Iyashi no Sato literally translates to “Healing village”, which is undeniably a perfect description about this place
Nenba is an area situated at the northwest shore of Lake Sai (Saiko), one of the five lakes around Mt. Fuji. On this this site stood a former farming village known for its traditional houses from the Edo era. The place was famed for the iconic view of the sacred mountain until in 1966 when a strong typhoon hit the land and virtually destroyed Nenba’s heritage buildings.
For the next decades to come, efforts were made to revive the old village and bring back the the classic scenery of Nenba. Hence, the Iyasho no Sato Nenba was born, aimed to showcase the region’s history and culture.
More than twenty thatched houses stand at the Iyasho no Sato. Following the Kabuto-zukuri style, their roofs resemble that of a samurai’s helmet. These houses serve either as a museum, a shop, a restaurant or a gallery that features traditional arts and crafts of the prefecture.
Iyasho no Sato offers workshops for making some local products like pots, charcoal, washi and fabric. Doing hand-made soba is also offered. But if you feel more like eating, the restaurants here are among the highly-ranked soba shops in a nationwide poll.
There is a gazebo and an area where kids can play with traditional toys. Events like making mochi (Japanese rice cake) are also held which appeal pretty much to everyone, young and old.
Seeing this revived old village on Nenba is one of the unique experiences anyone touring around the Fuji Five Lakes would get. And though it might not be easily accessible, a trip here would be definitely worth it.
Iyashi no Sato literally translates to “Healing village”, which is undeniably a perfect description about this place. The jaw-dropping scenery of these traditional houses alongside Mt. Fuji on the backdrop is indeed therapeutic.
How to get to Fuji Five Lakes and Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nenba
If you’re coming from Tokyo, the most popular entry point to the Fuji Five Lakes area is the Kawaguchiko Station.
- By train : From Shinjuku, Take the Chuo-Line Limited Express to Otsuki Station. Then transfer to Fujikyuko Line going to Kawaguchi Station (Total Fare : ~4,000 yen, Travel time : ~2.5 hours). A cheaper alternative is to not take the limited express to Otsuki via either the Keio Line or Chuo Line (Total fare : ~2500, Travel time : ~3 hours)
- By Bus : There is also a Fujikyu bus coming from Shinjuku which could be a little more convenient (Total Fare : ~2650 , Travel time : ~2hours). Check their timetable and fare matrix here.
An alternative, especially for those coming from Yokohama is via Gotemba Station.
- By train : (1) Take the Sotetsu Line to Ebina stration then transfer to Odakyu Line going to Shin-Matsuda. Again change to JR Gotemba Line then alight at Gotemba Station. Or (2) take JR Tokaido line to Kozu then transfer to JR Gotemba Station. (Total Fare : ~1,500 yen, Travel time : ~1.5 hours)
From here, take the Fujikyu bus going to Kawaguchiko (1510 yen).
From Kawaguchiko Station, take the Fujikyu sightseeing / retro bus going to Lake Sai (Saiko). Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nenba is bus stop 68. Travel time is around 40 minutes. See the complete bus timetable at the Fujikyu website.
A cheap way to get around the Fuji Five Lakes is by purchasing the Fujisan Fujigokko Passport. For 2550 yen. With this, you’ll have an unlimited use of all local buses for two days.
If in case you choose to take the Gotemba route then you only need to go Asahigaoka station (980 yen). This is the easternmost station where this pass is usable. You can get the ticket here and have all of your next bus rides taken care of.
The Fujisan Fujigokko Passport is available at Kawaguchiko, Fujisan, and Asashigaoka/Yamanakako Stations among others.
- March to November 9: 00 to 17: 00
- December to February 9:30 to 16:30
- Closed during Wednesy from December to February
- Adult : 350 yen
- Children : 150 yen.
*discount of 50 yen each for a group of twenty or more.
Read more about Saiko Iyashi No Sato Nenba on their website here (Japanese).
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