Large onsen with stunning views of Mount Fuji from the bathtubs. The decor is a little run down, and it gets quite busy, but at 800 yen it’s certainly good value for money.
Benifuji no Yu is a large hot springs about 500 meters from the northwestern end of Lake Yamanaka. Benifuji no Yu doesn’t have a particularly traditional feel. The design of the indoor baths kind of makes you feel like you’re at one of the sports gym chains: glossy white tiles, painted support beams, and a shower area with a slightly shabby look. But the reason people come to this onsen is clear view of the top half of Mount Fuji.
The indoors baths are elevated above the two outdoors baths below, and have tall glass windows that stretch from floor to ceiling. Seated in the main bath you can see clearly through the window, over the woods behind, and onto Mount Fuji in the distance. From the open-air baths below, you can still glimpse the mountain top, but it is partially blocked by a tall privacy fence.
As for the baths themselves, they’re nothing too special. Three indoors baths: one hot, one lukewarm (around 36°C), and one jacuzzi. There is also a standard sauna and a mist room with a floor that is flooded with a few inches of cold water—a nice touch. Outside there are two large baths: one hotter with rock ledges, and another rectangular tub set about 4-5°C cooler with a tile base.
The facilities also include a gift shop, canteen-style restaurant, massage service, hot stone spa (ganbanyoku), and a small area which has a photo booth and (old) arcade games…
Positioning itself more as a reasonable priced family onsen, Benifuji no Yu represents good value for money. And, on a clear day, the view of Mount Fuji is hard to beat. But if you’ve come in search of a traditional onsen and some peace and quiet, then you’re probably best looking elsewhere.