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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Japan

Exploring Mount Fuji, Japan’s sacred symbol

We call Mount Fuji the sacred symbol of Japan – it’s been a place of worship for centuries, and is recognised by Unesco…

By Ken Yoshioka
Tokyo Tour Guide

We call Mount Fuji the sacred symbol of Japan – it’s been a place of worship for centuries, and was recognised as a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site in 2013.

When you get a close-up glimpse of it, you can see why. I guide full-day tours here, taking guests to the best viewpoints as well as to a ninja village and fun park.

The tour starts with a shared bus from Shinjuku, heading along the Expressway towards the foot of the mountain. When guests get their first closeup shot of its snowy peak, you can feel their excitement.

Our first stop is Oshino Hakkai, known as ‘Oshino Eight-Ponds’ thanks to its multiple pools of water, fed by spring water that flows down from the mountain. Guests are always surprised at how clear and pure the water is – the ponds are up to 10 metres deep and you can see right to the bottom! The view of Mount Fuji from there is truly photogenic, and guests get the chance to sample some local delicacies while they’re here; I recommend trying the barbecued river trout, and it’s worth visiting some of the shops to sample local sweets and meet the shopkeepers too.

From there we head to Oshino Shinobi no Sato, a ninja-themed village-park that explores the history and culture of Ninjutsu martial arts. It’s especially popular with families, and you can have your picture taken with a ninja!

The bus then takes the group to Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Jinja Shrine, the starting point for pilgrimages to Mount Fuji, marked out by a huge gate and surrounded by thousand-year-old Japanese cedar trees.

After plenty of photo opportunities, we head back towards Tokyo, stopping on the way at Fuji-Q Highland Fun Park. Here guests can experience an indoor 4D attraction that gives the illusion of flying over Mount Fuji as seats shake and slant, showing you the mountain and its surroundings in different seasons.

Our final stop is Kawaguchi-ko, one of the Five Fiji Lakes formed from Mount Fuji’s volcanic activity many years ago. You get a stunning view over the mountain from here, with its cone-shaped peak reflecting on the water like a mirror, just before the sun sets. It’s a mesmerising way to end the tour, and a reminder once again of why this sacred, spiritual mountain has long inspired travellers from both Japan and further afield.

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Alfred & Ken Yoshioka

Ken has been a tour guide in Tokyo for nine years. He grew up in the city and joined one of the country’s leading banks after graduating from university. During his time there, he worked in Australia, the US and Germany and travelled to more than 50 countries. After leaving the bank, he decided to become a tour guide to share his knowledge of Tokyo with visitors.

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in Japan. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the tea devotee who'll introduce you to the ceremony surrounding Japan's national drink, the noodle guru who'll teach you how to make the perfect bowl of soba and the ryokan owner who'll tutor you in the relaxing art of the onsen.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656