History of Oshino Hakkai
The word Hakkai means “Eight Seas” which refers to the eight pools of water that serve as the main attraction of Oshino Hakkai. Bridges and pathways lead around and over these tranquil ponds.
These eight ponds (Deguchi, Okama, Sokonashi, Choushi, Waku, Nigori, Kagami, and Shoubu) are the beautiful byproduct of historic eruptions and intense volcanic activity.
Several are fed by an underground reservoir and are renowned for their mineral-rich spring water. In fact, the water in Waku Pond is so clear and clean that in 1985, the Ministry of the Environment ranked it among some of the nation’s best spring water. Go try the water and even bottle some to take home with you when you visit the area. Bottles are available at a low cost if you need one.
Most of the pools are filled by melted snow that has run down from Mount Fuji and some of them are inhabited by koi fishes.
The gift shop seems as large as the village itself. It sells a wide variety of gifts, souvenirs, and snacks adorned with Mt. Fuji motifs. Trinkets celebrating the eight ponds are also on sale.
A small coffee and ice cream stall is also located in the area where local specialties such as tofu topped with local miso infused pickles, and kusamochi—a green pounded rice cake made with mugwort (an aromatic plant grown in the area)—are served. The rice cake is also filled with sweet red-bean paste, a delicious variation to the common Japanese treat.
Entrance to Oshino Hakkai is free, but admission to Sokunuke-ike costs 300 yen for adults, 150 yen for junior high students and under, and 100 yen for infants.
Best time to visit Oshino Hakkai
This small village is a pretty retreat no matter what time of the year you visit. Maple trees–which turn a gorgeous amber in the autumn months (September to November)–can be found scattered around the area.
During winter (December to February), layers of snow add a magical quality to this tranquil village. It is a popular destination and is often busy, but even so, the peacefulness of the area persists.
- Oshino Hakkai does not have its own parking lot; however, private parking lots are available around the village. The rates vary.
- Pets are allowed in the village, as long as they will not be a nuisance to other customers.
Oshino Hakkai is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
How to get there
You can access Oshino Hakkai by train and then by bus.
The closest train station is the Fujisan Station on the Fuji Kyuko line. A 10-minute bus ride will take you to Oshino Hakkai Iriguchi bus stop, which is just a five-minute walk to the main entrance.
If coming by car, it is a 10-minute drive from Yamanakako Interchange.
Oshikusa, Oshino-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi-ken