Have you seen the amazing photos of Mt. Fuji in front of a gorgeous 5-story pagoda? Chureito Pagoda is one of the most loved, iconic, beautiful, and peaceful shrines that you can visit. You will not want to miss it!
No matter where you find your inspiration when planning your Japan vacation, you can’t help but see the most inviting photos of Mt. Fuji perched right behind a stunning Japanese pagoda. This is Chureito! And you will want to make sure that it is on your Japan itinerary.
Chureito Pagoda is definitely worth the day trip from Tokyo. It’s not too difficult to get to, and once you are taking in the sweeping views, you will thank yourself.
In this article:
- Arakura Sengen Shrine
- What is Chureito Pagoda
- How long for the climb?
- How to Get there
- Things to do Nearby
- Places to Stay
- Places to Eat
Arakura Sengen Shrine and Park
Located about halfway up Mt. Arakura, the Arakura Sengen Shrine hosts one of the most iconic pagodas in all of Japan.
Founded around 705 AD, it became much more popular when Fuji erupted in 807. However, its popularity skyrocketed when photos of Mt. Fuji and the shrine’s pagoda took over the Internet around 2016.
The shrine is very traditional and has a beautiful gate, fountain, and outbuildings. One of the most popular times to visit is during their cherry festival during the first two weeks of April, which highlight the 650 cherry trees in the area.
What is Chureito Pagoda?
After visiting the main part of Arakura Sengen Shrine, most people start climbing the stairs to the main attraction, Chureito Pagoda.
Chureito is also known by other names like the Chastain Temple and Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument, commemorated to the almost 1000 people from the city to have died in all the Japanese conflicts from 1880 to World War II.
There is no cost for visiting the shrine, seeing the outside of the pagoda, and staying on the observation deck for as long as you want.
How Long Does it Take to Climb?
We’ve been to Chureito Pagoda at least four times, and yes, we climbed up to the observation deck each time. 398 steps sound like they could be difficult, but they’re really pretty straightforward and easy, and only takes me about 15-20 minutes depending on how many photos I take along the way, which is a lot!
How to Get There
There are really only two ways to get to Chureito Pagoda on your own, by train, or by car. We’ve always driven because we lived there and owned our own car, but it’s not difficult to take the train.
To take the train, head to the Shimo-Yoshida station, then start walking up the hill. It’s only about a 15 minute walk. It will be about a 2.5 hour train trip depending on where you are starting in the Tokyo area. It’s great for a day trip.
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There are plenty of things to do in the nearby area, so if you are going, you might want to rent a car and do a few things.
Other Things to Do Nearby
- Mt. Fuji – Why stop with just the views? A visit to the area isn’t complete without at least visiting the 5th station on Mt. Fuji
- Kawaguchiko – This gorgeous lake at the base of Mt. Fuji has some of the best viewpoints throughout the year, including cherry blossoms in Spring and fall foliage in Autumn
- Hakone – One of the closest onsen, or hot spring, areas in the Tokyo region, nestled high in the mountains, this is the perfect area to get into a steaming hot bath
Where to Stay
- Megu Fuji 2021 – 5 minutes walk from train station.
- Fuji Gran Villa – Toki – great for families. You will love the amenities.
Where to Eat
- M2 – a great place to get some pasta. Kids will love it.
- Izumaya – a very traditional Japanese restaurant. Try the sake!
We absolutely adore the Arakura Sengen Shrine and the famous Chureito Pagoda. We always combine it with a trip to Kawaguchiko and the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji. The shrine and pagoda are absolutely gorgeous any time of year. You will love the photos!