Paradise at the Base of Mt. Fuji: 10 Sublime Hot Spring Resorts at Lake Kawaguchi
- Published: Mar 31 2023
At the base of Mt. Fuji are the Fuji Five Lakes, all designated as World Heritage sites. Each has its own unique charm, including the picturesque Lake Kawaguchi, known for the sight of Mt. Fuji reflected upside down upon the lake's surface, nicknamed “Inverted Fuji.” Lake Kawaguchi, also called Kawaguchiko, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, perfect for activities like fishing, hiking, cycling, and more. It’s also easily accessed from Tokyo, making it ideal for a weekend getaway. In this article, we’ll introduce 10 top-class hot spring accommodations around Lake Kawaguchi where you can soak in natural hot springs while taking in the magnificent scenery!
10 Hot Spring Resorts at Lake Kawaguchi, Nestled at the Foot of Mt. Fuji
1. Fuji Lake Hotel
Famed for its prime location on the banks of Lake Kawaguchi, Fuji Lake Hotel was founded in 1932 by a visionary doctor who studied the art of hospitality in the United States. Over the decades, it earned a reputation for its pioneering approach to customer service, seen through in-house treatment rooms and more, worlds apart from traditional Japanese culture at the time. This ethos has been passed down the generations, and has been developed into a universal design catering to all guests, including babies, the elderly, and handicapped individuals.
With flat flooring, handrails, and reclining beds, the hotel's barrier-free guestrooms and open-air baths offer seamless accessibility. Many rooms flaunt stunning views of Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji, and the “deluxe rooms” are even equipped with their own private open-air bath! The recently renovated bathrooms likewise present breathtaking panoramas, which you can take in while enjoying a soak.
The hotel's bathhouse uses natural hot spring water from Kawaguchiko Onsen, drawn from a depth of 1,500 m underground. It consists of an open-air bath made of fragrant Japanese cypress, a spacious, liberating rock bath, a Jacuzzi, and a sauna. For a more exclusive experience, we also recommend checking out the reservable private bath, which also offers a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.
Fuji Lake Hotel serves Japanese and French buffets for dinner, along with the option of authentic French dining, or traditional Japanese “kaiseki” course meals in your room. The breakfast buffet features Japanese and French cooking plus homemade bread. The hotel's lunch and dinners can also be made halal-compliant, if you inform them beforehand.
2. Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso
Located on the south side of Lake Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso stands out for its traditional Japanese architecture and tranquil ambience. It runs a convenient courtesy bus service to Kawaguchiko Station, making it easy to reach without a car.
Two room options are available, one with a view of Lake Kawaguchi and the other of Mt. Fuji, with add-ons like open-air hot springs and outdoor terraces. Strollers and cribs are available for young children, ensuring a comfortable stay for families.
The men's hot spring features an indoor granite bath and an open-air cypress bath, while the women's has an indoor cypress bath and a rustic open-air rock bath, all with great Mt. Fuji views. There is also a jet bath and scenic sauna, making your rejuvenation even more enjoyable.
Head up to the rooftop terrace to soak in the natural hot spring footbath, complete with majestic 360° views encompassing Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji, best seen at sunset. You can also enjoy lake views from the tea lounge, or together with meals served in the privacy of your own room.
3. Fufu Kawaguchiko
Fufu Kawaguchiko showcases both the splendor of Mt. Fuji alongside the lush beauty of the surrounding forests. The resort’s furnishings and decorations are made from local trees and stones, adding a new dimension to its enthralling design.
Guestrooms are sleek and airy, seamlessly blending with the surrounding nature and filled with fresh forest air. All bathrooms are adorned by Mt. Fuji lava stones, and feature an open-air bath with natural hot spring water plus organic, skin-friendly shampoo and body wash. Some rooms even have bioethanol fireplaces, making for a cozy winter getaway. The resort’s shared bathhouse hosts both a dry and mist sauna to complete your journey into bliss.
