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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

Fantastic Mount Fuji and Hakone

I don’t just take guests to the best viewpoint to snap Mount Fuji but to the lakes, gardens and hot springs that pepper its foothills…

By Ken Yoshioka
Tokyo Tour Guide

 

You don’t have to climb Japan’s most iconic landscape to appreciate its spiritual significance and natural wonder. Even from a distance you can see the impact this mighty volcano had on its surrounding environment.

When I guide a full day tour of the Mount Fuji region I don’t just take guests to the best viewpoints to snap the awe-inspiring peak but to the lakes, gardens and hot springs that pepper its foothills.

We start at Fuji Sabaru Line 5th station on the northern slope’s Yoshida Trail and the furthest visitors can reach by road, 2300 meters above sea level. The views of Fujiyoshida City and Lake Yamanaka are superb and Komitake Shrine that sits behind the visitor centre has long been a sacred site for mountain worship.

We then head to Oshino Shinobi no Sato a fun stop-off in the centre of the fertile Yamanashi forest where many guests turn into big kids as they try out their best Ninja skills in the trick house and maze and discover the history of these Japanese assassins.

After a traditional Japanese buffet we move onto Owakudani Valley in Hakone national park. This active volcanic valley nicknamed ‘Valley of Hell’ still spews out sulphurous fumes and trying ‘Kuro Tamago’ is a must. The shells of these eggs cooked in the hot springs are blackened by the sulphur and are said to prolong your life.

If you’re not scared of heights I recommend everyone takes in a birds eye view of the valley on the Hakone Ropeway, a comfortable gondola type experience that takes around 30 minutes to traverse the hot springs below.

The next stop for the group is a cruise on the beautiful Lake Ashi, a caldera lake formed after the last eruption of Mount Hakone over 3000 years ago. The trip is full of great photo opportunities with Mount Fuji rising up behind the lake in the distance and the famous red torii gate of the Hakone Shrine sitting on the water’s edge.

 

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Alfred & Ken Yoshioka

Ken has been a tour guide in Tokyo for nine years. He grew up in the city and joined one of the country’s leading banks after graduating from university. During his time there, he worked in Australia, the US and Germany and travelled to more than 50 countries. After leaving the bank, he decided to become a tour guide to share his knowledge of Tokyo with visitors.

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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