Diamond Fuji is a stunning phenomenon that happens twice a year, where the sunrise and sunset perfectly align with the summit of Mount Fuji. This creates a beautiful sight that looks like a bright, shining jewel on the nation’s crown. There are many great locations from which you can witness this breathtaking sunset, just a few hours from Nagoya.
The Diamond Fuji occurs between October and February, but the earlier months may have poor weather conditions that obscure views. As a result, the best time to observe this beautiful sight is in January and February. Many of the suggested locations require a bit of hiking to get to, so you should be prepared for a walk. Additionally, it’s advisable to wrap up warm because it gets pretty chilly when the sun drops.
Doubling Down – The Double Diamond
The Double Diamond effect is a mesmerizing natural occurrence when the sun aligns with Mount Fuji’s summit, creating a sparkling diamond-like appearance. This effect is most notably observed at locations with clear and calm water bodies in front of Mount Fuji, such as Lake Yamanaka. When conditions are ideal, usually on clear days with minimal wind, the water surface becomes mirror-like, reflecting the sun’s image aligning with Mount Fuji’s summit. This dual effect creates the “Double Diamond” appearance, with one diamond in the sky and the other mirrored in the lake. Photographers and nature enthusiasts particularly seek this rare and beautiful phenomenon for its breathtaking view. It symbolizes the perfect harmony between the sky and the earth, reflected in the tranquility of the lake and the alignment of the sun and the mountain.
Hotel Green Plaza Hakone
Do you not like standing outside in the cold on chilly nights? Perhaps a more luxurious option is what you need. Why not head to the Hotel Green Plaza on Mt. Hakone? This luxurious onsen hotel features open-air baths with breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji. You can relax in the hot springs while watching the sunset behind this iconic mountain. Ensure that you check with the hotel staff for the exact dates of the Diamond Fuji before your arrival.
On the Shizuoka side of Mount Fuji, Lake Tanuki in Fujinomiya City is a marvelous place to witness the Double Diamond Fuji effect. The sun and mountain are reflected in the clear and still waters of the lake. However, it is not an easy trip, and it is recommended to make the most of the journey by camping for the night. But, before you pack your bags and head up there, remember that Lake Tanuki is located on the Shizuoka side of Mt Fuji, and the Double Diamond Fuji effect can only be seen between April and August.
Address: 2929 Inokashira, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka (map)
Mikuni Mountain Pass
If you are traveling later in the season, you may want to visit the lookout point halfway up the Mikuni Mountain Pass on the road from Hirano towards the Oyama-cho area. This spot is highly popular due to its spectacular view of the diamonds, which can be seen until October 25th. Please note that the road surfaces in the area may freeze, so it is advisable to use winter tires or chains on your vehicle.
You can witness the stunning Diamond Fuji phenomenon at the top of Mount Minobu in Yamanashi Prefecture. If you’re up for an adventure, you can hike up there; otherwise, you can take the Minobu-san ropeway. Along with the magnificent view of Mount Fuji, there are many hiking trails, beautiful shrines, and a relaxing onsen to visit later. The Minobusan Ropeway is the highest in Japan’s Kanto region and offers a unique and scenic way to access the upper areas of Mount Minobu. The journey on the ropeway lasts about 7 minutes, taking you from the nearby Kuonji Temple to the summit of Mt. Minobu. This saves you the strenuous effort of a 4+ hour round trip hike.
Address: Yamanashi ken Minamikoma-gun Minobu-chō Minobu 4226 ( map )
Viewing Platform in Hirano
Yamanaka-ko is a stunning location to witness the Diamond Fuji experience, situated in the shadow of Mount Fuji. Various places around the lake offer excellent views of this natural phenomenon, but the best spot is the Panoramic Viewing Platform in Hirano. However, it’s not the most easily accessible location, as it takes 30 minutes from Fujikyoku. Nevertheless, it’s worth the effort as it’s an excellent place to witness the Double Diamond effect. You may even see Japan’s Southern Alps if the weather is clear.
Address: Parking Lot along north-heading prefectural road 147 (map)
Yamanakako Water Park
Yamanakako Water Park is located beside the peaceful Lake Yamanaka, which is a perfect spot to enjoy lakeside views and witness the ‘Double Diamond’ effect. Even though water sports might not be possible when Diamond Fuji can be seen, the park’s observation deck provides an excellent vantage point. From this deck, visitors can observe the breathtaking phenomenon where the rising or setting sun aligns with the summit of Mount Fuji, and its reflection in the lake creates a double image. The serene atmosphere of the lake and its surrounding natural beauty make this location ideal for relaxation and photography enthusiasts who wish to capture this unique natural event.
Address: North lakeside of Yamanakako, along Marimo dori (map)