Lake Yamanaka or Yamanakako is located at the north east of Mt. Fuji and so you can see Diamond Fuji at sunset in Winter. Diamond Fuji is a phenomenon where the sun overlaps the summit of Mt. Fuji.
Lake Yamanaka is the largest among the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko in Japanese) and located at the highest altitude (980m). So it can get quite cold in Winter. The coldest morning I experienced in the village was -20℃ (-4°F). If you plan to come to the lake in winter, be sure to wear snow tires and get warm clothes.
I’ve lived in this village for threr years and so far I love it. So let me introduce the village to you.
1. Nagaike Water Park
One of the most accessible locations to admire the beautiful mountain as this place provides free parking. There are two parking lots and they’re adjacent to each other. Public restrooms are located between the two parking lots on the other side of the street.
I particularly love the view of Mt. Fuji from this place as there’s nothing blocks the view of the mountain.
You can see Diamond Fuji in Autumn and Winter. The first Diamond Fuji period is from Nov 4 to Nov 9 and you see the phenomenon at around 3:40 p.m. in the area, and the second period is from Feb 2 to Feb 7 and it occurs at around 4:15 p.m.
The park is particularly crowded during the Diamond Fuji periods so be sure to get there earlier to secure your parking space. As for the specific position within the park, it is quite easy to tell. You find a Japanese photographer with professional gear, he or she probably knows the exact position. So put your tripod next to them.
I like visiting there at night when the moon is bright. There is usually no one else in the park, and it feels great to gaze the moonlit mountain.
２. Communication Plaza Kirara
Mt. Fuji looks great from this place, too. The parking fee is 300 yen. You have a better chance of seeing Sakasa Fuji, that is, Fuji reflected in water. This place has two parking lots. For those who shoot Fuji, I recommend the second parking lot. The facility has clean restrooms.
This place is often used for big festivals. A rock festival called Sweet Love Shower is held at the end of August. This festival is particularly popular and attracts so many people. These parking lots are unavailable during such events. If your main purpose is to shoot/gaze Mt. Fuji, you’d better go elsewhere .
From this place, you can also shoot Mt. Fuji with cherry blossoms in spring. Because of the higher altitude, cherry trees bloom later than other places around Fuji — typically in late April. But it differs every year. Follow my page on FaceBook to check out the latest information.
Diamond Fuji takes place at 4:05 p.m. on Oct 25 and 4:34 p.m. on Feb 16. Diamond Fuji is visible in the vicinity of Kirara around the above days. You can park your car here and walk a little to see it.
Panoramadai means a hill with a panoramic view. It is located on halfway up Mt. Myojin (a.k.a. Teppougi-no-atama). Actually there is another Panoramadai near Lake Shoji but this place is much more famous because you can get here easily by a car.
However, the parking lot is rather small so it often gets full. Be sure to get here earlier when you shoot sunrise or sunset. There is a portaloo in the parking lot.
Diamond Fuji occurs at this place at 4:20 p.m. on Oct 17 and 4:48 p.m. on Feb 23. There are some other vantage points above this place so you can park your car here and hunt for Diamond Fuji around the above-mentioned days.
4. Hana-no-Miyako Park (Seiryu-no-Sato)
If’d literally translate the name of the park, it means “Park of the Capital of Followers (Village of Clear Water).” This park features flowers of the seasons, and so is the right place if you want to shoot Fuji with flowers.
The parking lot costs 300 yen. The entrance fee costs up to 500 yen per person (¥500 in the high season, ¥300 in the middle seasons and free in winter) to enter the gate but about half of the site is open to the public and you can enjoy without paying the entrance fee.
In the early morning, the parking lot is usually closed and many people park on the street, which annoys some local people. I hope the village to make it 24/7 as photographers often need to shoot in very early mornings. The facility also has the second parking lot but it is only available in high seasons. I hope that the village will open this space to the public as you can see Diamond Fuji from this place as well. They’re just wasting the space.
It may be incidental information but let me tell you that Yamanakako Village is one of the richest villages in Japan, because it gets tax income from FANAC (leading corporation of industrial robots) and nuisance money from Self Defense Force. But the village behaves a bit meanly as far as their parking policy is concerned.
Diamond Fuji occurs in the period from Nov 30 to Dec 7 at around 3:20 p.m. and the period from Jan 3 to Jan 11 at around 3:40 p.m. There is no flower in the park so I’d go there to shoot Diamond Fuji after the snow.
Some people particularly instagramers and photographers carelessly enter the fields to shoot epic selfies/photos trampling down the plants. It takes a lot of efforts to grow flowers. Please don’t do it. Only walk on the paths.
In Winter, there is no flower in the park but the facility displays illumination instead.
5. Oike Beach (Swan Spot)
An old man commissioned by the village comes to this place on his K-truck to feed swans. So swans usually huddle around here and you have a good chance of shooting Fuji with swans.
There is no parking lot so please park your car at this parking lot or Nagaike Parking Lot and walk 5 minutes. The view will probably great on your way here.
Diamond Fuji occurs at 3:33 p.m. on Nov 12 and 4:02 p.m. on Jan 29. You can see Diamond Fuji in the vicinity around the days.
6. Hirano Beach
This beach is adjacent to the Communication Plaza Kirara shown above in this article. You can directly drive into this place, so this place is particularly popular among people who don’t wanna walk even for a minute.
The cape hides the right shoulder of Fuji but, thanks to the cape, you see a good chance of seeing Sakasa Fuji (Fuji reflected in water) here.
Diamond Fuji takes place at 4:02 p.m. on Oct 28 and 4:33 p.m. on Feb 14. It can also seen in the vicinity around the above days.
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