Just imagine yourself sitting in an open air hot bathtub, having a glass of hot sake, and right in front of your eyes is the Mount Fuji sunset view surrounded by maple leaves?
It’s the maple leaves season in Japan again, and one of the best place to see the leaves is at the Fuji Five Lake, which is about 2 hours drive from Tokyo. The five lakes are Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakaka, Shojiko, and Motosuko. It is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from a close distance, and a great base for climbing the mountains.
There are many hotels around the areas of the Fuji Five Lakes, especially near Kawaguchiko, which is the biggest and the most touristic one. However, if you prefer something quieter, this hotel I’m going to talk about may just be the one for you!
This hotel is right in-front of Shojiko, which is the smallest lake out of the five. Comfortable rooms with Japanese traditional bedding, view of Mount Fuji in your room, private open air hot spring, and amazingly delicious meals all in one place. Better yet, you can get all these for under USD$100/persons! This is one you sure can’t miss.
This hotel is a family ran business, and is not a big hotel. The rooms are quite basic, but very comfortable. There are 25 rooms all together in this hotel, and are split into 3 main types – the traditional room (22) , the western room (1) , and the traditional/western room (2). The main differences for these rooms are the bedding. For the traditional type of rooms, you will be sleeping on Japanese Futon (mattress on tatami floor). For the western room, there will be beds. And lastly for the mixed room, you will get a corner of tatami floor, with beds in the room.
All rooms have the view of Mount Fuji, so it really depends on what type of bedding you are looking for. Last time I stayed in their traditional room, and it was lovely. However, I do recommend the elderly travelers to pick the rooms with beds, as it could be quite difficult for them to get up and down from the floor.
All rooms provide the Japanese style bath robe – Yukata. This could be wore inside the hotel – whether you are going to the restaurant, or the private hot spring. They have an instruction card in each room to teach you how to wear it.
There are different plans available from this hotel, with or without meals. However, I strongly recommend you to pick the plans with meals, especially with dinner, because dinner served here is like art.
The dinner is a traditional Japanese meal, from entrees to desserts, it’s a full feast. The ingredients differs from season to season, and usually they will be produce from the local farms and fishery.
The breakfast is a bit more simple, but it’s just as tasty as dinner!
Private Hot Spring
The hotel has 2 private hot spring on their roof top which you can book. Be sure to make your booking early so you can have the time slot you prefer, as it gets quite popular. I would suggest to make the booking upon check-in, so you can plan your schedule better. This is a spot in this hotel you really should not miss.
The lake Shojiko is right across the hotel (like 10 seconds walk!!), and it is a popular spot for photos. During the autumn months, you will be able to take stunning photos of maple leaves, and if you are lucky, you would even be able to take a photo with Mount Fuji and its reflection on the lake! (The best time to do it is in the morning, and when there’s absolutely no wind, so the lake is clam like a mirror)
What’s Close By?
- Lake Shojiko
- Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park
- Kawaguchiko Museum
- Maple Corridor
Stay in tune, as I will be writing about the top 5 places to visit in the Mount Fuji Five Lakes area in my next post