What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

Discover the Winter Charm of Kawaguchiko: Best Views of Mt. Fuji in Japan

Traveling to Japan during winter posed a challenge, especially with a 2-year-old. Despite this, we made the most of our time and enjoyed our views of Mount Fuji, tasting Hoto noodles, visiting a Wind Cave, and much more. Our experience was enhanced by our stay in a traditional Japanese house, complete with a beautiful tatami room and a welcoming Japanese host. Let’s go! 

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Travel Tips
  • For flights, Skyscanner is excellent for comparing the best airline deals.
  • For accommodations, our family trusts Booking.com for reasonable prices.

Where to Go, What to Do, and What to Eat in Kawaguchiko During Winter
The bus ride views from Narita Bus Terminal to Kawaguchiko.

Things to Know Before Going to Kawaguchiko

I have always dreamed of seeing Mt. Fuji, one of the planet's most beautiful mountains and Japan's most iconic landmark. Finally, we had the opportunity to behold this majestic sight during winter, and it was truly an unforgettable experience. 

How to get there: Narita to Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes, and offers breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It is also the most accessible of the five lakes and can be visited on a day trip from Tokyo.

As you embark on your bus journey get ready to immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of this serene lakeside town.

The bus ride from Narita Airport Bus Terminal to Kawaguchiko Station:

  • At Narita airport, enjoy free wifi and charging stations.
  • Narita Airport to Kawaguchiko Station by Japan Bus (about 32 USD).
  • Travel time: 4 hours
  • While on the bus, wifi is available, but there are no charging stations at the seats.
  • Please note that food and drinks are permitted on the bus.
  • Bus Tip: Sit on the left side for a stunning view of Mt. Fuji.

At Kawaguchiko Station: 

  • Offers free wifi
  • Does not have charging stations
  • Get around town by purchasing a 3-day Mt. Fuji Pass from Klook

Map out where you want to go

Plan out your destination by jotting down an itinerary in your Travel Planner. While the day doesn't have to unfold exactly as planned, having a general idea of where to go and what to do can save you precious time on research and help you stick to your budget.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

Ensure a Smooth Experience with a Mt. Fuji Pass from Klook

Purchase a Mt. Fuji Pass through Klook for hassle-free access to key tourist spots around Mt. Fuji. Take the bus from Kawaguchiko Station to various attractions. Remember to print your voucher and present it at the station to receive your Mt. Fuji pass tickets.

Mt. Fuji Pass Details:

  • Covers the entrance fees for the Ice Cave and Wind Cave
  • A 200 yen fee is required for children aged 0-12 at the entry gate

Important Notes:

  • Food and drinks are not allowed on the bus
  • The pass includes access to all three bus lines: red, green, blue, and the local bus.

Make sure to bring cash

Remember to bring cash for dining and shopping. While major stores accept cards, smaller countryside shops usually only accept cash.

Dress in Layers: Unpredictable Weather

We went on a Kawaguchiko Trip for 3 Days in the first week of February. On arrival, the weather was bright and sunny with a temperature of around 13 degrees Celsius. The following day, it began snowing, and the temperature dropped to 3 degrees Celsius.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
The best feeling is waking up in the morning and seeing Mt. Fuji smiling at you. The view at Umeya Annex.

10 Things to Do in Kawaguchiko: Where to Go, What to Do, and What to Eat During Winter

Our Kawaguchiko for a three-day itinerary is laid-back and stress-free. Here, I outline activities for visiting Kawaguchiko with a toddler and suggest places to visit in Kawaguchiko during the winter season. This guide is a fantastic Kawaguchiko one-day trip reference for travelers exploring this beautiful town.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

1. Stay in a traditional Japanese House

Staying in a Traditional Japanese House with tatami (traditional Japanese flooring) mats, a bidet bathroom, and a veranda offering a genuine view of Mt. Fuji and its beauty was an unforgettable experience. The futton beds were comfortable, and the beaded pillows, though unique, provided a restful night's sleep.

