Mt. Fuji is a must-see on any Japan trip, and the best place to get a view of the mountain is in Kawaguchiko. You can do that near Kawaguchiko Station — but there are lots of other great things to do in the area.

In spring 2024, there was controversy over a convenience store putting up a black screen to deter tourists from taking pictures of Mt. Fuji in front of its entrance. Crowds were causing problems for local residents — think littering, standing in the roads, and general noise. But there are way more interesting spots to get pictures of the iconic mountain. Here are our top recommendations for what to do near Kawaguchiko Station, including the best places to see Mt. Fuji.

Note: We’ve tried to keep everything within a maximum distance of 20-30 minutes by foot. Renting a bicyle or taking the local buses will shorten travel time. You can save money with a Mt. Fuji Pass, which covers a lot of transport in the area.

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1. Explore Oike Park and Gem Museum

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
Oike Park: Free | Yamanashi Gem Museum: ¥600 for adults
20-minute walk

You can’t visit Kawaguchiko without seeing its namesake, Lake Kawaguchiko! Head to Oike Park to get right up close to the water, and turn around to snap some pics of Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji capped with white snow against a blue sky, with Lake Kawaguchiko and trees in front of it, taken from a park path.
Mt. Fuji from Oike Park. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

The park is a great place to start cycling around the area, with Fujisan Bike Rental nearby. Afterwards, if you’re looking for some geographical wonders, head to the Yamanashi Gem Museum opposite the park to see gems from around the world.

2. Komagari Observation Plaza

15-minute walk

For sweeping views of Lake Kawaguchiko down below, head to the Komagari Observation Plaza and get some panoramic shots. You can’t see Mt. Fuji from here, but when we visited, we had the entire area to ourselves, so it seems like a nice place for a peaceful, or dare we say, even romantic, walk.

View of Kawaguchiko lake on a sunny day through the trees, taken fromKomagari Observation Plaza
Komagari Observation Plaza. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

The plaza steps are connected directly to the Old Kamakura Road, so you can take your walk further if you are so inclined.

Pro tip: The third level has a much better view!

3. Set off in a swan boat on the lake

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
From ¥2,000
15- to 20-minute walk
Various points around the lake

Swan boats waiting to board on Kawaguchiko Lake on an overcast day
Swan boats at Lake Kawaguchiko. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

To really get your fill of Lake Kawaguchiko, there are a number of different types of boats to bob along its blue waters. Swan boats, meant for two people, are available from ¥2,000 for 30 minutes. There are also paddle boats, speedboat tours, and even larger sightseeing boats (you may need to book those in advance).

4. Go up the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
¥1,000 for a round-trip ticket (adult)
15-minute walk

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Cute white sign with pop art of Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway at the ropeway station
Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

For wonderful views of Mt. Fuji, go up the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway. Note that it is often crowded regardless of time of day, and wait times can last around an hour. There is also an adjacent hiking route that takes less than an hour to climb, if you can’t wait to go.

5. Sip drinks at the Ide Sake Brewery

From ¥550 for a tasting
10-minute walk

Bottles of sake lined up under yellow light at the Ide Sake Brewery in Kawaguchiko
Ide Sake Brewery in Kawaguchiko. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

Nestled among the houses of Kawaguchiko, you’ll only find the Ide Sake Brewery if you’re looking for it. Founded over 300 years ago, the brewery started off by making soy sauce, and began sake production in 1850. The rustic brewery has a little shop where you can do sake tastings from ¥550, or you can tour the brewery for ¥1,500.

6. Try the noodles at Houtou Fudou

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
¥1,210 for a bowl of noodles
30-minute walk, or 17-minute bus ride + 15-minute walk

If you’ve got a bike or you’re prepared for a bit of a walk, go in search of “the white dome”. This unique setting in front of Mt. Fuji looks like a glampsite or yoga retreat, but it actually houses a restaurant serving the Yamanashi delicacy, houtou fudou noodles.

A bowl of houtou fudou noodles with a giant spoon and chopsticks ready to eat
Houtou Fudou noodles. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

Here, you are served a giant pot per person — filled with thick noodles, soup, and a variety of vegetables. The noodles are served piping hot with a chewy texture, and the soup is thick and a little salty, with hints of sweet kabocha and some bitterness from the cabbage. It looks like a lot, but it’s filling without being too heavy!

Keep in mind that this place is very popular, and on our visit it took 15 minutes to wait in line, and then 30 minutes subsequently to be served (on a weekday, at 1 p.m.).

Note: There is another Houtou Fudou restaurant just outside Kawaguchiko Station, but there is nothing too special about the architecture.

