Mt. Fuji “Shibazakura” Flower Festival

If there is one thing that best represent  Japan’s natural beauty, it has to be the highest mountain- Mt. Fuji.   The 3,766m symmetrical cone shaped mountain has inspired poet and artist for decades, where it was often depicted with the top- half covered in snow.

My first visit to the mountain was last year, during the hiking season where the  picturesque snow-capped was gone.  I was a bit sad to see the mountain on its “ordinary” state, so I promised to myself that on one fine day, I shall return to Yamanashi prefecture, to see the mountain on all its glory.

To view the mountain requires exceptional timing and preferably “sunny, clear” weather condition. So, I was checking out the weather forecast almost everyday, as I don’t want to waste a 3 hours commute to the unpredictable spring season.

Last Sunday was just the right day that I was waiting for.  Early morning, I began my long train journey, hoping that the weather will stay good for the whole day.  Actually, the most economical and convenient way to reach Mt. Fuji area is not by train but by highway buses (Fujikyu or Keikyu). Unfortunately, I had some issue with my reservation, so I ended up taking the longer way. Nonetheless, the train ride is fine ( if you don’t mind transferring station) and the Fujikyu Railway to reach Kawaguchiko Station will definitely make kids happy seeing the Thomas & Friends decoration.

The purpose of my trip is not only to see the mountain but to check out one remarkable,  seasonal event – Shibazakura.  If you miss the cherry blossom season, then Shibazakura will make up for that. But if you managed to attend all the Hanami parties, consider visiting Shibazakura as icing on the cake.

The carpet of red, pink, white and lavender flowers covering 2.4 hectare of land is truly an amazing sight. The flowers are called Moss phlox, where the pink ones is commonly called as Shibazakura, which  translates to  ”lawn of cherry blossoms”,  since the beautiful petals are filling up the ground just like the Sakura tree.

What could be more post card perfect than seeing Mt. Fuji in harmony with the  fields of flowers. Nature at it’s best.

The expected seasonal delay causes some of the flower beds to remain unoccupied, thus, extending the event 7 days more from the original plan.

Be warned, this kind of flower viewing festival attracts many local tourist, so what was supposed to be a 35 minutes  bus ride from  Kawaguchiko station ended up to be a 2 hours ride.

With few hours left,   I decided to check out Lake Kawaguchiko, the most popular and oldest among the Five lakes created by the eruption of Mt. Fuji .

The area is relatively peaceful, with few tourist roaming around at the lake side and the nearby souvenir shops.  Several hotels are encircling the lake, offering both the view and onsen for non-staying guests.  As expected, the lake is spread out with several swan boats available for rent .

Before calling it a day, I took the Kachi Kachi Ropeway to reach the observation deck of Mt. Tenjo, to see the panoramic view of the lake and a closer look at Mt. Fuji.

The afternoon visibility was really poor; the clouds had covered the mountains. So, most of us settle to admiring the houses down below  and the roller coaster ride of Fuji Q highland from afar.

This kind of weather is not good for business too, since no one is opting to have their souvenir photo taken. Too bad, the camera set up is just on the perfect spot of Mt. Fuji in the background.

At the observation deck area,  a small shrine is located with on popular practice among visitors. You have to throw a coin inside the small, circular rope for your wishes to be granted.

Mt. Tenjo is said to be the setting of the folklore “Kachi Kachi Yama”, hence the ropeway ride name. The story is about  the rabbit getting his revenge from the thieving racoon by setting him on fire and drowning on the river.  Kid friendly, cute rabbit statues but a bit gruesome background story.

My mother has been asking me to bring home some Japanese wine and I heard from a collegue that Yamanashi wine , though not the top product of the region has excellent taste, on a very cheap price.  After buying 2 bottles, I decided to head back and start my long train commute.

See you Mt. Fuji on July’s hiking season.

About these ads

580 thoughts on “Mt. Fuji “Shibazakura” Flower Festival

  1. japan=my dream place

    i wanna share to you my travel experience in Maitum, a province in Philippines. I hope the you will read this, and please hit the comment box and tell me your opinions (the writing style, content, etc.). You are also free to share it at your site, reblog, or tweet it. here is the url. http://tourshereandthere.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/maitum-sarangani-the-two-day-trip-that-should-have-been-a-lifetime/.

    PS, you may follow me on twitter @kloydskii.

    A million thanks!

