Gotemba used to be the popular villa area for politicians and celebrities including Akira Kurosawa who had residence in the Higashiyama Area. Nobusuke Kishi, 56th and 57th Japanese Prime Minister(1957-1960) also loved Gotemba and had a residence at Higashiyama area. Former Kishi Residence with beautiful garden was opened to public in 2009. It is located close to Higashiyama Kannondo and it is adjacent to Toraya Kobo, which has a fancy gate and has a nice place to rest(photo#2). The garden is not that large but it is well designed.
Gotemba Premium Outlets Tip:
When you get off at the bus station of Premium Outlets what you see first is the West Zone area of the shopping mall. You can get the map of the entire Premium Outlets from the stands along the streets there. There is a children's playground near the Yume-no-Ohashi bridge linking West and East zones. The shops there include:
Cafes and Dining Spaces
Gotemba Premium Outlets is one of the most popular outlet malls in Japan with 210 brand shops, a Ferris wheel, rose garden and the great view of Mount Fuji. It consists of three areas West Zone and East Zone connected by the bridge with great Mount Fuji view, and the hill with rose garden and a Ferris Wheel the only thing that reminds old timers that there once was a amusement park.Although most of the visitors are young couples the facility also has some kid's playground, fancy cafes which also fit the taste of middle to senior age group. There are free-of-charge transportation service from Gotemba so it is eco-friendly place as well. Private car owners might have to walk about 10 minutes from the parking space to get to the mall.
Alternate names: Komakado Kazaana, Komakado Fuketsu, Komakado Kazaana Cave
Komakado Cave is what volcanologists call a "lava tube" formed by the lava flow caused by Mount Fuji eruption about 10,500 years ago. The lava flow at that time went as far as Mishima and some of the lava mounds can be seen in Mishima area. When the large amount of lava flows newly created lava flow at the center of the flow and after the lava recedes it forms the tunnel-like hollow. Lava rocks trapped inside the cave show various kinds of strange forms. Some look like rib bones, some like stalagmite, or deformed ricecake. Inside the cave is kept almost the same temperature 13 degrees Centigrade(55 degrees Fahrenheit) throuout the year. The cave has two tunnels one is the Main Tunnel and the other is the Second Tunnel shorter than the main tunnel. The cave is dimly lit but it is a bit dark and damp and photographing inside the cave is not easy with usual digital camera. It is better that you have helmet and head lamp for your own safety. It has been used as a religous place since ancient times and you can see torii gate at the entrance and some of the small shrines. It is designated as National Monument.
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ( from December to February 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Entrance Fee: 200 yen for adults, 150 yen for High and Junior High school students, 100 yen for children 12 or under.
Tokino Sumika is a resort complex with some spas, hotels and restaurants including Gotemba Kogen Beer also known as Gotemba Kogen Resort & Brewery. The entire resort area also has a lodging for athletes training at Gotemba and has some hills and walking trails for you to relax such as ARIGATAYAMA、SHIRAKINU WATERFALL, YOROKOBIYAMA hill with the "Bell of Love" and "Bouncing Dome".
Gotemba Peace Park is the private park opened in 1964 best known by the large white pagoda in which the Buddha ashes given by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, are enshrined. Inside the park there is a Nichiren-Buddhist temple, Nipponzan Myohouji Daisanga. It is also known as one of the Mount Fuji view sites in Gotemba. Around the pagoda, various types of guardian statues from India, China, Taiwan and Thai feast your eyes. The park also has Japanese garden, children's playground, Huge Daimoku Monument with lotus sutra mantra inscribed and the promenade of Guanyin(Kannon) statues. You can have a nice view of Mount Fuji near the Bell of Peace area.
The park around the former villa of Prince Chichibu, little brother of Emperor Hirohito(Emperor Showa) has been open to public since 2003. Prince Chichibu purchased the forner residence of Junnosuke Inoue, 9th and 11th Governnor of Bank of Japan in 1941 for his recuperation. The residence and the garden area was donated to Gotemba Municipal Government by his wife's last will in 1995 and was opened to public in 2003. The biggest lure of the park is main building which has thatched roof. Around the main building, you can enjoy the views of flowers every season of the year.
Lake Higashiyama is a reservoir built in 1667 by Nagaemon Osakaya for cultivation of the area. He also built a Shrine as a subsidiary of Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture. Today the lake area is best known for fishing area, as well as scenic place for viewing Mount Fuji, Hakone Outer-peaks and Mount Mikuni peaks. To fish in that lake you will have to pay at least 3,000 yen for three hours. During early April this area becomes one of the most popular sites in Gotemba for viewing cherry blossoms.
The small Soto-zen temple adjacent to the community park is best known as the scenic site for viewing cherry blossoms during early to mid April as well as a major landmark for Highshiyama walkers. It was originally built to mourn Nagaemon Osakaya who cultivated Higashiyama area and built Lake Higashiyama about three hundred years ago. Later in Edo period around 19th century it was converted to Soto-zen temple.
Gotemba Premium Outlets Tip:
Gotemba Premium Outlets area used to be a large amusement park, Odakyu Family Land. The large ferris wheel which used to be the symbol of the amusement park has still been operating. Living Rose Garden is newer feature of the premium outlets opened in 2009. The biggest lure of this place, however, is the view of Mount Fuji. The hilltop around the ferris wheel is kid's playground with small-scale rides for vehicles, trains and such. I found the throwball targeting game quite interesting. But when I tried to insert the coin there's not enough coins in my wallet(sigh!) But I enjoyed the Mount Fuji and Mount Mikuni views from there.
Gotemba Premium Outlets Tip:
East Zone of Premium Outlets is situated at the hillside of the area, closer to Living Rose Garden and Kid's park with ferris wheel. To get there you need to cross the bridge noted for the great Mount Fuji view. The zone has a number of places to dine including Numazu Uogashi Zushi, a popular rotary sushi chain, McDonald's, Food Bazaar(a food court). The shops there include:
Ralph Lauren Factory Store
Armani Factory Store
Gotemba Premium Outlets Tip: The bridge linking West and East Zones of Gotemba Premium Outlets is called Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge. It is also known as one of the best lookouts for Mount Fuji in Gotemba. When you cross the bridge from West zone to East zone you can also see a great view of Mount Kintoki, one of the most popular peaks in Hakone outer-peaks.
The outlet is a big outdoor mall, with lots of high fashion brands...at some reasonable prices..Just look well and you will be able to find some good bargains...I did..:))
Becasue Gotemba is at a higher elevation, bring a jacket, it may feel a little cooler..
How to get to the outlet, look at this site.
There are 2 section of the mall, the west and the east...its separated by a bridge.... the picture shows the west side...
Which has stores like Talbots,Brooks brothers, JC crew, Laura Ashely..
the stores are all line side by side, outdoors style......
In the winter dress warm.....
june to october ....10am to 8pm
july to august......10am to 9pm
november to may.....10am to 7pm..( and during golden week they open until