Yamanakako, or Lake Yamanaka, is the largest of the five main lakes around Mt. Fuji, second in popularity to Kawaguchiko; it’s the one shaped like a whale! Not only does Yamanakako have stunning views of Mt. Fuji, but there are numerous other fun things to do in the area. It is a great place to visit in the summer or winter, and just a short trip from Tokyo by bus, train, or car.

Nature, local delicacies, and fun cafés! Spend a day in Yamanakako Village or take a couple days to rest, enjoy the natural beauty, and wander the sights. This article points you to some key spots so that you can discover the beauty of Yamanakako.


Are you a nature lover? Walk or bike around the lake. There are numerous locations to rent bikes around the lake. You may even come across some swans, ducks, and other wildlife on your adventure.

Enjoy the beauty of the lake from a paddleboat or ride the “Swan Lake” sightseeing boat for a luxury boat ride across the lake!

Make sure to get a view of Mt. Fuji and snap a few panorama shots! “Aka-fuji” 赤富士 can be seen in the summer especially at sunrise, and “Diamond Fuji” ダイヤモンド富士 at sunset in the winter from many locations around the lake. Get some tips from the locals and head out to get your shots.

Visit the local aquarium 森の中の水族館to learn about the lake’s fish and other critters. There are often fun events for kids, too. Check the website for dates and details.

Visit the Hananomiyako Flower Park in the spring and summer to see tulips, sunflowers, cosmos, and various other beautiful flowers. For a winter activity, the indoor greenhouse, Floral Furara Dome, is free between December and March each year.

Bathe in the local hot spring, Benifuji no Yu 紅富士の湯. On clear days, enjoy a view of Mt. Fuji while sitting in the outdoor baths.


When you’re visiting Yamanakako, don’t miss out on trying some of the local delicacies!

Houtou ほうとう is a type of thick noodle like udon. It’s a Yamanakako staple and is served with soup, meat or fish and vegetables. Try the pumpkin, duck, seafood, or kimchi flavored soup. There are various spots along the lake that serve houtou, and it’s a perfect meal on a cold winter’s day.

Wakasagi ワカサギ is a fish that can be caught in Yamanakako and is often served fried. You can even book a ワカサギ釣り tour to go out on a fishing boat with an expert to catch this local fish.

Grape soft serve 巨峰ソフト can be found at many of the food stands around the lake. On a hot and blustering day, who could turn down a refreshing cone of soft serve?

If you’re in Yamanakako in the summer, do not miss out on the local sweet corn. Go pick some corn at the Hananomiyako Flower Park and take it home to your cabin rental, and enjoy it boiled or grilled.

Coffee and Tea

If you’re a café lover, there are several fun cafés to try around Yamanakako. Sip on a delicious latte or tea, enjoy a slice of cake or fluffy pancakes, and swing in a hammock with an iced coffee in hand! Many cafes have good window views of the lake and Mt. Fuji. Here are some café recommendations.

Paper Moon – This café is by far probably the most famous and well-known café around Yamanakako. Known for its large drinks and delicious cakes, you’re bound to wait in line and spend a bit more yen than usual, but it’s worth a visit to this beautiful café-in-the-woods!

The Park – A café with both indoor and outdoor seating, and a perfect view of Yamanakako and Mt. Fuji. Enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck, or savor the fluffy pancakes with seasonal flavors such as cinnamon apple, strawberry, chocolate mint, or tiramisu.

Hammock Café – Best to visit in the spring or summer, this café is located conveniently near the lake and has a collection of hammocks to choose from. Buy your coffee or treats at the coffee stand, and then relax while laying in a hammock.

Mori no Alm 森のアルム – One of the best-kept secrets in the Yamanakako area! A café designed like it just popped out of a fairy tale, you will feel like an elf or princess when dining here. Open from 11 to 5, this is a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or tea time.

A visit to Yamanakako may be just what you need to rest your body and your soul. Make your next trip to this beautiful lakeside community and experience the beauty and tranquility that Yamanakako has to offer.