Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

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Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is located in three different prefectures that include Kanagawa, Shizuoka, and Yamanashi. The city of Tokyo looks out toward Mount Fuji is counted as part of the park area.

The national park is spread across 474 square miles (1,227 sq km). It is home to Fuji Five Lakes, Hakone, Izu Islands, the Izu Peninsula, and Mount Fuji. This national park is unique compared to most parks; it represents a collection of different areas versus the traditional singularly enclosed area.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is rich in biodiversity featuring natural hot springs, lakes, mountainous lakes, Mount Fuji, coastlines, and approximately 1,000 volcanic islands. Vegetation reflects the diversity ranging from mountainous trees to subtropical plant life found on the islands.

The national park is grouped into four key areas which include the Mount Fuji area, Hakone area, Izu Peninsula, and the Izu Islands.  This is the pinnacle nature attraction of Japan.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu Highlights:

The Fuji-Hakone-Izu national park and the surrounding area feature an array of Japanese cultural and natural highlights.  Many people come specifically for the cherry blossoms in the spring, however without question, Mount Fuji is the pinnacle and leading attraction of the national park.

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is probably one of the top tourist destinations for the country of Japan. The good news is that with its close proximity to the city of Tokyo, it is easy for visitors to see. Drives around the region provide a number of scenic views of the majestic mountain.

Mount Fuji is the highest volcano in Japan reaching a peak of 12,389 feet (3,776 m). It is recognized as an exemplary example of a symmetrical cone-shaped volcano. It is one of the three holy mountains of Japan and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the tallest mountain in the country.

There are glorious views of the mountain from several different scenic vistas.  As noted above, one of the favorite times of year to view the mountain is during the spring when the cherry trees blossom.  Some of the most striking images of Mount Fuji occur when they are framed with blossoming cherry trees in the foreground.

Mount Fuji last erupted in 1707, however, it is still recognized as an active volcano. The dormant volcano is also known as Fujisan, Fujiyama, or simply Fuji by locals.

Seeing Mount Fuji is sufficient for most people, however the more adventurous want to trek and climb the mountain.  Reaching the summit of the mountain is a challenge, but it is rewarding with a more intimate understanding of the mountain as well as the astounding panoramic views of Tokyo and the surrounding landscapes below.

Trails in Fuji-Hakone-Izu (Mount Fuji)

There are different trails and places to hike and explore throughout the different areas that combine to create the larger national park.  Most of the walks and hikes are around lakes and vistas that provide views of Mount Fuji. However, there are a variety of ways to ascend to the summit of the mountain.  Each of them is rated challenged and it is recommended that you be in good physical condition before making the ascent.

Mount Fuji Yoshida Trail: This is a partial loop trail that covers 11.6 miles (18.66 km) while ascending 4,940 feet (1,505 m). This is one of the most popular routes which does provide opportunities to see wildflowers while pursuing the different panoramic views below.

Subashiri Trail: This is another popular route to reach the summit.  The ascent for this route climbs up 5,721 feet (1,743 m) to reach the summit.  It is more of a direct route covering a distance of 7.3 miles (11.74 km). It is a difficult rated trail and the terrain is rugged and steep, but the views are remarkable.

Mt. Fuji Fujinomiya Trail: This is one of the shorter trails to the top covering a distance of 4.7 miles (7.56 km) while ascending 4,324 feet (1,317.9 m) to the summit.  The trail is rugged and rocky and rated difficult.  You will get many of the same panoramic views while making the ascent.

Gotemba Trail: This 13.1-mile (21.08 km) journey begins near Gotenba Shi and is rated difficult.  It is one of the more challenging routes traveling the 13.1 miles while ascending 7,769 feet (2,367.99 m).  It is imperative that you be in good physical condition before embarking on this endeavor.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu Highlights

  • Climbing Mount Fuji
  • Seeing Mount Fuji on a blue sky day, with fall colors, or cherry blossom season
  • Views of Mount Fuji across the Fuji Five lakes
  • View of Mount Fuji across Lake Ashi in the Hakone area
  • Alligators in the Izu Peninsula area at the Utagawa Gardens
  • Scuba diving amongst the Izu Islands

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