Yamanashi perfecture (山梨県, yamanashi-ken) located on central area of Honsu Island. It took about 2,5 hours by bus from Tokyo. The perfecture quite famous for the scenery of Mount Fuji and Fuji Five lakes. I join a one day trip organized by Willer bus tour.
We took off from Ikebukuro to lake Kawaguchi. We then took excursion ship to go around Kawaguchi lake. The “le soleil” excursion ship cost 930 JPY for adults and 470 JPY for children. You can enjoy the beauty scenery of Mout Fuji or more likely called Fuji-san by Japanese people from the ship. Unfortunately when I go on the boat, I didn’t get the clear view of mount Fuji 😦 Near the lake you could see Fujikyu Highland, an amusement park which said to have the scariest roller coaster in Japan. I will make sure to visit this amusement park next time. It is kinda cool getting mountains scenery from the top of the roller coaster 😉
Kawaguchi Lake excursion boat and sight of Fujikyu highland
Next destination was to shibazakura flower festival.They had moss-plox flower festival every mid april to mid may. This year event was held April 16 to May 29. They had about 800,000 Shibazakura (dwarf Sakura; moss-plox flower) in the base of Mountain Fuji. It supposed to be a fascinating scenery on the right time. However when I came it was already out of season and most flowers already come off. But I was quite happy with the food stall there. Every festival in Japan would offer you lots of foods. I tried sakura flavored soft cream and Fuji-shaped fish cake there.
about 1 hour from the shibazakura festival location we going to go strawberry picking! Yayy! I love strawberry, especially japanese strawberry is super sweet and tasty. Lots of strawberry field in Japan offering time-limited picking. I can enter the field and eat as much as I want to for 30 minutes. But just for eating inside. A couple from our tour ask how much they have to pay to bring out about 10 strawberries they already picked. And no, they didn’t allow that. You have to finished the strawberries before you out of the field. LOL.
Shibazakura and Strawberry picking
Just 3 minutes from strawberry field we arrive at Hoshino Hakkai, my favorite destination on this tour. Hoshino Hakkai is an old village with eight ponds (hakkai literally means 8 seas, or in this case 8 ponds). About 800 years ago, erruption of Mount Fuji divided a large lake (Lake Utsu) into several ponds. The location was Japan national heritage . The water on the ponds was coming from mount Fuji melting snow seeps underground. It is considered as the most pure water in Japan. Many people believe that it was a sacred water and some people using it to purify their soul. Inside the village there is open air museum; Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan. You can explore a beautiful japanese garden surrounding the largest pond and also Japanese old wooden houses. Inside the houses you can found samurai armor, household items and old farming tools. The museum has observation deck set in towards mount Fuji. And the view is so breathtaking!! I really recommended to enter the museum and see it yourself. To enter the hoshino hakkai village is free but you need to pay 300 JPY to enter the open air museum. I paid additional 100 JPY for the fish food. Outside the museum you can find snack and food stall. I bought a cute heart-shaped senbei (Rice Crackers) with 250 JPY.
Hoshino Hakkai Village
This is the first time I joined a day trip organized by another party. Usually I just listed things I want to see a grab a bus or train there. I don’t really like it because you will need to hurry to follow the schedule and couldn’t really enjoy the place. But for the places that hard to go by yourself like hoshino hakkai it is a good deal to join a tour.
P.S. I started to get some request to send a post card from Japan. If you are interested contact me through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment here, I will send you a post card from my next trip 😉