    • thank you :)
      there are several Shibazakura festival around Japan, but this by far is the most beautiful- with Mt. Fuji in the backdrop.

  2. It has been a longtime dream to climb Mt. Fuji. From what I’ve read and seen, it isn’t the highest or most challenging summit to reach, but something about it has always held this magical allure.

    I have never more so wanted to visit than after reading you’re post. Obviously I haven’t done my homework, because little did I know the region was so beautiful and amazing. And now I have another reason to go, and this time bring my wife along (she doesn’t climb mountains).

    It looks like you had an incredible experience. Thanks for sharing!!

    • me too. been planning to climb this coming hiking season.
      but, i will take the easiest trail obviously :)

      guess, you can bring your wife too. it doesn’t require well experienced hiker and from what i heard there is a vending machine on the summit :)
      see you there and thank you for reading my post..

  3. What breath taking, beautiful pictures! Amazing! Good commentary, too. Very interesting post, I enjoyed it and learned some things as well.
    This is a long shot, but I have to ask if there is anyway that you would consider giving me permission to use two or three of these pictures for a future post or two on my blog Rhyme N Review? I would give you full credit for them, of course. A few of these pictures would be just perfect scenery to go with some poetry. Please let me know if you would consider this.
    Thanks either way.
    God Bless,
    Donna

  4. This is the fantastic post I have seen of Japan. So beautifully captured, the serene , pretty carpet of flowers and Mt.Fuji.. Heavenly..

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Gorgeous. We were in Japan for month October 2010. These photos make me miss Japan. I hope that we will be able to travel there again soon. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This must have been spectacular to see in person! Those flowers look so fresh and serene, and the view of the mountain is breathtaking :) Thanks for sharing

  7. Wow, that looks like heaven — a pink version of the California poppy fields. Beautiful!

    • thanks Marina!
      so happy when I open my email and saw all the notifications. definitely, made my day :)

  8. Very beautiful! I have always wanted to visit Japan. Your photos make me want to now even more so. Thank you for sharing :-)

  9. Wow these are amazing photos! The pictures of mt Fuji with the fields of pink flowers are breathtaking so I can only imagine the experience must have been something even more spectacular to witness! Congrats on being freshly pressed and fantastic work!

  10. Absolutely stunning photos! I’ve always wanted to visit Japan and now it’s officially been moved up a few rungs on my ladder of priorities.

    Once again, simply breath-taking, my friend!

  11. These pictures are fantastic. Mt. Fuji has such an epic look to it. I’m planning a trip to Japan next year and can’t wait to see this all in person. You will have to post more about your hike on Mt. Fuji.
    On another note, when do you feel is the ideal time to visit Japan?

    • thanks!
      best time to visit Japan is quite difficult to answer:)
      i personally like Autumn (for temples with autumn foliage in the background) and Winter(for snow monkeys and flea markets), Spring is good (for flower festivals) but unpredictable weather.
      You should avoid Summer unless you like hiking- network-wide energy saving initiative by the government, so minimum air condition on trains and other public places.

  12. Gorgeous! :) I’m planning to go to Tokyo on October… is it still possible to climb Mt. Fuji at that time?

    • thanks :)
      as far as i know, the official climbing season is July-August, so October might be a bit late.
      your visit to Tokyo is perfect timing, good weather and peak of autumn foliage..

  13. Wow! As if the mountain isn’t spectacular enough, the flowers make an unbelievable statement! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  14. Absolutely stunning photos of a magnificent flower display. These blooms certainly add to the Mount Fuji experience. Thank you for sharing. Your long train ride was worth it.

  15. Stunning and joyful to see such magnificent colors. It makes one humble and think of the Master Painter of all these beauty.

  16. I just looove your snapshots! Especially the Thomas & Friends shinkansen. I would love to take my nephew on a train ride on that train, since he loves Thomas & Friends.

    • for sure your nephew will love it.
      i was so happy when i saw the train with Thomas & Friends decor.
      thanks :)

  17. Pingback: Mt. Fuji “Shibazakura” Flower Festival « Mannaismayaadventure's Blog

  18. This is fantastic. I once climbed up Mt Fuji halfway through (had to turn back as I had to catch the train), and it took my breath away. Words can’t describe its majestic beauty =)

  19. Amazing colors! Good to know that you were there on the right time. I hope to see Mt. Fuji and that carpet of vividly colored flowers soon.

