As featured in “the 36 views of Mount Fuji” by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist, Hokusai (1760 – 1849), Mount Fuji can be seen from countless locations. However, more often than not, the view of the mountaintop is obstructed by low hanging clouds or poor visibility. To increase your chances try to see the mountain in the early mornings or late afternoons.
The Fuji Five Lakes region on the northern slopes of Mount Fuji offers visitors the highest chance for good views of the mountain due to its proximity.
On a clear day, many of Tokyo’s observation decks offer interesting views of Mount Fuji in contrast with the urban skyline of Tokyo.
From the Fuji Five Lakes Region
1. Lake Kawaguchiko
The northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko will offer magnificent views of the mountain, sometimes even reflected in the lake. Around mid April the shores offer views of the lake and mountain in combination with cheery blooms and during mid November with spectacular autumn colours.
Lake Kawaguchiko also offers excellent ryokan. What better way to view Mount Fuji than from an onsen bath!
2. Chureito Pagoda
As seen in 2016 Best in Travel edition by Lonely Planet, the Chureito Pagoda is a five-storied pagoda on the mountainside overlooking Fujiyoshida City. The nearby park offers views of the Chureito Pagoda with Mt. Fuji in the background.
Best to visit in spring (around mid April) as the pagoda is one of Fujigoko’s (Fuji Five Lakes) most popular cheery blossom spots.
From popular hot spring and resort area
Hakone is a resort town on the edge of Mount Fuji that is known for its many onsen and ryokan. One of the best views for Mount Fuji is from via a boat cruise on Lake Ashi in the Moto-Hakone area.
From the western coast of the Izu Peninsula, you will have access to a long coastline dotted with observation points of Mount Fuji. Particular examples are the Osezaki Cape near Numazu and further south Koibito Cape, where the best photos of Mt Fuji over sea can be taken.
Kamakura is a coastal town, an hour south of Tokyo known for its Giant Buddha, temples, shrines, historical attractions and surfing beaches. Kamakura’s beaches offer a spectacular view of Mount Fuji.
6. Miho Beach
Three kilometre pine tree lined Miho Beach runs along a peninsula on the western coast of Suruga Bay, from which you will have beautiful views of the city of Shimizu and Suruga Bay at the foot of Mount Fuji.
Miho Beach was recently added to the list of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites together with Mount Fuji for this very reason.
7. Bunkyo Civic Centre
Of the numerous observation decks in Tokyo on a clear day the centrally located Bukyo Civic Centre provides some of the most striking views of Mount Fuji. Tokyo is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the mountain, which can be seen looming large behind the skyscrapers of the Shinjuku district.
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Next time I will be talking about the best season to visit including tips for viewing Mount Fuji (apart from viewing spots) such as visibility, weather and live cameras.