Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan


Lake Yamanaka is the largest lake in the “Fuji Five Lakes” region. An area that offers the best views of Mt. Fuji.

The best-known and most frequented of these five lakes is Lake Kawaguchi. This is because Lake Kawaguchi is more developed in terms of tourism.

Lake Yamanaka is much more laid back. Perfect if you want to stay away from the crowd, or want to enjoy a camping trip!

Hakone is another beautiful place where you can observe Mt. Fuji. READ: 15 INCREDIBLE THINGS TO SEE IN HAKONE

We recommend visiting Yamanaka during autumn to see the wonderful fall foliage or in spring for the beautiful flowers all around the region.

Also, during these 2 seasons, you will have more chances to see Mount Fuji, which is often clouded otherwise.



Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan

After spending 2 full days in Hakone, we continued our trip around Mt. Fuji with Lake Yamanaka.

Before reaching the lake, we stopped at the Yamanaka observatory on a hill (here is the exact location). Although there is a parking lot, the view from there is not the best. Continue driving for about 100m, you will see many cars stopped along the road.

From there you can see the majestic Mt. Fuji, the lake, and the beautiful surrounding nature. Unfortunately that day, it was rather cloudy, so we could not see Mt. Fuji entirely.

Well the place was gorgeous anyway.

The pampas grass fields in autumn are especially fantastic and spectacular.

Lake Yamanaka in Japan

With Mt. Fuji in the background, the park boasts an area of about 300,000 square meters with beautiful seasonal flowers such as tulips, sunflowers, and cosmos.

It’s huge and it’s beautiful!

In the paid area “Seiryu no Sato”, there are many facilities where you can play. A fun place for kids.

On a clear day, this is one of the best spots to take photo of Mount. Fuji!

Lake Yamanaka II, Yamanakako, 20191106

Lake Yamanaka has a 14 kilometers cycling road that goes around the lake. It is super easy to rent a bicycle at Lake Yamanaka, There are a few shops located around lake. Such as here.

You can rent all sorts of bicycle, even tandem a 2-person bicycle.

The track around the lake is particularly beautiful during autumn!

At Lake Yamanaka, you can’t miss the huge Swan Boat. We already talked about the huge Pirate Ship in Hakone or even the Castle boat in Lake Toya. Not sure, why the cruise boat on the lake has to be so… how to say… kitsch maybe. Well, it’s all part of the fun in Japan, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, going on a cruise on the “wonderful” Swan Boat is one of the best things to do in Lake Yamanaka! And the interior of the boat is actually much nicer than the outside. Very cozy actually 😉

There are two platforms, the Asahigaoka Pier platform and the Yamanaka Pier platform. It takes about 25 minutes to go around Lake Yamanaka.

  • Website: here
  • Price: 1,000 Yen for adults and 500 Yen for Children

Best things to do around Lake Yamanaka

Board the Yamanaka sightseeing bus for the heritage tour around Lake Yamanaka.

There are bus stops at many sightseeing spots, so you can easily hop on and hop off.

Click here to see the bus route map (pdf)

  • Website: here
  • It costs 1,500 Yen for adults and 750 Yen for children (valid for 2 days).

Best things to do in Lake Yamanaka: Suwa Shrine

Not as big as many other shrines in Japan, the Yamanaka Suwa Shrine is beautiful nevertheless thanks to its surrounding environment. If you are in the area, we recommend a quick stop at Suwa Shrine.

Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan
Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan
Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan

Oshino Hakkai Village is our favorite place to visit around Lake Yamanaka! Make sure to check it out as this is one of the cutest places to visit in Japan!

There are many scenic ponds, with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and snacks around. The village is really cute and worth spending a few hours wandering through the various alleys and finding all the ponds!

Deguchi Pond, Okama Pond, Choshi Pond, Sokonashi Pond, Nigori Pond, Waku Pond, Kagami Pond, and Shobu Pond, each with its own history of Fuji worship.

Take your time to fully enjoy this place. This is one of the best things to see in Lake Yamanaka.

