The Itchiku Kubota Kimono Museum is within walking distance of Kawaguchiko of Fuji Five Lakes (fujigoko) and is really a can’t miss place if you are in the area. Itchiku Kubota devoted almost his entire life to developing his own style of making beautiful kimonos and his hard work and devotion can be seen in his works of art. Besides the beautiful kimonos, some of which have designs that carry over between 4 or 5 different kimonos, the museum itself and landscape on the museum grounds are really a site to see.
The Fuji Five Lakes are located at the base of Mount Fuji and weather permitting, offer fabulous views of Mount Fuji. When I went it was really cloudy and I could not see Mount Fuji from the lakes, the area is still nice enough to find other things to take photos of. The photo below is taken from Itchiku Kubota’s Kimono Museum which is close to Kawaguchiko (the biggest of the lakes). Besides having beautiful kimonos the landscape and design of the museum is just amazingly beautiful, especially in the fall.
If you want to climb Mount Fuji, it is not a bad idea to stay here the day before as Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) is a good place to start the climb. Also camping, hiking and fishing are other popular outdoor activities here. If you can, fall or cherry blossom season is the best time to visit the five lakes, but if you want to climb Mount fuji, the climbing season is from June-August.
For more information, please see the Japan-Guide.com.
Along with cherry blossom season, fall is a great time to visit Japan. In any country, fall leaves are beautiful and make for great photos and this holds especially true with Japan. Japan’s most famous fall leaf is the Japanese Maple Tree which turns brillant red in the fall. These red leaves are reffered to as “koyo” (紅葉) in Japanese. The photo on the left was taken at The Itchiku Kubota Kimono Museum and the one on the right on the grounds of the Golden Pavilion.
There are many sites in Japanese that give more detailed information, I cannot read Japanese very well, but even so, there are some sites that are very helpful. For example rurubu.com has a map of Japan and a small color picture of a maple leaf to represent the current status of the leaves in the area. If you want to find a different site, simply go do a google search for “紅葉” followed by the year (紅葉 2006) and you will get more sites in Japanese. The photo below was taken at Kinkakuji in Kyoto.
Below is a tentative schedule for Koyo in Japan for Fuji Five Lakes, Hokkaido, Hakone, Kansai, Kanto, Kyoto, Kyushu, Nikko, Shikoku, Tohoku and Tokyo; however, depending on the weather, these dates tend to change from year to year. The bulleted list below are places I have been to and personally recommend for the fall season.