The landscape of Mt. Fuji with its reflection on the water is the best-known symbol of Japan and admired around the world. Mt. Fuji shows totally different faces from each of Fuji Five Lakes that lie on its northern foot in Yamanashi prefecture. From east, they are Lake Yamanaka, Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Sai, Lake Shoji and Lake Motosu.
All of them are dammed lakes formed by the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Fuji. In 2013, Mt. Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes became a World Cultural Heritage site. The lakes sit about 830 to 980 meters above sea level. Lake Yamanaka and Lake Kawaguchi are well-developed resorts with a variety of accommodations and activities available, including boating, yachting and windsurfing. On the other hand, Lake Sai and Lake Shoji provide visitors with splendid views of undeveloped nature.
Lake Yamanaka is the largest lake of the five and the third highest lake in Japan. Mt. Fuji looks wide and massive from this lake as it is the closest to the mountain among the five lakes. It is known as a spot to enjoy the so-called ‘Diamond Fuji’. When the sun sets on the head of Mt. Fuji, the top shines like a diamond. This phenomenon is observed at the lake from mid-October to late February.
Lake Kawaguchi is the second largest lake of the five and most easily accessible from Tokyo. The image of symmetrically-shaped Mt. Fuji from this lake is famous and used in posters and brochures of the Fuji Five Lakes area.
Lake Sai, surrounded by a deep forest, has a quiet and mysterious atmosphere. It is the least developed among the five lakes.
Lake Shoji is the smallest of the five, but Mt. Fuji viewed from here is said to be the most beautiful in Japan with no buildings in sight. This scene is also called “Kodaki Fuji” or “Child-holding Fuji” as the mountain looks as if it is holding Mt. Omuro, one of its parasite volcanoes, in front of it.
Lake Motosu is the ninth deepest lake in Japan with a depth of 121.6 meters. In a way, it is the most familiar lake to people in Japan. The reflected image of Mt. Fuji at the lake is printed on the back of thousand-yen bills.
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