Finding souvenirs you won't regret in “Oshinohakkai,” a very popular spot in the Mt. Fuji and Yamanaka-ko Lake area
Speaking of sightseeing in Japan, they are Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and you can't miss Mt. Fuji. There are various tourist attractions in the Mt. Fuji area. Among them, we went to Oshinohakkai springs this time, which is famous for its high transparency.
I'm sure many of you know already, but Oshinohakkai is the name of eight ponds of spring water, which was designated as Japan's natural treasure, and is also a part of Mt. Fuji, a UNESCO World Heritage. The view of Mt. Fuji from Oshinohakkai is called “Oshino Fuji,” which is one of the great spots to take pictures of the mountain. When I visited the area with my family, I saw many tourists avidly taking pictures of the far away Mt. Fuji with their smart phones. I was one of them, of course.
We were definitely going to see the eight ponds, but we also visited some of the shops in Oshino-mura Village. There were various items, from odango (dumpling) and fruit to traditional artifacts of Yamanashi. When we were walking around with a map in one hand to decide which pond to see next, I found just the right shop I wanted to go to.
It was “Oshinohakkai Oshinofuji,” a shop specializing in Mt. Fuji. As its name suggests, I heard that the shop sold items exclusively related to Mt. Fuji. The shop is regularly crammed with more than 300 items that use the mountain as a motif.
The inside of the shop is like this. Every one of them is Mt. Fuji, LOL. We wanted to look for a Mt. Fuji souvenir since we came all the way to this place, but there were so many, it was difficult to find just the right one. Then, someone started talking to us…
Oshinohakkai Oshinofuji 's manager, Mr. Nishikawa's souvenir recommendations
This is the shop's manager. He showed us a fan, saying it's a popular item. The fan above and the fan below are actually the same fan. When it's warmer, the color changes, and the picture of the reflection of Mt. Fuji on the lake, in purple, appears.
After Mr. Nishikawa showed us his recommended souvenirs, I looked at each one to decide carefully if I really wanted them. That's when I saw this. It's a maneki-neko (beckoning cat) sitting on top of Mt. Fuji. The cat is stretching its paw to the sky. This is so cute! It may not be something practical, but I felt that if I had it in my room, it would make me smile every time I see it. I may also have good fortune, too, since it's supposed to bring good luck.
I heard that this type of maneki-neko is also popular among foreign tourists who come to travel Japan. Unrelated to Mt. Fuji, but I guess maneki-neko has some kind of attraction to it. They said that this was pottery made in China, and the painting was done in Kyoto. Oshinohakkai has tourists from various places. If someone bought this, it would mean the maneki-neko born in China will go to Kyoto, then to Mt. Fuji, and then travel elsewhere. Kind of a grand story, isn't it?
Another one I thought I'd want was this Mt. Fuji nabe (pot). You can use it in different ways, such as, like a regular earthen pot and have stew during winter, or you may want to use it as a Tajine pot and make steamed dishes. There is a hole in the top of the mountain, so when you boil something in it, the steam comes out of the hole, like an eruption. If you use it at a house party, I'm sure it will become the center of attention. They come in two sizes. The large one is for a family, and the small one must be for about two people. It seems to be excellent in both function and design, and wanted to use it at least once.
There were many items I couldn't show you, such as a gold colored nail clipper with a picture of Aka Fuji (red Fuji) using makie (gold lacquer) technique, and a model of Mt. Fuji made from pure gold, in a glass case. Here, you may find just the right Mt. Fuji souvenir for yourself.
●257, Oshinomurashibokusa, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture
*credit cards not accepted
●Using trains and buses:
From Shinjuku Station, use the JR Chuo Line and get off at Otsuki Station (takes about 90 minutes). Then, from Otsuki Station, use the Fujikyuko Otsuki Line and get off at Fuji-san Station (about 50 minutes). Next, from Fuji-san Station, use a bus (regular route bus) bound for Uchino, and get off at the “Oshinohakkai Iriguchi (entrance)” bust stop.
Using a highway-bus:From Shinjuku Station, get on the “Chuo Kosoku Bus” bound for “Fuji Goko,” and get off at “Oshinohakkai” bus stop.
Using an automobile: it is located approximately 20 minutes from the Kawaguchi-ko Interchange.
*The above information was last updated February 10, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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