It's Hanami season in Japan, my favorite time of year. People across the globe flock across Japan to experience the blooming of the cherry blossoms that awash the island in a sea of flower petals. It is an incredibly relaxing experience to walk (or hike) through the lakes and mountains and experience this brief moment of the year where the air is filled with the sweet smell of sakura (cherry blossoms). The lakes around Mt. Fuji are popular locations for people to get away from the city and enjoy hanami season. Hakone is probably the most popular but there are many many more places around the island.
But first, I have a confession. Despite working in the region and in Japan for years, it took some friends from San Francisco to get me out of the grey walls of my office and out into nature. My first hanami season was only a few years ago in Kyoto, it was awesome chillaxing under the cherry trees in Maruyama Park. We enjoyed BBQ and beers as a shower of flower petals swirled around us. It was like being in a Studio Ghibli film. So each year, I make an effort to pop over to Japan to destress, take account of my life and enjoy nature.
Across Japan this year, cherry blossoms bloomed 2-3 weeks early. So many people were dishearted to miss it in Kyoto or even in Kyoto. Fear not. The Fuji-goko, as the Fuji Five Lakes Region is known as, is cooler so the blossoms are in mid-bloom as this article goes out to you.
Renting a car or bike is easy. Ride to Kawaguchiko Station, there are a number places within walking distance of the station. Driving about is easy peasy.
The lakes themselves are gorgeous and they all have incredible views of Mt. Fuji. This dormant volcano is large enough that you can see it on the horizon from Tokyo. We'll talk about the food and places to eat in a separate article. In the meantime, enjoy this video we made for you!
Kent is a management consultant who has spent years traveling for work. His refuge is looking for the perfect meal so that he can reproduce it at home with his wife and friends.