Apr 24, 2014

Gotemba Premium Outlets: huge mall you can enjoy shopping and Mt. Fuji!

Hi everyone!

As everybody knows, Mt. Fuji is a symbol of Japan. I was very happy when this perfect shaped volcano was officially registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site last year.

Mt. Fuji, 3,776 meters high, is the highest mountain in Japan, and can be seen from many parts of Tokyo when the sky is clear. If you have a chance, however, try to see it from somewhere closer and you'll understand why this mountain has been so special to Japanese since ancient times.  

Do you want to stand on the summit of Mt. Fuji? Of course it is possible. Actually more than 200,000 hikers (in recent years about 300,000) including not a few foreign tourists and not-very-young people try to climb every year, and many of them succeed to reach the top.

But remember, you need to have stamina and be properly clothed and equipped. You can go up to the fifth station of the mountain by car, but from there you have to climb on foot. There are neither cable cars nor rope ways that take you to the top.

Moreover, Mt. Fuji is basically open to the general public only in July and August, which means most mountain huts are closed for the rest of the year. Even in mid-summer the temperature near the summit often goes down to 0℃.

Some experienced mountaineers climb in the off-season when the mountain is covered with snow, but it is very dangerous for amateurs to do the same thing. Even if you have problems in the mountain, no one will help you.

So, for the time being, why don't you enjoy shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets mall, situated on the foot of the Mt. Fuji? I took these two photo below in late March from the mall. Aren't they nice?

On the vast site area (403,100 sq.meters) of this shopping mall, there are 210 stores where you can buy all the items at a 25~60 percent discount all year around. The stores include many high brands such as Armani, Chloe, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Issey Miyake, Paul Smith, Ferragamo and Valentino. You can find a shop list on their English site here.

You may think it is a bit too far to get there from Tokyo, but it takes only 70-80 minutes by car. If you don't have a car, you only have to take a direct bus from major stations (Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Tama Center,  Chofu, Yokohama, etc) . The fee is different according to the bus company but usually around 3,000 for a round trip per adult passenger, and a reservation is required. For further info. about how to get there, click here.

Gotemba Premium Outlets
Address: 1312 Fukasawa, Gotemba-Shi, Shizuoka
Hours:  March-November,10 a.m.- 8 p.m.
          December-February,10 a.m.-7 p.m.
          Closed on 3rd Thursday in February.



富士山 (ふじさん) Mt. Fuji


世界自然遺産(せかいしぜんいさん) World national heritage
登録 (とうろく)する  to register


以前 (いぜん)  before
年間 (ねんかん) annually
登る (のぼる) to climb
増える (ふえる) to increase


お年寄り (おとしより) old people
簡単 (かんたん) easy
登山 (とざん) mountain climbing
体力 (たいりょく) stamina
装備 (そうび) equipment
必要 (ひつよう) necessary


一般の (いっぱんの) ordinary
登山者 (とざんしゃ) mountaineers


雪 (ゆき) snow
山小屋 (やまごや) mountain huts
閉まる (しまる) to close
危険 (きけん) dangerous


御殿場 (ごてんば) Gotemba
ふもと foot 
眺める (ながめる) take  a look


高級 (こうきゅう) ブランド high brand
含めて (ふくめて) including


詳しくは (くわしくは) for further information
ウェブ website
調べる (しらべる) check

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