Series: Yamanaka-ko Lake / Oshino Hakkai Springs, the wonders of winter
Japan's symbol has always been Mt. Fuji. It is especially beautiful during wintertime. The best sightseeing spots are Yamanaka-ko Lake, the nearest lake from Mt. Fuji, and also Oshino Hakkai Springs, whose water is from Mt. Fuji. We would like to introduce you to the winter charms of Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai springs.
Yamanaka-ko Lake is the nearest lake from Mt. Fuji
There is an area quite near Mt. Fuji, which is called Yamanaka-ko Village of Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture, with an altitude of 1,000 meters and spreads in gentle undulating hills. In the center is one of the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji, Yamanaka-ko Lake. Its size, altitude of the lake surface, and the depth of the water are the most prominent among the five lakes. Among other reasons, the lake has many spots that you can get a great view, and is a popular resort area with 4,000,000 tourists each year.
“Yamanakako Tourist Association”
“Yamanakako Village Tourism Division Official Site”
The source of water of “Oshino Hakkai Springs” is from Mt. Fuji
The “Oshino Hakkai springs” is made up of eight spring water ponds receiving water from Mt. Fuji's underground water reservoir. “Oshino Hakkai springs” is made up of Waku-ike Pond, Deguchi-ike Pond, Okama-ike Pond, Nigori-ike Pond, Kagami-ike Pond, Shobu-ike Pond, Sokonashi-ike Pond and Choshi-ike Pond, and is natural treasure, and has been chosen one of One Hundred Exquisite Waters of Japan.
It is located in Oshino-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture where they have a beautiful rural landscape, and in 2013, it was recognized as part of an asset of Mt. Fuji which was registered as a World Heritage Site.
“Oshino-mura Village Sightseeing Association”
“Wintertime in Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai Springs" are the mystical nature Mt. Fuji shows you
Both Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai Springs are popular tourist spots regardless of the season, but they have particular highlights that are seen only during wintertime. It has to do with the mysterious view of Mt. Fuji that can be seen from Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai Springs.
This phenomenon of Mt. Fuji's top shining like a diamond in the moments of the rising or setting of the sun is called “Diamond Fuji.” It is not something you can see from any place you can get a view of Mt. Fuji.
Yamanaka-ko Panorama Dai Observatory on February 23rd and 24th, and Asahigaoka Kohan Ryokuchi Park are spots where the Diamond Fuji can be seen as part of the “100 Best Views of Mt. Fuji in the Kanto region," which are 100 views designated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as great areas to view the mountain.
●Beni Fuji (red Fuji)
“Beni Fuji” is a view when the snow-covered slopes of Mt. Fuji shine in a red hue in the morning and at dusk during midwinter. Photographers and fans of picturesque sceneries, say that “Beni Fuji” seen from Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai Springs is one of the most beautiful views of Mt. Fuji.
●Rime and rime of trees
When cooled fog or droplets of cloud collide with trees or objects on the ground, instantaneously creating ice layers that freeze and adhere are called rime or rime of trees. During wintertime, hot water of Oshino Onsen (hot spring flows into “Shikinomori Oshino Park” and “around Oshino Onsen,” easily creating fog, so you can often see this phenomenon.
Not only Beni Fuji and rime, but Mt. Fuji, Yamanaka-ko Lake, and Oshino Hakkai Springs during wintertime are full of natural wonders. Enjoy the unique panoramic views of winter.
“100 Best Views of Mt. Fuji in the Kanto region”
(Kanto Regional Development Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
“Activities and Gourmet"—smelt fishing and astronomic observation during wintertime
The No. 1 popular activity during wintertime in Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai Springs must be smelt fishing.
The best season for smelt fishing at Yamanaka-ko Lake is said to be until March, and fishing in the dome ship, which is heated is especially recommended.
You can enjoy smelt fishing without feeling cold in this dome ship with a roof, casting your line through the open floor in front of your seat.
“WAKASAGI FISHING BOO”
●508, Hirano, Yamanaka-ko mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture
Winter is a great time to do some astronomical observation when the stars are beautiful, and areas surrounding Yamanaka-ko Lake are just the places to that, because of the high altitude and few lights in the city. “Yamanaka-ko Panorama Dai,” located on the prefectural road between Yamanaka-ko Lake and Mikuni Toge is very popular as an astronomical observation spot.
Furthermore, until March 31, at a lodging facility “PICA Yamanaka Lake Village,” they have plans where you can stay at auberges or cottages and enjoy meals while looking at the stars. You can rent telescopes and binoculars necessary for astronomical observations, the staff can guide you on the stars you will be looking at, and many other privileges, so this is a must-try for those who love to do astronomical observations.
“PICA Yamanaka Lake Village”
●506-296, Hirano, Yamanaka-ko mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture
Temperatures in this area during winter is sub-zero, so if you want to have fun indoors, “Fuji Yusui no Sato Suizokukan,” an aquarium specializing in freshwater fish located in Oshino Mura's “Sakana Koen (fish park)” is highly recommended.
This place is also called “Mori no naka no Suizokukan (an aquarium within a forest).” You can feel as if you are underwater in a forest because the water tank is installed so that the inside of the outer pond can be seen through the glass.
“Mori no naka no Suizokukan / Fuji Yusui no Sato Suizokukan”
●Inside Sakana Koen, 3098-1, Shibokusa, Oshino-mura, Minamitsuru-gun Yamanashi Prefecture
Further, we highly recommend “Hoto,” a Yamanashi specialty during this cold season
There are many restaurants in the Yamanaka-ko Lake and Oshino Hakkai Springs area that serve “Hoto,” which is thickly cut noodles made from kneaded flour, simmered in miso soup with vegetables. “Koshu Hoto Kosaku Yamanaka-ko store” is popular for its Hoto that includes pumpkin that has a great sweet taste.
“Koshu Hoto Kosaku Yamanaka-ko store”
●234, Yamanaka, Yamanaka-ko mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture
Photos provided by
・Yamanakako Tourist Association
・Yamanakako Film Commission
・Oshino Village Sightseeing Association
*The above information was last updated January 28, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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