Lake Kawaguchi, Yamanashi Prefecture – A hot spring with picturesque views of the autumn leaves and Mt. Fuji!
※Photographed on November 3, 2015. These photos can be used as a reference for this year.
I stayed at SHUHOUKAKU KOGETSU hotel & hot springs, which is located beside Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi Prefecture, to explore the areas surrounding Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka. I checked in to room 502 in the evening and went straight to the balcony to take in the exquisite view. It was a bit cloudy, but Mt. Fuji was there, standing boldly across the lake’s sparkling waters.
I requested a room where I could see the momiji, or Japanese maple, tunnel from my balcony. The famous autumn leaves viewing spot which features a momiji tunnel is only a short walk away from the hotel—it was one of the main reasons I picked it! Since it was so close, I went once during the evening, and then again at night to see the leaves lit up.
Without delay, I headed for the momiji tunnel. I knew beforehand that mid-November was the peak viewing season, but the contrast between the yellow and red leaves was magical too.
With the night lights. Compared to the daytime, it was surprisingly chilly after sundown. And for taking photos of the lights a tripod was a must!
At dusk. Clouds were blocking Mt. Fuji, but it peeked out from behind them long enough for me to snap a few pictures. The brightly coloured leaves in front were a nice touch.
Under the momiji tunnel I was surrounded mostly by green, but there were some accents of red and yellow, too. I could only imagine how sensational it must be once all the leaves have changed to a vibrant red. I guess mid-November really would have been the ideal time to visit. Oddly enough, the trees surrounding Lake Yamanaka, which I visited the following day, peak between late October and early November. There was a time difference of at least a week between Lake Kawaguchi’s and Lake Yamanaka’s autumn leaves!
I ended up at the ITCHIKU KUBOTA ART MUSEUM at the end of the momiji tunnel and decided to check it out.
It was unexpectedly spacious inside with a small, charming waterfall to boot. I’m sure the garden is just stunning once all the leaves start to change.
On my way back to the hotel I passed through the momiji tunnel once more. I was happy to see that there were a tonne of tourists absorbed in photographing the beautiful natural scenery of Japan.
After dinner, I went back to the momiji tunnel. It was simply breathtaking at night.
I wondered if it’d be sunny the next morning.
I rose early the following morning, at 6:50 a.m. to be exact, and opened my curtains to see… a double Mt. Fuji! The sky was clear, and the mountain’s reflection could be seen on the water’s surface. Looking carefully, I noticed the multi-coloured leaves surrounding Mt. Fuji’s base. It was a view I could have gazed at for an eternity, one that reminded me of the beauty of my country, Japan.
This was a morning bath I couldn't pass up! The open-air hot springs on the first floor also had a stunning view of Mt. Fuji.
The hot springs' water was beautiful and transparent, but it was the picturesque scenery that was the most invigorating part of the experience. Incidentally, there's bottomless beer available at the bath reception until 7 p.m.!
This photo was taken at the edge of the bath. The lake was spread out right before me, with another double Mt. Fuji reflected on its clear waters. Mt. Fuji, pine trees, and a still lake... it was a quintessential Japanese landscape! I was overtaken by both pride and joy.
Whether you can get a clear view of Mt. Fuji or not is up to fate. Next time I hope to visit during the peak viewing season though.
Photographed on: November 3, 2015