Overview     Blog     Shop     About      ︎


Waking up at the Foot of Mt Fuji: Hotel Saruya, Fujiyoshida


Ever since we first had the idea of visiting Japan a few years ago, we had always wanted to visit Mt Fuji. And with it being our first Christmas in Japan, when better to take a visit to see Fuji-san himself? After researching several different locations and towns in the surrounding areas, we decided the perfect place for us was the city of Fujiyoshida. Based in Yamanashi Prefecture, Fujiyoshida has the feeling of a small town rather than a city, and a real taste of rural Japan as soon as you step off the train. We took the train from Shinjuku, and the journey was as efficient as you would imagine Japanese public transport to be. Around ¥3,000 and less than two hours later, we were swapping carriages to the local train towards Mt Fuji. We knew we were in for a good day when we caught glimpses of Fuji-san right from our seat on the train.

We knew Fuji-san can be unpredictable, with cloud-cover often changing rapidly. During a trip to Hakone in spring of 2019, we hoped to see the active volcano, and Japan’s tallest peak, from a far, but we had no such luck due to poor visibility. To give ourselves plenty of time, we checked in to Hotel Saruya a converted 1940s Japanese townhouse, split across two separate buildings. The hotel itself is centred around the concept of ‘Creative vacation, local inspiration’, and ticks all the right boxes when it comes to mixing Japanese inspiration and modern aesthetics. With many of the original design elements still in place, open plan layouts and rustic wooden furniture, we would’ve happily moved in for a few more nights.

As with any trip, making sure there is time to wander off the beaten path, as well as take in the iconic views is always important. Seeing how the locals live, sampling the regional food and having time to visit the local Shinto Shrines, including walking up some 400 steps to the famous Chureito Pagoda, is all an absolute must when visting Fujiyoshida.

Find out more via saruya-hostel.com
Photography by Ben Richards