Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Nov: Japan: Tokyo: Lake Kawaguchiko

Travel Date: 30-Nov-2014

Are you looking for options on how to view Mt. Fuji, famous options would be the 5th station, Kawaguchiko or Hakone.  

How to reach Lake Kawaguchi from Tokyo? Find your way to Shinjuku and book your bus from the available options found in

Getting a bit lost on my way from JR West Gate to Bus Terminal, paying the reserved ticket in the counter and rushing to Platform 2 - I’m the last one to board the 7:40am bus heading to Lake Kawaguchiko.  We arrived after 9am in the terminal, but sadly the Red Retro Sightseeing bus is not operating due to Fujisan Marathon - so they mean that I have to walk along the Kawaguchiko attractions.

[Updated 25-Oct-2015] Upon checking, I walked almost 3.5 km at 9.1 Celsius average temperature last year. Ref

My initial plan to take the bus until Music Forest and walk back to Kawaguchiko Station. But with the activity, I did the opposite and started walking.  

Upon arrival I saw the peak covered with snow, this is the only photo that was taken.
One and only photo taken on Fujisan peak upon arrival (still inside the bus) to Lake Kawaguchiko.
After taking a break, the next time I saw it everything is covered with clouds!  I just learned from the station that service to Fifth station is cancelled due to snow.

I walked along the lake, take the specified walking trails whenever passing the tunnels and experienced to cross under the bridge to reach the opposite side of the trail.  If you are wondering how will Mt Fuji look like from live webcam in Kawaguchiko, click on the link.

Even though it was a long walking trail, I enjoyed much the autumn scenery and flowers along the way.

Missing Fujisan - This would have been better if I have the mountain on the background.

Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum (Kawaguchiko Orgel no Mori) 

Open Hours: 9:00 to 17:30; Closed: No closing days; 
Admission: 1300 yen; 

A small theme park and museum devoted to automatic musical instruments. Its main hall displays antique music boxes, mechanical organs and other automatic musical instruments mostly from European countries. The largest of them is a French fairground organ from 1905 which takes up an entire hall and plays every 30 minutes. The main building also houses a concert hall where classical musicians from around the world perform. [Reference]

Phonoliszt Violina Model B (left); Titanic Model (right)

Third Exhibition Main Hall - Concert by the world-class automatic musical instruments in the museum.

The First Exhibition Hall - Concert by the automatic (Mortier) dance of the world's largest organ

House of Fragrance (right) 

Carillon Plaza/Square - where you can watch the Fountain Show

Known as a tourist spot, you may also want to reserve a seat on your way back to the city.  See below (left), where most of the trips are already full 

I was hoping for sunny weather that day, but it was the other way around.
For best colors of Mt. Fuji in autumn, you may visit the links below:

Summary of 4 days itinerary in 2014 Autumn Toyota Trip:

Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
Arrival at Narita Airport
Catholic Church
Roppongi Hills
Optional: Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa
Dinner in Ippudo, Roppongi
Day 2
Fuji: Lake Kawaguchiko
Optional: Akihabara
Inside the Lake Kawaguchiko Bus Terminal and Train station
Restaurant along Ningyocho St.
Hotel Horidome Villa
Day 3
Optional: Oedo Onsen in Odaiba
Liberty and Gundam in Odaiba
Disney Sea
Gundam Cafe, Diver's City Mall
Hotel Horidome Villa
Day 4
University of Tokyo
Optional: Imperial Palace East Garden (closed on Mondays)
Ginkgo Avenue (Icho Namiki) near Aoyama-Icchome Station
Harajuku (walking adventure until) Shibuya
Ebisu Garden
Tokyo Station
St-Marc’s Café, Kodenmacho Station
Caffe Solare, Harajuku
Café and Bar Avion
Hotel Horidome Villa