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Photo By: iStock/GoranQ
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kofu
Population
888,170

Oshino Hakkai

Located nearby Mount Fuji, Oshino Hakkai is a traditional village that is a designated World Heritage Site.

By Abhijit Sen

Situated in Yamanashi Prefecture, Oshino Hakkai is a popular tourist destination near the base of Mount Fuji.

It’s a small area that features traditional village houses, shops and watermills set against a spectacular backdrop of Japan’s most famous mountain.

The Origin of Oshino Hakkai

Photo by: iStock/ Mizuyuki If you’re lucky, you’ll see Mount Fuji in the near distance.

The name Oshino Hakkai means eight seas of Oshino, referring to the eight ponds located in the Fuji Five Lake region. Many years ago, an eruption created a sixth lake at the northeastern foot of Mount Fuji, which gradually dried up. Still, these eight ponds remain and are filled with crystal-clear water filtered through several porous layers of lava stone.

All these ponds have their characteristics, and some examples can be seen from their names such as deguchi ike which means exit pond and it is at the end of the village, or kagami ike which means mirror pond. The most interesting thing is that it also shows the reflection of Mount Fuji upside down.

A Place of Worship

Photo by: iStock/ khwanchais Clear spring water from Mount Fuji itself.

The spring water of these ponds has been used by local people for drinking, agriculture, and other domestic purposes since ancient times. Oshino Hakkai is also associated with the worship of Mount Fuji.

In the old days, Fuji-ko (a Japanese religious group that climbed Mount Fuji occasionally as a part of their activity) practitioners would come here to purify themselves in the ponds before climbing Mount Fuji. But later, that ritual gradually declined.

Local Flavor

Photo by: iStock/ kimberrywood Rice cake, anyone?

A day is enough to explore the village on foot. Expect to come across restaurants serving local delicacies like oshino soba (buckwheat noodles), kusa mochi (herb mochi), osenbei (Japanese rice cracker) and souvenir shops that are well stocked with one-of-a-kind mementos.

In the heart of the village, drop by Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, where you can enjoy exhibits of old farming tools and samurai weapons. Like the museum, all the houses here are built with traditional thatched roofs that still retain a rustic atmosphere.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

The Oshino Hakkai village has no entrance fee and can be entered at any time of the day. But for Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, the opening hour is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the entrance fee is ¥300.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The beauty of Oshino Hakkai is best enjoyed during cherry blossom season in spring and in winter.

During wintertime, a natural phenomenon called “Diamond Fuji” can be seen from here. It is basically the rising or setting sun that perfectly aligns with the peak of Mount Fuji and it looks like a diamond placed at the mountain’s summit. 

How To Get There

Address

By train

Access from Kofu station 

From Shinjuku take the JR Chuo Line limited express train for Otsuki station and then by Fuji Kyuko line to reach Kawaguchiko.

From Shin Osaka station take the Shinkansen to Shin-Fuji station and then take the bus for Kawaguchiko.

Very frequent bus service is available from Kawaguchiko to Oshino Hakkai.

By bus

The village can be reached in less than two hours by express bus from Shinjuku station.

Where To Stay

Yamanakako Pension Pause
  • 865-148 Yamanaka, Minamitsuru-gun Yamanakako-mura, Yamanashi, 401-0501 Japan
  • ¥12,350 - ¥13,870
  • 5/5 (164 reviews)
  • 3.4 km
Hotel Mt. Fuji
  • 1360-83 Yamanaka, Minamitsuru-gun Yamanakako-mura, Yamanashi, 401-0501 Japan
  • ¥16,435 - ¥17,100
  • 4.28/5 (1,138 reviews)
  • 3.5 km
Fujisan Station Hotel
  • 2-7-12 Matsuyama, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi, 403-0016 Japan
  • ¥8,800 - ¥8,800
  • 3.92/5 (381 reviews)
  • 4.4 km
Rakuten Stay x Will Style Fujiyoshida Matsuyama
  • 5-1-2 Matsuyama, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi, 403-0016 Japan
  • ¥28,500 - ¥29,640
  • 4.5/5 (21 reviews)
  • 4.9 km
Yamanakako Fujimatsu Onsen Fuji Matsuzono Hotel
  • 195 Yamanaka, Minamitsuru-gun Yamanakako-mura, Yamanashi, 401-0501 Japan
  • ¥8,250 - ¥10,450
  • 4.14/5 (215 reviews)
  • 4.9 km

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