  • Location: here
  • Admission: FREE


Nagaike Water Park is a beautiful park which offers a great view of Mt. Fuji. It is located on the shores of Lake Yamanaka, and has a great waterfront promenade (the cycling road also passes through Nagaike Water Park).

Nagaike Water Park is one of the best things to see in Lake Yamanaka.

On days when the weather conditions are good, Mt. Fuji standing in front of you is reflected on the surface of the lake. You can also enjoy the beautiful swans playing in the lake.

Ninja village near Lake Yamanaka

Oshino Shinobi no Sato is a hands-on ninja theme village. You can try your hand at the shuriken and the ninjutsu, or enjoy a show by a ninja group.

Inside the park, you can rent ninja costumes for both adults and children and take plenty of fun photos!

Sunset Wakeboarding

In Summer, you can enjoy plenty of water spots activities at Lake Yamanaka. One of the most famous activities is wakeboarding. You can also rent Stand-up Paddle Boards, go on a tube ride and even go fishing.

We recommend Hakutata Marine (website).

Here are our recommendations of best places to stay around Lake Yamanaka:

Best hotels in Lake Yamanaka

This hotel is perfectly located right by Lake Yamanaka and directly facing Mt. Fuji.

Hotel Mt. Fuji offers two separate onsen baths both with spectacular Fuji views. The rooms are spacious and the bed is comfortable. They also serve a great breakfast with Western options.


Best hotel in Yamanaka

The Fuji Marriott Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in the area. It’s absolutely gorgeous (although not directly by Lake Yamanaka). Here it’s all about comfort and being pampered during your trip to Lake Yamanaka.

Best hotel in Yamanaka

The Rakuten Stay Villa is the best option if you are traveling as a group. Up to 10 people can sleep comfortably in the villa. Which makes it one of the most affordable options for large groups! Besides the villa is absolutely stunning, modern, and clean!

Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan

Reach Yamanaka by bus

This the best option from Tokyo!

From Shinjuku (Busta Shinjuku station) take the highway bus all the way to Lake Yamanaka. Check the bus timetable and reserve your seat in advance here.

The journey takes 1h15min. Yup, it’s that easy to reach Yamanaka from Tokyo 🙂 Which makes it a perfect day trip destination.

Once you reach Yamanaka we recommend taking the Yamanaka sightseeing bus, which will stop at all the main attractions around the lake.

Getting to Yamanaka by car

You can easily reach Yamanaka by car from Tokyo. If you rent a car in Japan, we highly recommend Nippon-Rent-A-Car in Japan. We always use them, their service is top notch!

Private Transfer

Again, if you are a group of people, why not book a van with a private driver? This would be the easiest way to enjoy a visit to Lake Yamanaka. To book a car, check the information here.

Best things to see in Lake Yamanaka in Japan

Lake Yamanaka can be visited within a day. However, you can easily spend a night there, enjoy an onsen or do some water activities. So 1 or 2 days would be ideal.

One of the main reasons to visit Lake Yamanaka is to see Mount Fuji. Now, beware that Mount Fuji is very often covered by a thick cloud… sadly.

However, you will have more chances to see Mt. Fuji in Winter or in the colder days of Autumn and Spring. But you can also have beautiful clear days in summer. It’s just that the humidity will be higher and the chances of being cloudy higher too.


Best Things to see in Hakone: Mount Fuji

Hakone is one of the best places to visit in Japan. It’s a region with significant geothermal activity. There are therefore many onsen (Japanese hot springs).

Around Lake Ashi, you can also visit the famous and stunning Hakone Shrine, the Hakone Checkpoint and admire Mount Fuji of course!

A visit to Hakone is a must if your are in visiting in Japan. For people living in Tokyo, Hakone is also one of the best day trip or weekend trip from the capital



Lake Kawaguchi
Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchi is our favorite part of the Five Lake Region. Here is the view of Mount Fuji is simply breathtaking.

Besides, it is there that the famous Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine is located. One of the most famous spots in the whole of Japan (see our photo above)

From Lake Yamanaka, it takes about 30min by car and 1h40 by bus.


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