When a person dreams of visiting Japan, what do they think of? The urban sprawl of Tokyo, the serene temples of Kyoto, and the soaring peak of Mt Fuji, of course!

But with so many tiny towns clustered around the base of the sacred mountain, it can seem impossible to work out where the best place to stay is.

And that’s exactly why our ‘team who’ve been’ have put this handy guide together to help you pick the best town, or neighbourhood, based on what matters to you!

Sorting where to stay around Mt Fuji should be easy, so you can get on with planning your epic hike to the peak (or just a spa day, your call…)!

So let’s dive into the Land of the Rising Sun, and soon you’ll be confident that you know exactly where to stay near Mt Fuji!

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Mt Fuji

  • Where to stay in Mt Fuji your first time – Kawaguchiko
  • Where to stay in Mt Fuji on a budget – Yamanakako
  • Best area to stay in Mt Fuji for nightlife – Fuji City
  • Coolest place to stay in Mt Fuji – Gora
  • Best neighborhood in Mt Fuji for families – Hakone

IN A HURRY? HERE’S MY TOP NEIGHBORHOOD FOR FIRST TIMERS:

FIRST TIME IN MT FUJI

Kawaguchiko

At the northern edge of Mt Fuji is an area called the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko). The five are all stunning spots from which to view the volcano or plan an attack on the peak.

Places to visit:
  • Ride the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway. Views for days!
  • Hold a tune at the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, theme park and museum.
  • Take a break from the serenity at Fuji-Q Highland amusement park!

Where to Stay in Mt Fuji

Not worried about which side of the mountain you’ll be on and just looking for the best? Check out our top picks for Mt Fuji in general!

Best Hostel in Mt Fuji – Hostel Fujisan You

Since the hostel is a new construction, all equipment and facilities are new and clean. However, they are located in the center of historical and traditional city which is on foot of Mt.Fuji. Also- they do a great free breakfast. Always a winner!

Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in Mt Fuji!

Best Airbnb in Mt Fuji – Clean and Modern Apartment in Kawaguchiko

This gorgeous, new and clean apartment offers an outstanding view on Mt. Fuji from the bedroom and the balcony. Locatd one minute away from Kawaguchiko station and two minutes away from convenience store, you’ll have an easy access to everything. Rent a bike an cycle all around beautiful Kawaguchiko and we guarantee you will have a very pleasant stay here.

Best Hotel in Mt Fuji – Fuji Marriott Hotel Lake Yamanaka

Fuji Marriott Hotel Lake Yamanaka is ideally positioned in a peaceful setting in Yamanakako, a short drive from Fujiyoshida and Gotemba. The 5-star hotel is an ideal place to explore nearby Fuji Speedway and Lake Yamanaka.

Mt Fuji’s Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN MT FUJI
Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji
FIRST TIME IN MT FUJI

Kawaguchiko

At the northern edge of Mt Fuji is an area called the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko). The five are all stunning spots from which to view the volcano or plan an attack on the peak.

ON A BUDGET
Yamanakako, Mt Fuji
ON A BUDGET

Yamanakako

Lake Yamanakako is the second-most developed of the lakes and the biggest, to boot. It’s southeast of Lake Kawaguchiko, on the other side of the city of Fujiyoshida.

NIGHTLIFE
Fuji City, Mt Fuji
NIGHTLIFE

Fuji City

Fuji City lies on the coast of Honshuu, southeast of Fuji-san. It’s a city of 250,000 people and is often used as the base for mountain adventures.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Gora, Mt Fuji
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Gora

Gora is pretty much smack in the middle of Odawara and Gotemba, when looking at a map of the region. It’s a subsection of the larger Hakone area, and a very pretty one at that.

FOR FAMILIES
Hakone, Mt Fuji
FOR FAMILIES

Hakone

Hakone is the whole area based around the north-eastern side of Lake Ashi. It’s famous for being a place of beauty, nestled in the mountains and so old-worldy you can barely take it!

Mt Fuji lies about 100km southwest of Tokyo, in striking distance of the great capital. It’s the tallest mountain in Japan and an active volcano that draws around 300,000 climbers in the two-month summer climbing period each year.