Where To Stay in Kawaguchiko

  • Check-in: Umeya Annex
  • Address: 1130 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401- 0304, Japan
  • Phone: +81 555-76-5181
  • February 2-4: 3 days 2 nights
    Family room with private bathroom: 20,485 JPY or 135 USD

The host not only provided pick-up and drop-off services at the Lake Kawaguchiko station but also went above and beyond to assist us, especially when we needed something important for our baby. His exceptional hospitality truly made our stay in Kawaguchiko even more remarkable.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

2. Witness the grandeur and beauty of Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji stands as Japan's highest mountain and is renowned for its perfectly shaped form, symbolizing faith and earning deep admiration from the people. Mt. Fuji, not commonly known, comprises three distinct volcanoes. Indeed, you heard it right, it is an active volcano.

  • Snap those photos!

Remember to capture photos of Mount Fuji when you have a stunning backdrop, as the weather can change suddenly. We learned this the hard way – we assumed it would still be visible the next day, but then it snowed, and we couldn't help but laugh.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
One of the wonderful things about this town is the constant view of Mt. Fuji from every angle.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
Bus ride around town and passing by Mt. Fuji.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
You can even see Mt. Fuji at the bus stop.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
The same veranda I saw Mt. Fuji has now painted the sky white.

Mt. Fuji Brings Warm Memories: Missing Mama

The first time I laid eyes on Mt. Fuji from our veranda that morning, its breathtaking beauty left me in awe. Instantly, it stirred memories of my dear mum, evoking a mix of emotions – nostalgia for her absence and joy at witnessing such splendor. Mt. Fuji stood out as the most beautiful mountain I had ever seen. We were fortunate to see Mt. Fuji as the next day it was snowing, and the landscape turned into a white canvas without Mt. Fuji in sight. It was fascinating to witness the transition from a bright, sunny day to a cold, snowy one, painting everything in a pristine white hue.

  • Consider hiking Mount Fuji if you can

I would definitely climb the summit of Mount Fuji if I didn't have my toddler with me. When people ask why I hike active volcanoes like Mount Fuji, my response is simple: why not? This reminds me of my joyful experiences hiking to volcanoes like Mount Batur and Mount Bromo in Indonesia, trekking to the Blue Flamed Volcano in Surabaya, and exploring Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Don't Forget

Make sure to buy a Mt. Fuji Pass via Klook for convenient entry to key tourist spots near Mt. Fuji. A bus from Kawaguchiko Station can take you to various attractions. Remember to print out your voucher and show it at the station to receive the official Mt. Fuji pass tickets.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

3. Enjoy the stunning views of Lake Kawaguchi

  • Clear Skies

Experience the breathtaking sights of Mount Fuji by strolling along the lake or taking a scenic bus ride to admire the shores of Lake Kawaguchi. Here, you can witness the reflection of Mount Fuji on the pristine waters. We were fortunate to stay in a traditional house near Lake Kawaguchi, allowing us to enjoy its beauty daily.

  • Winter Beauty

We had the opportunity to witness the lake both when Mount Fuji was visible and when it started snowing. The striking beauty of the contrast remains astonishing, even when covered in snow.

Where To Eat in Kawaguchiko

There are only a few restaurants near Kawaguchiko station. If you depend on the bus for transportation, it might be more convenient to explore the area on foot, especially when searching for dinner with a toddler in winter. During our visit, we observed that many stores were either closed or opened very late.

4. Taste the local specialty: Hoto Noodles

We made sure to try the famous Hoto noodles, a local specialty in the town of Fuji Lake. It's a noodle soup that features large, flat udon noodles and vegetables stewed in miso soup.

Our host suggested the restaurant Houtou Fudo to us. Unfortunately, we didn't have the chance to visit, but I'm confident it lives up to its reputation.

5. Indulge in a traditional dish: Yoshida No Udon

A traditional dish from the Fuji Five Lakes Area. This dish features flour noodles known for their chewy, firm, and thick texture, served in a flavorful broth made of miso and soy sauce.

For Budget Foodie Travelers

If you're watching your budget or would rather not eat out, you can explore Hoto noodles and Yoshida no Udon in a cup noodles at the Gateway Fujiyama Lake Kawaguchiko Station. Conveniently situated inside the Kawaguchiko station, this small grocery store is where you can get some Kirin milk tea – a personal favorite of mine. I highly recommend it as it is not overly sweet. You can also grab one of those small canned orange juice without an overpowering sugary taste. For dessert, indulge in gelato with Japanese-inspired flavors like toasted rice and green tea

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
Fried sweet bean cake and Draft tea

6. Discover Unique Kawaguchiko Treats

If you’re going for a one-day trip to Kawaguchiko, make sure to try these must-try foods conveniently available at Lake Kawaguchiko station cafe.

