Mt. Fuji from Hotel New Century

By Jane B. Holt
This item appears on page 49 of the December 2016 issue.

I don’t know what it is about Japan that keeps drawing us there, but, once there, my husband, Clyde, and I are also drawn to Mount Fuji. We often see Fujisan on the high-speed Shinkan­sen going to Kyoto. It’s visible about 40 minutes after departing Tokyo, if you sit on the right side of the train. However, we prefer the closer view from Kawaguchi-ko (Lake Kawaguchi).

Eight months after our stay there in March 2014, when the mountain was continually packed in with clouds (Feb. ’15, pg. 16), we made a day trip from Tokyo to Kawaguchi-ko in November. Before setting out, we checked the live cams ( AND to be sure the weather was clear and that a view of Fujisan was, at least, possible.

We had excellent photo opportunities of the mountain while traveling through the Momiji Tunnel, a section lined with maple trees with, at that time, stunning red autumn leaves. 

In April 2016, for sakura (cherry blossom) views of Mt. Fuji, we returned to Kawaguchi-ko and Hotel New Century (180-1 Asakawa, Minamitsuru-gun, Fujikawaguchiko-machi 401-0303, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan; phone +81 555 72 1422, [in Japanese only]), having reserved the same room we had in March 2014. 

It was a clear day when we arrived, and we had perfect views from our balcony. The third day, April 16, was a mix of sun and dramatic clouds, but by then we had almost grown blasé about the view. 

For our stay, I took pages from ITN’s  October 2014 and February 2015 issues, one with an article by Miyako Storch and the other, my letter in response to her. Both mentioned Hotel New Century, with contrasting photos of Mount Fuji taken from the same room. I gave these to the concierge, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were posted on the white message board at the entrance.

We booked our room through For three nights in peak sakura season, when the rates are always markedly higher, the two of us paid a total of ¥121,100 (near $1,160) for our Japanese-style, 12-tatami-mat, mountain-view room. The price included half board (full Japanese breakfast and kaiseki [multicourse haute cuisine] dinner) and the onsen (hot spring) tax of ¥150 per person per day.

As before, the hotel contacted us to thank us for our booking, to offer a pickup at the train station and to ask what main dishes we preferred for our three dinners. This personal contact was a nice touch and is quite rare for hotels booked through


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