And that’s not counting the tourists and travellers who make a camp near the base, to bask in the sight of the snow-capped peak without scaling its heights.

There aren’t really ‘neighbourhoods’ around ‘Fuji-san’, but rather a collection of villages and towns, each with a different shade of Japanese hospitality on offer.

Japanese hospitality, by the way, is the stuff of legend, and a simple hostel may become your favourite accommodation ever! It’s in the little things…

So, aside from our pick for top five, you could go for Gotemba, southeast of Mt Fuji, and home to stunning cypress forests and cherry blossom trees. There’s also Fujinomiya, southwest, with its historic Shinto shrines and waterfalls.

Or Fujiyoshida, northeast, where you can find the iconic Chureito Pagoda (you know, the red one on postcards with cherry blossoms in the foreground and Mt Fuji in the background?) to take the most perfect insta-snap of your life!

While you can take a day trip to Mt Fuji from Tokyo, it’s worth it to stay a few nights. Whether you want luxury, the great outdoors, or a combination of both, there’s a town with the perfect Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) for you, waiting at the foot of Fuji-san!

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Mt Fuji’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay In…

We’ve picked the five best neighbouring towns for you to stay in, filtered by whether you want to make it rain, or make the yen last, whether you’re cool, with kids, or both.

#1 Kawaguchiko – Where to Stay in Mt Fuji Your First Time

At the northern edge of Mt Fuji is an area called the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko). The five are all stunning spots from which to view the volcano or plan an attack on the peak. Kawaguchiko is the most famous of these, partly for its stunning scenery, and partly for its easy accessibility and the fact that it’s well set up for tourists.

Kawaguchiko can be reached within two hours from Shinjuku Station, Tokyo’s busiest. Though it’s doable as a day trip, giving yourself some time here is a good option, as there is a lot to see and do.

The great part about Fuji Five Lakes is that each season offers something unique, and arguably as attractive as the others. Seeing Kawaguchiko in spring will have you swooning at the romance of all the cherry blossoms. In summer, the sun sparkling off the lake is a delight (though incidentally, this is the time you’re least likely to see Fuji, behind the humid clouds).

In autumn, the colours of the leaves inspire entire parties to trek there, just for the sight. And winter is when you can see the picture you dreamed of: a snow capped Fuji jutting proudly into the sky!

Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji

Things to See and Do in Kawaguchiko

– Climb Mount Fuji, obviously. Best done in July and August, be sure to book your hut in advance!

– Find a killer spot to take a night photo, over the shimmering lake of course. Next to Kawaguchiko Amphi Hall is our pick.

– Ride the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway. Views for days!

– Hold a tune at the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, theme park and museum.

– Take a break from the serenity at Fuji-Q Highland amusement park!

Best Hostel in Kawaguchiko – Minshuku Fugakuso

Minshuku Fugakuso is a simple but cozy Japanese style accommodation located in the Fuji Goko (Fuji Five Lakes) area, right by Lake Kawaguchiko. It has easy access to major sightseeing spots in Mt. Fuji area.

Best Airbnb in Kawaguchiko – Clean and Modern Apartment in Kawaguchiko

This gorgeous, new and clean apartment offers an outstanding view on Mt. Fuji from the bedroom and the balcony. Locatd one minute away from Kawaguchiko station and two minutes away from convenience store, you’ll have an easy access to everything. Rent a bike an cycle all around beautiful Kawaguchiko and we guarantee you will have a very pleasant stay here.

Best Hotel in Kawaguchiko – Fujisan Ichibo Auberge Mermaid

The fantastically named Fujisan Ichibo Auberge Mermaid is situated in Fujikawaguchiko and is within a short walk of nearby attractions, such as Lake Kawaguchi. Rated 9.0 on travel sites, the 2-star hotel features 8 rooms, all of which have a variety of facilities to ensure an enjoyable stay.

Best Hotel in Kawaguchiko – Guesthouse Yumeya

Guesthouse Yumeya offers a comfortable setting while in Fujikawaguchiko. It is also a short drive from Dodonpa Roller Coaster and Lake Kawaguchi. There are 3 rooms at the hotel, rated 9.0 on popular travel sites, each offering all the essentials to make your trip a happy one.

