16 Mar 2020 in Discover Japan
From cherry blossom to moss phlox, seasonal dining to helicopter vistas, experience spring to the max!
What better setting than Mt. Fuji to experience Japan’s celebrated spring colours? Early season, you’ll wander through rows of flowering cherry blossom trees, with Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji as your backdrop.
Late season, carpets of bright moss phlox bring new colour to the lakeside setting. And, at HOSHINOYA Fuji, you’ll be treated to seasonal cuisine using ingredients freshly gathered from the surrounding forests.
You’ll also be able to sign up for a helicopter ride offering a bird’s eye view of the region.
Cherry blossom promenade
At HOSHINOYA Fuji, you’re guaranteed a picture-postcard view of Mt. Fuji reflected in Lake Kawaguchi. Each of the resort’s private glamping cabins is designed to maximize the panorama thanks to huge windows and a sofa-lined balcony facing the mountain.
A few minutes’ walk downhill from the resort, you’ll arrive at the promenade along the lake’s northern shore. This is the setting for the Fuji Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival, held 4 to 12 April, 2020. Here, the banks of Lake Kawaguchi are lined with some 300 Yoshino cherry trees spread over a kilometre.
With pink blossoms framing Mt. Fuji on the horizon, there can be few more iconic images of Japan in the springtime.
Throughout the festival, stalls proffer tempting local food and a range of handicrafts. Come back after dark to see the blossoms illuminated, with lights from the town shimmering on the lake’s surface.
Floral blankets in late spring
If you’re staying at HOSHINOYA Fuji later in the spring, the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is a must. Known as moss phlox in English, shibazakura literally translates as “lawn of cherry blossoms”. This ground cover plant transforms anywhere it grows into a blanket of colour in the spring.
Hillsides and fields become vibrant carpets of flowers – and no more so than at the festival, where some 800,000 stalks of shibazakura are displayed against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji.
Held near Lake Motosuko, April 18 to May 31, 2020, the festival is a short bus ride from HOSHINOYA Fuji and features five varieties of moss phlox. You can walk along entire fields of pink, white and purple moss phlox. On a clear day, the sight of Mt. Fuji rising above a sea of deep pink flowers is a photographer’s dream.
When you’re worn out of walking, head to the panoramic foot bath to give your feet a well-earned soak. Or take a ride on a hot-air balloon to enjoy the view from 20 meters up.
The site simultaneously hosts Mt. Fuji Delicious Food Festival, so you can also sample plenty of local delicacies. Look out for Koshu Fujizakura pork miso soup or Yoshida Udon noodles, known for their firm springiness.
Al fresco dining
For a gourmet take on the area’s spring cuisine, book an outdoor table at HOSHINOYA Fuji.
The Forest Kitchen offers a Spring Gibier Dinner in the full spirit of glamping: you’ll be cooking your own meal in a wooded area at 900m altitude but with personal assistance from one of the resort’s “glamping masters” and with the comfort of a table, chairs, and heated blankets if it’s cold. Even if you’re a novice glamper, you’ll eat in style!
The menu features game and vegetables found in the local forests and lakes. You’ll start with the likes of masu salmon quick-smoked with cherry chips. For the main course, you can expect wild boar accompanied by the gentle flavours of spring: cherry blossoms, Japanese pepper, and bamboo shoots.
After your meal, head up to the resort’s Cloud Terrace for a half-hour concert of live music around a bonfire. And maybe a glass of Japanese whisky from the popup bar?
Explore by air, water and land
Spring brings a new post-snow landscape to the Fuji area – and there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors. How about discovering the nearby Aokigahara Forest by helicopter?
This legendary forest was formed on land scorched by lava from Mt. Fuji and is dubbed the “Sea of Trees” because the trees are all similar heights and look like waves in the ocean when they sway in the wind.
You’ll be taken for a 15-minute helicopter ride to appreciate the forest from the sky – with Mt. Fuji in full view. Afterwards, you’ll explore the sea of trees from a canoe on Lake Saiko, with a guide paddling alongside to serve drinks and snacks.
And you’ll finish with a short walk in the forest, accompanied by a local nature expert.
The ultimate tour of Fuji’s most famous forest in all its spring splendour.