Small group travelling is wonderful, and couldn’t be recommended enough. Branching away from touristic hotspots and resorts will be the best choice you can ever make whilst travelling abroad.  

Lake Kawaguchi, located in the southern Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of size, and is located at the lowest elevation. A short boat ride around the lake provides stunning views of the iconic mountain on a clear day and in itself, is a slight treat! However, clear days within cherry blossom season can be few and far between. A mere week before, the arrival to Hakone was greeted with the first combination of Cherry blossom and snow that Japan has seen for 75 years. Although this was an incredible experience in itself, low rolling fog, prevented any views of, well, anything!

 

Mount Komagatake plants its roots approximately 50 kilometres from Mt fuji and from its peak casts a watchful eye over Lake Ashi. The 5 lakes themselves and especially Lake Ashi, are worth visiting if you can afford the time. There are incredible activities and breathtaking views as well Ryokan, housing a speciality for natural hot springs. Sipping sake in a beautifully preserved natural hot tub, is one of life’s must do experiences..

A little note for some of you! Most places will deny entry to people with tattoos, although it has become more widely acceptable, it is still frowned upon in some places. I myself had the misfortune of being turned away from a large bathhouse in central Tokyo.