JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - YAMANASHI 山梨県
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Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka1154 views
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Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka478 views
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Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka on a hazy day.298 views
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Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka283 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from the shinkansen bullet train.260 views
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Statue of Takeda Shingen.258 views
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Otaki Waterfall218 views
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Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka213 views
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For a full-length account of my climb, see this article.204 views
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Mt. Fuji from the air.199 views
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JR Kofu Station180 views
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Waterfalls172 views
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Shadow of Mt. Fuji153 views
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After climbing for about 40 min., we reached the 6th station here. We're already above the clouds.151 views
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Bags of drink cans.148 views
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Rocky trail looking up on Mt. Fuji.145 views
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Rock and more rock on Mt. Fuji.144 views
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We spent the night in the mountain hut with a small dinner.137 views
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Park in front of Kofu Station.136 views
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A good part of the trail had us going on all fours.134 views
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Hut roofs are weighed down with rocks so it doesn't blow away with the wind.133 views
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At the summit of Mt. Fuji. It was so windy and rainy that we couldn't walk around the rim. Could hardly see anything.127 views
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Taba bus stop and bus garage125 views
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Branding my walking stick.125 views
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Yoshida-guchi trail entrance, we started from the 5th station.123 views
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Our bunk bed.123 views
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Bus to Taba. The bus runs from Okutama Station in Tokyo. It is the only public transportation link with the village.122 views
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Our mountain hut on the 8th station, called Toyokan. 東洋館121 views
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Lake Kawaguchi, Yamanashi.121 views
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Bus to Okutama, Tokyo117 views
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Looking down at the trail.117 views
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Reaching the summit.117 views
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Mt. Fuji torii117 views
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Taba bus garage112 views
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After climbing it, my image of this mountain will never be the same.112 views
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Yoshida-guchi trail entrance sign.111 views
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Going down was tiring too. But better than going up.110 views
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Watching the sunrise from outside our hut.109 views
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Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba, Lake Saiko, Yamanashi.105 views
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Smokestacks mar the view of Fuji.104 views
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On the nearby shore, a few more maple trees.99 views
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Manhole at Lake Kawaguchi, Yamanashi.99 views
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Southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi with a statue of two sister goddesses dancing over the lake. The sculptor was Gakuryo Nasu.98 views
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The gourds grown here are used for decorative purposes. Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba, Lake Saiko, Yamanashi.94 views
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Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba, Lake Saiko.91 views
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Taba bus stop88 views
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On 2010, Lake Saiko garnered national attention when the native species kunimasu, a type of salmon or black kokanee, thought extinct for 70 years, was discovered in the lake.88 views
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Omatsuri is actually a place name. The small settlement has a lodge and restaurant.87 views
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Scarecrow86 views
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Scarecrow85 views
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Waterfall84 views
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If you visit Lake Kawaguchi, you might as well visit Lake Saiko or Lake Sai, a short bus ride away. There are a number of tourist attractions like ice caves and bat caves.82 views
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Roadside waterwell81 views
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When I walked around, my planned 20-min. stay turned into a 2-hour walking tour of this pacifying place, full of mountains and a clear river. A delightful discovery. Suigen Park77 views
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A few bridges span the river.74 views
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Tama River, looks very inviting in summer.74 views
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I was in Okutama and noticed that the bus goes on to Tabayama village in neighboring Yamanashi. I got really curious and rode the bus to Tabayama. This is central Tabayama.72 views
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Trout fishing ponds for customers in warmer months.72 views
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Completely surrounded by mountains with a clear river running in the middle.70 views
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Waterwheel 水車66 views
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Crystal clear water of Tama River65 views
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Waterwwheel (not working)65 views
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Camping bungalows65 views
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Riverside fishing ponds64 views
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Camping bungalows along the river. For warmer months.64 views
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Tama River, very quiet and peaceful.63 views
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Glorious Tama River63 views
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Trail to Mt. Kumotori61 views
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Trail to Mt. Kumotori, Tokyo's tallest mountain. That's where the hikers were headed.59 views
