A trip from Tokyo to Hakone and Kyoto has become so popular among first-time visitors to Japan that it is referred to as the “Golden Route.” This itinerary encompasses Tokyo’s urban spirit, the traditional tranquillity of Kyoto, and delightfully soothing hot spring resorts with views of Mount Fuji in Kanagawa Prefecture’s Hakone. However, this isn’t the only way for travellers to experience all that Japan has to offer. There is a less mainstream but convenient substitute for Hakone: Shizuoka Prefecture’s eastern part, particularly Atami, Mishima and Shuzenji.
Table of contents
- Home of Mount Fuji – Shizuoka Prefecture
- How to Get from Tokyo to Shizuoka
- Best Times to Visit Mount Fuji
- Recommended Sightseeing Spots of Mount Fuji
Home of Mount Fuji – Shizuoka Prefecture
In 2013, UNESCO honoured Mt. Fuji by granting it World Cultural Heritage Site status. Mt. Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain, at 12,389 ft., and is often used as a symbol of the nation. While everyone heads to the Hakone region for a glimpse of the famous peak, Shizouka Prefecture also offers splendidly captivating views of Mt. Fuji and has even earned the nickname “The Home of Mt. Fuji.” Therefore, rather than boarding the Kodama Shinkansen bullet train to Odawara Station in Kanagawa Prefecture, seize your JR Pass and explore Mt. Fuji from the Shizuoka side.
How to Get from Tokyo to Shizuoka
The JR Tokaido Shinkansen connects Tokyo and Shizuoka; a journey on the Hikari train is about 60 minutes, or 90 minutes if taking the Kodama. The Nozomi does not make a stop at Shizuoka Station. An ordinary one-way fare is 5940 yen for an unreserved seat, with around 6500 yen for a reserved seat; if you have the Japan Rail Pass, you can ride with either the Hikari or Kodama trains.
Best Times to Visit Mount Fuji
Seeing Mount Fuji from Shizuoka isn’t always possible, as even if you spend a week there, the weather and season may cause it to remain hidden by clouds. The view of Mount Fuji changes drastically according to the season, so you need to plan your visit accordingly. It is visible on many days between November and February, while very rarely between April and August. Seeing the mountain is unlikely in September, which is typhoon season.
It’s well known that the winter months – December and January especially – offer the best views of Mount Fuji, as the mountain is covered in a blanket of white snow and can be seen from afar due to the drier air.
Early morning is the best time to view Mount Fuji. Data from Fuji City ( in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture) reveals that 8:00 am provides the greatest opportunity for unobstructed views, with conditions worsening as the day progresses.
Recommended Sightseeing Spots of Mount Fuji
To witness Mount. Fuji’s incredible views, Shizuoka is the ideal spot! You are spoilt for choice with loads of extraordinary spots, making it simple to pick one that works best for you. Whether you admire the beauty from close by or in the distance, you will be astonished by this iconic mountain.
1. Tanuki Lake
At Asagiri Kogen, in the northern district of Shizuoka Prefecture, one can get an unobstructed look at the west side of the mighty Mount. Fuji. Tanuki Lake is especially famous for its breathtaking scenery. Viewers can observe Mount. Fuji and an incredibly picturesque reflection of the mountain on the lake’s surface are famously called “Upside Down Fuji”.
2. Miho no Matsubara
To witness both the inspiring ocean and the majestic Mount Fuji, Miho no Matsubara is an ideal location. This 7 km long white sandy beach is lined with pine trees, which can offer a captivating scene to marvel at nature’s beauty, weather permitting. Pedal around the Miho Peninsula on a rented bicycle, and you’ll experience the same fantastic views depicted in famous Japanese ukiyo-e paintings, especially those of Hiroshige Utagawa.
3. Suruga Bay Ferry
As it makes its way around Suruga Bay, the Suruga Bay Ferry offers passengers connections between Shimizu Port in Shizuoka City and Toi Port in Izu City. Travellers aboard this ferry are rewarded with an amazing view of Mt. Fuji and Miho no Matsubara’s 360-degree perspective of Suruga Bay. The majestic look of Mount Fuji from the sea is a unique experience that can only be had on this ferry.
4. Obuchi Sasaba
Obuchi Sasaba, located north of Fuji City, provides its visitors with a beautiful natural environment and two hectares (five acres) of tea fields. From the terraced plantations, you can enjoy a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji.
During the Golden Week holidays at the beginning of each tea season, photographers and media flock to this area for its majestic views of Mt. Fuji without any power lines or other man-made structures blocking the landscape. It is a stunning spot to take pictures.
5. Kumomi Coast
The Kumomi Coast is renowned not only for the majestic views of Mt. Fuji seen across the boulders adrift in the ocean but also because it’s the furthest south part of Izu Peninsula where a complete view of this hallowed mountain can be delighted in. In the summertime, it bursts into life as a scenic swimming beach with Mt. Fuji clear as day before you, and in recent years, it has been thriving all year round as a famed spot for scuba diving and aquatic sports. The area is also much-loved for its camping sites.
6. Gotemba Premium Outlets
Gotemba Premium Outlets is the most beloved outlet mall in Japan, for an apparent explanation! Nested in Gotemba City around the foundation of Mount Fuji, not distant from Hakone, it offers almost 300 shops and eateries, a dining court, a Ferris wheel at 50 m altitude, a hotel and a public hot spring bath. If you want a shopping experience while taking in some views, Gotemba Premium Outlets will undoubtedly be an ideal spot for you!
If you’re looking to save while shopping popular brands, the Premium Outlets have it all: fashion, sports, food, home goods and electronics. You can score great deals compared to regular retail in Japan – making it a great place for an enjoyable shopping day with lots of variety!
Keep in mind that the hours of operation are from 10 am to 8 pm.
7. Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine
Standing at Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, one can snap an image of Mt. Fuji with the large red Torii gate. Constructed around a thousand years ago for protection from volcanic eruptions, this shrine is now the most crucial in the area, being the head shrine amongst 1300 Sengen shrines across Japan. It was formerly considered the beginning of pilgrimages up the Fuji and thus was known as the “front entrance” to the mountain.
8. Mishima Skywalk
Japan boasts its longest pedestrian suspension bridge – 400 metres long – that passes over the Hakone Seiroku at 415 metres above sea level and has a 70-metre drop. On the bridge, you can observe Mt. Fuji, the country’s highest mountain, and Suruga Bay, its deepest bay, from one spot. Moreover, when there is fair weather, you can also marvel at the scenery from the Izu Peninsula’s mountains and urban sceneries from Mishima and Numazu.
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
9. Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre
At the highest level of the museum building is the Observation Hall, where one can obtain a stunning view of Mount Fuji. Fascinating attractions, such as interactive presentations that show how Fujisan was created and how humanity has interacted with it throughout its existence and time lapses, are also featured in the centre. A movie theatre showcases videos of the mountain in various seasons for added enjoyment.
Please note that the museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, and the typical visit will take about an hour. The admission fee is 300 yen.
10. Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport
Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport is the entrance to the sky for Shizuoka Prefecture, located closest to Mt. Fuji, as its name implies. Visiting the Sekiun-in observation platform on the eastern wing of the airport complex gives a view of planes taking off and landing with Mt. Fuji as an incredible backdrop. Weekends generally bring events in partnership with nearby municipalities and flight target sites, giving it repute among travellers and visitors alike for restful recreation.
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