Heading to Fuji-Kawaguchiko? If you’re not just visiting Kawaguchiko as a day trip from Tokyo, there are 100-over hotels that you can stay overnight at in Kawaguchiko. My family and I chose to stay at Fuji View Hotel for 3 nights!
Lake Kawaguchi is one of the 5 lakes surrounding Mount Fuji, so whether you stay at this hotel or not, as long as Mount Fuji is visible during your visit, you’ll still see the beautiful mountain at Kawaguchiko. This is a review from my personal experience!
Fuji View Hotel –
A hotel that gives you… views of Mount Fuji
Yep. If you’ve been blessed by the weather gods for your trip to Kawaguchiko, Fuji View Hotel is a good option for your stay. You’ll spot Mount Fuji from Kawaguchiko Station to the hotel, from the hotel lobby/entrance, from your room if you’d chosen the mountain-facing option, at the hotel restaurant during breakfast, and all the time, actually.
I’m embarrassed to mention that I don’t have a photo of the hotel facade, oops.
Traditional ryokan rooms in a ‘modern’ hotel setting
No doubt, Fuji View Hotel is an old hotel, built in the 1930s. Fun fact: John Lennon stayed here before! In 1985, the hotel underwent massive renovation, so I’m pretty sure a lot of the furniture dates back to the 80s. It’s a charming setting actually – no-fuss, old-school and lovely.
Fuji View Hotel offers a selection of Japanese-style (ryokan) rooms as well as Western-style (modern) rooms, either facing Mount Fuji or Lake Kawaguchi which you can choose. Which is great, if you prefer the usual beds instead of sleeping on futons. My family chose the Japanese-style option.
Here’s my ryokan room at Fuji View Hotel!
The ryokan room’s main light can be switched between white light, orange and dimmed too. There’s a little seating area with sofa seats, and a fridge, hot-water flask, coffee and tea etc. We can step out to the balcony, but there was a little signage telling us to keep the glass doors closed so that bugs won’t fly in.
At that time, Mount Fuji was totally blocked by clouds, which cleared away very quickly.
The toilet (with Japanese bidet toilet!) is separated from the bathroom, so that the toilet is always kept dry.
| Check prices for Fuji View Hotel! |
Fuji View Hotel also has a Panorama Lounge at level 6, which essentially consists of 2 rooms at each end of the hotel, with 270-degree views at the windows, so even if you chose a room that doesn’t face the mountain, you can always head upstairs and enjoy the scenery and Fuji View Hotel’s 100,000m² of garden.
Out comes the futons
As per usual Japanese ryokan hotel arrangements, on your first night, the chambermaid will turn your ryokan into the bedroom by laying out the futons. You don’t have to do it on your own, but do take note not to keep the futons the next morning. Just leave the room as it is.
As my Mum & I both brought a large suitcase each, I carried them to the little seating area, so that we can have them laid open. If we’d brought smaller suitcases, they’ll be able to fit at the doorway and we would enjoy that area even more.
Old-school furniture & gadgets
The telephone in my room doesn’t work. Since my sister’s room was just next door, we didn’t have to call between rooms – just knock on the door! I also loved that the room keys are not cards, but keys and little wooden blocks, which we leave with the reception when we head out.
At the hotel lobby, the furniture was obviously old, but still in pristine condition.
Mornings & breakfast
You might have seen this on my Instagram Stories. This was the 2nd morning that I woke up to, a bright and sunny day in Kawaguchiko! With a splendid view of the mountain! The weather was so awesome that morning; my Mum was doing her morning exercise at the sitting area, with the glass door open despite the cold (autumn in December).
Mornings like this make me feel super blessed and grateful.
I didn’t bring my camera every morning to breakfast, so here are 2 iPhone shots of my breakfast on different days. As you can see, I really liked the steamed egg & dumplings very much. Though breakfast wasn’t full kaiseki style, it’s still a good variety of Japanese and Western options, buffet style. There’s miso soup, corn soup (very good!) or minestrone soup depending on what’s for the day, an omelette station, Japanese fish dishes and more steamed dishes, pancakes, the usual bread and cereal, sausages, potato wedges, and plenty of tea flavours, juices, milk, coffee.
Dining areas face either Mount Fuji or Lake Kawaguchi. Breakfast was always very enjoyable for my family and I at this hotel!
