Travel Around Japan (Day #6) :  Enjoying The View of Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko 

*I  wrote this post in two languages. Scroll down after the English version if you want to read this post in Bahasa Indonesia .* 

On the sixth day in Japan, we had to move from Kyoto to Kawaguchiko. This was an unusual route because it took about 4-5 hours and very tiring. Most tourists would reach Kawaguchiko from Tokyo. Just because we’re on tight schedule, we had to take this long journey .
Our shinkansen departed from JR Kyoto Station at 06.23 am with the final destinantion was Kawaguchiko Station. We might change train three times. Kyoto Station toShin-Yokohama (via Shinkansen Hikari) to Hachioji Sta (via JR Yokohama Line) to Otsuki Sta (via Limited Express Kaiji) to Kawaguchiko (via Fujikyu Railway). There’s another option to go to Kawaguchiko area by using overnight bus from Kyoto Station. The bus will depart at 10.00 pm or 11.00 pm and will arrive at Kawaguchiko at 05.00 am or 06.00 am. It’s a good choice too if you traveller with tight budget. You don’t need to stay at the hotel if you take the overnight bus. If your starting point is Tokyo, well there is another option beside train, it’s called highland bus which departs from Shinjuku Station, Tokyo Station, and Shibuya Station. The last option (it’s the most favorite route among the tourists), take the train to JR Otsuki Station, and then change to Fujikyu Railway (private railway) to Kawaguchiko Station. 

Train Route from Kyoto to Kawaguchiko
 

Many people just made it one day tour at Kawaguchiko. But, enjoying Kawaguchiko area, in my opinion, needs more than one day. It’s strongly recommended to stay at least one night here. The best way to expolre Kawaguchiko area is by using Retro Red Line Bus (one day pass or two days pass). This bus will take you to the most famous place in Kawaguchiko. You’ll be free to get out or get in at the places you want. 

Here’ the Red Line Retro route :

  1. Kawaguchiko Station 
  2. Town Office Ent 
  3. Yagisaki Park  
  4. Fujinoyado Ohashi  
  5. Kawaguchiko Herb Hall 
  6. Yamanashi Gem Museum 
  7. Funatsuhama Onsen Town 
  8. Sightseeing Boat / Mt. Tenjo Ropeway
  9. Azagawa Onsen Town 
  10. View Point of Sakasa Fuji 
  11. Kozantei Ubuya 
  12. Kawaguchiko Museum of Art 
  13. Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
  14. Monkey Show  
  15. Itchiku Kubota Art Museum 
  16. Kawaguchiko Shizen Seikatsu.

Not every place in Kawaguchiko is worth to visit. One of the best place to see Mountain Fuji is by going to the top of Mountain Tenjo. Don’t worry, you don’t have to hike to reach the top, you can go there by using Kachi-Kachi Ropeway. If you don’t take Retro Red Line, Kachi-kachi Ropeway is just ± 800 meters walking distance from Kawaguchiko Station. On April 2016, the entrance fee was valued at 800 JPY. If you wish to take the boay tour to enjoy the view of Kawaguchiko Lake, Sightseeing Boat’s (also known as Pleasure Boat) pier is lain just next to Kachi-Kachi Ropeway. From the boat, Mountain Fuji could be seen clearly too. 

Mountain Fuji View from Kachi-Kachi Ropeway
 

It was in the late afternoon between 04.00 pm – 05.00 pm and it was the best time to enjoy the wind blows at the bank of Kawaguchiko Lake. Not far from Pleasure Boat’s pier, we found reef where local people did fishing around there. There were also some seats on the reef. That place was relatively not crowded because other tourists still rushed to visit another spots in Kawaguchiko. 

Danau Kawaguchiko
 

It seemed peaceful when we spent time sitting on the reef  and really enjoyed the beatiful view of Lake Kawaguchiko. In the middle of spring season (around the middle of April), if you walk from the reef I talked about before to Kawaguchiko Hotel, you will find many Sakura trees there. That view was really amazing. Let the pictures below tell. 
 
For your information, the activities at Kawaguchiko area would stop at 07.00 pm. But there were 7/11 and Lawson which open 24/7. It was 06.00 pm when we got back to the hotel and we decided to buy dinner at 7/11. Right before entering our hotel, we went to the souvenir shop near the hotel (just in front of Kawaguchiko Station). I was interested to buy fridge magnets with My. Fuji theme on it for family and collegues. The price was normal, not to expensive nor too cheap. It was valued at JPY 580 for one set of four pieces fridge magnets. 
When we were still excited to buy souvenirs, the shop owner rushed to close the store. Many stores were closed at that area. We didn’t meet any local residents on the street, just tourists still walked on the road. We went back to hotel to rest and drink sake. The beauty of that place was dragged to our dreams. Ah, what a beautif day. 

Hari keenam berlibur ke Jepang merupakan hari di mana saya dan suami harus berpindah dari Kyoto ke area Kawaguchiko Lake. Memang rute yang panjang dan cukup melelahkan (kebanyakan wisatawan akan menjangkau Kawaguchiko Lake melalui Tokyo), namun karena waktu liburan yang sangat mepet maka kami pun harus menempuh perjalanan panjang ini. 

