Mt Fuji in Lake Yamanaka & Gotemba Premium Outlet StoreThursday, April 21, 2016
Walk with Cham at Yamanakako and Gotemba Premium Outlet Store.
Mt Fuji, the most famous active volcano and highest mountain in Japan is a few hours away from Tokyo. No wonder this nearly perfect shaped volcano has been adored by locals and tourists over the years. During my first Japan visit, Mike and I didn't get the chance to visit and see Mt Fuji up close due to our tight schedule. Although we did get to take a glimpse at it while riding a Shinkansen Nozomi train from Kyoto to Tokyo (Read: Shinkasen going to TOKYO from KYOTO JAPAN). But it was during my recent trip where I had the lucky opportunity to meet her face-to-face.
Mt Fuji is located between Yamanashi and Shizuika Prefectures and can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama during clear days. Viewing this enormous mountain is sometimes tricky as clouds and poor visibility might ruin the view. I've heard stories about failing to see it despite being close to it, so consider yourself VERY lucky if you see it clearly with no clouds blocking. Nevertheless, these stories didn't hinder me from going to Mt Fuji. I honestly believed that Mt Fuji would show herself to us. And alas, it did!
Twin, my long time friend, helped me in fixing my itinerary. I told her I wanted to see Mt Fuji up close then visit Gotemba Premium Outlet Store after. Upon reviewing the route, we were excited that we could get a good view when we visited one of the Fuji Five Lakes
Fuji Five Lakes
Mt Fuji is surrounded by 5 lakes - Kawaguchiko, Yamanakako, Saiko, Shojiko & Motosuko. From the 5, the most famous and most accessible is Lake Kawaguchi but because we wanted to visit Gotemba Premium Outlet Store we decided to take the road less traveled and go to the lake closer to Gotemba which is Lake Yamanaka.
How to get to Lake Yamanaka
From Shinjuku Station take the JR Chuo Line (45 min)
Change at Otsuki Station take the Fuji Express (54 min)
Take Fujikyu Bus to Lake Yamanaka
From Shinjuku Station take Shin Matsuda via Odakyu line (28 mins)
From Matsuda Station take the train going to Gotemba via JR Line (36 mins)
From Gotemba station ride the bus going to Yamanakako (40 mins)
From Shinjuku Station take the Fujkyu Bus (105 min) to Lake Kawaguchi
It goes to Lake Motosu and Lake Yamanaka as well
Or if you plan to go to Gotemba Premium Outlet
Ride the scheduled bus going to Gotemba Premium Outlet
Then ride a bus going to Yamanakako
While we were at the train, we already knew Mt Fuji would show herself to us as she was already peeking from the suburb field. It was a perfect day to visit her indeed! They say the perfect time to visit is during the colder season than in the summer.
|Woah! Oh hi there, Mt Fuji|
|Bus ride going to the lake|
|Breakfast inside the bus to save time. hehehe|
|View from the bus. We are getting near!|
The largest of the 5 Fuji Lakes and the second most developed next to Kawaguchiko. Mt Fuji can be seen from where we were standing. It was BEAUTIFUL! When we arrived, there were no people around. Okay. I was a bit exaggerating. There were around 5 people. It was extremely quiet and serene, perfect for tourists who do not want crowded places.
Named after the boat itself and the swans and ducklings wandering around. Swan Boat is an excursion ship operates on Lake Yamanaka in form of an elegantly beautiful swan. We were curious about riding it so to appreciate the place even more, we availed of the Swan Boat tour that will travel from one port to the other then back again.
|Swan Boat House|
|Ticket for Y1,000|
Swan and Duckling Feeding
While waiting for our boat to arrive, we bought a Y100 feed so we could interact with the hungry ducks and swans (I instantly remembered Mike as he was fond of feeding animals)
|Feed for Y100|
|Enjoying every moment of it!|
|Papa and Mama's turn|
|Look at the swan staring seriously at my hand.|
|A hungry swan indeed!|
|Love this shot. Our boat was on its way!|
|Hungry swan waited intently|
|Okay so we were just the only ones around|
|No one to take our photos. hehe|
We settled outside, where we could breath the fresh air and stare at the magnificent Mt Fuji. The glorious mountain was a feast to the eyes. Of course we took so many shots and since the boat was moving, Mt Fuji had so many nice angles.
|Amazing view from the Swan Boat|
|Papa should have one too|
|Of course Mama too, but where's Mt Fuji? hehehe|
|It's not everyday you get to view a perfect cone shaped volcano|
|Reached the other port|
|Wishing Mike was with us right at this very moment|
It was a good forty-five minute ride. Indeed, we were blessed! My parents were amazed by the beauty of Mt Fuji.
|We enjoyed this trip so much.|
|Hooray for today!|
|Japanese Ice Cream!|
|Bus going to Gotemba|
An outlet mall of more than 200 brands located near Mt Fuji. It is one of the biggest factory outlet malls in Japan. Going here is a great side trip when going to Lake Yamanaka.
|Gotemba Premium Outlet|
Spent almost 4 hours wandering around. Because the brands were too many and we wanted to save time, what we did was to encircle all the shops on the map that we wanted to check out. In this way, we could prioritize the brands we wanted to visit the most. I specifically was looking for wedding shoes and a couple of bags at Kate Spade or Tory Burch or Coach or Michael Kors.
|Meticulously planning our shopping|
Too bad I didn't find the perfect wedding shoes. However, I found really nice bags at Kate Spade. I bought 1 for Mama and 2 for me :)
|I love Kate Spade!|
Since Gotemba is near Mt Fuji, visitors can also view the tip of it in the area.
|Hello again, Mt Fuji!|
|Bridesmaid duties <3|
|Looks enchanting during sunset!|
|I wouldn't mind looking at this view forever|
|Gotemba Food Court|
|Tired but happy|