Despite being a big draw for visitors and locals alike, the Fuji Five Lakes area next to Japan’s most famous mountain is oddly rundown and dated — particularly so around the two larger, and far more touristy bodies of water, Yamanaka and Kawaguchi. Of course when the sun is shining and the sky is clear, the 80s feel and abandoned businesses are fairly easy to ignore, as the majesty of Mount Fuji understandably gets all the attention. However, on days when the weather isn’t nearly so nice, the faded resort town vibe is much harder to dismiss.
Yet that doesn’t mean these symbols of former glory don’t have an appeal all their own. And to these eyes at least, the old and slightly surreal swan boats, along with the rusting, disused group photo spots, make for an interesting alternative to the iconic volcano behind the clouds.