Gotemba is a friendly city in Shizuoka Prefecture well known for its outlet mall and stunning views of Mount Fuji. It’s easily accessible by highway bus from Shibuya or Tokyo stations in under two hours, making it a great place for an overnight trip or a stop on the way to the Fuji Five Lakes.
Gotemba Premium Outlets
One of the main things Gotemba is famous for is the Gotemba Premium Outlets. The mall has around 300 stores and restaurants, as well as a hotel and onsen (public bath) with views of the mountain. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a Ferris wheel to take in the view at a leisurely pace.
Gotemba Premium Outlets is a very popular shopping spot, so there are often long lines of cars on the road waiting to get in, particularly on public holidays. Make sure to allow extra time for your shopping trip.
Another great thing about Gotemba is its easy access to Mount Fuji and the gorgeous mountain views that can be found all over the city. Driving around, you’ll find plenty of places to stop for a scenic photo.
In Gotemba you’ll also find various small shrines and temples. Next to Gotemba is Susuno, the neighboring city home to the Fuji Safari Park. The safari park allows you to enter with your own car or by on-site bus and has a separate area to explore on foot.
If you’re looking to climb the mountain or get a little closer, Gotemba is also home to the Gotemba 5th Station, one of the entrances to the Mount Fuji hiking trails. You can reach the 5th station by car, which is 50% of the way up the mountain in terms of height and you can either stop there to take pictures or start your hiking journey. Make sure you are fully prepared for the hike, as it is not suitable for complete beginners.
As for food, Gotemba is famous for handmade soba, a buckwheat noodle usually served with soup. The wider area of Shizuoka is also famous for its juicy hambaagu (Hamburger Steaks) served at the Shizuoka-exclusive chain restaurant Sawayaka. Look out for these tasty spots on your Gotemba trip, or bring back some soba noodles to try at home.