Visiting Chureito Pagoda: A Photographic Icon Near Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is known to be one of the most sacred and holy places in Japan. It is also one of the most beautiful volcanic mountains in Japan. You can view Mount Fuji from afar as part of a stunning panorama from Chureito Pagoda, which is a breathtaking building itself. 

Apart from being one of the most interesting pieces of architecture, the Chureito Pagoda offers an unforgettable view of just part of the beauty that Japan has to offer. 

Chureito Pagoda’s History

Chureito Pagoda stands out around the Fuji Five Lakes and looks over Fujiyoshida City. It was built in 1963 to accompany the Arakura Sengen Shrine as a peace memorial.

While today, it’s often called the Chureito Pagoda, it has also been known to be called the Chastain Tower or the Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument. 

It was erected to memorialize all of the lost lives of Fujiyoshida during many of the wars in Japan. It takes a little bit of a climb to get up to the pagoda, but the trek is well worth it. 

Chureito Pagoda 

The pagoda is a five-story structure with a red exterior and extended and upturned green edges. Pagodas are typically erected in areas near-sacred spaces, such as mountains or shrines, which is why Fujiyoshida City is the perfect place for this shrine. 

This particular pagoda is the site for some of the most iconic and recognizable photos of Japan, considering it features prominent symbols of Japan such as Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms.

Many people will make the hike up to the Chureito Pagoda just to take photos of the amazing view. 

Chureito Pagoda Official Website

Fujiyoshida City

The pagoda and the surrounding area are always open to the public and there is no cost to visit. This makes the pagoda one of the best places you could find to watch a sunrise or a sunset near Mount Fuji. 

Arakura Sengen Shrine

The Arauka Sengen Shrine was erected on Mount Arakura centuries ago in the year 705. Shortly after, Mount Fuji erupted and a fire extinguishing ritual allowed for the shrine to be protected.  

It was also the site where the warrior Nobutora Takeda camped out during one of the civil wars in Japan, where he prayed and subsequently manifested a victory during this war. 

Arakura Sengen Shrine Official Website

The shrine is distinguishable by the array of hundreds of cherry blossom trees, as well as a striking red Torii gate. Arakura sees visitors every year who offer prayers to hope for a successful and peaceful life.

It’s also visited by those praying for safe delivery of expected children, as well as to push away any evil spirits that may be lurking. 

The Views

While the Chueito Pagoda offers a spiritual oasis, the incredible views are also otherworldly regardless of when you visit. In the spring, you’ll see the beauty of the Japanese cherry blossoms, which draw many tourists to Japan every year.

In the fall, the autumn foliage is gorgeous from the height of the pagoda, and the leaves are stunning red and gold colors. In the winter, when there is a light dusting of snow around, the view is picturesque. 

Chureito Pagoda Overlooking Fujiyoshida City

Hanami

Hanami is the practice of flower bloom viewing in spring, and the Chureito Pagoda is the perfect area to indulge in hanami. Apart from the cherry blossoms, there are also plum blossoms that can be seen in the area.

Watching the leaves and flowers change color in the spring is also a must for anyone who loves hanami

Chureito Pagoda In Spring

One of the reasons Japan is such a top pick for nature lovers is that they experience four distinct seasons, all of which offer opportunities to experience nature from different altitudes.

This makes Fujiyoshida City a place to visit no matter what season you are in Japan, especially if you are staying in Tokyo or another city close by.  

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is one of the most famous mountains in the world and is a national treasure to the people of Japan. In Shinto and Buddhist faiths, two of the most prominent in Japan, the mountain is of high importance to each.

Fujisan Museum Official Website

There is even a nearby museum, called Fujisan Museum, that chronicles the history and significance of Mount Fuji, as well as information about making the climb of the mountain. 

A lot of Mount Fuji is not appropriate for visitors or is not sanctioned to be visited during certain times of the year. While it hasn’t erupted for many years, it is a volcano, and volcanoes can be very unpredictable and in the winter months, Mount Fuji is Inaccessible. 

Fuji Five Lakes 

The five lakes that surround the area of Mount Fuji include Shojiko, Saiko, Kawaguchiko, Yamanakako, and Motosuko. The lakes are expansive and beautiful and are great places to take a day hike, enjoy water sports, and go fishing or hiking. 

When you want to take a break from exploring the lakes, there is still much fun to be had in the area of the lakes.

There is an amusement park you can go to so you can have some exciting fun, or plenty of museums in the area if you’re looking for an educational experience. 

Fuji Five Lakes Location Via Google Maps

Kawaguchiko lake

There is a beautiful resort near Kawaguchiko lake where you can enjoy the hot springs and stay overnight so you can get the most out of your Chureito Pagoda experience. 

Getting To Chureito Pagoda

You can easily get to the area of the Chureito Pagoda by taking a train or a bus there. If you are heading to the area from Tokyo, you can grab the train from the Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station, and then hop on the train on the Fujikyuko line. 

You will have to walk a little bit once you get off the train to get to the Chureito Pagoda. Many people will stay in the city for at least one day to be able to space out all the walking and get some rest between other activities that can be done in the area. 

Kawaguchiko Station Official Website

The train trip from Tokyo only takes about 3 hours. There is also a bus that you can take from the Kawaguchiko Station and get off at the Chureito Iriguchi stop. From this bus stop, it’s not a very long walk to get to the pagoda.

A Virtual Trip To Chureito Pagoda

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.