For dinner, guests can indulge in innovative “kaiseki” cuisine prepared with opulent local ingredients and cooked using lava stones and firewood from Mt. Fuji - a one-of-a-kind technique unique to the region! Guests can then kick off the following day with a bowl of fluffy rice steamed over wood for breakfast. After eating, there are numerous regularly scheduled activities such as canoeing, stargazing, and hiking to dive into the natural wonder of Lake Kawaguchi, creating unforgettable memories.
4. Hotel Regina Kawaguchiko
Every room at Hotel Regina Kawaguchiko presents a breathtaking panorama of Mt. Fuji over a sea of trees, highly acclaimed by professional photographers.
For the best scenery, head to the top floor, where you can catch a glimpse of not only Mt. Fuji but also of the Southern Alps on a clear day. Families with infants and toddlers will love the hotel's kids room, which features a poppy design equipped with all necessary baby gear (limited to one family per stay).
The large shared bathhouse is filled with natural hot spring water from Kawaguchiko Onsen, famed for its moisturizing and fatigue-relieving properties. After a soak, guests can enjoy a game of table tennis or unwind at the esthetic salon and lounge.
The chef at Hotel Regina Kawaguchiko honed their skills at a famous “ryotei” restaurant, and specializes in “dashi” (soup stock), the foundation of Japanese cuisine. High-quality, seasonal ingredients can be savored through authentic kaiseki meals for dinner.
5. Fuji Onsenji Yumedono
Fuji Onsenji Yumedono was built entirely with zelkova wood, and took a total of 22 years to complete - 10 years to find the best wood from all over Japan, and 12 years to design and construct.
This profoundly authentic Japanese-style resort overflows with a refined elegance bolstered by the nourishing fragrance of wood. Dozens of both Japanese and Western art pieces dot the premises, adding an artistic flair. Guestrooms offer a more modern space achieved by blending Japanese and Western aesthetics, and each room boasts its own spacious open-air bath. The signature dishes, served in private dining rooms, are crafted from carefully selected ingredients sourced from all over Japan, paired with locally brewed sake.
Take in the majestic view of Mt. Fuji, and embrace the Japanese sense of beauty through a wealth of intricate architectural masterpieces, lush gardens, and gorgeous furnishings.
6. La Vista Fujikawaguchiko
La Vista Fujikawaguchiko sits upon a slope slightly up from the shore of Lake Kawaguchi. Its open, light-filled lobby overlooks Mt. Fuji, and the entire facility features a design inspired by Provence in southeastern France, with terracotta tile roofs, terraces filled with roses and vines, and plane trees.
Guestrooms are likewise decorated in a Provencal style, flaunting an exquisite mix of natural and antique styles creating a sophisticated mood. All rooms except for the economy suites boast a bath that overlooks both Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.
The bathhouse is filled with natural hot spring water, and is the closest point in the complex to Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, ensuring the best scenery. Gently caressed by breezes from the mountains and lake, the open-air baths are a liberating experience. Four types of private, reservable baths are also available, made of brick, rock, bamboo, and mosaics with milky white water and microbubbles.
Dinner is full-course French and seasonal dishes of local ingredients. After eating, head to the bar to unwind amongst the night view, then wake up to a breakfast buffet full of vegetables and fruits overlooking Mt. Fuji bathed in morning sunshine.
7. Kasuitei Ooya
Kasuitei Ooya has been welcoming guests for a century since its establishment in 1923. The murmuring of the small waterfall in its namesake “Kasuitei” courtyard emanates a gentle and soothing atmosphere, lulling visitors into a state of serenity the moment they enter.
Guestrooms are divided between those facing Mt. Fuji or Lake Kawaguchi, and are available in either Japanese style with open-air baths, a modern Japanese-Western fusion design, and more. The most sought-after rooms are those on the top floor, which boast open-air cypress baths and lakeside vistas.