#2 Yamanakako – Where To Stay in Mt Fuji On a Budget

Lake Yamanakako is the second-most developed of the lakes and the biggest, to boot. It’s southeast of Lake Kawaguchiko, on the other side of the city of Fujiyoshida.

Tucked away in between mountain ridges, Yamanakako gives a real sense of seclusion and peace to any trip, and it has managed to keep its prices at a reasonable level for accommodation and transport.

There is a small town at either end of the lake (east and west) where you can find some Japanese style accommodation, ryokan and minshuku, and simple eating establishments.

These often only serve a variety of one kind of food, like ramen or curry, but what they do, they do well! And you can sometimes find a good meal set for about ¥500 (US$4.70). Hint: the green tea is usually free!

One of the main reasons to visit this area, other than that mountain just over there, is the hot springs, onsen. Relaxing in an outdoor onsen at the end of the day is one of the great delights of travelling here, especially those with views over the lake.

Speaking of, the best place to set up a shot of the double threat is to head to Panorama Dai, an observation area on Yamanakako’s undeveloped northern shore.

Yamanakako, Mt Fuji
Source: Lifestyle Travel Photo (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Yamanakako

– Get onto the lake for a range of watersports. Fishing, skiing, windsurfing and swimming all have their place here.

– Capture a stunning scene from Panorama Dai.

– Soak in an onsen with incredible views (try Benifuji no yu)

– Wander through the Park of Literature, absorbed in the historic culture of the region.

– Be wowed by the Hana no miyako Kouen, 300,000m2 of flowers, changing with the seasons.

Best Hostel in Yamanakako – Guesthouse Murabito

A fantastic travel-mad husband and wife team put together their dream guesthouse near Lake Yamanakako, which is the biggest lake in Fuji 5 lakes and closest one to Mt.Fuji. Their experience as Fuji guides means you’ll be in great hands for tips and advice!

Best Airbnb in Yamanakako – Cute and Spacious Wooden House in Yamanakako

If you’re visiting Mt Fuji on a budget, then this cute and charming bedroom is perfect to explore the surroundings on the cheap. In a large wooden house, share the common spaces with the friendly and caring hosts, and enjoy your privacy in your bedroom. Drive four minutes and reach the three hot spring resorts including the famous Fuji Green Hot Springs. You also will be 15 minutes to Kawaguchiko Scenic Area.

Best Hotel in Yamanakako – Yamanouchi Guest House

All rooms are air conditioned and equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and a ceiling fan (important in Japanese summer!). Guests staying at the guest house can enjoy a unique dining experience at the in-house restaurant.

Best Hotel in Yamanakako – Panorama Inn Yamanakako

Panorama Inn Yamanakako is a short drive from Fujiyoshida and offers free Wi-Fi. The 3-star hotel has 16 rooms offering the essentials to ensure an enjoyable stay. Rated 9.0 on travel sites, Panorama Inn Yamanakako provides free private parking on-site for guests travelling with a car.

Klook.com

#3 Fuji City – Best Area To Stay in Mt Fuji For Nightlife

Fuji City lies on the coast of Honshuu, southeast of Fuji-san. It’s a city of 250,000 people and is often used as the base for mountain adventures.

While summiting at sunrise may take care of one night’s wanderings, you can find other evening entertainment here too.

The area of Yoshiwara has a wide range of izakaya. These are like Japanese pubs where you order your drinks along with a few small tasting plates. Kind of like tapas, though you’re frowned at if you don’t order at least one plate of food with your drink.

To fill an entire evening, start off at one side of Yoshiwara, with a beer and a plate of edamame beans, then go to the next for a sho-chu (Japanese spirit) cocktail and a small bowl of karaage fried chicken. Rinse and repeat as you work your way through!

The area is handily surrounded by three big karaoke centres too, so once your courage is up, hire a booth with friends and sing your heart out! The best area in Mt Fuji for a night out, indeed!

Getting to Mount Fuji itself is an easy hour by car. And that’s to the hiking base. To simply access the nearby regions is a breeze from any local station.

This city is also a stop on the major shinkansen (bullet train) line from Osaka to Tokyo.