7. Check out the Fujisan Herb Garden and Fujisan Deck

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
Free, or ¥500 for the deck
25-minute walk, or 13-minute bus ride + 10-minute walk

The Fujisan Herb Garden is a beautiful, free spot where you can see Mt. Fuji and relax among the flowers. There is a small greenhouse, pond, and a variety of colorful flowers throughout the garden, as well as a souvenir shop.

A bench for pictures on a terrace in front of Mt. Fuji partially hidden by the clouds
Mt. Fuji was feeling a little shy at the Fujisan Deck. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

The Fujisan Herb Garden is directly connected to Fujisan Deck, which has free hammocks and cute photo spots. The only thing you need to pay for is the deck itself, which is higher up and gives you an unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji.

8. Go wine-tasting at Akafuji Wine Cellar

25-minute walk, or 12-minute bus ride + 10-minute walk

Opposite the Fujisan Herb Garden, you’ll spot the European-inspired building housing the Akafuji Wine Cellar. Inside, if you aren’t driving or cycling, you can sample their house wines for free.

European-inspired entryway to Akafuji Wine Cellar with dark wooden open doors
Akafuji Wine Cellar. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

You can also try their non-alcoholic wine, which is made by taking the grape juice just before fermentation begins — it tastes like a cross between grape juice and wine! They have around 130 types of Japanese wines to choose from, around 18 of which are their own creations, using Yamanashi grapes.

9. Hunt for gems at the Treasure Stone Museum

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
Free to enter, activities vary
20-minute walk

The Treasure Stone Museum is a fun place to do something a little different. The museum section has a collection of gem stones from around the world, including their three-meter-tall amethyst, but there are also different activities for kids and adults alike.

A curious lit-up structure of gems with a glass orb in front of it
A curious structure at the Treasure Stone Museum. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

Little ones can dig through the sand and water to find gemstones in the Sagaso area, while older kids and adults may prefer the Hotte area upstairs, to sift through the sand to collect a number of small gemstones. There is also a large souvenir shop, with jewelry and decorations.

10. Get the scoop at Funari Gelateria

Mt. Fuji viewing spot
From ¥500
20-minute walk

The soft serve that is so common in Japan is all well and good, but when you want some ice cream with a bit more punch in Kawaguchiko, Funari Gelateria’s gelato is our recommendation. The cute shop has indoor and outdoor seating, with a great view of Mt. Fuji to boot.

Strawberry gelato at Funari Gelateria in a cup with a small Mt. Fuji candy
Strawberry gelato with Mt. Fuji candy at Funari Gelateria. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

Their main focus is making the original ingredients shine, and they mostly use local, seasonal stuff. After taste-testing a few types of gelato, it was very hard to choose, but we would recommend the strawberry flavor if you visit during spring.

11. Tie-dye a t-shirt

From ¥3,500
15-minute walk

South of Kawaguchiko Station on Route 707, you might come across a billboard saying Cat Café and Vegan Restaurant. Don’t be fooled: that has nothing to do with what’s inside!

A green shop front with a large picture of a cat among leaves
The quirky and confusing storefront of the tie-dye shop. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

Instead of cats or vegan treats, you’ll find a tie-dye workshop, where you can choose a shirt or scarf to tie-dye blue in a cozy tatami area and dyeing station. They also offer noodle-making classes. You’ll need to reserve a spot in advance.

Other things to do near Kawaguchiko Station

A cafe in front of Mt. Fuji on a sunny day with blue sky and some snow on the mountain
A café near Kawaguchiko Station. | Photo by Cassandra Lord

If you’re still looking for things to do, here are a few fun options closer to the station:

Also read: Our popular guide to taking a day-trip to Kawaguchiko, from Tokyo.

Traveling to Kawaguchiko and getting around

You can get to Kawaguchiko by train or by bus, which both take around 2-3 hours from Tokyo. Whichever you choose, it’s best to book in advance, as it is a popular destination. On our visit, on a weekday in May, all the morning buses for Kawaguchiko were booked up two days before!

You need to buy a special ticket for the train, and keep in mind there is no set carriage if you buy an “unreserved” seat, so you can only sit in a seat with no booking (indicated by a red light above the seat). Save the hassle and book a reserved seat on the Fuji Excursion express train, or a highway bus online.

Renting a bicycle near Kawaguchiko Station

Once in Kawaguchiko, it is easiest to get around by renting a bike. On our trip, we used Fujisan Bike, which is by the lake, about a 20-minute walk from the station. Rental Cycle Puu-san is the closest to the station, but very popular. It is recommended to book any bike rentals in advance.

If you don’t get a bike, there are regular buses going to different locations in the area, but note that some spots are not covered and require a bit of walking (such as the Houtou Fudou noodle restaurant mentioned above).

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

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