  • Fujiyama Cafe (inside Kawaguchiko Station)
  • Favorite Snack: Lava Fried Chicken and Fried Sweet Bean Cake
  • Drinks: Draft Tea (Japanese Green Tea) and Kirin Milk Tea

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
Lava fried-chicken sandwich

We kicked off our day with breakfast at the Lake Kawaguchiko station. I absolutely enjoyed the Fried sweet bean cake and the Lava-fried chicken, even thou it didn't look so appealing but I always like trying new food. When it came to drinks, the Draft Tea (Japanese Green Tea) was a delightful surprise, and I couldn't resist grabbing my latest go-to Japanese beverage, the Kirin Milk Tea (English Afternoon Tea), from the grocery store next to the cafe.

Other Meal Options: Near Kawaguchiko Station

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
  • For Coffee: 81 Cafe

It's a cozy little coffee shop that offers complimentary wifi. Despite being the off-season and winter, the cafe can get quite crowded. We decided to order some Japanese coffee and tea here to kickstart our day.

  • Provides a free charging station and Wifi.
  • Enjoy Japanese Warm Drinks:
  • Hojicha: 650 JPY
  • UJI Matcha Latte: 650 JPY

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
  • For Breakfast and Snacks: Fujiyama Cafe (inside Kawaguchiko Station)

There are some great choices available here, and the convenience of having it located inside the station is a plus. This is especially helpful when waiting for the train or bus in winter when it can get very cold.

Fujiyama Cafe Prices
  • Lava Fried Chicken Sandwich: 600 JPY
  • Fried Steamed Bun: 200 JPY
  • Steamed Bun: 200 JPY
  • Draft Tea Japanese Green Tea: 500 JPY

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
  • For Specialty Snacks and Budget Meals: Gateway Fujiyama Lake Kawaguchiko Station (inside Kawaguchiko Station)

We purchased some snacks here such as Cheese Potato Sticks, Milk Tea, Japanese gelato, and Cup Noodles. Being a little further from the station and nearby attractions, especially with a toddler during winter, made us inclined to return and stay warm. We also aimed to relish our time in a traditional Japanese house, further enhancing our overall Japanese experience.

Gateway Fujiyama Grocery Prices
  • Water 1 Liter: 250 JPY
  • Milk Tea: 180 JPY
  • Cheese Potato Chip: 540 JPY
  • Mt Fuji Cookies: 880 JPY
  • Yoshida No Udon Cup Noodles: 300 JPY
  • Yakisoba Cup Noodles: 550 JPY
  • Hoto Cup Noodles: 550 JPY
  • Orange Juice: 220 JPY
  • Gelato: 400 JPY

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
7'11 in Kawaguchiko

  • For Warm Budget Meals: Lawson & 7’11

Both stores are within walking distance from the station. 
The wonderful aspect of Japanese food is that even though it is available in convenience stores like Lawson and 7-Eleven, most of it tastes delicious, the experience reminds me of my amazing trip to South Korea. It is surprisingly satisfying, especially on a cold day when you crave something enjoyable. Many people flock to these stores to buy food, making it an experience that is not just for budget travelers; it's for everyone and adds to the overall experience.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler
Lawson's in another place to see Mt. Fuji on a clear day.

Lawson's offers a more appealing meal selection for me, especially the onigiri (triangular-shaped rice with filling) which tastes fresher. Also, this particular Lawson's store offers a great view of Mt. Fuji.

Lawson’s Snack Prices
  • Onigiri: 135 JPY
  • Hotdog: 183 JPY
  • Corndog: 128 JPY
  • Chicken Meatball: 170 JPY
  • Ice cream: 268 JPY
  • Small Pack of Milk: 125 JPY
  • Maple Syrup Pancakes: 120 JPY
  • Orange Juice: 170 JPY

Funny Moment: We had no idea!

Here’s a funny story about our experience with Lawsons. When we got there we noticed many people taking photos in front of the convenience store. We assumed the food must be really good and it’s a famous store in Kawaguchiko. The following day, when it was snowing and no one was taking pictures, we were confused. It wasn't until after our trip that we discovered the truth – the store is actually a tourist spot where you can clearly see Mt. Fuji in the background. We had a good laugh realizing our confusion and what we’d missed.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

7. Explore the Wind Cave

This experience stood out during our trip since we had never encountered a Wind Cave before, and our sense of curiosity and excitement was at an all-time high as we boarded the bus. The brief nature walk leading to the cave was stunning, surrounded by tall trees and fresh air.

