Saiko Lake, one of the Fuji Five Lakes, is a location that still isn’t very touristy, making it rich with abundant and beautiful nature. Which is why I recommend it as a great place to enjoy the wilderness that lives at the foot of Mount Fuji!
In this article, I’ll introduce you to some spots around Saiko Lake that can be enjoyed by nature lovers of any age!
Saiko Lake, enjoy outdoor activities and famous views of Fuji
Referred to as the Maiden Lake, Saiko Lake is a quiet and mysterious area surrounded by Aogakihara Jukkai, a forest known as the sea of trees. The west shore of the lake, called Nenba Hama, is famous for offering great views of Mount Fuji. In fact, the view of Fuji from across the lake and Aogakihara was chosen by the locals as one of the “8 Picturesque Views of Fuji”, and it’s a magnificent sight
However, that’s not the only good thing about Saiko Lake. With fishing, camping, canoeing and more, it’s a place where you can really enjoy the outdoors. Particularly, it’s famous as a fishing spot for sockeye salmon, which can only be found in cold and clean bodies of water.
At night under a starry sky, the sight of Mount Fuji and the area illuminated by the light of the moon is also very special! How about experiencing for yourself the slow sense of time that comes from being out in the middle of nature.
- Kawaguchiko Station to Saiko, Aogakihara Retro Tour Bus: Get off at Nenbajo stop
- Nanbahama: Free parking area
- Fishing: Fees and prohibited periods
The quiet, nostalgic scenery of Iyashi No Sato
Against the backdrop of the Misakayama Mountains sits a collection of thatched roof homes in the peaceful and nostalgic Iyashi No Sato. The area recreates a beautiful thatch-roof village that existed in the Nenba area which was cherished by locals. From Sato, one can see the magnificent Mount Fuji across thatch roof houses, making this another spot that was chosen as one of the eight great views of Fuji.
Every building has exhibitions and/or workshops where you can experience local traditions, crafts, culture, as well as purchase goods for sale, giving each house something unique to look forward to. Speaking of which, you should really check out the 3,776 traditional dolls (sarubobo) strung up together in the shape of Mount Fuji at one of the homes! If you’re looking for a souvenir, the Oishitsumugi facial beauty puffs that have been featured on TV are a very popular item.
More than being just where you can enjoy beautiful scenery, it’s also a relaxing place where you can feel the warmth of the people of Sato.
- Entrance Fee: Adults 350 JPY, Children 150 JPY, group discounts available (discount tickets on website)
- Kawaguchiko Station to Saiko, Aogakihara Retro Tour Bus: 300m from Iyashi No Sato Nenba Stop
- Free parking area
Saiko Wild Bird's Park, encounter the beauty of Jukkai and wild birds
Numerous wild birds call this area home, making it perfect for bird watching! The park is surrounded by the dense Jukkai forest, and with bird feeding stations placed all around you’ll surely be able to spot some interesting birds. If it’s a nice day, you’ll be treated to a good view of Mount Fuji. Depending on the season, the gorgeous surrounding scenery can change completely.
Take a deep, relaxing breath and listen to the soft chirping of wild birds.
- Kawaguchiko Station to Saiko, Aogakihara Retro Tour Bus: Get off at Saiko Yacho No Mori Koen stop
- Free parking area
Home of the Dragon King: Ryugu Doketsu (Seno Umi Shrine)
Ryugu Doketsu (Seno Umi Shrine) is a 96m deep lava cave which enshrines the water god Tyotamahime no mikoto and is also a designated natural monument (entrance into the cave not permitted).
Seno Umi was a large lake that existed in ancient times and it is said that when Mount Fuji erupted, the lake was divided by lava into Motosuko, Shojiko, and Saiko Lakes. There is a legend that a dragon god lives in the cave, and in the old days during times of drought, the local villagers would pray to it for rain. It’s also known as a sacred ground for the Mount Fuji pilgrimage trail, and it’s famous among Power Spot enthusiasts!
Also, every year on August 2nd, there is a festival held at Saiko Lake’s Ryugu Shrine.
- Kawaguchiko Staion to Saiko, Aogakihara Retro Tour Bus: Get off at Ryugu Doketsu Iriguchi stop
- No free parking area, however there are spaces along the forest road
Explore the lava cave, Saiko Bat Cave
Saiko Bat Cave is a lava cave that extends more than 350 meters and is said to be the largest cave at the base of Mount Fuji.
Though the low ceiling of the cave means that you have to wear a helmet when you go in, unlike other caves it’s not chilly inside. Since it’s even warm in the winter, it’s a hibernation spot for scientifically studied bats and is a designated natural monument.
Inside the cave, the rope-like markings of where lava flowed and even the water level of the ancient Seno Umi Lake are visible, demonstrating the impressive power of nature! You’ll appreciate energy of the earth, firsthand It’s great to go exploring here and also good fun for kids.
- Entrance Period: Mar. 20th – Nov. 30th
- Entrance Fee: Adults 300 JPY, Children 150 JPY, group discounts available
- Kawaguchiko Staion to Saiko, Aogakihara Retro Tour Bus: Get off at Saiko Komori Ana stop
- Free parking area
Saiko Lake isn’t as touristy as some destinations, so though it may lack the convenience of more traveled areas, that’s also what makes it a great place to truly appreciate the natural world. The area has a walking path (Jukkai Yuhodo), so I recommend visiting these spots as you enjoy a peaceful stroll through Jukkai forest.
Try for yourself, come relax in the beautiful nature at the foot of Mount Fuji.
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