The hot spring water from Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen is colorless, clear, and soft, and can be enjoyed in three locations: the large shared bathhouse on the first basement floor, the panoramic bath on the top floor, and the private bath with a view. From the panoramic bath, you can see the beautiful nature of Lake Kawaguchi throughout the four seasons, while the spacious underground bath features enthralling decorations. In the bathing area, you can also find a server with water from the springs of Mt. Fuji.
Dinner at Kasuitei Ooya is so highly renowned that many guests return just for the food alone. A selection of exciting kaiseki cuisine and traditional local dishes, such as “hoto nabe” hotpot, are served.
8. Fuji View Hotel
As you’d guess from the name, Fuji View Hotel sits directly in front of Mt. Fuji, while its back garden leads to Lake Kawaguchi. This expansive garden covers an area of almost 10 ha, and flaunts the pinnacle of Japan’s seasonal beauty, like cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and snow in winter. The Panorama Lounge, located on the east and west sides of the hotel, also offers a stunning 180° panoramic view of Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji.
The hotel offers a diverse selection of rooms taking full advantage of its remarkable location, including open-plan rooms with glass partitions that allow guests to enjoy the view all the way to the back, plus those with open-air baths, junior suites that combine Japanese design with a Western bedroom, and 22.5-mat Japanese rooms that can accommodate up to six people, ideal for family trips.
The shared bathhouse, which draws water from one of the five local geothermal springs, has a men’s section that resembles a dignified old homestead, while the women's appears like a warm Kyoto-style “machiya” traditional townhouse.
Naturally, all four lounges and restaurants flaunt scenes of the garden and Mt. Fuji. Plus, as Yamanashi is one of Japan's top wine-producing regions, guests can sample local wine straight from a server and find their favorite.
9. Oike Hotel
Oike Hotel is one of Lake Kawaguchi’s most renowned hot spring accommodations owing to its staggering variety of hot springs and picture-perfect Mt. Fuji landscapes. It has a shared garden bath on the first floor featuring an open-air Jacuzzi, a ceramic bath, open-air rock bath, cypress bath, a private, reservable garden open-air bath (not technically a hot spring), and more. On the fifth floor is a bath perfectly positioned to frame Mt. Fuji, bolstered by a Jacuzzi and sauna.
Guestrooms are just as diverse, ranging from deluxe rooms with open-air Jacuzzis overlooking Mt. Fuji, to Japanese/Western fusion rooms designed for accessibility. After bathing and napping, chill out with a glass of Yamanashi's finest wine, poured from the handy wine server. The restful ambiance and soothing jazz playing in the background make it the perfect place to finish off your day of healing.
10. Hotel Asafuji
Hotel Asafuji is a cozy, old-school Japanese-style “ryokan” inn with 13 rooms. Situated on the eastern bank of Lake Kawaguchi, its prime location offers a mesmerizing snapshot of Mt. Fuji on the left and Lake Kawaguchi in front. On clear days, the grand Southern Alps can even be spotted, adding to the dynamic view.
Sat upon a hilltop, the top-floor observation bath is designed to let Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi fill the space with awe-inspiring scenery to enjoy while soaking.
The guestrooms are done in pure Japanese style, with a simple elegance that doesn’t try to compete with the beauty outside. The heartwarming small-inn hospitality is seen in the lovingly prepared dishes, served fresh and hot at each guest’s own pace. The attentive staff pride themselves on their service, going above and beyond to exceed expectations.
Bask in the Might of Mt. Fuji From a Lake Kawaguchi Hotel
Those in need of a break from action-packed days of sightseeing should head for Lake Kawaguchi! Here awaits top-class accommodations packed with all kinds of hot spring baths flaunting Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi in all its splendor. Just a short two-hour train/bus ride from Tokyo, Lake Kawaguchi offers a quick escape from the city for a rejuvenating rest amidst awe-inspiring nature.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.