足和田山 (五湖台)

Travel time: 2h (bus) - Stations: Fuji-Q Highlands,
Trail time: 5 hours - Effort: medium

A bit far, but panoramic (in the right day)

+ The good

  • It's a major destination, so you have a ton of transport options between trains, buses and times
  • You start at around 1000 m of altitude, saving you some of the summer heat (but it's still rather warm)
  • The trail is well indicated and easy to follow

~ The bad

  • You will see a large dirt road and a narrow path run side by side. You are meant to stay on the path: the road is much easier to walk, but cuts you off most of the panorama spots
  • The main focus of this walk is to get views over mount Fuji, so plan it when you have some visibility (we had zero due to summer clouds/humidity)
  • Time your return well, since you only get a return bus from 氷穴 (Ice cave) every hour
  • The guide makes you take buses twice, both for starting and returning. We took a plan from Yamareco that went through a forest road for about an hour in order to avoid the first bus. It's not bad, but given the option I would try the route around the lake suggested by the local leaflet

- The ugly

  • The Fuji area is very touristic, and we unwittingly planned this hike during a three-days weekend. Which means that trains were packed and, most importantly, roads were jammed, delaying my bus by a whole 2 hours... We still managed to get the return bus as planned, but we had to rush all the time, without much time for exploring or enjoying the views. I can say it's an interesting area and I want to return to it in autumn, but any conclusion beyond that would be unjust. Cool place, I wish I could have seen it.

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