Oshino Hakkai is a beautiful and peaceful place located in the Fuji Five Lakes area between Kawaguchi-Ko and Yamanaka-Ko. It consists of eight freshwater ponds. These ponds are thought to be the site of Mount Fuji’s sixth lake, which dried up hundreds of years ago. Fed from the snow melt of Mount Fuji, the pond’s water is filtered down the mountain through porous layers of lava, arriving at Oshino Hakkai almost 80 years later! The water is crystal clear, and each pond is home to different fresh water plants and marine life at varying depths.
Near one of the ponds, water has been diverted to come up through a ‘fountain’ of sorts. There is a sign challenging you to hold your hand in the water for 30 seconds without removing it, accomplish this feat and you will have good luck. The water is extremely cold, and my kids enjoyed the challenge! On the backside of the fountain, there are water spouts where you can fill up your water bottle, or use your hands to scoop up some water for a drink. I recommend bringing a bottle. We didn’t know this ahead of time and bought a plastic bottle for ¥150. Because this water comes from Mount Fuji, and it’s been filtered for nearly 80 years, it is highly revered by locals. It’s even listed as some of the best water in Japan. What a neat opportunity to drink 80 year old, crystal clear water from Mount Fuji! The views of nearby Mount Fuji are not to be missed either!
The area of Oshino Hakkai is also a great place to walk around. It has many souvenir shops, restaurants, and markets. It is tucked within a little village, so as you are approaching the site, be sure to grab any available parking. We easily parked at a nearby store parking lot and walked a few blocks to Oshino Hakkai. It is free to enter, and since this is a natural location, it’s open every day of the year! GPS: 35.46045,138.83281. – report & photos by Jenn Bobrowski, July 2013, top photo by Sarah Straus, Oct 2013.
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Comments Sarah Straus, October 2013: This was such a beautiful place to visit. If you go, be sure to pay the small entrance fee to enter the open air museum that surrounds the largest pond and has several thatched roofed buildings. You can enter the buildings and in one climb the stairs to the second floor and then up again to a viewing platform at the roof-line. The observation deck on top of the museums entrance is worth climbing for an even better view of Mt. Fuji. This photo was taken in another spot, walking distance from the main little downtown of Oshino Hakkai. It is a garden with a 200 yen suggested donation. Just follow the stream back toward the main road and cross the street. You’ll have to go through a parking lot to enter this garden.