    Same thing happened to me in Nepal Jol. I wanted to see the Himalayas in all its glory, with snow capped mountain peaks, but I was there o the wrong time. So I am planning my return. I hope to see it on my return just as your return to see Mt. Fuji’s snow capped peak :)

    More travels!!! ;)

  20. It’s a great post! I love how you captured all the cartoon characters and the culture of Japanese people. And congratulations for being freshly pressed! Beautiful post!

  21. so beautiful! and really great photos!
    And that rabbit is so lovely……………….

  22. See you in July then, since I will do my very first Mt. Fuji hike then. The plan is to walk up to the top, and maybe have some days at the lakes. Do you have any recommendations on what to see? (I might go back there in August too, since I’m currently living in Japan.)

    • See you there :)
      Common suggestion is to spend a night at Lake Kawaguchiko or one of the other five lakes, before or after hiking Mt. Fuji.
      Plenty of museums to check out and other nature trails.. you can check japan-guide.com.

  23. Gorgeous flower photos! I like the brightly painted trains and the idea of the coin toss at the shrine. Do you happen to know what the kanji symbol in black at the coin toss means? And congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • i really enjoy watching several people attempted the coin toss but didn’t see anyone succeed :)
      opps sorry, but no idea what the symbol means. thanks!

    • thank you Kato-san.
      hmm, that’s a tough question but i never thought about it until now.
      care to share your thoughts on this one? :)

  24. great pictures. I love how you captured the colors of Spring in Japan. went there autumn season i definitely will go back again for Spring.

  25. Wow! I can’t get over the amazing colours in your photographs!
    Mt. Fuji. is a amazing mountain….thanks for sharing.

  26. Wowwwwwwwwwwwww! What a mountain. How beautiful The flower is. I really amazed..

  27. Wonderful job capturing the color contrasts and natural breathtaking beauty. This is definitely an inspiration for more travel!

    • felt exactly the same when I saw the mountain and the flowers! travel more! thanks..

  28. Mt. Fuji mountain is so magnificent! I really wanna view it ?Japen is my fav country.

  29. Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is so beautiful, i thought you should see too..Mount Fuji at its best….. i just wanna go there…

  30. Wow, your photos are beautiful! I really must visit Shibazakura one day myself, definatly adding this to my bucket list. Thank you for posting

      • Sadly, my vacation time doesn’t line up with hers, so I’ll be in Japan a week after. But I’ll be paying a visit to Mt. Fuji. Don’t know if I’lll climb it yet though!

  31. fantastic shots! the shots of Mt Fuji and some of the flower shots are stunning. ive been to japan once n loved it, but never visited Mt Fuji..maybe next time! great work, cheers

  32. Posts like these are the reason why I want to spend some serious time in Japan to travel and see. People, Landscape, everything. Thanks so much for the wonderful impressions!

    • thanks..
      i never heard anyone so far who felt unsatisfied on their trip to Japan. you should really go for it :)

    • thank you!
      i have a feeling once i leave this country and scan my blog, I will miss Japan too :)

  33. Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing your experience so that those of us who haven’t made it to Japan yet can live vicariously through the images you’ve captured :)

    • thank you as well! i’m happy to receive such feedback from fellow bloggers :)

  34. I love so many things about these photos – the views, the scenery, the trains. I’m also delighted to realise that I have (I think) pink moss phlox in my garden!

  35. Nice photos – the flowers and the mountain. I’ve not yet been to Japan but will have to remedy that. The Fuji hike is a must!

  36. Wow, I literally gasped when I opened the post and saw that first photo. Thank goodness the weather cleared up and you were able to make it out there to take these incredible pictures. I can only imagine how beautiful it was in person. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  37. Awesome pics, we talked about the first woman to climb all the summits in the school news today. If it’s ok with you I might use your blog then next time the school morning news something interesting to talk about.

    • of course, you can use it for your school morning news..
      hope your classmates will like it.. thanks!

  38. Gorgeous photographs. I too saw Fuji san when bare, and one day hope to go back when he is covered with snow. You’ve now told me the perfect time to do this.

    • thanks as well! yeah, you have to go back to see the snow-capped beauty :)

  39. Oh wow, another reason to go to Japan! (as if I didn’t already have enough reasons to want to go there.)

  40. It’s great to begin a day reading this dreaming article and admiring these gorgeous pics! I really love Japan. Thanks for sharing with us all these beauties!

