Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mt. Fuji

Is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft). A dormant volcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan.

View of Mt. Fuji on the 5th station going up the summit.

View of Mt Fuji from a shinkansen train (Bullet Train) going to Osaka.

However, clouds and poor visibility often block the view of Mount Fuji, and you have to consider yourself lucky if you get a clear view of the mountain. Visibility tends to be better during the colder seasons of the year than in summer, and in the early morning and late evening hours or after it rains.

View from Hakone

If you want to enjoy Mount Fuji at a more leisurely pace and from nice natural surroundings, you should head to the Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) region at the northern foot of the mountain, or to Hakone, a nearby hot spring resort. Mount Fuji is officially open for climbing during July and August via several routes

How to get there?
JR Tokaido Shinkansen (Bullet Train) can access Odawara in about half an hour from Tokyo or Shinagawa Station (fare is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass), but note that only kodama trains and a small number of hikari trains stop at Odawara Station.

Alternatively, you can access Odawara from Tokyo in about 70-90 minutes by local or rapid trains on the JR Tokaido Main Line (stopping at Tokyo, Shimbashi and Shinagawa Stations) - (fare is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass).

With JR trains you can only get as far as Odawara, from there you will have to use non-JR trains or buses to go around the Hakone area. (Covered by Hakone Free Pass)

Tourist Travel Information
For a hassle free travel, purchase the Japan Rail Pass and Hakone Free Pass.

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