Enjoying a Beautiful View of Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture’s Fujiyoshida – Arakurayama Sengen Park
If you walk about 10 minutes from the Fujikyuko Line’s Shimoyoshida Station, in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, then climb 398 steps, you will reach Arakurayama Sengen Park, a must-visit location. This is an admission-free park giving where you can enjoy a fine view of Mount Fuji and commanding a panoramic view of Fujiyoshida.
Visiting Arakurayama Sengen Park
Story of the Park’s Name
The park is located on the side of Arakurayama, and Fuji Sengen Shrine, a popular shrine for the residents of Yamanashi Prefecture to visit for hatsumode (the first shrine visit of the new year), stands inside the park. Thanks to these two locations, the park was given the name of Arakurayama Sengen Park.
Arakurayama Sengen Park is also home to another famous building: Chureito Pagoda. The pagoda, built in 1962, is about 19.5 meters high, and the photos of Mount Fuji taken there convey the breathtaking beauty of Mount Fuji. Quite a few Japanese postcards and magazine covers are printed with the picturesque scenes of Chureito Pagoda, Mount Fuji, and either cherry blossoms or snow.
Mount Fuji, Cherry Blossoms, and Chureito Pagoda (Five-Storied Pagoda)
Around 650 cherry trees (primarily Yoshino cherry trees) grow in Arakurayama Sengen Park. They normally bloom between early and mid-April.
During the cherry blossom season, the combined beauty of Chureito Pagoda, Mt. Fuji, and flowering cherry blossoms can all be captured in one picture from Arakurayama Sengen Park’s observation deck.
Visitors can see Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, and the Chureito Pagoda all in one visit to the park, so supposedly many foreign tourists visit to enjoy the beauty of Japan.
Video on Mt. Fuji’s Cherry Blossom Season (Chureito Pagoda)
Video on Wondrous Snowy Cherry Blossoms
If you visit the park on a snowy day in the winter, you may be lucky enough to see the wondrous “snowy cherry blossoms.”
398 Stone Steps: “Sakuya-Hime”
398 stone steps, with a total length of around 200 meters, lead up to the Chureito Pagoda from Fuji Sengen Shrine.
You must make the climb up these steps to reach the spectacular panoramic view of Mt. Fuji.
The stairs have the lovely name “Sakuya-hime,” given by the locals.
※ Sakuya-hime refers to Konohanasakuya-hime (literally meaning “cherry tree blossom blooming princess”), the goddess of cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and Mount Fuji.
Even though when I visited was not a holiday, there were quite a few tourists. If you get tired while walking up the steps, you can turn around to look at Mt. Fuji in the distance. Thinking of the beauty that awaits you at the summit will energize you once again!
I took a seat on a bench as I enjoyed the view of Mt. Fuji. The temperature was around 3 °C when I visited, and the wind was blowing hard. Fortunately, it was a sunny day, so the beautiful Mount Fuji came clearly into view.
Praying at Fuji Sengen Shrine, a Popular Place of Worship for the Residents of Yamanashi Prefecture
Fuji Sengen Shrine is a popular hatsumode (first shrine visit of the year) destination for residents of Yamanashi Prefecture. As visitors to the shrine can not only enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji and the five-storied pagoda but also participate in worship completely for free, I highly recommend that foreign tourists pay a visit to Fuji Sengen Shrine.
Additionally, the shrine also hosts Arakurayama Sengen Park’s annual cherry blossom festival. This year’s cherry blossom festival will be held between April 17th and April 22th.
Arakurayama Sengen Park’s Cherry Blossom Festival
2019 Cherry Blossom Festival
- April 10th to April 14th, 2019
- Arakurayama Sengen Park
Basic Information on Arakurayama Sengen Park
Arakurayama Sengen Park, a View of Mt. Fuji and Panorama of Fujiyoshida
- 3353-1, Arakura, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture
- Roughly a 10-minutes’ walk from Shimoyoshida Station off the Fujikyuko Line
- Sunrise to sunset
- 0555-21-1000 (in Japanese only)