  41. Beautiful pictures~ And oh, the coincidence! I’m joining a group of international exchange students to climb Mt. Fuji in July as well~ I’m looking forward to it! :D

  42. This is just so AMAZING! I even thought that mountain was FAKE! I wish I attended this festival. too bad I’m in Thailand…. Anyway, great job taking those pictures!

  43. I really like your pictures. I even have one of them as my desktop wallpaper right now! Your blog is amazing. Any chance you could take a look at mine?

    • having the photo i have taken into someone’s wallpaper feels nice, so thank you!
      i saw your blog, did you do all those illustrations? you have a cheerful way of looking at things. keep it up :)

  44. That’s what I call pretty! And it’s a bonus when there aren’t many tourists around a spot like this one!

    • local tourists in Japan usually outnumber the foreigners, particularly on event like this.
      it can be inconvenient sometimes but fun as well. you are right, it is a “bonus” when there are few tourist only!
      thank you! btw, i love your bento meals! :)

      • Haha, thanks! I should post some more of them but lately I keep forgetting to post!

        It can be fun when it’s crowded because then you can watch people! But when I want to take pictures I don’t always want to have other people on it too!

  45. Wonderful nature !! I had no idea it could be so beautiful there, thanks a lot.

  46. This was so much fun to see your photos, read your descriptions and “take the tour” with you of the Mt. Fuji area! I’ve always dreamed of visiting Japan someday. This may be as close as I ever get. I never would have known about the flower festival without your post, Thank you!
    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed ;)

    • i am happy that i was able to take you on a tour thru this blog post :)
      thank you for your inspiring words!

  47. Wow, what a lucky day for a beautiful view! I’ve still never seen Mt. Fuji, as it was covered by clouds the whole time I was there last August!

    • you should come back. it’s no fun to see without the snow-capped top .
      thank you for liking and your comment! :)

  48. WOW, just WOW! Your pictures (and your story) made me so excited about my trip to Mt. Fuji a few months from now. Thanks for this post! :)

  49. Wow thanks a lot for sharing with us. I love your shots. Wish i am thereW

  50. That looks like quite the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Always been interested in going to Japan, but never yet made it. This looks like the time to choose for a visit!

    • yeah, Spring is the best season to view Mt. Fuji and enjoy Sakura and Hanami..
      thank you!

  51. I had no idea that periwinkles feature so prominently there! The sense of symmetry and proportion in Japan is so wonderful; I really miss it. Happy travels! -’tarotworldtour.wordpress.com’

  52. Wow! Thanks for sharing the story and pictures. I fell in love with Mt. Fuji on my visit in fall 2005. I stayed at Yamanakako. The weather was very nice and autumn leaves were colorful. I’m glad to see this writing, reminds me of that beautiful memory :-)

  53. Beautiful! I love Japan–beautiful country with wonderful people. I had a great experience there once and would love to go back.

  54. Wow, what a spiritual place. Reminds me of the type of pictures I like to use in my blog.
    Glad I was able to visit this place today, even if through the internet.

  55. Best part about blogs is being able to comment . . . Great, great photos and post. Tell me, was your return to Mt. Fuiji all you expected? Planning another return?

    • thank you very much, Deborah!
      my expectation was far exceeded when i saw the Mt. Fuji on such condition. absolutely amazing!
      planning to climb (hope i can make it) by July together with the thousand Japanese who rank this activity as no.1 summer to do list :)

  56. The phlox with the mountains in the background is indeed a picture perfect postcard!!
    Beautiful shots.

  57. Amazing! Animals at the observation deck and a cartoon-y train are so Japanese :) I love this culture and I really hope to visit Japan soon.

    Also, that gruesome rabbit story you mentioned reminds me of the Mashimaru character. He’s really cute but he has this negative story behind him…ahhh, the eccentric Japanese. I love it!!!!

  58. so nice a pick for the freshly pressed. else the world would have missed this. i am happy to have come across some great photographs. thanks wordpress for bringing the world closer :)

  59. My friends went but I could not go and their photos did not compare to yours!! Just gorgeous! Will have to be sure to go next year!

    • thank you very much!
      bit of a challenge taking photograph that day, with loads of tourist vying for the perfect frame, but over-all it was fun! :)

  60. Great shots! We don’t have lavender flowers in Kanazawa–I’d love to see them in person. Looks like you have a great clear day for seeing Mt. Fuji, too.

