Saiko or Lake Sai is one of the five lakes around Mt. Fuji and is within the borders of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. We were there in the fall the scenery took my breath away: The air was crisp, the sky clear and blue, and everywhere, brilliant red, yellow, and orange. All guest rooms face the lake so no matter which room you are given, you will wake up to sweeping views of the Mt. Fuji, the surrounding mountains and the lake. If you want to sit right by the calm waters, the lake is a minute's walk from the hotel, across the main road. The breakfast and dinner smorgasboards were a real treat. At the end of the day, relax in the hotel's indoor or outdoor baths, or walk a little down the street to Fujisaikoonsen Izumi Hot Spring for a different view.
From Shinjuku Station, take the JR Chuo Main Line to Kawaguchiko station. The hotel operates a free shuttle bus from Kawaguchiko station. The ride to the hotel is about 15 minutes. Advance reservations are required.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.