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).
You can either get to Kawaguchiko Station by train or by highway bus (from Shinjuku).
More details on how to access the area can be found here.
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!
Definitely on my to-do list. Which is too long for words.
You won’t regret it! ;)
And in your case it’s just a matter of time anyway. :D
I definitely want to go there this year, hopefully the weather will be fine.
The travel time from Tokyo is quite long and I’ve heard that the weather and light conditions can change a lot during the day. I’m a bit worried that we check the webcam in the morning and once we finally get there it is all cloudy. May I ask at which time of the day you got there and took those fantastic pictures?
In another blog entry you also mentioned that you visited Chureito Pagoda afterwards. Did you take the train there or would rental bikes be the preferred way for getting around?
Well, that’s the tricky thing about it.
And it happened to me quite a few times that I checked the live cam in the morning but by the time I arrived Mt. Fuji was nowhere to be seen.
Unfortunately there’s always a little risk, but it’s still better than not trying at all. ;)
I left Tokyo in the early morning and arrived at the festival ground around 11:30 a.m. where I stayed until roughly 2 p.m.
Yes, that’s right. I went to the Chureito Pagoda afterwards. The train from Kawaguchiko Station doesn’t take very long. The nearest train station is Shimo-Yoshida and is about 5.5 km from Kawaguchiko Station. I assume you could go by bicycle, but I’ve never tried it. The train is fast and cheap, though. :)
Thanks for the quick reply! I guess we will try our luck with the live cam then :)
Also, thanks for all your great travel reports and photos!
You are very welcome. :)
Good luck! ^___^
hi, i would like to ask something. is there restaurants nearby SHIBAZAKURA? DOES THE GOTEMBA OUTLET NEAR OR FAR?
Does it have to be a restaurant or is anything where you can eat food alright?
If so, then they’re selling really good food at the festival itself. :)
If not, then look around Kawaguchiko Station. It’s much easier if you have your own vehicle, a lot more choices, especially near the beautiful Fuji lakes.
Gotemba is on the other side of Mt. Fuji in a different prefecture (Shizuoka Prefecture). It’s not super far, but it might be very difficult to visit it on the same day, especially if you have to go back to Tokyo.
omg.. i can only be there on 5th Jun!!!! The official site says till 31st May. Does it mean they will take this down after 31st May?
Hi, may I ask if the shuttle service from kawagichiko station is free?
As far as I can remember it’s not free, but you can purchase a “set ticket” including the bus fare (round trip) and the entrance fee to the location. :)
Oh oh so beautiful. It’s in my list too.i also hear there are a lot of b-1 grandprix food stalls here….
I wish i was as lucky as you are and could see fuji-san too
I wouldn’t consider that as lucky compared to how many times I’ve actually been to Shizuoka and Yamanashi where I COULDN’T see Mt. Fuji at all. ;)
I suppose my “success rate” is about 20% in that regard. *g*
I will be visiting Japan from the 2nd-15th of April this year. I am devastated I will miss out on seeing these amazing flowers! I was just wondering if you can access the park before the actual festival dates and if there will be anything to actually see? I would LOVE to see these amazing fields.
Of course you can visit the park nevertheless.
Asking about whether flowers will be in bloom is something nobody will be able to answer. I’ve had years where I was there at the right time – and yet nothing was in bloom yet or it was already over. Usually it starts towards the end of April. Can’t see the future, so don’t know what will happen this year. But if it’s not in full bloom it won’t be THAT impressive. ;)
I suggest looking at social media a few days before you go there to see if anybody has been there and posted photos. That’s the best way to see the current state. Sometimes there are also daily photo updates on the official website.
Hi! Thank you so much for this informative post!! I will be visiting the Kawaguchiko region from 4/14-15, staying overnight at Kozantei Ubuya on 4/14. Is it easy to get around to see the 5 lakes region, cherry blossoms, and the shibasakura park on our own (non-japanese speakers) or do you think we should hire a guide/driver for a half day excursion to the sites around the area? Since we have limited time in the area, I am wondering if it would be worth it to hire a guide, or if the sites are easy to access using public transit/finding our way ourselves? If you recommend hiring a guide and/or driver, do you have any recommendations on who to contact? Thank you!!
You definitely don’t need a guide, but it might be difficult to access all the lakes without your own vehicle. Even I haven’t been to all 5 lakes yet, simply because I had no rental car when I visited. You can access most of the lakes by public transportation, but it’s very inconvenient. For the Kawaguchiko region itself, it’s not a problem at all, though. :)
Hi!I my friends and I are visiting on the 3rd week of May.
But we want to visit Lake Yamanakako on our first day using Fujikko bus, overnight somewhere, then go to Fuji Shibazakura festival the following day.
Have you ever used the Fujikko Enjoy Ticket? Do you know if we can get the bus from Shinjuku to Yamanakako, then going back through Kawaguchiko to Shinjuku? I read that it’s a round-trip bus from Kawaguchiko or Yamankako, but I’m not sure if we can have different destinations?
I’m sorry, but this is the first time I hear about the Fujikko Enjoy Ticket, so I have no idea what you can do with it and what not. :(
I hope you can figure it out. Have you tried to google it?
We only will travel to Japan on 5th June so can only visit Fuji Shibazakura Festival on 6th June due to my niece examination. Is it possible to enter the place after the festival end on 29th May broadcasted in 2016 on 6th June? Thank you.
I do think it’s an open space, so you probably can go there anytime, but the question is how much sense it makes to go then.
I doubt the flowers will still be in full bloom by that time. :)
I have a general question. I want to spend two evenings enjoying Shibuzakura at Mt.Fuji, where do you suggest we stay? Should we stay at lake Motoshu or one of the other lakes. Even if the flowers aren’t in bloom, we want to be able to enjoy Mt. Fuji. What plan will allow us to do both?
If you have a rental car, then you’re free to choose whichever lake you like.
However, if you have to rely on public transportation, then Lake Kawaguchi(ko) is your best bet.
There are also some great views of Mt. Fuji you can enjoy from there. There’s also a ropeway heading up to a smaller mountain from where you can enjoy Mt. Fuji as well.
Is it possible to store luggage anywhere when going to the festival? I am thinking of going by the direct bus from Tokyo.
I want to say Kawaguchiko Station.
You’ll need to change buses there anyway, but if I remember correctly they don’t have that many coin lockers there.
I haven’t paid attention if they offered any luggage storage at the actual location.