Resort Hot Spots: Fuji Five Lakes, Yamanashi

 

Life in the shadow of Mt. Fuji

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Located less than two hours from Tokyo, the Fuji Five Lakes area has long been a favorite place for weekend homes and people looking for a laid back rural lifestyle within easy access of downtown. Golfing, horseback riding, tennis and excellent hiking can be enjoyed in the area and the lakes provide swimming, sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing and canoeing. Numerous onsen dot the area and summer music festivals draw some big names.

Although the best ski resorts are found further north, the Fuji-ten Ski Area is good for families and beginners. The most popular lake areas are Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka with the many museums, cafes and shops. Lake Saiko is a little quieter and popular area for ex-pat’s weekend retreats. While land prices have risen in other resort areas, land and home prices have stayed comparatively low here, yet the Five Lakes area is currently undergoing a mini-renaissance, so prices are beginning to rise although there are still deals to be had. Because the lakes are within commuting distance to Tokyo, a growing number of home buyers are moving to the area for a slower lifestyle to work from home or commute into the city a few days a week.

 

Access: It is a 1.5 hour drive to the Five Lakes region from Tokyo on the Chuo Expressway. The Keio Highway bus runs hourly from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko (1 hour and 40 minutes, ¥1700 one-way). By train, the Chuo Line runs to Otsuki where you transfer to the Fuji-Q Line to Kawaguchiko.

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