Autumn-addicts will already know that the Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Momiji Festival is just around the corner. Here’s LUXE’s guide to the best way to spend it...
For a less crowded experience of the fiery autumn foliage festival, avoid Kawaguchiko – a popular resort town in the northern foothills of Mount Fuji – on the weekend, when it’s swamped with flora-and-fauna fans. Instead, hop on a two-hour train from Tokyo station to Kawaguchiko station on a weekday (or treat yourselves, and hire a driver for the day).
Once you’ve arrived at this world-famous beauty spot, pause to admire the incredible views of the lake and the russet-and-red foliage, then head to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Admire artworks and kimonos made by Itchiku Kubota – an expert in the ancient art of fabric dyeing, which dates back to the C.17th. Refuel with tea and pastries in the museum’s scenic cafe, which is adorned with fabulous Fuji views, then go for a stroll in the beautiful gardens, where waterfalls and forests await.
Next on your agenda: the Maple Corridor (aka Momiji Kairo), which offers unrivalled autumn-leaf scenes (bring your camera for enviable #nofilter, #autumn snaps). Continue the view-toting discovery tour by heading to the Mt Kachikachi Ropeway for more wow-factor vistas of Fuji and the flame-hued autumn skyline.
The great outdoors is hungry work. Reward your explorations with a noodle pit-stop: Houtou Fudou is a reliably delicious place to sample the eponymous local specialty: houtou noodles. These distinctive flat noodles are served in a flavoursome, vegetable-packed miso soup; the perfect pre-winter warmer.
You’ll probably want to lie down after all those noodles. We suggest you unwind at Yamanaka Onsen Benifuji No Yu, which eyeballs Mount Fuji. This tranquil onsen has two types of sauna and a bedrock bath; there’s also a massage and beauty-treatment area, plus a relaxed restaurant serving local dishes.
Take a leaf out of our book: stay in Kawaguchiko til after-dark to see the trees lit up like fairy-tale boughs for the festival, before hopping back to Tokyo.
Itchiku Kubota Art Museum / 2255 Kawaguchi / Fujikawaguchiko-machi / +81 555 76 8811 / 9.30am-5.30pm daily / itchiku-museum.com
Maple Corridor / Fujikawaguchiko-machi / +81 555 72 3168 / 9am-7pm daily / fujisan.ne.jp
Mt Kachikachi Ropeway / 1163-1 Asakawa / Fujikawaguchiko-machi / +81 555 72 0363 / 9am-5.10pm daily / kachikachiyama-ropeway.com
Houtou Fudou / 707 Kawaguchi / Fujikawaguchiko-machi / +81 555 76 7011 / 11am-7pm daily / +
branches / houtou-fudou.jp
Yamanaka Benifuji no Yu / Yamanaka Village / Yamanashi / +81 555 20 2700 / 10am-9pm daily / benifuji.co.jp