Mount Fuji is an iconic mountain and now an UNESCO World Heritage site. Mt Fuji has been central to the Japanese spirit for hundreds of years and has been a site of pilgrimage for aeons. The climbing season of Mt Fuji is short, just two months in July and August each year because the conditions on Mt Fuji are inhospitable. If you are not visiting during these times or don’t wish to climb, Mt Fuji is still a draw and many tourists want to take some iconic photographs. However, where are the best places to snap a picture?
Some iconic pictures of Mt Fuji are actually taken from onboard a train. The shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Osaka (also Kyoto) runs along an open plain with a perfect view of Mt Fuji. If you are travelling from Tokyo sit on the right-hand side of the train to get the view, and on the left from Osaka to Tokyo. The train does travel very fast so be ready, however, Mt Fuji does stay in view for longer than you might expect!
I have previously written an article on this location as a great spot for taking a truly stunning picture of Mt Fuji with the Chureito Pagoda in shot. This is a unique place to get a photo, no only is there the pagoda but also a viewing platform to get a shot with Fujiyoshida city also. Top tips: Arrive early in the morning to try and get a photo without too much cloud cover and beware the wild boars!
One of the great five lakes surrounding Mt Fuji, Kawaguchiko is the most accessible of all the lakes and offers some stunning shots! Not only is the view across the lake beautiful but both cherry blossoms and maple trees have been strategically planted so you can get some great photos of Mt Fuji with the sakura blossom or red leaves. This location is a treat for all the seasons.
If you prefer a photo from higher up then travelling up the Kachi Kachi Ropeway to the top of Mt Tenjo might be for you. The Kachi Kachi Ropeway is on the shores of Kawaguchiko and goes up to 1000m above sea level. Aside from the views the ropeway also offers some adorable characters in the form of a vengeful rabbit and a naughty tanuki. From where the ropeway drops you off you can either hike to the top of Mt Tenjo, descend down or join a hiking trail to Mitsutoge.
Hakone is a national park near to Mt Fuji, it has its own unique draws such as a variety of top class onsen and Lake Ashino. Hakone is very popular for both national and international tourists as it is a place of natural beauty that is easily accessible from Tokyo. Taking a short cruise on Lake Ashino is a popular past time, you can even go on a pirate ship! One of the perks of his cruise is a beautiful view of the peak of Mt Fuji across the mountains in between.
These are just a few examples of popular spots to take some photos of Mt Fuji, anywhere in the five lakes region is also good. Even if you visit one of these locations you are not guaranteed that perfect photo, Mt Fuji is often shrouded in clouds and quite elusive! The best time of day to take a photo is in the very early morning when cloud cover is much less! As you can see below, Fuji likes to hide!