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The Aokigahara Forest day Trip was AMAZING! It did rain that day but the experience and walk through the forest was well worth it. Yaya was our tour guide and she is extremely knowledgeable. That being said our trip to Mt Fuji was completely overshadowed by the Ice cave. You have 30 mins to see Mt Fuji (if there’s no fog) but you’re not the only tour bus there. You basically have sufficient time to go to the bathroom, glance at souvenirs, and go hunting for your tour bus.
This trip was well worth it ! the mountain is beautiful although if your doing this tour mostly for the mountain you will be disappointed bc you only spend a small amount of time at the 5th station. the forest was pretty awesome and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and amusing . the cave was cool but wasnt as cool and icy as we thought but we did go in october so maybe bc it was winter it wasnt as icy ! everything was well organized.
The bus ride out to Mt. Fuji was beautiful! So much green and lush mountain terrain. And our tour guide - a tiny Japanese women with a thick accent - was ADORABLE! She told the story of the two mountains and did voices for the different characters - we couldn't stop laughing. She also gave us sheet music and sang us a traditional Japanese nursery song. No - she can't sing - which made it even better. She made the long bus ride - which would normally be tedious - one of the best parts of this tour. When we got to the 5th station, it was foggy. Too foggy to see the mountain. So, we went into the little shopping center for some souvenirs. After a bit, our tour guide found us in the crowd and ushered us outside. There was a break in the fog and just for a moment you could see Fuji. She could have left us in the store - but she went out of her way to make sure we saw the mountain when we could! AND THEN, the forest. So beautiful. So creepy. Pictures don't do it justice. I grew up in the mountains of Oregon and I have NEVER seen anything like this. The ice cave was like any other ice cave - wonderful if you've never been in a volcanic lava tube before. But it was very small. Probably the smallest lava tube I've been in, including, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Italy, and Australia. Come for the forest, and don't expect much from the ice cave.
Long drive to/from but worth it to see iconic landmarks. Even though both pieces were conducted by two completely different tour groups, it was coordinated very smoothly. The guide from the first part was very concerned with our transition to the next tour operator as we were the only 2 people going on the forest tour. Lunch was included at the hotel restaurant for the main group, but he explained to us an option to walk down the street to the mall and eat in the food court. After the got the rest of the group settled in the hotel restaurant for lunch, he came down to the mall to make sure we found our way there okay and were okay before leaving us. He also drew us a map to a restaurant he recommended after we asked for a suggestion for when we'd be back in Tokyo that night. We were a bit concerned about how to get back to Tokyo and where we'd be but our guide from the forest trip personally walked into the bus station, spoke to the counter lady to see if we could get on an earlier bus, and made sure we knew what to do and where to go before he left us alone. Both guides were very informative and personable. Although we didn't really do much with the Mt Fuji portion and it wasn't all that exciting, I don't regret going as I got the photos that I wanted. The forest wasn't as spooky as we had thought it would be but was instead very peaceful and tranquil. We had also wanted to see the famous root structures but it had snowed the day before so most of the roots were covered in snow. The ice cave exceeded our expectations. The red overalls provided didn't do much for warmth it was below freezing but they were good to protect our clothes from the rough volcanic rock while climbing down to the cave. The forest guide was also kind enough to take some pictures of us with his camera and emailed me those photos a few days after our trip. He was the type of person who I would come back to Japan just to see him again.
We really purchased this tour to see the Aokigahara Forest / Ice Cave. The Mt. Fuji portion was alright. Met up at the hotel and they drove us up to the 4th highest elevation stop to see Mt. Fuji, but since we were so close to it it was an awkward picture. Now the best part of the tour was definitely seeing the Aokigahara Forest and Ice Cave. I would not recommend this tour for anyone that has physical or walking issues. You will be going down a bamboo ladder into the cave and do some light climbing. It will be dark inside so make sure that you wear shoes that has a good grip and is waterproof since the floor is very wet and slippery. Our guide, Toshi, was great! He was very informative and passionate about the forest and Mt. Fuji.
The tour was fantastic. Here are warnings. You need to be fit to go down to cave. There are nothing to hold on or some protection from fall. What we really did not like was that our tour was finished an hour early. The tickets were for later time. Our guide dropped us off on the parking lot, showed the direction of bus station and took off. I would appreciate if he tried to exchange the bus tickets. We were cold , tired and hungry. And unfortunately could not speak Japanese.
This is a great day tour to get a sample of Mt Fuji and the Aokigahara Forest.
The Mt Fuji part of the trip is shared with two tour groups. At lunch time the groups splits up and those on the Aokigahara and Cave trip will be picked up by a local guide the rest continue on to Hakone for the afternoon.
The 5th Station of Mt Fuji was closed due to snow on the day, so we were taken to the Fuji World Heritage Centre instead. We were lucky to have a beautiful clear sky and great views of Mt Fuji.
We had plenty of time to get lunch after this will we waited for our Aokigahara/Cave guide.
The cave that you go to has a bamboo ladder that you climb down. The floor of the cave is solid ice so be sure to wear suitable shoes. When we were dropped off at the bus station for our bus back to Tokyo, our guide offered to check if our tickets could be swapped for an earlier bus.
The guides for our trip were great. They were both knowledgeable, polite, helpful and had a great sense of humour.