Cycle around Lake Kawaguchi to get perfect view of Mount Fuji

Lake Kawaguchi
Postcard-worthy pictures at Lake Kawaguchi, Japan.PHOTO: ZULFADLI ICKSAN
Lake Kawaguchi, Japan
The bus station at Lake Kawaguchi, Japan. PHOTO: NURULNADIAH MD NOH
Gyudon
Gyudon, a Japanese dish of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion.PHOTO: NURULNADIAH MD NOH
Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi
The view of Mount Fuji at at Lake Kawaguchi.PHOTO: ZULFADLI ICKSAN

On a recent trip to Tokyo, my friends and I wanted to go somewhere near Mount Fuji - Japan's highest mountain.

We decided to have a picnic at Kawaguchiko or Lake Kawaguchi - one of the five lakes of Mount Fuji - which is known for its amazing view of the volcano.

Our group took a two-hour bus ride from Shinjuku train station in the morning and reached the lake just before afternoon.

From Kawaguchiko's bus station, it took about 20 minutes to walk to the entrance of the lake.

The streets of the the town are small and quiet, unlike the bustling cities of Tokyo like Shibuya and Shinjuku. On that particular Monday, our group of nine were the only customers in almost every shop we went to.

Biking it

Wanting to try something different, we rented bicycles which cost 1,500 yen (S$16.50) a day, instead of walking or taking the tour bus.

The first bicycle shop we went to had only four bicycles available. We were lucky the second bicycle shop, a 10-minute walk away, had enough for the group.

Gyudon

We then filled our tummies with gyudon (a Japanese dish of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion) at a quaint cottage-styled restaurant before starting our journey.

The skies were clear, so we had an amazing view of the majestic Mount Fuji, described by japan-guide.com as a nearly perfectly-shaped volcano in its full glory.

We passed by fishermen and couples taking their wedding photos in full garb, and spotted ducks and ducklings waddling by the side of the lake.

Postcard-worthy

By sheer coincidence, we had arrived on the last day of the Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival, so we saw lots of trees with pretty orange leaves.

They made almost every photo we took postcard-worthy.

We settled for a small picnic with onigiri (Japanese rice balls), chips and drinks, before making our way back to the bus station at about 4pm, before the sun set.

The bus journey back took about two hours, despite being told that it may take four hours since it was a public holiday.

And before we knew it, we were back in Shinjuku again.

The day trip was like a short getaway during the holiday itself, only hours away from the busy city we were still trying to get used to.