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Upriver as seen from the bridge.59 views
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Fishing ponds59 views
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Tama River57 views
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Outdoor stage57 views
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This house rented samurai armor and kimono to dress up in for only 500 yen. 57 views
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They allow you to walk around like this.57 views
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Path to Otaki Waterfalls 雄滝56 views
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When I was walking here, I did not know there was a waterfall.56 views
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Trail to waterfalls56 views
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Path from above.56 views
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A suspension bridge over the river.55 views
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View from the observation deck55 views
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Tennis courts with snow.55 views
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Picnic pavilion with charcoal grill (for the fish caught).54 views
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Riverside picnic pavilions54 views
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Omatsuri bus stop for Okutama.53 views
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By coincidence, I found this man-made waterfall.53 views
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Fishing pond53 views
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An observation deck is also provided.53 views
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Stuffed bear53 views
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Crystal clear water of Tama River with fall leaves.52 views
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Bus stop. Notice the monkey crossing the road.52 views
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Gourd garden at Lake Saiko's Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba.52 views
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There are five lakes at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji known as Fuji Goko (富士五湖). They are easily accessible by bus from Shinjuku, Tokyo, taking 2-3 hours for around 4,000 yen round trip.51 views
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About Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba. There used to be a real village here until it was destroyed by a typhoon. Residents moved away, and the village was reconstructed with thatched-roof homes. The museum opened in 2006.51 views
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Decided to visit Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba, an outdoor museum of thatched-roof houses. It is one of the stops on the tourist bus circuit. 西湖いやしの里根場 50 views
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Tama River as seen from the bridge.49 views
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On the side of the road near the bus stop, there is a trail going down to Tama River.48 views
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Tama River48 views
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These photos were taken in Feb. Probably scenic in fall.48 views
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The area is part of the Chichibu-Tama National Park.48 views
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Numerous monkey poop along the road.48 views
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Corridor of maple trees (momiji), but I was too early in Oct.48 views
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Entrance to Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba. 48 views
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There were many hikers on the bus, and I wondered where they were going, so I followed them.47 views
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Mountain with a patch of green.47 views
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There are five lakes at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji known as Fuji Goko (富士五湖). They are easily accessible by bus from Shinjuku, Tokyo, taking 2-3 hours for around 4,000 yen round trip.47 views
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Next to Kawaguchiko Station is this tourist information office. Get free pamphlets, maps, etc. English spoken. Many foreign tourists also visit the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji.46 views
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Omatsuri bus stop for Taba.45 views
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The second largest of the five lakes at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi is well developed for tourists. This is Kawaguchiko Station on the Fujikyuko Line. From central Tokyo, going by bus is more convenient, although traffic delays a always possible45 views
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Bus stops in front of Kawaguchiko Station. 45 views
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I caught a retro bus to go to the other side of the lake.45 views
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Autumn leaves at Lake Kawaguchi (northern shore). The trees are also lit up at night during the Koyo festival.45 views
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In 1966, a big typhoon bringing heavy rains caused a mudflow that destroyed the homes here, killing 94 residents. The entire settlement was destroyed so the survivors moved to the opposite side of the lake.45 views
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Souvenir shop.45 views
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Gourds growing at Saiko Iyashi-no-Sato Nenba. I was soon to find out why they are growing these gourds. (Not for eating.) Whenever I see gourds, it reminds me of Hawaiian hula because they are used as hand drums.44 views
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There are mostly tourist souvenir shops selling food and local crafts. One house sold ancient mochi (dark and red colored) and had an irori fireplace. Another house rented samurai armor and kimono to dress up in for only 500 yen.44 views
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Inside Kawaguchiko Station on the Fujikyuko Line. Buses from Tokyo stop at Kawaguchiko Station as well as local toruist buses. Kawaguchiko Station is the area's transportation hub.43 views
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The outdoor museum is not huge, but big enough to spend a good amount of time. On clear days, it gives good views of Mt. Fuji.43 views
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Fire watch tower.43 views
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A few food stalls.42 views
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Southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi with gingko and poplar trees. I saw quite a few foreign tourists, including Chinese. It's a great weekend getaway for Tokyoites.42 views
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Nice Japanese-style room, but no Internet connection. I needed a break anyway.42 views
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A house with an irori where we could have tea and sweets.42 views
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Wasabi garden.42 views
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Pretty scenic area.41 views
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What in the world is this doing here, I asked myself at the end of the maple tree corridor. That's what I like about Japan, always something totally unexpected.41 viewsA Japanese Zero fighter plane??
