Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 28 : May/June 2009  > Columns  >  Guest House Teatime


Guest House Teatime


Waking up to the sound of the wind blowing in the trees, you stretch and squint towards the window as sun rays burst through inviting you out into the crisp morning air. As you stroll along the lake the reflection of Mt. Fuji is broken by the ripples of a fish surfacing for a morning snack.  Ten minutes later your legs are loosened up just as you reach a trail head and decide to have a short run in the forest before heading back to the lodge for breakfast.

This may sound like a pipedream if you are sitting in a cubicle in Nihonbashi on Friday evening. But if you walk down to Tokyo station after work and jump on a bus, ¥1,700 later you’ll be a stone’s throw from the lake you were daydreaming about and this could be your Saturday morning.

Guest House teatime is located on Lake Yamanaka, the most eastern of the Mt. Fuji five lakes. Surrounded by thick forest, with great views of Mt. Fuji, the family-run guest house is the perfect place for people who enjoy relaxing as much as they like activity on their holiday. The lake is just a five-minute walk and there is a hiking trail is just a ten-minute walk from the lodge. Guests can explore the area themselves or take a guided tour with owner Takeo Asakawa. He leads tours around the lake, up Mt. Fuji and even to some shrines in nearby Fujiyoshida that feature 1,000 year old trees. Mr. Asakawa is grew up in the Izu Peninsula but spent many years in Hokkaido as ski patrol before opening Teatime ten years ago.

He recommends visiting in early July when the air is cool, the skies are clear and climbing season has just begun so the trails aren’t too busy. “There’s something special about sitting at the lodge in the evening with the wind blowing through the poplar trees,” he says.

A BBQ in the beautiful garden is also a treat. Having a few drinks and testing your balance on the bouldering wall is always entertaining he adds. Guests can play on the wall anytime or rent a bicycle for ¥500. And if you just can’t totally escape work entirely, Wi-Fi is available.

Access: (Car) Once your reach Lake Yamanaka, turn left and continue around the lake for 3.5 kilometers until you reach sign Number 34. Turn left and the lodge is 300 meters up the road.

(Bus) Perhaps the easiest way to get there is the direct bus service from the Yaesu Exit of Tokyo Stn. to Hotel Mt. Fuji Mae Bus Stop (¥1,700). Its also forty minutes by bus from Gotemba Stn. (JR Gotemba Line) to the Hotel Mt. Fuji Mae Bus Stop. Pick up service is available from the bus top by request.

Guest House Teatime
Tel: (0555) 62-1858
Skype: gh-teatime
Web: http://gh-teatime.com