Fuji City, Mt Fuji
Source: Li’s world (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Fuji City

– Izakaya-hop in the Yoshiwara suburb.

– Bargain hunt (or souvenir shop) on the Yoshiwara shopping street.

– Visit the world heritage centre for a rundown on Fuji’s history.

– Take a ride on the Gakunan Railway to check out Fuji-san from many angles.

– Sample the local taste sensation of Tsuke-Napori, the ultimate in Italian-Japanese fusion cuisine! Didn’t know that was a thing now, did ya!

Best Hostel in Fuji City – Nasubi Mt. Fuji Backpackers

NASUBI Mt. Fuji is the perfect venue for your mountain experience. You will enjoy their iconic traditional Japanese home with a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable terrace, cozy living spaces and a great view of Mt. Fuji on clear days.

Best Airbnb in Fuji City – Single Private Bedroom with Japanese Onsens

This single private bedroom is beautiful with great hospitality and two hot springs (Japanese onsens) you can enjoy 24 hours. It’s perfect to sightseeing as it’s located in the heart of Fuji City. There’s a bar and a lounge area downstairs where you can get drinks and enjoy some outstanding home-made dishes on the menu.

Best Hotel in Fuji City – Hotel Nishimura

Situated a short stroll from Yoshiwara-honcho Train Station, Hotel Nishimura is rated 9.3 on travel sites and provides guests with a convenient base when visiting Fuji City. Guests of the 3-star hotel can also enjoy complimentary internet in all areas.

Best Hotel in Fuji City – Hotel Route-Inn Fuji

Hotel Route-Inn Fuji provides comfortable 3-star accommodation in Fuji City. Guests can also enjoy free internet throughout the property. There are a variety of facilities available to guests of the hotel, such as a dry cleaning service and laundry facilities.

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#4 Gora – Coolest Place To Stay in Mt Fuji

Gora is pretty much smack in the middle of Odawara and Gotemba, when looking at a map of the region. It’s a subsection of the larger Hakone area, and a very pretty one at that.

It’s a more newly developed town (think around 100 years) that has sprung up – get it? – to satisfy the demand for hot springs in the area.

It’s right at the end of the railway line that services this area. The railway is incredibly scenic, with a bunch of switchbacks and bridged valleys to traverse on your way. It’s easy to get to from Tokyo too; take the Odakyu line from Shinjuku then change to the Hakone Tozan Railway.

This is also the town from which you can access the Ropeway, a cable car that runs through the awesomely named Owakudani Valley of Hell to Lake Ashi. This is a smoking volcanic area with incredible moon-like, and hell-like, landscapes. Check the activity before you go though, as this can be closed down if the earth is acting a bit tetchy!

Gora is the coolest place to stay in Mt Fuji because it’s got onsens galore. Get a private one and you can soak to your heart’s content with a few sake or a glass of the surprisingly reasonably-priced imported wines they serve here!

Gora, Mt Fuji
Source: Jose Mario Lerma (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Gora

– Ride the Ropeway over the Valley of Hell. You just gotta!

– Try the black eggs, boiled in the sulphuric water.

– Enjoy any one of many, many onsens in the area.

– Grab a seat on the Hakone Tozan railway.

– Visit Gora park and indulge in a little pottery or glass-blowing!

Best Hostel in Gora – Hakone Tent

Opened in June 2014, Hakone Tent is a cozy guesthouse inn with hot spring onsen. They offer free Wi-Fi and a natural hot spring bath. All guest rooms are simple. Decorated and equipped with heating facilities. There are shared bathrooms and toilets. Ignore the name. It’s in Gora!

Best Airbnb in Gora – Elegant Traditional Japanese House in Nature

Surrounded by nature, this wonderful old Japanese-style house is one of the coolest places in Gora. Sleep on tatami, mats, have a local breakfast or lunch in the cafe downstairs, and walk around five minutes and reach an open air hot spring bath to relax. Explore the area from the location, as the houes is only a short walk from The cablecar to start your adventures.