Kami berangkat dari Kyoto Station jam 06.23 am menuju Kawaguchiko Sta dengan tiga kali transfer kereta dan total perjalanan kurang lebih 5 jam. Kyoto Station Shin-Yokohama (via Shinkansen Hikari) ke Hachioji Sta (via JR Yokohama Line) ke Otsuki Sta (via Limited Express Kaiji) ke Kawaguchiko (via Fujikyu Railway). Ada pilihan transportasi lain selain kereta, yaitu bus malam atau overnight bus. Jadi bus ini akan berangkat malam hari sekitar jam 10.00 pm atau 11.00 pm dan akan tiba di Kawaguchiko jam 05.00 am atau 06.00 am. Boleh dicoba apabila ingin lebih menghemat budget, jadi Anda tidak perlu membayar biaya penginapan bila menggunakan overnight bus ini. Bila Anda berangkat dari Tokyo, ada highland bus yang berangkat dari Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, dan lain-lain. Anda juga bisa naik kereta dari Tokyo menuju JR Otsuki Station. Setelah itu, disambung dengan Fujikyu Railway (private railway) ke Kawaguchiko Station. 

Banyak wisatawan yang hanya melakukan tur satu hari di Kawaguchiko. Namun, sebenarnya menikmati keindahan area Kawaguchiko tidak cukup hanya satu hari. Sangat disarankan untuk menginap setidaknya satu malam di sini. Cara terbaik untuk mengeksplor area Kawaguchiko adalah dengan membeli tiket terusan Retro Red Line Bus ( 1 day pass or 2 pass). Bus ini akan mengantar Anda ke tempat-tempat wisata terkenal di Kawaguchiko. Anda bebas naik dan turun di halte-halte yang dilewati Retro Red Line Bus.

Berikut rute Retro Red Line Bus :

  1. Kawaguchiko Station 
  2. Town Office Ent 
  3. Yagisaki Park  
  4. Fujinoyado Ohashi  
  5. Kawaguchiko Herb Hall 
  6. Yamanashi Gem Museum 
  7. Funatsuhama Onsen Town 
  8. Sightseeing Boat / Mt. Tenjo Ropeway
  9. Azagawa Onsen Town 
  10. View Point of Sakasa Fuji 
  11. Kozantei Ubuya 
  12. Kawaguchiko Museum of Art 
  13. Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
  14. Monkey Show  
  15. Itchiku Kubota Art Museum 
  16. Kawaguchiko Shizen Seikatsu

Namun, tidak semua tempat wisata di Kawaguchiko perlu dikunjungi. Salah satu tempat dengan pemandangan Gunung Fuji terbaik adalah dengan naik ke Mt. Tenjo melalui Kachi-Kachi Ropeway yang bisa ditempuh dengan jalan kaki ± 800 meter dari Kawaguchiko Station. Harga masuk Kachi-Kachi Ropeway pada April 2016 adalah JPY 800 per orang. Berdekatan dengan dengan Kachi-Kachi Ropeway terdapat pier Sight Seeing Boat atau disebut juga Pleasure Boat. Dengan menaiki boat ini, wisatawan akan dibawa ke seberang Danau Kawaguchiko agar bisa melihat pemandangan Gunung Fuji.  

Menjelang sore hari antara pukul 04.00 pm – 05.00 pm adalah waktu yang tepat untuk bersantai menikmati semilir angin di tepi Danau Kawaguchiko. Di tepi Danau Kawaguchiko yang dekat dengan pier Pleasure Boat, Anda akan menemukan karang yang menjorok ke danau. Di atasnya terdapat beberapa tempat duduk. Tempat itu relatif sepi pada saat itu karena wisatawan lainnya masih sibuk dengan hopping tempat wisata di area Kawaguchiko.  

Damai rasanya ketika kita meluangkan waktu dengan duduk di tepi danau dan benar-benar menikmati keindahan danau. Pada waktu musim semi di pertengahan April, bila Anda berjalan ke arah Lake Kawaguchiko Hotel (tak jauh dari karang yang menjorok ke danau tadi), Anda akan menemukan jalan yang salah satu sisinya ditanami banyak pohon Sakura. Pemandangan di tempat itu sungguh sangat menakjubkan.

Perlu diketahui, aktivitas di area ini berhenti di pukul 07.00 pm. Namun, ada 7/11 dan Lawson yang buka 24 jam. Kami kembali ke hotel sekitar jam 06.00 pm. Kami sempatkan untuk membeli makan malam di 7/11. Sesaat sebelum memasuki hotel, kami tertarik untuk mampir ke toko oleh-oleh yang persis berada di depan Kawaguchiko Station. Saya tertarik membeli magnet kulkas bertema Mt. Fuji untuk oleh-oleh bagi rekan kerja dan keluarga. Harganya so-so, tidak bisa dibilang murah maupun mahal, sekitar JPY 580 untuk satu set magnet berisi empat pieces.

Saat kami selesai membeli oleh-oleh berupa suvenir dan makanan kecil, toko-toko di sekitar daerah itu sudah tutup. Keadaan pun menjadi sunyi senyap, nyaris tidak lagi dijumpai penduduk lokal di jalanan, hanya beberapa turis yang masih mondar-mandir. Kami pun kembali ke hotel untuk menikmati makan malam sambil minum sake. Keindahan tempat itu terbawa hingga mimpi kami di dalam tidur. Ah, what a beautiful day.

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