Are you ready to enter paradise?
Don’t worry, it’s easier than you probably think. Paradise is located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
I’m talking about the yearly Fuji Shibazakura Festival!
Trust me, once you’ve seen some photos, you definitely don’t want to miss this!
What exactly is the Fuji Shibazakura Festival?
The Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜祭) is a yearly flower festival near Mt. Fuji (Yamanashi Prefecture – map) where you can enjoy “shibazakura” (芝桜, pink moss or phlox moss) in various colors.
It’s not the only festival nor the only region where you can enjoy a sight like that, but it’s the ONLY one that features Mt. Fuji in the background!
It’s located about 3 km from Lake Motosuko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes.
There are five different types of shibazakura: McDaniel’s Cushion, Scarlet Flame, Autumn Rose, Tama-no-nagare (shown in the photo above) and Little Dot. All together around 800.000 shibazakura are blooming there.
When is the Fuji Shibazakura Festival?
The festival is usually held for about 1,5 months from mid-April to early June.
The dates change every year, so make sure to check the official website.
In 2018 the festival will be held from April 14 – May 27 (8:00 – 17:00, entrance fee: 600 yen).
When’s the best time to visit, you ask?
I wouldn’t go in the first few or last few days because the flowers most likely won’t be in full bloom.
I also would avoid weekends and “Golden Week” (end of April – first few days of May) as it’s extremely crowded and just getting there will take much longer than usually.
How do I get there?
You can go there by car, but most people use the shuttle bus service operating from Kawaguchiko Station (河口湖駅).
Here’s the shuttle bus timetable (in Japanese). The ride will take about 50 minutes.
A regular bus (路線バス) also runs from Fujisan Station (富士山駅) to the festival location (富士芝桜まつり会場).
What else is there to do / see?
Honestly I think the breathtaking view of the various shades of pink with Mt. Fuji in the background is more than enough to make you want to visit!
But there are other things you can enjoy. For example, there’s a “Panorama footbath“. Soak your feet in hot water while enjoying one of the most beautiful sceneries in Japan.
Of course, you can purchase shibazakura-themed souvenirs. There are also a lot of food stands where you can buy lunch while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
I couldn’t resist and bought water just because I loved the label so much.
Towards the opposite side of the festival ground is a small observatory from where you get a GREAT overview of almost the whole area.
It’s not too far from the foot bath I mentioned earlier, so that’s pretty much the view you’d get while soaking your feet.
Will I be able to see Mt. Fuji?
Well, Japan’s highest mountain can be quite shy at times and nobody really can predict the weather. I’ve been near Mt. Fuji on sunny days and yet the view was so bad that I couldn’t see it. If you’re really worried, then try either early morning or – especially if you’re coming from far away – have a look at one of the various Fuji area live cameras to check for visibility on the morning of your departure. That’s exactly what I did. As you can see there were still a few clouds, but you need to be super lucky to get a clear view without any clouds. Good luck!