Source: Gaijin Pot

I’m drenched in sweat from riding all day. I’m pedaling as fast as I can towards the light at the end of a dark tunnel when a cool afternoon breeze hits me, and I finally see Lake Kawaguchi’s vibrant, deep blue colors. I let out a triumphant whoop as the road turns downhill.

Then, I stand up in my seat and let gravity do the rest as a sunset baths Fujisan in a red glow. “So, this is the Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes) cycling adventure,” I think. This is my experience cycling around the iconic Mount Fuji and how you can do it too.

Starting at Lake Kawaguchi

Photo: iStock/ Dragonite_East
The morning scenery at Kawaguchiko.

When I arrived in Fujikawaguchiko, I stayed at Hana Hostel and was welcomed by Hana and her family. In the morning, I ate a hearty energy-supplying breakfast, loaded up complimentary snacks, rented a bike from Hana and started down the hill towards Lake Kawaguchi.

The roads in town did give me some slight trepidation at the prospect of crashing into someone on the narrow sidewalks all day, but paths widened once I reached the lake—with enough space for cyclists and pedestrians to share.

A quick stop for art

Photo: Sean Pavone
The Fuji view at Oishi Park.

About 30 minutes after starting my ride around Lake Kawaguchi, I arrived at the Forest Music Museum. The steep admission (¥1,800) was worth it to see this quaint, European mountain village-style gallery of acoustics, organs and opera concerts. I could easily spend hours exploring the museum, cafe or its lovely Tulip garden on the lake’s edge.

After …continue reading