The Fuji Shibazakura Festival – Is it really worth it?

March 4, 2019|Lena Scheidler

From April to May each year in Fujikawaguchiko in Japan, the Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜祭り, Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri) is held. In the middle of May, I made my way from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko for the fourth time, this time to enjoy this beautiful flower event. 

In this post, I put together all the information you might need so you can enjoy the Fuji Shibazakura Festival 2019 in all its beauty.

If you want to read more posts about Japan check out my Japan travel blog category. And for more amazing and unique experiences all over the world visit my travel experiences category.

Fuji Shibazakura Festival

What are Shibazakura

The Japanese pink flower called Shibazakura are a type of pink moss flower, also called phlox.

These flowers bloom once a year between April and May. At the Fuji Shibazakura festival there are more than 8 million Shibazakura flowers, more than anywhere else around Tokyo, for you to admire. Especially impressive are the flowers here because of the unique views of Mount Fuji you can enjoy at the same time.

The fields of Shibazakura are like a pink carpet and give a beautiful colorful contrast to Mount Fuji.

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The Fuji Shibazakura Flower Festival

I made my way by rental car from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture on a Saturday morning. The ride is supposed to take about 2 hours, because of a little bit of weekend traffic and a bathroom break I needed about 2 and a half.

Arrival at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival

If you arrive at the Fuji Shibazakura park by car, and especially on the weekend it can be quite crowded, but after about 10 minutes of queuing in front of the parking lot entrance I finally got in and found a good parking space not too far from the exit.

If you want to go by car type in Fuji Motosuko Resort or Motosu Highland and you will get to the right location.

Pro tip: Try to park at the first parking lot, the second is really far away from the entrance to the park. The parking fee is 500 yen.

So, I got out of the car, equipped with a sunhat, sunglasses and my camera and made my way to the entrance. There are some booths selling food and local products as souvenirs, but for the moment I ignored them. Souvenirs are for when you leave a place, am I right. I paid the entrance fee of 600 Yen (6 USD) per person and went in.

The Park

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko Japan

The park where the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is held every year is much smaller than I thought, and I was unimpressed at first glance. Many of the flowers were already withered, and there wasn’t much pink (or even green) left on the ground.

The Fuji Shibazakura Observation Deck

Fuji Shibazakura Festival Mount Fuji Viewing Platform in Kawaguchiko Japan

But while the entrance area isn’t too impressive the view of the observation deck with the little flower Fujisan in the foreground and the real Mount Fuji in the background is really quite remarkable. After a couple of snapshots from different angles, I descended the observation area and continued on my way around the park.

Strolling Through the Shibazakura Garden

From every part of the park, Mount Fuji is an impressive sight and the pink moss flower in the foreground even if they aren’t as beautiful as they could be, because I visited so late in the season, made for a pretty picture opportunity. And I took countless pictures while strolling through the Mount Fuji flower festival.

Food at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Sakura Flavored Soft Serve Ice Cream at Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko Japan

About halfway through the park, there is a little café called Fujiyama, selling Mount Fuji and Sakura themed sweets, and even some big tents selling Japanese festival food.

I bought a Sakura flavored soft serve ice cream, because I can never say no to Japanese soft serve ice cream, and decided to have lunch soon, I was getting hungry. There were many people (mainly Chinese tourists) having their meal sitting around on the many picknick benches or on the floor and enjoying the fantastic view.

The Pond

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko Japan

Nearing the end of the parks route you come to a pond which also looks very nice on pictures, especially together with the flowers and Fujisan.

When You Leave

All in all, I spent a little over an hour at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival. If you decide to eat lunch, there and walk slower to take some more pictures, it might take a bit longer than that. On the way out I paid the 500 Yen (5 USD) for parking, had a look at the souvenir shops in front of the exit/entrance (we didn’t buy anything) and made my way to the next destination of the day: Lunch!

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Viewing Mount Fuji

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko Japan

During my visit, I was in luck, and the weather was fantastic. There were no clouds in the sky, it was sunny, it was warm, but not too warm. Being able to see Mount Fuji really depends on luck and the weather. But if you want a better chance to see it try to visit very early in the morning.

According to other people, the best time to take pictures at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is in the afternoon. Don’t expect to see the mountain on a rainy day, and even on a sunny day, Mount Fuji likes to hide behind clouds at around noon.

When to Visit the 2019 Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko Japan

The Fuji Shibazakura Festival 2019 dates are from April 13th (Saturday) to May 26th.

