Travel Report: Lake Ashi – Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Japan.

Visit Lake Ashi Japan.

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February 2019. Japan’s Lake Ashi is a stunning crater lake located in the heart of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park near Mount Fuji. It was formed over 3000 years ago by the eruption of another volcano, Mount Hakone, which is exactly where our tour guide Hiro was leading us that sunny February afternoon. The day had started off grey and misty but was really brightening up now as we began a twenty-minute cruise across Lake Ashi’s deep blue waters.

Boat cruise Lake Ashi Japan.
Boat cruise – Lake Ashi, Japan.

February 2019. Lake Ashi boat cruises are taken on large double hull ferries with massive observation decks providing 360-degree views around the lake. On a good day (and this is all-too rare apparently) you can get incredible views of Mount Fuji.

Thatched holiday homes Lake Ashi Japan.

February 2019. I liked how for the most part Lake Ashi’s shores were surprisingly undeveloped. Decorated with thick woodland, there’s a famous shrine (Hakone Jinja) and smatterings of thatched roof holiday homes for those wanting an isolated retreat from the big smoke. Otherwise, it’s pretty unspoiled.

Traditional boat on Lake Ashi Japan.
Traditional boat – Lake Ashi, Japan.

February 2019. Hiro told us that we were lucky to be doing our Lake Ashi cruising on a midweek day as the place gets rammed at the weekends. There was less than handful of boats on the water that day, although one of these was a gorgeous mediaeval vessel… quite simply a sight to behold. A one-way ticket on this baby from pier to pier goes for 750JPY (£5.20/€6/$6.70), 1400JPY for a return (£9.70/€11.10/$12.50).

Ashinoko Lake Japan.
Lake Ashi, Japan.
Boat cruise across Lake Ashi Japan.
Lake Ashi, Japan.

Our Lake Ashi boat cruise finished up at the southwestern pier, which is the best access point for taking the Kamagate Ropeway up to Mount Hakone.

My visit to Lake Ashi (also known as Lake Ashionoko and Hakone Lake) was part of a day trip with Sunrise Tours booked through the online operator Viator at a cost of 109GBP/126EUR/$141 per person. For more on my experiences that day, take a look at my articles on Mount Fuji, Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park, Mount Hakone and the Shinkansen Bullet Train.

Like this? Check out my extensive library of location reports from across the city, with articles on What To See and do In Tokyo, Tokyo’s Amazing Themed Cafes, Bars & Restaurants, Other Cool Places To Eat & Drink In Tokyo, The Tokyo Subway, Trains & Electric Lines and Where To Stay In Tokyo.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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