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On Walkabout At: Lake Kawaguchi, Japan

Basic Information

  • City Name: Lake Kawaguchi
  • Where: Japan
  • Population: 25,538
  • More Information: Japan-Guide.com


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Narrative

Another day trip that I took while visiting Tokyo was to Lake Kawaguchi to the southwest of Tokyo.  However, I did not travel to the lake to do any boating activities, but instead I traveled to the lake to hopefully get some nice views of the nearby Mt. Fuji.  To get to the lake I took a morning train from Shinjuku Station to Lake Kawaguchi.  The ride on the train to the lake was a pleasant one as the train exited the Tokyo metropolis and then passed through green farming land outside the city:

The closer the train got to the lake, the larger the mountains became that were visible outside the train window:

After about an hour and a half train ride I arrived at Lake Kawaguchi:

This lake is part of the region of Japan known as the Fuji Five Lakes and is very popular tourism site in the country:

Of the lakes Kawaguchi is the most popular because of the views of Mt. Fuji from the lake.  Unfortunately by the time I arrived at the lake the clouds had rolled in and it had started to rain thus obscuring all views of Mt. Fuji:

This was a bit frustrating because the weather had been fine that morning while I rode on the train to Kawaguchi and it seemed that as soon as the train got near the lake the storm rolled in.  The views of Mt. Fuji may have been obscured, but I was able to see some of the mountains around the lake from time to time when there was a break in the storm:

There was even a gondola to take visitors up to the top of one of these mountains to take in views of the area:

I didn’t bother to ride on the gondola due to all the clouds obscuring the views.  This place does seem like it would be quite beautiful when it is not clouded over and I will have to visit again sometime in the future when the weather is more cooperative.  Since I wasn’t able to get any views of Mt. Fuji, I decided to walk around the lake and the town before catching the train back to Tokyo.

On the shores of the lake is this large bronze statue that is also a popular tourist attraction in the city:

The statue is considered the symbol of Lake Kawaguchi.  It was emplaced at its present location in 1987 and  was one of the last statues created by the famed sculptor Seibo Kitamura.  The sculptor visited Kawaguchi at the age of 101 and was moved by the lake and its surrounding mountain scenery enough that he completed this bronze statue before his death at the age 102.  The vase is supposed to represent the waters of Lake Kawaguchi and the two women represent “positive” and “negative” which creates a balance in life that is a popular theme in Asian cultures.

After completing a walk along part of the shore of the lake I then walked into town and decided to get lunch at this restaurant that was decorated like a traditional Japanese home:

The food was quite good and after eating I went back to the train station to buy a ticket back to Tokyo.

Conclusion

This was actually the last day of my trip to Japan so I was a bit disappointed that I did not get some good pictures of Mt. Fuji due to clouds that obscured it every day of my trip.  In fact I have taken two trips to Japan and both times the mountain was covered in clouds during the extent of my trips.  I plan to eventually go back to Japan again and hopefully the third time will be the charm for me to see the mountain.  In fact my next trip to Japan I plan on setting aside a few days to hike up to the summit of the mountain; weather permitting of course.

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