When friends are visiting Mount Fuji, I will always recommend to free up one night in your itinerary to experience a stay in one of the traditional ryokans which is scattered all around Mount Fuji and the Hakone area. The experience is very relaxing and out of the world since Japan is probably the only country where you can dip in extremely hot onsen and relax in the full view of a gorgeous mountain like Mount Fuji.
There are many ryokan choices in the area ranging from rather luxury ones with a sky high price tag to really old and traditional ones with very affordable rates. Some of these ryokans are purely Japanese speaking only so it is important to choose one that can communicate in English. I chose the Shuhoukaku Kogetsu mainly because of the view of Mount Fuji you can get from the ryokan
The building is located on a small hill and has fantastic views of Mount Fuji from every corner of the ryokan. You will get a view of the mountain from every room. The price is however not one of the more affordable ones but this ryokan is extremely popular and runs out very fast during peak periods. For visitors who drive there is a couple of lots right in front of the building but as the lots are limited, you need to inform them during your booking.
The lobby itself is huge and bright with a grand piano as well as a lounge that has the first full view of Mount Fuji once you enter the ryokan.
As the ryokan is quite a distance from the nearest shops, they have an in house souvenir store that sells souvenirs with Mount Fuji pictures as well as Japanese boxed snacks
For family with kids, there is a games room with arcade machines where kids can entertain themselves while parents sit back and relax
We checked into our room and was greeted with this million dollar view at the balcony
The room itself is not huge but is very traditional in style. When we first checked in, the room is set in the dining room style with a center table and floor seating. You can choose to have dinner in the room or at the dining hall but usually most guests will have their dinner in the room.
Just before settling down for dinner, the best thing is to do is to visiting the onsen in the ryokan and fully relax to enjoy your time in the ryokan. In fact, for me the best experience is the onsen itself as the view is simply unbeatable. The baths are separated by gender and you will get to the changing room with lockers and the main shower area and indoor dipping pool
Even if you prefer to dip in the onsen indoors, you still get the fantastic view of Mount Fuji.
The outdoor pool itself is pretty small and has part of the pool covered from the view of the mountain. But the pool outside has a slightly hotter temperature compared to the inside pool.
During check in, you can set the exact time you wish to have your dinner and the service staff will come to your room to do up the table settings. We were served many courses in small exquisite plates as well as a main Japanese hot pot to warm the body. The quality of the food is of course fantastic as with most Japanese hospitality.
Breakfast is served at the main dining hall with a full length glass window where you can dine and enjoy the view of Mount Fuji
Breakfast is buffet style with mostly Japanese rice options with pickles and soup as well as some Western selections
After breakfast, you can also stroll around the garden which is just outside the dining hall. In autumn , it is perfect to sit in the sun and enjoy the view of Mount Fuji.
Throughout the stay, you will be given a set of Yukata which you can wear around the ryokan. Yukata is like a summer version of the kimono where Japanese wear during summer or at home. There is also a right and wrong way of wearing the Yukata; left side over right side. ( The other way round is for the dead so make sure to get it the correct way)
Overall, Shuhoukaku Kogetsu is an excellent choice for a ryokan with great view of Mount Fuji if you are willing to spend the extra dollar. Service is impeccable and all meals and facilities are fantastic and the main selling point is of course the clear view of the majestic mountain itself
Room rates start from SGD 592
Address: 2312 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0304, Japan