5 Ways To Get Active in Gotemba
There are more things to do in Gotemba than just Mt Fuji – get outdoors and enjoy golf, cycling and even horse riding.
THINGS TO DO IN GOTEMBA
1. HIKING MT FUJI
Gotemba is one of 3 major destinations at the base of Mt Fuji and located just 2 hours from Tokyo.
Every year Gotemba see thousands of visitors arriving to climb Mt Fuji via the Gotemba Trail.
The Gotemba trail is the longest of the trails up Mt Fuji as it is located at 1400 meters above sea level.
Recently The Prince Route has gained in popularity as a new way to climb Mt Fuji offering hikers a chance to not only avoid the Summer crowds but also hike in Hoei Crater.
The Prince Route typically involves climbing to the crater of Mt Fuji via the Hoei Crater from the Fujinomiya 5th Station and the descending on the Gotemba trail and enjoying the “great sand run” down the mountain.
Once you are down in Gotemba there are a number of great Onsen available to soak your weary bones, and maybe enjoy a cold beer.
3. MOUNTAIN BIKING
Mountain Biking is starting to increase in popularity in Japan as it is around the World and in recent years mountain bike courses have popped up all throughout the country.
Futago MTB course is a new addition to the Japan mountain bike scene opening in 2018.
The Futago Course is managed by Tokinosumika / Gotemba Kogen Resort which offers a shuttle service from their accommodation complex with all gear provided so all you need to do is turn up.
The bikes are all top of the line E-Bikes which is important as there is no up-mountain service or chairlifts to get to the top.
It still takes a bit of effort to get to the top even with the assist but the spectacular views from the top of the course of Mt Fuji make it all worthwhile.
The runs down through the pine trees are fun and well groomed and there are options for both beginners and more advanced riders.
3. HORSEBACK RIDING
If you are looking for a unique Japanese experience, something to keep the kids happy or need a stunning Instagram photo to impress your friends then horseback riding with Mt Fuji as a backdrop could be for you.
Both operations cater for beginners and advanced riders with friendly well train horses and experienced trainers that will help you feel comfortable on the horse and master the basics.
Once you have formed a relationship with your horse both operators offer a short trekking expedition which they can cater to your riding ability.
Horse riding through a field and forest with stunning views of Mt Fuji is a great way to make long lasting memories of your trip to Japan – don’t forget your cowboy hat!
3. KOMAKADO KAZA-ANA CAVES
The Komakado Kaza-Ana Caves is the largest lava tube near Mt Fuji and has been designated as a natural national treasure.
Located near Fujioka Station (15 minute walk) which is 2 stations from Gotemba Station on the JR Gotemba Train Line.
A small fee (200 yen) is charged at the entrance and you are free to wander through the caves formed by lava from a Mt Fuji eruption over 10,000 years ago.
The temperature in the caves is steadily 13 degrees so it is a great place to escape the heat of a Japanese Summer.
5. FUJINOKIRAMEKI GLAMPING
Glamping (Glamourous Camping) is another overseas trend that Japan has embraced and made its own.
Around the Mt Fuji area there have been many glamping locations that offer visitors a chance to enjoy the concept of camping with all the comforts of home – and more.
If there is such a thing as 5 star camping then Fujinokirameki would be it – comfortable beds, heated rooms, outdoor jacuzzi and even a chef prepared BBQ with lobster and tomahawk steak.
Enjoying all this with magnificent views of Mt Fuji.
In the morning wake up early, layout your yoga mat and start the day with a stretch before enjoying another breakfast feast.
Check the Fujinokirameki Website
5. PLAYING GOLF
Gotemba has about 10 golf courses in the area, many of which were designed by some of the most famous golfers.
Golfing in Japan has always been seen as an expensive experience but in recent years it has become more and more affordable.
Gotemba golf courses are famous for their outstanding views of Mt Fuji.
Odakyu Railway operates a Romance Car from Shinjuku Station to Gotemba at 06:40am every morning.
Many of the clubs offer pick ups from the Station and provide rental clubs, shoes and gear – making it possible to be on the first tee by 9 am with Mt Fuji as your backdrop for what may be the best round of your life.
In addition, if any in your group is not a golfer they may want to spend a day of shopping, onsen or some of the activities and meet up in the afternoon making Gotemba a great way to get away from Tokyo for a day or two.