The Best Way to Spend a Weekend at Mount Fuji
Arriving to Mount Fuji
Early this spring, we left Tokyo on a train headed for Lake Kawaguchi at the base of Mount Fuji. Within a few hours, we were settling in for an un-rushed weekend at the glamping hotel Hoshinoya Fuji.
Equal parts luxury hotel and outdoor escape, it's a perfect blend of cozy-crisp sheets, incredible scenery, wonderful staff, and sunrise canoeing. Pretty ideal if, like me, you’re not a fan of sleeping in a tent but also can’t stand the idea of going a day without seeing trees.
At check-in you choose a backpack to borrow, filled with binoculars, some snacks, a souvenir water bottle. A quick Jeep ride will bring you up to your cabin, where you’ll learn that your room key is also a bird call. There are boots to wear outside, slippers for the cabin, and wooden slides for the balcony. There are also down coats, linen pajamas, tea, coffee, wine.
Outside on the balcony there’s a kotatsu table over a cozy sofa with a heated blanket. Before you know it, you’ll be tucked in there enjoying a welcome snack, perusing the list of meals and activities. Oh, and taking in that Mount Fuji view.
Things to Do
You’ll spend a lot of your time at Hoshinoya Fuji like this - on the balcony, looking out at the mountain - but I promise it won’t get old. Gaze at the view as soon as you wake up, while you take a bath, while your morning coffee brews on the table.
When you find yourself so relaxed that you’re almost bored, there’s plenty going on to fill your days. Go canoeing at sunrise on Lake Kawaguchi, then have breakfast delivered to your cabin. Climb the levels of the Cloud Terrace up the mountain, and find the furnished canvas tent in the trees. Get some tea in the library and read by the wood-burning stove. Or at the perpetual bonfire outside, or in the hammocks. Ride bicycles down to the lake and explore the little town on the shore. Book a guided hike, a tour, an outdoor cooking class.
At night, roast marshmallows and listen to live music by the fire. Have dinner in the restaurant, at a private table in the forest, or on your balcony. The food is fantastic and in generous portions. It's an elegant mix of Japanese dishes, western influences, and rustic local fare. You can build your own bowl of zosui, cook a venison shabu-shabu bowl, try udon with pumpkin. It’s up to you if you’ll try something new (green soup for breakfast?) or fall back on something more familiar (like fresh jam swirled into yogurt).
One night here isn’t enough: stay two or three for a much better chance for a clear view of Mount Fuji, and a real unwinding. But no matter how long you stay, the amazing staff will do everything they can to make it wonderful. When my travel capsule didn’t have a good waterproof jacket, the front desk found one for me in minutes! Every detail is considered, and every issue raised in past reviews (yes, I did a deep dive!) addressed.
There’s one issue that Hoshinoya Fuji hasn’t yet solved for: stairs. They connect the cabins, the lounge and restaurant, and the Cloud Terrace is practically made of them. If you climb stairs without thinking about it, it’s not a challenge. But if that’s not you, get in touch with the hotel. Reserve a well-placed cabin and use transportation up to the restaurant and down to the base. I hope they’ve made new improvements for non-stair-climbers to fully enjoy the magic of this place.
Mount Fuji Packing List:
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