Shop at the foot of the majestic Mt. Fuji. Enjoy numerous attractions, including a safari park.
The city of Gotemba is located in the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture near the foot of the majestic Mt. Fuji, making it a base for transportation to sightseeing areas around the mountain, Fuji-Goko (Fuji five lakes), and Hakone. The average elevation of the city is about 450 meters, and as high as 700 meters in some spots. While snow during the winter season is not unusual, the summer months are also cool, making the city known as a summer resort area since olden times. The summer resort area was popular even among foreigners, and many people from the United States and others countries resided there. The world-famous movie director Akira Kurosawa also owned a villa in Gotemba, and many motion pictures have been filmed on location there. Many villas and company resort houses are still located in the area, and there are more than ten golf courses throughout the city.
A popular new local attraction is the Chelsea Premium Outlets found in this resort town, Gotemba. Around 210 shops of famous brands from Japan and overseas directly manage their stores in this area, making it the very first large-scale American-style outlet shopping center built in Japan. The area has parking facilities for about 5,000 vehicles, a figure that gives you an indication of its size. Its scale is such that one day is not enough to see it all; therefore, it might be a good idea for you to decide what shops to visit beforehand. There are a number of food and drink facilities there, allowing you to enjoy a full day of shopping.
In addition, near Gotemba Station is Chichibu-no-miya Memorial Park, a site which once served as a place of residence for the Royal Family, but is now open to the public. The park abounds with nature throughout the four seasons, and the main house features a type of thatched roof peculiar to Japan.
A regular bus leaving from Gotemba Station takes you to Fuji Safari Park where you will encounter various animals. The ride takes about 35 minutes. Moreover, a 20-minute taxi ride will take you to the Fuji Speedway where F-1 races are held. A cart course is there to let you enjoy a driving experience yourself.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 1h 20 min from Tokyo to Kozu Station by JR Tokaido Line, and 50 min from Kozu to Gotemba Station by Gotemba Line.
Or, from Shinjuku (Tokyo), it takes 1h 40 min to Gotemba Station by Odakyu Line Romance Car "Asagiri."
[Bus] 1h 40-50 min from Tokyo or Shinjuku to Gotemba I.C. by highway bus.