Diamond Fuji is a twice annually occurring phenomenon during which the sunrise and sunset align perfectly with Mount Fuji’s summit, looking for all the world like a bright shining jewel placed atop the nation’s crown. There are many great places from which you can witness this startling sunset just a few hours from Nagoya
The Diamond Fuji occurs from October to February, but with weather conditions obscuring views in the earlier months, this beautiful sight is best observed in January and February. Many of the suggestions below take a bit of hiking to get to, so be prepared for a walk. Also, it is advisable to wrap up warm, as when the sun drops, it gets pretty chilly!
Viewing Platform in Hirano
Yamanaka-ko, in the shadow of Fujisan itself, is a picturesque option for taking in the Diamond Fuji experience. There are many places around the lake from which to see it (this website here will give you a more extensive list), with the pick of the bunch being the Panoramic Viewing Platform in Hirano. It’s not the most accessible of locations, being 30 minutes from Fujikyoku. Still, it is a great place to witness the Double Diamond effect, with the mountain and sun both reflected in the lake below. Truly magnificent. Also, weather permitting; you may be treated to a view of Japan’s Southern Alps.
Address: Parking Lot along north-heading prefectural road 147 (map)
Yamanakako Water Park
For more lakeside viewing, you could head to the Yamanakako Water Park. While it will still be a bit too chilly to engage in any water sports there, the tranquil lake provides another excellent opportunity for viewing the ‘Double Diamond’ effect. There is an observation deck at the lakeside with a telescope, but it goes without saying that the telescope is not to be used to look at the sunset. Not if you want to keep your retinas, that is.
Address: North lakeside of Yamanakako, along Marimo dori (map)
Mikuni Mountain Pass
If you are later in the season, you might want to head up to the lookout point halfway up the Mikuni Mountain Pass on the road from Hirano towards the Oyama-cho area. It is an extremely popular spot, but it has the advantage of showing off the diamond spectacle until October 25. As road surfaces can freeze, winter tires or chains on your car are advisable.
The top of Mount Minobu in Yamanashi Prefecture is another dramatic spot from which to watch the Diamond Fuji spectacle. The more adventurous of you may wish to hike up there, but it is also accessible by taking the Minobu-san ropeway. As well as seeing Mt Fuji, there are several hiking trails on Minobusan, beautiful shrines, and onsen in which to relax later.
Address: Yamanashi ken Minamikoma-gun Minobu-chō Minobu 4226 (see map for details)
On the Shizuoka side of Mount Fuji, Lake Tanuku in Fujinomiya City is another marvelous place from where you can see the Double Diamond Fuji effect, with the sun and mountain reflected in clear, still waters. It is by no means an easy trip, however, so it is recommended that you make the most of the journey and perhaps camp for the night.
Oh, and before you start packing your bags and heading up there, be aware that, being on the Shizuoka side of Mt Fuji, Lake Tanuki is only good for seeing the Diamond Fuji from April to August.
Address: 2929 Inokashira, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka (map)
Perhaps the thought of standing outside in the cold on chilly nights doesn’t exactly drive you wild? Well, how about taking a more luxurious option, and head to the Hotel Green Plaza on Mt. Hakone. This sumptuous onsen hotel has open-air baths with views of Mt. Fuji, so you can happily soak in the hot springs as you watch the sun fall behind the iconic mountain. Confirm with hotel staff for exact of the Diamond Fuji dates before arrival.