Carrying our two-year-old through the cave was necessary due to the slippery and steep stairs. Once we reached level ground, he joyfully walked on his own but still held our hands to prevent slipping.

Typically, it takes around 10-15 minutes to explore the wind cave, but with a toddler, it may have taken us 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, we enjoyed our snacks on a nearby bench outside the cave. We had brought snacks from the grocery store located within the bus/train station.

  • Check out the Ice Cave

There is also an ice cave located 30 minutes away via a hiking trail or accessible by bus for convenience, but unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to visit it. If you have young children or are pregnant, entry is not permitted due to safety reasons. Carrying them on your back or in your arms and even holding them is not an option. The cave has a low ceiling, and also visitors are required to wear a hard hat, which is provided on-site.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

8. Experience the fun Japanese vending machine

We were tourists and embraced the experience wholeheartedly. While my husband had done this before, it still fascinated him. We managed to purchase the typical cold drink from a vending machine, but the exciting part was that we could also get a warm drink. I opted for warm milk tea, Saul chose a hot coffee, and our little one had warm juice, which he didn't like as he prefers it cold or at room temperature. It turned out to be a delightful way to pass the time as we missed our bus and had to wait for almost an hour. Additionally, there's a shop for souvenirs and an ice cream kiosk; remember to bring cash as the ice cream kiosk doesn't accept cards.

Vending Machine Prices
  • Warm Orange Juice: 150 JPY
  • Warm Coffee: 140 JPY
  • Warm Milk Tea: 140 JPY

Where to go Souvenir shopping

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

9. Try Mt. Fuji Cookies

  • Gateway Fujiyama Lake Kawaguchiko Station

During our visit, we purchased cookies shaped like Mt. Fuji for 880 JPY, and as expected, Japanese pastries never disappoint! They strike the perfect harmony between sweetness and crunchiness. Moreover, Japanese product packaging stands out for its cleanliness and elegance, you don’t even need a ribbon or a bag to give it as a gift.

Japanese product packaging is renowned for its cleanliness and elegance. It doesn't require a ribbon or a bag to make it suitable for gifting.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

10. Get a Mt. Fuji Souvenir for a keepsake

  • Fujisan Plaza (located across the street from the station).

This souvenir shop is within walking distance from Lake Kawaguchiko station. We purchase Mt. Fuji fridge magnets for 660 JPY from here to add to our travel collection.

More Attractions: All accessible by bus from Kawaguchiko Station

  • Fuji Panoramic Ropeway

An aerial lift provides panoramic views of the town and Mt. Fuji. Access the ropeway via train or bus, or 15 minutes walk from Kawaguchiko Station.

  • Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

The museum, featuring antique music boxes and the world's largest dancing organs, creates a unique ambience with its medieval European architecture. It is easily accessible by taxi or bus, less than 30 minutes from the station.

  • Kawaguchiko Herb Hall

Enjoy the herb hall for a range of herbs, attend craft classes, discover herbs for sale, purchase ceramic cups, and enjoy delicious treats at the cafe. It's just a 20-minute bus ride from the station.

  • Paddle Boat on Lake Kawaguchi

One activity I had hoped to experience was taking a paddle boat ride on Lake Kawaguchi. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity due to the weather and unexpected events. Imagine how enjoyable it would be on a clear day to paddle around and catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. The lake is 10 minutes away by bus from the station.

What to do in Kawaguchiko with a Toddler

As the day came to an end, I took a moment to soak in the tranquility of Kawaguchiko and bid farewell to this picturesque town before heading back, cherishing the memories of our unforgettable trip. I never expected to see Mt. Fuji like this. I always pictured myself hiking up the mountain, but due to unforeseen circumstances, plans had to be altered. Perhaps one day I will get the chance. See you again, Mt. Fuji.

  • Next Destination: Tokyo, Japan

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure in Tokyo?
Where am I going next?
For my next adventure, we're off to Nassau, Bahamas! With summer in full swing and fantastic weather, we're all set to enjoy the sunshine.

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