Best Hotel in Gora- Laforet Club Hakone Gora Yunosumika

Laforet Club Hakone Gora Yunosumika offers modern accommodation and is within a 20-minute walk of Gora Railway Station. The 3-star hotel is close to Naka-Gora Funicular Station, making it easy for guests to explore Hakone and its surrounding areas.

Best Hotel in Gora – Manatei Hakone

Manatei Hakone is located in Hakone (Gora) and features outdoor tennis courts. It also offers a safe, a sauna and a mineral bath. The rooms are air conditioned and include tea and coffee making facilities, wireless internet access and a refrigerator.

#5 Hakone – Best Neighborhood in Mt Fuji For Families

Hakone is the whole area based around the north-eastern side of Lake Ashi. It’s famous for being a place of beauty, nestled in the mountains and so old-worldy you can barely take it!

But it’s also a fantastic spot for travelling with kids. And here’s why:

Hakone Yumoto is the town central to the region. It’s super easy to access from Tokyo or Odawara (home to a really cool castle and definitely worth a stop-off on your way), and it is the gateway to the entire region.

You’ll want a Hakone Free Pass if you’re in this area, to save on transport costs. Easy enough to pick up in Tokyo or Odawara.

Heading on down to Lake Ashi will land you near the Old Tokaido Road, the ancient route between Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo). And on the lake, you can ride a pirate ship from one end to the other and back. The whole family can cruise on the upper decks, with stellar views of Mt Fuji the whole way… weather permitting!

Then there’s Yunessun. This is a water park with slides and big family pools, and also themed pools like coffee, sake, green tea and red wine. Make sure you’re there for the daily ‘ceremony’ and be prepared to get a faceful of the real thing!

Hakone, Mt Fuji
Source: Fotos593 (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Hakone

– Cruise on a pirate ship on Lake Ashi (Ashinoko = same thing), overlooking Fuji-san in all its glory.

– Walk the Old Tokaido Road and imagine the entourages it’s seen.

– Find delicious and cheap ramen shops in the back alleys of Hakone Yumoto, away from the tourist trap main street.

– Visit Odawara Castle and be a samurai for the day! Or a ninja…

– Take the whole family to Yunessun for a new take on a water park. Just keep those tattoos covered!

Best Hostel in Hakone – K’s House Hakone

Voted The Best Hostel Chain Worldwide 2010 & 2011 and 2nd Best Small Hostel Chain 2014. Their communal natural onsen (hot spring) with open-air bath will be a great experience you can enjoy and feel relaxed with. It’s fantastic value for money with great facilities and plenty of space for a family.

Best Airbnb in Hakone – Traditional Japanese House in Perfect Location

Located in Gora and just a three minutes walk to Gora station and close to Hakone, this fully renovated house’s location is ideal. It can accommodate up to eleven guests, and it’s 98 square meters big. With two bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a large balcony and two TVs, you’ll sure feel home away from home. This traditional house is well appointed, clean and comes with all the amenities you need to cook and clean.

Best Hotel in Hakone – Yamanochaya

Yamanochaya is set in Hakone and is within a 10-minute walk of Tonosawa Railway Station. The hotel has 15 rooms that are fitted with all the essentials to ensure an enjoyable stay. It is within walking distance of Hakone-Yumoto Railway Station.

Best Hotel in Hakone – Ishii Ryokan

Ishii Ryokan is within easy reach of Hakone Ropeway and Lake Ashi.Ishii Ryokan is within walking distance of Miyanoshita Railway Station, connecting guests with the surrounding area. Odawara and Gotemba are located a short drive away.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Mt Fuji, Japan

Mt Fuji is a glorious sight, and it’s surrounded by glorious options for where to stay. Each town offers something different and uniquely Japanese.

Thanks to this guide, you’ll know where to stay in the area, whether you’re looking to find peace and quiet, or adventure.

Check out a couple of different areas, perhaps, and see what life is like on the different slopes!

Staying in our best hotel overall, Fuji Marriott Hotel Lake Yamanaka, will have you in the incredible Five Lakes district, yet in a more private corner than Kawaguchiko.

So that’s it from us, and those are our ideas and recommendations for where to stay around Mt Fuji!

‘A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji once in his life, a fool climbs it twice.’ – traditional Japanese saying

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