If you plan to come to Japan in autumn, I’d definitely recommend you to visit the Fujigoko area in Yamanashi prefecture. Here’s the top 5 reasons:
1) The air is cleaner and Fuji is more visible than summer!
A lot of people visit the area in summer and are often disappointed that they can’t see Fuji. Even people living in the area like me, sometimes can’t see Fujisan for weeks. So the chance for you to see Fujisan in this season is quite slim.
2) Fuji is snowcapped!
Fuji got snowcapped on October 11 this year and October 16 last year. Of course, Fuji is beautiful without snowcap but Fuji looks even greater with the snowcap. It is literally icing on the cake.
3) Fuji looks amazing with autumn leaves!
As my photographs on this article demonstrate, the combination of Mt. Fuji and autumn leaves are simply amazing. I’d recommend you to get up earlier to admire amazing beauty of nature.
4) It isn’t too cold yet!
This area can be very cold in winter. In winter, the temperature can go down below -14 Celsius/6 Fahrenheit at Lake Yamanaka. If you come to the are by car, you’d need a car with snow tires. But the climate is more moderate in autumn. That said, I’d recommend you to bring a down jacket/parka since it gets quite cold in the morning. If you don’t have any, Mont-Bell, Fujiyoshida at Michinoeki Fujiyoshida is a great place to get winter gear.
5) Fall is the best season to enjoy Onsen (hot springs)!
I’ve just said it isn’t too cold but the temperature may go down below the freezing point in November so you really appreciate Japanese-style hot springs (Onsen). Benifuji-no-Yu in Yamanakako-mura and Yurari in Narusawa-mura (near Michinoeki Narusawa) are two popular places for day trippers and those who stay at hotels without hot springs.
NOTE: Benifuji-no-Yu is temporarily closed for renovations and will reopen on Dec 1, 2015. If you are looking for a nice Onsen near Yamanakako, Ishiwari-no-Yu is equally nice.
I hope this article will help you enjoy your trip!