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Southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi with a statue of two sister goddesses dancing over the lake. The sculptor was Gakuryo Nasu.41 views
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2nd floor of this house had woodblock prints.41 views
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In front of Kawaguchiko Station are a number of bus stops. A convenient tourist retro bus goes around the lake and neighboring lakes. I visited in autumn.40 views
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Most of the maple leaves at Lake Kawaguchi were still like this when I was there. They are late in turning color this year. Give them 10 more days. 40 views
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My room where I stayed at Lake Kawaguchi. It had a sun deck which provided a good view of Mt. Fuji. I paid only 4,800 yen for the night without meals.40 views
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Morning view of Mt. Fuji from my room at Lake Kawaguchi. This is the only glimpse of Mt. Fuji I got during a cloudy and sometimes drizzly weekend.40 views
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In 2006, they opened this outdoor museum as a testament to the old villagers here. Over the years, they expanded and added more houses. There are now 20 houses.40 views
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The gourds grown here are used for decorative purposes.40 views
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Growing wasabi with very clean water at Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nenba.40 views
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Lake Kawaguchi is quite well developed for tourists with lodging, shops, museums, onsen baths, and tourist buses. It's the second most popular Fuji Goko lake after Lake Yamanaka.39 views
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Lake Kawaguchi holds its autumn foliage festival (Koyo Matsuri) from late Oct. to mid-Nov. on the northern shore where there is a long corridor of maple trees. 39 views
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There would be a view of Mt. Fuji from here. Most hotels are on the northern shore so they can see Mt. Fuji across the lake.39 views
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Ancient varieties of rice.39 views
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Fukurokuju, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, is the god of God of wisdom and longevity.. 福禄寿38 views
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View of Lake Kawaguchi's northern shore.38 views
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Statue of Kajiwara Kagetoki (1140-1200 梶原 景時) at Lake Kawaguchi. A warrior against the Taira.38 views
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Bird house.38 views
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Train display in front of Kawaguchiko Station.37 views
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Two types of retro tourist buses. One goes to the other side of Lake Kawaguchi and one goes to Lake Saiko.37 views
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Adjacent to the maple trees was this park or garden featuring small thatched-roof houses.37 views
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Maple trees at Lake Kawaguchi. One of the few that was red.37 views
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About Fukurokuju. This area of the lake has seven shrines for all of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. 37 views
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Bus stop for the retro tourist bus.37 views
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Museum at Lake Kawaguchi.37 views
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ABout the statue of two sister goddesses dancing over the lake. The sculptor was Gakuryo Nasu.37 views
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Maple and ginkgo trees on the southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi.37 views
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Panorama of the southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi.36 views
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You can also catch a bus to Lake Yamanaka and to Mt. Fuji's 5th Station which is about halfway up the mountain.35 views
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A small shrine dedicated to Fukurokuju, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. He is the god of God of wisdom and longevity. 福禄寿35 views
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Herb Museum at Lake Kawaguchi.33 views
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Lake Yamanaka and Mt. Fuji in Nov. There's a boardwalk. Thisis near Yamanakako Koryu Plaza. 山中湖交流プラザ きらら16 views
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Lake Yamanaka and Mt. Fuji in Nov.13 views
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I visited Narusawa on a beauitful autumn day with snow-capped Mt. Fuji and autumn foliage. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.12 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with red momiji maple leaves. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.11 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with red momiji maple leaves. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.10 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with red momiji maple leaves. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.10 views
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Lake Yamanaka is the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes near Mt. Fuji. It's not as touristy as Lake Kawaguchi, but there are many vacation lodging owned by universities and companies. 9 views
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Some fall foliage along the cycling path around Lake Yamanaka.8 views
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Lake Yamanaka and Mt. Fuji at Hirano no Hama beach. 平野の浜8 views
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Tourist information center.8 views
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Lunch was Hoto noodles, famous in Yamanashi Prefecture. Thick, flat udon-type noodles in delicious miso-based broth, mixed with cut vegetables. Also came with Inari-zushi. 8 viewshttp://www.houtou-fudou.jp/english.html
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Lake Yamanaka and Mt. Fuji in Nov.7 views
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Lake Yamanaka manhole showing Mt. Fuji and swans.7 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with momiji maple leaves. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.7 views
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Views of Mt. Fuji are beautiful in fall and winter. There's a good bicycling path around the lake. The road around Lake Yamanaka will also be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycling road race course from Tokyo to Fuji Speedway.6 views
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View from Lookout tower.6 views
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Olympic merchandise inside Tourist information center.6 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with momiji maple leaves. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.6 views
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Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.6 views
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Mt. Fuji at sunset. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.6 views
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Mt. Fuji at sunset in autumn. Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.6 views
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Lookout tower.5 views
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View from Lookout tower.5 views
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Tourist information center at Hirano, Lake Yamanaka 平野5 views
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Yamanakako Tourism Association has tourist information and also rents bicycles. We rented bicycles here. It's slightly away from the main part of the lake.4 views
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Map shows the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycling road race course.4 views
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One of many boat docks.4 views
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Feeding koi fish.4 views
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Excellent cycling path around Lake Yamanaka.4 views
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Lake Yamanaka and Mt. Fuji in Nov.4 views
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Lake Yamanaka and Mt. Fuji at Hirano no Hama beach. 平野の浜4 views
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Tourist information center at Hirano, Lake Yamanaka 平野4 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with momiji maple leaves.4 views
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Mt. Fuji in autumn with momiji maple leaves.4 views
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Aokigahara Forest is on the northwestern foot/slope of Mt. Fuji. This forest is also known as "Suicide Forest" since some people have committed suicide in Aokigahara.3 viewsBut apparently not in the part of the forest we hiked in. Our guides assured us that we wouldn't see any bodies...(and we didn't.) This is our English-speaking guide from this company:
https://www.the-highestpeak.com/english
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Despite its reputation, Aokigahara Forest didn't look or feel spooky or scary at all. It looked like any other forest in Japan. 3 viewsThere are distinct trails and signs to follow. It's possible to get dangerously lost if you stray too far (more than 200 meters) from the trails. The forest has multiple trail entrances, and I was told a few of them have signs trying to discourage suicide.
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