Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 hotels with best views and easiest access to Mount Fuji

Long considered a sacred home to ancient spirits and a source of great power, Fuji-san, as Mount Fuji is known to locals, is a nearly perfectly symmetrical cone that rises gently out of the surrounding plain. For centuries artists have been reproducing its distinctive shape in every medium imaginable, a practice that boomed when Edo – now Tokyo, and only 100km away – was named the capital in 1600. Indeed, most people are probably familiar with the 19th-century woodblock print titled The Great Wave off Kanagawa, part of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series by famed artist Katsushika Hokusai. The print shows a massive wave towering over several small boats, with Mount Fuji standing silently far in the background.

As one of the world’s most geologically active countries, it’s not surprising to learn that Fuji-san is actually a still-active volcano, with sixteen eruptions since 781. The most recent was in 1707, and some geologists believe that another eruption will happen sooner rather than later. The mountain is also a sacred site for followers of the Shinto religion, and visitors will spot dozens of shrines honoring Konohanasakuya, the spirit of the mountain, whose symbol is a cherry blossom. Indeed, it was its status as a sacred site that led to women being banned from walking on Mount Fuji until 1872!

Today, the mountain’s silhouette is instantly recognizable around the world, and it remains the most popular attraction in the country, with heavy crowds 52 weeks a year. Some come simply to take a few pictures while those more adventurous will make the trek to the summit, a task best attempted in summer unless you’re a professional mountaineer.

Fuji-san is often shrouded in mist, and clear, cloud-free days are valued for the views they afford. To help make the most of these days, Agoda.com has provided ten hotels that are perfectly situated to offer the best views and easiest access to Japan’s most famous natural feature.

Fuji Onsenji Yumedono Ryokan

Fuji Onsenji Yumedono Ryokan is a nice, quiet, and comfortable hotel  which provide private/public onsen and is accessible to Mount Fuji with buses.

"A typical Japanese style inn with good service. The location is not easy to find and there is no clear sign that can be seen on the road. In addition, there is no scene inside the room. That is, we cannot see Mount Fuji or the lake! Anyhow, it is a good place to take rest and have a good spa during the stay."

Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan

Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan offers a superb view of Mount Fuji with great Japanese dinner and breakfast and not forgetting the excellent staff attention to detail and service.

"The view was very great and the suite was large. Staff are friendly although not all of them speak English. Food was good too. Would be better to have full WiFi coverage but I think that's fine. Highly recommended."

Mizu no Hotel

Mizu no Hotel has a romantic and good view of Mount Fuji (see the photo on the left from a guest room), a hot spring bath, nice food, nice service and nice rooms. A little expensive but worth it.

"Good hotel with wonderful location, the stuff can speak good English and willing to help with any problems. The hot spring is good but a big small. Food there is fanatic especially breakfast. Its a artistic hotel. The only thing is the room looks old. But the view you can see from the room is wonderful."

Guesthouse Sakuya

Guesthouse Sakuya has this classic Mt. Fuji view behind blossoming cherry trees and offers a 1uiet environment and fresh air.

"We spent a very nice stay in the Sakuya guesthouse. It is very quiet (perfect after few days spent in Tokyo), located in the mountain (10 min driving from the bus station), possibilty to arrange a pick up at the station for free, nice trails around the hostel. Private onsen with direct view on the Fuji. Nice food and staff. We recommend for a quick break."

Fujimien Hotel 3*
Customers say: “Taking the hot spring is a wonderful experience at this hotel as it allows you see the awesome view of mountains including Mt Fuji. The dinner and breakfast are delicious and sufficient. Staff are exceedingly helpful and approachable.” – Tan, Singapore

Kinokuniya Yusenkan 4*
Customers say: This hotel has a nice ryokan feel, hot springs and fantastic meals. The bedroom was very comfy as well.” – Tong, Malaysia

Hakone Elecasa Hotel & Spa 4.5*
Hotel says: From this hotel, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

Hakone Yunohana Onsen Hotel 4*
Hotel says: For sightseeing options and local attractions, one need not look far as the hotel is close to Yunohanasawa Onsen, Mt. Hakone, and Senjo Waterfall. The Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed train station is close by, and Odawara Station is 40 minutes by taxi.

Sea Grande Shimizu Station Hotel 3*
Customers say: “The hotel is only 5 minutes away from Shimizu Station. When we entered the room we were surprised to see such a huge space!” – Lydia, USA

Daisenya Hotel 3*
Hotel says: All rooms are facing Mt. Fuji, where guests can readily enjoy the beautiful views of Japan's most famous natural landmark. Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this great hotel in Izu.

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