  61. Thanks for taking me along through your journey.
    Loved seeing what you saw through your lens!
    LOVED THE PHLOX! WOW and with snow covered mountain in the background PERFECT!
    I will never go there, so I am so happy you did and shared!

  62. OMG, you have to appreciate the scenery over their. It’s so colorful unlike the usual bland look i get over here in N.Y. The mountain seems heavenly and the fields of grass are extraordinary. I could sit back and just get lost in that kind of setting 4 real. But all in due time i know ill be taking a trip over there someday -,o

    http://wp.me/2aAA8

    • thanks!
      by the way, i saw your latest post on NY and the pictures are amazing in a very NY way..
      we should trade places even for month. what do you think? :)

      • Lol, only if that was a possibility but I’m glad you able to appreciate N.Y.as i try to do. Are you from Mt.Fuji cause i thought you were just visiting like i plan on doing sometime. New York is everything you would expect though just to give you a heads up ;)

  63. Sugoi! Absolutely beautiful photographs! :D I am visiting Japan and Mt. Fuji in a week and this has really excited me more about my trip. Thanks for an awesome beginning to my morning! :3

    • Youkoso!
      for sure you will have a great time here.. so excited for you!
      thank you :)

  64. The contrast between the purple of the flowers and the white of the snow capped mountain is breathtaking! Beautiful! It makesme miss studying abroad in yamanashi ken

    • thank you !
      visiting Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu areas made me appreciate Japan even more :)

  65. Wow, your photos are beautiful! I’ve never been to Japan, but your post makes me want to change that. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Gorgeous post! I climbed Fuji-san in 2007 and it has to be one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done :) head torches and climbing gear is a must!!! 頑張ってね.:)

  67. Fantastic photo’s thank you for sharing. They bring back some fond memories, I spent a couple of days there in 2010 whilst on a month long tour. The Fuji Q highland park is definitley worth a visit the rollercoasters are insane.

    • thanks!
      you are very brave to take the rollercoaster ride, looks fun and scary :)

  68. Wonderful! I regret not seeing this and not even knowing about this when I was in Japan. I guess this gives me another reason to visit Japan again. Awesome pictures and of course, the Thomas trains couldn’t be any more cuter. I’m kids love them. :)

  69. Congrats on being freshly pressed! More importantly, glad you managed to catch Mt Fuji and Shibazakura flower festival at the perfect time… the weather is always so unpredictable! :)

    • thank you again! the view of Mt.Fuji and moss phlox is spectacular, all i needed to do is click :)

    • Hi P, thank you for your comments!
      i have to agree with you, the photo of the bridge is one of my favorite too, very vintage, very artsy.
      thanks again :)

  70. Pingback: Before Magnificent Mount Fuji Volcano Erupts…[46 PICS]

  71. Wow! I was researching for my trip to Japan in May next year & found this. Could you tell me where the shibazakura field picture was taken? Was it at the northern shore of Kawaguchiko or somewhere else in the area? I’d appreciate any tips you have…I’m thinking of using the Fuji Hakone Pass that also covers Kawaguchiko.

    • Hi Hani,
      Apologies for the very late reply.
      To reach the Shibazakura field, you need to take the bus outside Kawaguchiko station that will take you to the event directly. \There is an information desk at the same station as well and you can ask for further info.
      Fuji Hakone Pass is a good option but b informed that it does not cover the bus ride cost.
      I always recommend the JR Kanto Area Pass to cover more places. You can visit the JR east website for more info.

      Thanks!

  72. Thanks a bunch orchid. I almost thought that I had to join some sort of special tour or something. Glad to know I can go DIY. Hopefully they’ll be in full bloom when I go. Thanks again :)

  73. hello, lifetorest… happy new year! wishing you all the best for 2013… :) btw, this really is one of your amazing posts. i so love the 1st pic as well as the 15th and the 16th – too lovely! btw, i might do a post about my fave photography sites one of these days. yours will be there, ahaha. i hope you won’t mind. :) warm regards… :) ~ San

  74. Pingback: battle of perceptions, war of the senses « 35andupcynicismonhold

  75. Exceptional beautiful post.Thank you for visiting my website.Greetings. Jalal

  76. Pingback: Hermosa vista del Monte Fuji en Japón | Nistido.com

Comments are closed.