Like I mentioned before, many of the Shibazakura and other flowers in the park were already wittered when I came to visit in the middle of May. I assume going even later than that won’t make for a better experience.

So I guess the best time to visit would be around the end of April, but be warned, a visit during the Gold Week holiday (usually starting on the 29th of April) is not recommended because it will get super crowded with Japanese visitors.

 

A visit on the weekend, especially during the most beautiful time in April also attracts many visitors and so, in general, a visit on a weekday, and especially in the morning is your best option to avoid the crowds.

General Information of the Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Here is all the general information about the Fuji Shibazakura Festival at a glance for you:

Name: Fuji Shibazakura Festival (谷や)

Admission: 600 Yen (6 USD)

Parking fee: 500 Yen (5 USD)

Opening hours 2019: April 13 to May 28 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Address: 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru Yamanashi

Website

Google Maps

Impressions from My Trip to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Other Things to Do in the Area

Mount Fuji and Motosuko in Kawaguchiko Japan

Like I said earlier, the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is fun to visit for about an hour or two, so what should you do with the rest of your day? I have a couple of options for you! You could visit other famous Mount Fuji viewing spots in the area. I even created a Fuji Five Lakes Itinerary post for you, check it out!

How to Get to Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Lastly, some information on how to get to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival from Tokyo, either by car, bus or tour service.

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By Car

As mentioned, I made my way to Kawaguchiko by rental car. It is the most flexible and also fastest way to get around and make the most of your time while you are in the area.

I paid about 16000 Yen (160 USD) including the 12-hour rental, gas money, and road fees.

You can check prices and rent your car conveniently via rentalcars.com

If you want to drive as a tourist in Japan, you need an international driver’s license which you have to get before you leave your country. I would also like to remind you that the Japanese drive on the left side of the road and usually use automatic shift geared cars.

By Bus

The cheapest way to get from Tokyo to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is by highway bus. During the festival period, buses are leaving from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko with a connection to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival area. The bus from Shinjuku will cost you 1750 Yen (17 USD) one way, and the connection to the festival area an additional 2000 Yen (20 USD) as a return ticket including the 600 Yen admission to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival.

Be advised that these busses are very popular and you should make sure to reserve your tickets between Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko in advance. You can book your bus online.

Participate in a Fuji Shibazakura Festival Tour

Your last option to experience the Fuji Shibazakura Festival and also other activities in the region is to participate in a Shibazakura tour from Tokyo. The Tokyo Fuji Shibazakura, Mt. Fuji 5th Station & All-You-Can-Eat Strawberry Picking Day Tour includes the transfer by bus from Tokyo and back, the admission fee to the festival as well as a delicious Hoto lunch. You will also get to enjoy delicious strawberries that you picked yourself and take some more stunning pictures of Mount Fuji at Mount Fuji 5th Station.

Book your unforgettable tour to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival and other parts of Kawaguchiko today via KLOOK.com!

In Conclusion

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko Japan

I had a great time at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, even though the flowers weren’t in full blossom anymore. If you come on the right day at the right time, your experience will be even more magical. 

Let’s just hope that the weather is your friend and the sun is shining down on you during your visit so you will have a fantastic view of Mount Fuji from the Fuji Shibazakura Festival and all the other destination you visit during your day trip.

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Japan in Spring at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko. A great place to view Mount Fuji and for a day trip from Tokyo during April and May. View flowers in Japan and enjoy Japanese culture. #Japantravel #SpringTravel #MountFuji #DayTrip
Japan in Spring at the Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko. A great place to view Mount Fuji and for a day trip from Tokyo during April and May. View flowers in Japan and enjoy Japanese culture. #Japantravel #SpringTravel #MountFuji #DayTrip

Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been paid for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
This post might contain affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by buying products through my links!

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About Lena

Hi, I'm Lena the founder of The Social Travel Experiment. My mission is to help bussy millennials plan an unforgettable trip around the world, through stays with locals, without wasting valuable time and money.

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About Lena

Hi, I'm Lena the founder of The Social Travel Experiment. My mission is to help bussy millennials plan an unforgettable trip around the world, through stays with locals, without wasting valuable time and money.

Find out more About Me and The Social Travel Experiment

If you are a business we might be able to work together so check out the Work With Me page for more details

Amazon Disclosure

The Social Travel Experiment is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Affiliate Disclosure

Posts on The Social Travel Experiment contain affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by buying products through my links!

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