What to Eat at the Fuji Five Lakes
With all the energy you’ll use on the numerous outdoor activities available around the Fuji Five Lakes, and especially after climbing Fujisan, the next best thing to do is find a generous warm meal or a snack along the route to keep you going to regain a few calories. Do not leave the lakes without trying these out:
Two snacks you ought to try while staying at the Fuji Five Lakes are oyaki and Mount Fuji tofu. Typically, oyaki is a buckwheat flour dumpling filled with pumpkin, red bean paste (anko), or other fresh vegetables. At the Narusawa Michi No Eki, you’ll find this awesome snack with the same ingredients but prepared more like a tortilla than a dumpling. This is the perfect treat after checking out the ice and wind caves nearby. Mount Fuji tofu may come as a small snack but it’s big on flavour thanks to an added scoop of homemade miso and a drop of soy sauce. You can find it as you stroll through the Sacred Ponds at Oshino Hakkai springs near Lake Yamanakako.
Mt. Fuji Base’s Lava Dog
Across the street from Kawaguchiko Station you’ll find Mt. Fuji Base, a bar with the looks of a mountain lodge and, during the day, a spectacular view of Fujisan in the distance. The star here is their Lava Dog; a hot dog wiener stuffed inside a black bun resembling hot lava. The blackness of this delicious Lava Dog comes from bamboo charcoal powder which is said to have detox properties and has been used in Japan through the ages, and blends perfectly with Mt. Fuji Base’s tomato and chilli sauces. The staff here are also super welcoming and some of them can speak either English or Spanish. The bar is open until midnight which at Kawaguchiko is something of a rarity.
Horse Meat Udon
One of the main dishes in the Fuji Five Lakes area is udon and with over 50 shops serving different versions of these popular noodles it is easy to try it out. Inside Kawaguchiko Station you can taste the horse meat udon which is a typical dish of Fujiyoshida City and thus is locally known as Yoshida Udon. Together with the fact that the noodles are served with horse meat, this local dish comes with firm noodles. This is one special treat to have in this region and the dish served up in the train station is not only delicious but also convenient.
The Steak at 55 Steak
A great way to end a fun-filled day at Lake Kawaguchiko is by treating yourself to a juicy and freshly grilled piece of steak. 55 Steak is a steakhouse located along Road 139 (aka Fuji Panorama Line) and nestled inside a forest. The setting is perfect to try out the steakhouse’s signature burgers and steaks which are made with A5 grade Kuroge wagyu beef. On top of serving up luscious steaks, the chef provides the codes which allow customers to trace their meal back to the farm where the beef was raised.
Traditional Hoto Noodles at Hoto Fudou
If there’s one dish that characterizes the Fuji Five Lakes region and Yamanashi Prefecture, it’s hoto noodles. This generous bowl of udon noodles is one heart-warming dish that must be tried at least once and Hoto Fudou serves one of the best versions alongside Lake Kawaguchiko. On the surface, hoto might appear to be your standard udon dish, but to locals this delicacy is in a category of its own. The noodles, which are made in a similar way to dumplings, are then served in a thick soup of miso and vegetables, in which pumpkin plays a big role. The result is a hot and flavourful dish that will leave you happy and quite satisfied. If you’ve just climbed Fujisan, this is the perfect reward for the iconic feat.