Fuji View Hotel has some restaurants that serve dinner, but we decided to walk out for about 5-10min for dinner at nearby restaurants. In autumn, the sky is dark before 6pm, and the road that leads to the main road has no lights. The hotel provides torchlights at the lobby which you can borrow to lit the way.
Onsen at Fuji View Hotel!
Similar to the first onsen experience I had in Kyoto at Yumotokan onsen ryokan, my ryokan room here has a few sets of yukata already prepared for us. My nephew conveniently grabbed the only Small yukata and put it on. But it’s alright – a quick phone-call and the chambermaid brought another clean yukata to me right away.
A stay at Fuji View Hotel includes access to its hotspring pools at the basement. separated by gender. For each gender, there’s an indoor onsen, another smaller onsen with jacuzzi (I loved it!), and a small outdoor pool. The onsen at Fuji View Hotel, rather ironically, doesn’t have much of a view. Neither can you see Mount Fuji from here. In fact, you can actually hear conversations from the other gender’s pool at the other side of the wall. I’d earlier made a code of coughing sounds to let my nephews know I’m there too, and we could actually chat if we want, ha! (But we didn’t chat as there were other people using the onsen too.)
| Read my Guide to Using Onsen in Japan! |
On my first night at the hotel, I went alone to the onsen after dinner. Having tired eyes, I was wearing specs instead of contact-lens, but wow, it didn’t turn out to be a regret, even when opening the door to the onsen area brought about my spectacles totally steaming up with fog from the heat, lol. So of course, I went back to leave my specs in my personal basket.
So why didn’t I regret not having clear vision that evening?
Because, at the outdoor onsen, 3 ladies were at the onsen – 2 of them seated out (upper body above water) of the onsen instead of being inside that onsen, casually dipping their hands into the hot pool and dripping it over their bodies. How do I put this? These ladies were just sitting there & chatting very casually in a language that I could understand, as casually as if they were dressed instead of being nude. With that onsen being rather small, it was pretty awkward. I imagined coming to an onsen and just casually sitting next to my friend with our boobs hanging out & trying to feel nonchalant about it. Err, I think I’ll skip!
Back to talking about the onsen at this hotel. It kept up to standards about amenities provided at the shower area, including cleansing oil for removing makeup. Gotta love how thoughtful the Japanese is! The changing area was very clean too.
A taste of old world charm in a modern world
Despite its heritage and age, Fuji View is a really well-maintained hotel. Our ryokan rooms were cleaned spick and span every morning by the chambermaids. Service was always prompt if we need anything. Everywhere else around the hotel, hotel staff was always polite, respectful and made us feel welcome as guests.
Some tips about staying at Fuji View Hotel:
- Fuji View Hotel is strict about check-in at 3pm, so you might wanna work your time backwards, from timing arrival from Tokyo city or elsewhere, to [limited] luggage storage options at Kawaguchiko Station, because once you take the shuttle bus from Kawaguchiko Station to Fuji View hotel to store your luggage there, you’ll have to wait for the next one that goes to the station again.
- Note the hotel shuttle bus schedule. The bus departs on time from Bus Stop 10 at Kawaguchiko Station, next to the Tourist Information Centre. Kawaguchiko Station is a very small station 😉 There was one day we took a local bus from the station and alighted at the back of the hotel, near the lake.
- Onsen facilities are open to public paying guests between 2pm – 8pm. For my stay, it was getting a little crowded from about 8pm onwards, probably because hotel guests had returned from their day trips.
- Tatami flooring is fragile so please carry your suitcases over it in the rooms instead of rolling them on the floor.
- There are room slippers which you wear in your rooms and also to the onsen (then leave them at the entrance). However, just wear the in-room slippers on none-tatami areas in the room =)
Stayed: Dec 2017
This is not a paid review of Fuji View Hotel. We went as fully paying guests. Each room for us cost about S$430/night for 3 guests, including breakfast at the hotel.
I booked my room via Agoda, or you can compare Fuji View Hotel prices on Booking.com
Check other Fujikawaguchiko hotel rates –>
Agoda.com | Booking.com
• Things to do at Kawaguchiko
More inspiration from Japan:
• Guide on how to use onsen in Japan!
• My first onsen experience in Japan
• Why it’s a good idea to go Tokyo in November
• Checking in Kyoto: Yumotokan onsen ryokan hotel
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