6 Best Locations to Shoot Mt. Fuji in Oshino

Nijumagari Pass

Sigma 24-105mm F4 ART@35mm

Koyo Okada, the first landscape photographer dedicated to Mt. Fuji loved this vantage point and would often visit here. This is one of the few locations in Oshino with parking lots and restrooms. Actually there are two scenic viewpoints in this location and the photo above was taken at the entrance of the place.

The view from here is quite magnificent, and so you are probably tempted to shoot wide-angle. But electric wires get in the way of your photographs if you use a focal length wider than 35mm. If you don’t mind using Photoshop, it is relatively easy to erase the electric wires in the post-processing, though.

I know it is controversial whether you should use Photoshop or not. But I believe it is safe to say that it’s a better solution than physically cutting the wires.

SIGMA DP2 Merrill

There is another viewpoint in the same location and it provides a slightly different view.

Shin-na-sho River (Omiya-bashi Bridge)

This place is very popular in spring but cannot accommodate many people. So please do not occupy the spot for a long period of time or let other people shoot handheld if you put your tripod there. Also be careful about cars occasionally passing by behind you.

Some people carry a stepladder, rainproof high boots and a high tripod to shoot the scene beneath the bridge.

This place is adjacent to Oshino Hakkai described below. I recommend you to visit both places at the same time. The public restrooms nearest to the bridge are here.

The view from the Omiyabashi is beautiful after the snow, too. There are some more compositions available, so it is nice to take a stroll along the river.

There are many parking lots in the area. Most parking lots cost around 400 yen. But there is one free parking lot near the bridge.

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai has become a very popular tourist destination and attracts many people from all over the world. However, if you visit the place in the very early morning, it’s still possible to take pictures without people getting in your shots.

Han-no-ki-bayashi Museum is the most picturesque spot in the area. This place is particularly beautiful after the snow. The museum opens at 9:00a.m. So be sure to be the first customer and take the beautiful scene before people leaving their footmarks everywhere. By the way, this pond is not one of the Ohino Hakkai (8 ponds) but this view is the most picturesque. The entrance fee is ¥300. There is public restrooms in front of the museum.

SIGMA DP2 Merrill (equiv. 45mm)

There are some other nice places around the area. For example, Masu-no-Ie is a ryokan with a traditional look. The entrance fee is ¥200 but you don’t have to enter the venue to take the shot below as it was taken outside the gate. The parking lot costs ¥300 and it has free public restrooms.

Incidentally, a pond located at the center of Oshino Hakkai is not one of the Oshino Hakkai Eight Ponds and just a nameless pond without any special historical background. This pond, however, is situated at the best spot in the area and attracts more tourists than other real 8 ponds. Deguchi Ike is the biggest among the 8 ponds and was considered as the first pond in the Edo period. Nanda Ryu O (Dragon King Nanda) who appears in the Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra) is enshrined at the pond. But no one visits there because it takes 15 minutes by walk from the center.

I myself introduce beautiful locations in my blog but sometimes I can’t help but hope people would care more about historical or cultural backgrounds than instagramability.

Uchino Rural Area

Oshino has two districts Shibokusa and Uchino and each used to be independent villages in the 19th century. There is a vast rural area in the Uchino district where you can see Mt. Fuji clearly with no obstacle.

Some farmers used to grow sunflowers in their fallow fields. So you may find interesting foreground at times. But, as a rule, foreground will be fields in this area.

SIGMA 35mm F1.4 ART

Note that all roads in this area are mainly for agricultural purpose. So don’t get in their ways when you shoot, drive or park in this area. Don’t enter fields without permission. Don’t damage footpaths between fields with your tripod either. They’re fragile.

We’re able to shoot Mt. Fuji from so many different places, thanks to the cooperation of the local landowners. The situation is very different in many other places.

Diamond Fuji is visible around the winter solstice at 3:33p.m. in this area.

Katsura River (in front of Koyo Okada Photo Art Museum)

As mentioned before, Koyo Okadai was the first landscape photographer who dedicated to Mt. Fuji and his works are featured at this museum.

This place looks particularly beautiful after the snow or when rime ice forms (must be lower than -6℃/21ºF ) in the early morning.

The museum opens at 10:00a.m. and closes at 5:00p.m. and the entrance fee is ¥500 for an adult.

Dojou Ike Pond

Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR@35mm

Dojou means loaches. Endangered loaches named Lefua echigonia lives in this pond, so please do not affect the environment in any way. This pond looks nice when Iris flowers are in bloom in may.

Lumix S 24-105mm F4@71mm

It also looks good in snow. There is no parking lot for this place. But if you buy anything at the Yamanazaki Daily Store adjacent to the pond, the store might let you park for a short period of time when there is plenty of room.

Mt. Takazasu

Mt. Takazasu is a nice vantage point to see Mt. Fuji. Photographers often come to the mountain after the rain to shoot Mt. Fuji over a sea of clouds. The gravel road leading to the mountain is very bumpy. If you drive a 2WD vehicle with normal ground clearance, park your car in front of the Toriiji Pass Gate and walk for 10 minutes or so.

There is a parking lot closer to the top. Do not try to drive further since 4WD cars often turn over on the slope.

Because the slope is burnt every spring, the mountain provides great view of Mt. Fuji from anywhere on the slope. People often huddle at this point and this point.

Never try to drive up to the upper parking lot after the snow or when the road is frozen. Real 4WD vehicles such as Suzuki Jimny, Toyota Land Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler often get stuck on the way up. You’d need crampons to walk up to the spot under such conditions. But honestly speaking, I’d recommend another mountain such as Mt. Mitsutoge if you want to climb a snowy mountain for a great view.

Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm F2.8@14mm

There is another Mt. Takazasu near Lake Yamanaka. The pronunciation is the same but Kanji characters are different (高座山 vs 高指山). Mt. Takazasu near Lake Yamanaka also provides a good view of Mt. Fuji but it takes longer minutes of hiking.


Bottom Line

Oshino village looks good in snow.

You might also want to check out:
6 Best Locations to Shoot Mt. Fuji in Fujiyoshida
6 Best Locations to Shoot Mt. Fuji at Lake Yamanaka