(RUN) Kawaguchi/Saiko lake - 河口湖/西湖

Travel time: 120 minutes (via FujiQ bus) + 30 minutes (return from Koumouri cave) - Stations: Shinjuku Busta (bus terminal), Sagamiko JR station
Trail time: 2.5 h (running) - Effort: medium

Nice area, I wish I knew it better

The lakes are nice and, when Mt. Fuji shows up filling the horizon with it immense profile, you can't but stop and stare. That aside, this route has its moments but isn't that special either, and I can't really say it's worth all the travel time (except maybe if there's full sakura)

In other words, the lake is cute, but if I go in the area again I want a route that makes the most of the mountain views, and this isn't it.

+ The good

  • 5/6 great views over Mount Fuji
  • Well connected: you can catch a bus or train from Kawaguchi to Tokyo pretty much whenever you want
  • Kawaguchi lake is rather pretty, and offers separate walking paths for most of its length
  • Saiko lake is less spectacular, but offers a few nice vistas
  • The short climb to reach the pass between the two lakes has an almost alpine feel to it and is a nice change of pace

~ The bad

  • There's a boring stretch of road between Kawaguchi station and the lake proper
  • For 90% of the time, you can't actually see Mt. Fuji. Maybe this could be improved by doing a full loop around Kawaguchi lake (which probably offers the best views) and dropping the lesser Saiko altogether

~ The ugly

  • A few bits around the lake see you running on the road itself, especially on Saiko lake. No problem today, but I wonder how comfortable would that be during a weekend/sakura day
  • It's a touristic area, so be prepared for tourist acting rudely and staff being harsh to anyone looking like a foreigner