The Best Cafes in Fuji Five Lakes, Japan
Read on for our pick of the best cafes in the Fuji Five Lakes region | © magicflute002 / Getty Images
Home to Japan’s most iconic peak, the Fuji Five Lakes region has some of the best views in the country. Here are five cafes where you can sit back and relax with your favourite beverage while enjoying the stunning lakeside scenery.
Fuji Five Lakes lies in Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture, in the northern foothills of Mount Fuji. A tranquil lakeside resort, it’s home to a wealth of hiking spots, quirky museums, ancient shrines and Fuji-themed souvenirs. The cafés here are just as chilled out as the serene lakes themselves, nestled in peaceful spots around their shores where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Each one has its own speciality – from cakes and herbal teas to freshly baked bread – and its own unique atmosphere to enjoy. In addition to Cisco Coffee, which you can read about in our guide to Fuji Five Lakes’ best restaurants, here are Culture Trip’s top five cafe recommendations:
Cafes in the Fuji Five Lakes area are usually tucked away in peaceful spots near the shores © Taiyou Nomachi/Getty Images
Many cafes back onto spectacular views of Mount Fuji © Zheng Hui Ng / Alamy Stock Photo
Sample the freshest breads at Lake Bake Cafe
Cafe, Snacks, $$$
As soon as you enter this chilled-out café, the scent of freshly-baked bread welcomes you and entices you in. The bakery here offers over 50 different varieties of bread, including raisin bread, fig and walnut boules, cheese loaves and a speciality aged bread made with mature yeast. You can also enjoy Japanese-style sweet treats
, such as matcha and black bean scones, melon pan
buns and sweet potato scones. The café is situated on the edge of Oishi Kōen, a flower-filled park that offers some of the best views of Mount Fuji in the area. Take a seat out on Lake Bake’s terrace to sip your tea or coffee and make the most of this picture-perfect location.
Soak up the atmosphere of the rustic French countryside at Cafe Troisieme Marche
Cafe, Dessert Shop, Snacks, Coffee, $$$
You may be in Japan, but this café will transport you all the way to rural Europe with its quaint decoration, dried flowers and antique furniture. Just to the east of Lake Kawaguchi, within walking distance of the Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
, this is the kind of café where time slows and you can’t help but feel relaxed. The menu offers a small selection of lunch dishes such as quiche and sandwiches, but cake is undoubtedly its forte. With a mix of seasonal specials made with local fruits, plus classic favourites like cookies and cream cheesecake, if you have a sweet tooth you’ll be spoilt for choice. As well as the café section, they have a small space where you can peruse crockery, accessories and other miscellaneous items for sale.
Tuck in to the best apple pie at Papermoon
Cafe, Dessert Shop, Coffee, Snacks, $$$
Papermoon is a stylish and refined café tucked away amidst the greenery on the shores of Lake Yamanaka, the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. In addition to excellent coffee, it sells a range of homemade cakes including strawberry shortcake, tiramisu
, pumpkin pudding and apricot cheesecake. The standout dish however is the apple pie, made with chunky pieces of apple inside a perfectly cooked pastry and delicately seasoned with cinnamon. Although a little pricey, the cakes are well worth the trip to this slightly out-of-the-way location. Be aware that in order to retain its air of quiet sophistication, no children under the age of 10 are permitted in Papermoon.
Enjoy coffee with a view at Lake Side Café Ku
Cafe, Coffee, Snacks, $$$
Located right on the southern shores of Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Side Café Ku benefits from both easy access from Kawaguchiko station and fantastic views out over the pristine waters of the lake. This friendly establishment offers a wide range of hot and iced coffee, as well as juices and smoothies made with locally grown fruit and vegetables from Yamanashi prefecture. A selection of light meals and sweet treats such as muffins and ice cream is also available. The café’s decor is comfy and minimalist so as not to detract from the picturesque landscape outside – head to the window seats on the top two floors to get the best views.
Sample herbal teas at Cafe Green House
Cafe, Coffee, Snacks
Part of the Kawaguchiko Herb Museum next to Oike Park, this café is literally located in a glass greenhouse. It sells a wide range of herbal teas made using mixtures of the roughly 200 different herbs grown in the museum’s own garden. These include concoctions designed to boost your immune system, cleanse your body, relax your mind and clear your skin, among others. Standard drinks such as coffee, hot chocolate and juices are also available and, if you get peckish, try some of the multicoloured soft-serve ice cream, with flavours including matcha
, strawberry and lavender. More substantial meals like ramen and curry are also on the menu if you want something more filling. Don’t forget to check out the museum, plus its shop and gardens, while you’re here.
These recommendations were updated on February 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.