Autumn arrives early on Mt Fuji where the Karamatsu (Japanese Larch) in the “oniwa,” or garden, and “oku-oniwa,” or inner garden, are stunted, making for a strange landscape reminiscent of Hobbit Land. Those who make it to the one of the viewpoints are rewarded with stunning views of clouds above a mountain range in the distance and, if lucky, the Southern Alps of Japan further afield.


To get to “oniwa” and “oku-niwa” drive up Mt Fuji on the Subaru Line past the fourth step (Yongoume/四合目)and you will see a small parking lot on your left just before the fifth step(gogoume/五合目) where there is a much larger parking lot. From the smaller parking lot, walk down the road a bit until you get to the entrance of the “oniwa,” which is on the other side of the road. From there it is a steep uphill trek but the views are magnificent.

Autumn colors paint the trees below Mt Fuji somewhat later, in November, but for a view of kochia bushes in their full autumn glory, visit Oishi Park on Lake Kawaguchiko in October.