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Few images are as redolent of Japan as that of snow-capped Mount Fuji, at 12,400 feet (3,776m) the country’s highest peak. This appealing symmetrical volcano has long been considered a sacred mountain and, for many, climbing remains a religious rite; start your trek to the summit by paying your respects at the shrine Fuji-Sengen-jinja in the town of Fuji-Yoshida, about 60 miles west of the capital. Outside the climbing season (July 1 to August 31) you can admire Fuji-san from the shores of several pretty lakes all of which fall within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. In the area known as Fuji Five Lakes, north of the volcano, you’ll find ...

Few images are as redolent of Japan as that of snow-capped Mount Fuji, at 12,400 feet (3,776m) the country’s highest peak. This appealing symmetrical volcano has long been considered a sacred mountain and, for many, climbing remains a religious rite; start your trek to the summit by paying your respects at the shrine Fuji-Sengen-jinja in the town of Fuji-Yoshida, about 60 miles west of the capital. Outside the climbing season (July 1 to August 31) you can admire Fuji-san from the shores of several pretty lakes all of which fall within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. In the area known as Fuji Five Lakes, north of the volcano, you’ll find Yamanaka-ko, the largest of the lakes, Kawaguchi-ko (the nearby town is the commercial center of the region), Sai-ko, Motsu-ko and Shoji-ko, the smallest and most attractive lake. South of Fuji, the resort area of Hakone is the prefect escape from Tokyo. It’s famous for its soothing onsens (hot spring baths) and top-grade ryokans and hotels amid beautiful lakeside and mountain scenery and has several good museums. Similar attractions plus beaches are the draw of the Izu Peninsula (Izu Hanto) where you’ll find the historic small port of Shimoda from which it is possible to cruise to islands such as Oshima that are also part of the national park.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Less than 100 miles from Tokyo
  • Language: Japanese
  • Currency: Yen
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    From April to October