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Updated Guidance for Cruises Departing the U.S. Beginning August 8, 2022. View health and travel requirements
Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s most enduring and famous sights. Not only is it Japan’s highest mountain, but it’s also an active volcano and considered sacred to the area’s residents. The surrounding areas like Tokyo and Yokohama will give you a faraway glimpse of Mount Fuji, but you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with the mountain while on a Mt. Fuji cruise.
Of course, there’s more to do than just mountain climbing. Travelers who stop here on an Asia cruise also enjoy the area’s adventurous skiing opportunities and dipping in the local hot springs. When you arrive in the port of Shimizu, you’ll find abundant shopping at the S-Pulse Dream Plaza along the waterfront. Try the local beer, influenced by German brewing practices, or enjoy the area’s incredibly fresh local tuna. Visitors can also enjoy a day at Hakone National Park for crisp nature and incredible views, or go into Shizuoka City for shopping, fine dining, and exploration. Considerably less crowded than Tokyo and teeming with natural beauty, the Mt. Fuji area and nearby Shizuoka City promise an exciting combination of city life and tranquil nature.
It’s no secret that a Mt. Fuji cruise isn’t complete without a trip to its namesake mountain. After all, the country’s highest mountain (and active volcano) attracts travelers from all over the world. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Shizuoka and Tokyo in the far-off distance, or simply enjoy the village near Mt. Fuji for its shopping and quaint personality. Visibility can vary based on the weather, so be sure to check the forecast when you go.
Outdoorsy travelers will love Hakone National Park, which provides a much-needed break from city life for Tokyo residents. Hiking is a popular activity here. You can also check out the Open Air Museum, which showcases art and sculptures from around the world. The grounds are decorated with thought-provoking exhibits like the Picasso Exhibition Hall. Or, stand in awe of history at the Hakone Shrine, which is shrouded by greenery and a beautiful forest. The hot springs of Hakone National Park are a quintessential experience on a Tokyo to Mt. Fuji trip.
Head to this unique UNESCO World Heritage site for a truly magical combination of blue waters, ancient pines, and mountain views. It’s an ideal afternoon excursion for those who want to take an outdoorsy approach to seeing Mt. Fuji. Rent bikes and ride along the paved, canopied route, or go scuba diving or windsurfing.
While on a Mt. Fuji cruise, make a memorable stop in Shizuoka City, which is the vibrant capital of the Shizuoka Prefecture. Museums, Shinto shrines like Kunōzan Tōshōgu Shrine, and hiking along Satta Pass or Mount Aino make Shizuoka the perfect mix of city life and natural excursions.
This volcanic valley near Mount Hakone is well-known by locals for the healing properties of the sulfuric water, including the nearby hot springs. Hikers looking for a challenge will enjoy a four-hour trek on Mount Kamiyama.
Lake Ashi was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption. Today, it’s a hot spot for sightseeing boats that explore the beautiful, undeveloped shores. There’s even a pirate ship for tours. Hop on for a view of Mt. Fuji in the distance.
There’s nothing like an afternoon dip in a sacred, healing hot spring. At Oshino Hakkai Springs, you can enjoy true tranquility within the eight ponds that are fed by the melted, snowy slopes of Mount Fuji. Bask in the restorative springs, then enjoy the area’s shops and restaurants.
The crystal clear waters of Mt. Fuji influence the food here in a beautiful way. Fresh seafood is a staple on restaurant menus in the neighboring towns. In the Mt. Fuji area, whether that’s Hakone or near the port of Shimizu, you’ll find rich dishes with soba or udon made from the mountain’s spring waters.
Tuna is one of Shimizu’s top exports. Unagi, or eel, have a particular flavor here because the eels swim in the snowmelt of Mt. Fuji. The locals here are proud of their gastronomic delicacies, and an adventurous appetite is a must when you’re traveling on a Mt. Fuji cruise. Try the locally farmed sardines or the area’s Fujiyama beer, a German-style beer brewed from the mountain waters.
The town of Shimizu and its port played an important role in trading tea, fish, and other shipments to and from other regions of Japan. Today, Shimizu has been incorporated into the greater part of Shizuoka City. The area is most famous for its proximity to Mt. Fuji, and most of its tourism supports visitors getting around and to the mountain. Locals pride themselves on living close to one of the most sacred sites in Japan, and travelers come from Tokyo to get away, rest, and ski at the mountain resorts near Mt. Fuji each year.
On your Tokyo to Mt. Fuji cruise, your ship will dock at the Port of Shimizu, where you’ll be welcomed by stunning sights of Mount Fuji in the distance. The cruise port and harbor area are modern and well-kept and offer classic amenities like currency exchange, free wifi, and a tourist information area where passengers can ask questions and orient themselves once they depart the cruise ship. What’s unique about the Port of Shimizu is that there are geisha performances and tea ceremonies held there as a way for locals to welcome travelers passing through.
Buses and ferries travel regular routes from the Port of Shimizu to the center of town. Because you’ll be docking at the port instead of in the town of Fuji, it may take an hour-and-a-half car ride to reach the summit of the mountain. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get around, as Mount Fuji is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Taxis are available too, but aren’t as common in the Shimizu area as they are in other parts of Japan.
The best area for shopping is a short five-minute walk from the Shimizu port, where you can eat a snack, buy souvenirs, and shop for handmade Japanese goods. There’s even a museum dedicated to sushi at the Suruga Souvenir Shopping Area. Shop a bit before continuing on to Mount Fuji.
Tipping isn’t a must in Japan. In fact, some people in Japan find the practice of tipping abnormal, so broach the topic carefully. In general, you don’t have to tip your taxi driver or your waitstaff. Tipping a tour guide is up to you, but handing the guide money directly is a no-no. Use cash while in Japan instead of credit cards. Many smaller establishments don’t accept credit cards, so carry a little extra yen to cover your day-to-day costs.