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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Japan

Discover a city on the slopes of Mount Fuji

Tasting the spring water that runs straight from the volcano is a rite of passage …

By Chieko Ando
Guide in Fujinomiya

Arriving at the city of Fujinomiya, we first explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. Built over a thousand years ago, the sacred deity, Mount Fuji, is said to be enshrined here. Just touching and even tasting the pure spring water running straight from Mount Fuji is a real highlight and rite of passage for anyone visiting. Not only is this one of the most important Shinto shrines but it’s beautiful as well, decorated in imperial red and covered in cherry blossom in the spring.

Lunch is stir-fried yakisoba noodles, a local speciality. Afterwards, we stroll down the main street to see family-run fruit shops operating as they have done for generations, selling everything Mount Fuji related, including volcano shaped sponge cakes and fruit jelly snacks. I love introducing guests to some of the best stores in town known only by the locals, such as a knife shop that’s over 150 years old and run by the most discerning artisans. You can talk to the owners and discover their trade in an authentic light, which in return connects you to the culture and resounding history. We end the experience at a restaurant where the chefs create sushi in the shape of Mount Fuji and offer freshly caught fish from the seas surrounding Shizuoka.

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Alfred & Chieko Ando

Before guiding in Fujinomiya, Chieko travelled to Africa to research gorillas for 13 years addressing environmental and conservation issues. During her time here she learned about how ecotourism can be used to boost conservation while honing her fluency in English. Since guiding at the foot of Mount Fuji, she has worked closely with Fujinomiya’s residents creating eco experiences that fuse the traditional local stories with symbolic Mount Fuji.
Chieko Ando

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Richard, who's travelled extensively in Japan. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the tea devotee who'll introduce you to the ceremony surrounding Japan's national drink, the noodle guru who'll teach you how to make the perfect bowl of soba and the ryokan owner who'll tutor you in the relaxing art of the onsen.

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