Lake Shoji is a hidden gem at the base of Mt Fuji. The smallest of the Fuji Five lakes, it is beautifully quiet and serene, and completely removed from the rest of the bustling, touristy scene surrounding the famous volcano.
Almost untouched, the lake only has four hotels, 2 restaurants and a conbini. It’s hard to imagine why; it offers a completely unobstructed view of Mt Fuji, Mt. Omuro and Aokigahara forest.
During Golden Week, John and I spent two nights on the smallest of the Fuji Five lakes. Lake Shoji faces Aokigahara, the notorious woodland that sprawls 30 square kilometers of Mt Fuji’s northwestern base. This is part one of our journey into Suicide Forest.
I’m not sure what I was expecting to see when John and I pulled up to the Saiko Bat Cave, but four busloads of schoolchildren wasn’t it. What I had pictured as a tiny building sitting on the edge of a misty forest, manned by a creepy old man selling tickets to an underwhelming cave in an attempt to distract visitors from the real horrors of Aokigahara was, by all accounts, false.