One of the best Mt. Fuji photos you will see is definitely a pagoda perfectly framed beside Mt. Fuji. This place is none other than Chureito Pagoda, near Shimo-yoshida station in Fujiyoshida area. If you have time, this place is a perfect combo destination with the Kawaguchiko bus tour for a daytrip. Last November 17, 2015, we went here for an early morning Autumn trip straight from Shibuya .
Shimoyoshida is a few stations away from Kawaguchiko. You need to do the following train transfers and will have one single starting point from Tokyo, since Otsuki trains leave from Shinjuku: Shinjuku -> Otsuki -> Kawaguchiko -> Shimo-yoshida -> Walk for 15-20 minutes to the Arakura Sengen Shrine (where Chureito pagoda is located). Total travel time will be around 2 hours.
The ascent to the pagoda is not easy. It is both a mental and physical challenge comprising of 400 steps. For a slightly-active person like me, I still need to do around 5-7 stops on my way up, to replenish some air and drink water. Just a tip- it’s better to bring a person with similar physical standing as you or else, either one of you might be left by the other, setting the fact that if you are with your loved one, then he/she will have enough emotional attachment to wait patiently for you. (*wink *wink)
There are several views at different heights, so you can also use the rest time as a photo opportunity. You can see the various shots I had below with the height descriptions. Since we went there during the peak season of autumn, we also got the perfect hues of orange, yellow, and green leaves. We’re quite lucky that the weather during our visit is sunny, and clear skies. If the forecast tells you that it’s cloudy in Fujiyoshida, then just try to move your trip to a clearer day. Even the locals in the place told us that we’re very lucky since most of the time, Mt. Fuji is shy, hiding beneath the clouds.
Upon finishing the 400 steps, we still need to take around 80 more since the main viewing spot is under construction. I think, they are trying to build a viewing bench so people can take the perfect Chureito Pagoda-Mt. Fuji shot. During our visit, we need to have a slightly risky photo experience just to have the perfect framing with the pagoda. Fortunately, I went there with my boyfriend who graciously took the risk for me to have the picture below. Just imagine how this looks like in Spring or Winter!
After taking some more pictures, we took a rest for a while in one of the pavilion and ate our Onigiri from Family mart. Unfortunately, we finished our Dorayaki in the train so we don’t have any desserts.
During our descent from Chureito Pagoda, we also had our dramatic photo session. The autumn leaves paired with the shadows and sunlight just make an Instagram-perfect combo!
That’s it for our Chureito Pagoda experience! I highly recommend for you visit this place anytime! Just think of it as a productive and adventurous exercise travel session!
How to go to Chureito Pagoda: Take the following trains and remember the following stops:
- Take the train from Shinjuku to Otsuki via JR train. ( If you purchased JR Kanto Pass, then make sure to reserve Azusa seats before the day of your trip to be comfortable with a good train)
- Upon arriving in Otsuki, transfer to Fuji kyuko Line. The staff will hold placards showing the way to the Fuji kyuko platform. You just need to go up in the short overpass and transfer to the west side of the platform. It will take around 3-4 minutes. Take the train bound for Kawaguchiko.
- Upon arriving in Kawaguchiko, ask the staff when will the next train bound for Shimoyoshida leave. Usually, this is the same train that you took on your way to Kawaguchiko, just with more stops.
- Get off at Shimo-yoshida station
- From the station, walk your way towards Arakura Sengen Shrine. turn right, then you will see a mountain where the pagoda is located. Just walk your way towards it. Cross the railway, the street and climb your way up the Pagoda.
Cost: Entrance to Chureito Pagoda is free. Bulk of the costs will be for the transportation. If you have JR Kanto Pass, then you will spend 8300 yen (unlimited train rides for 3 days). If you’re going to purchase roundtrip tickets (Shinjuku – Shimoyoshida-Shinjuku), it will be around 6000 yen
The Madaldal Kid budget travel tip/s:
- I highly advise for you to buy the JR Kanto Pass (8300 yen), which gives you unlimited use of trains in Kanto and nearby regions like Ibaraki, Kawaguchiko, Nikko, etc. for 3 days. We bought this pass and used nearly 12,000 yen worth of trips- so it’s a must buy. The Kawaguchiko trip gives you the most value out of it.
- Make sure to also visit Kawaguchiko area once you go to Pagoda to make the most out of your trip.
Read more about my Budget Travel Osaka Adventure:
- Part 1- Japan Travel like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Personal Tips and Notes
- Part 2- Day 1-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, Tenryu-Ji Temple, and Umeda Sky Building
- Part 3- Day 2-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Osaka castle, Tenma, Pokemon Center Osaka, Dotonbori
- Part 4- Day 3-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Kyoto, Kinkakuji Temple, Botanical Garden, Osaka Castle, Denden Town
- Part 5- Day 4-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos -Namba, Dotonbori, Ichiran,Shinsaibashi
- Part 6-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos-Itinerary and Budget
- Japan Travel in a Budget:Osaka-Nikko-Kyoto-Tokyo Autumn Highlights
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studios Japan Experience
- How to Apply for Japan Tourist Visa
Tokyo/Kanto Budget Travel posts:
- Hitachi Seaside Park – Japan’s Best Autumn Spot
- Chureito Pagoda, Shimo-yoshida- Great View of Mt. Fuji
Going to Japan soon but don’t know where to start? Try to avail of my customized budget itinerary to learn and be able to tour Japan alone! Just click here.