. I decided to make the trek out to Fuji 5th Station. It was cloudy that day, though and the weather at the Fuji 5th Station made it difficult to see the view, but when the clouds parted, I could see the top of Mt. Fuji. I was happy to see the top of it from a viewpoint that was so close. However, the weather was cold so I also enjoyed the souvenir shop.” (American woman)
According to an Australian man in the interview, “there are many superb viewpoints around Mt. Fuji. The most popular place is the Arakura Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine and its pagoda. Here there is a five-story pagoda at which you can readily see Mt. Fuji and the shrine at the same time. This is the view used on so many overseas guidebooks. It’s particularly idea to take pictures here during the cherry blossom season – one picture and it sums up your Japan visit!”
One of the must-see spots is Lake Kawaguchi, where you can see Fuji reflected upside down on the lake surface. During the fall, you can gaze at Mt. Fuji and 60 maple trees in their fall colors, and it is a famous spot to visit.
Here are recommendations for the Mt. Fuji area if you are traveling with children!
“I went to Fujikyu Highland. While we waited in line, staff brought the park map in English, which made me very happy.” (Italian woman)
“Shinobi-No-Sato Ninja Village was intended for kids, but I also enjoyed dressing like a ninja. Throwing shuriken ninja stars was surprisingly difficult. The place was popular for tourists. The menu was in English and Chinese.” (American woman)
There are many spots around Mt. Fuji to visit that are perfect for children. At Asagiri Kogen Mochiya, you can enjoy an amusement park, athletic facilities, and barbecue. Makaino Ranch is a place where you can pet animals such as cows, sheep, and goats. You can even experience making butter and cheese using fresh ingredients from the ranch! Other facilities include Fuji Safari Park and Fuji Kachoen Garden Park.
Recently, facilities are preparing maps and menus for tourists in various languages such as English and Chinese to ease the stresses of foreign travel. Adults and children alike can enjoy the are around Mt. Fuji to create the best memories of a Japanese sightseeing trip!
Did you go around Mt. Fuji by yourself? Or did you go on a tour?
"I went on a tour and I went to a lot of the famous spots listed in the guidebook.” (Australian man)
"I went by direct bus from Tokyo Station. My English was good, so it was easy to communicate with the ticket desk and driver.” (Italian woman)
"I went on a tour from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji and Oshino Hakkai. It was a great tour because it was all-inclusive with the bus and meals provided.” (American woman)
During these interviews, all of the tourists said that they went to Mt. Fuji on a direct bus or a tour. Doing the trips this way is a good way to do them, as they can visit all of the famous sights at once and in an efficient manner.
In addition, these tours often have guides who speak different languages, so you will be sure to understand all that you are seeing. Increasingly, in addition to speaking English, guides are speaking in Chinese and Korean, making it easier for visitors from other Asian countries to visit and enjoy the sights.
What were your biggest surprises touring around Mt. Fuji?
"I heard that Yoshida udon was famous, so I ordered that. I was surprised at the hard noodles, but it was so good that I would definitely order this meal again.” (Australian man)
"At Fujikyu Highland, we waited in line for an hour and twenty minutes for a two-minute roller coaster ride. We would recommend going to this particular attraction first thing in the morning. That being said, we want to go back here in the future.” (Italian woman)
"I ate Kappameshi at Lake Kawaguchi. It came to the table still simmering, and it had vegetables on the rice. It was refreshing and delicious!” (American woman)
One of the cultural shocks that foreigners feel when visiting Japan is food. An Australian man commented that Yoshida’s udon is typical. An American woman said the same thing about the rice cakes she ate. The main surprise seems to lie in the hardness of the Yoshida noodles if tourists are not used to eating Japanese noodles.
Others have said that the free use of restrooms in restaurants and leisure facilities has been shocking. In some overseas countries, there is a charge for using a toilet. Tourists are surprised that the use of clean Japanese toilets is free of charge.
Seeing Mt. Fuji is not limited to just climbing the mountain – adults and families with children can enjoy so many different surrounding sights and attractions. Due to the number of things to see and do, we recommend that you do a little research ahead of time so you don’t miss a thing!
Written by Yuu Sato, Dali Corporation