How I Photographed the Double Diamond Fuji

As a spiritual symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji is one of only three sacred mountains of the country, and its tallest at 3,776 meters. Its designation as a UNESCO world heritage site further exemplifies its importance to not only the people of Japan, but to the world as well.

When my wife and I went to Japan in the Spring of 2017, I had the opportunity to capture a widely known event called diamond Fuji—the time when the sun rises behind the apex of Mt. Fuji, creating a sparkle on top, much like a diamond would on top of a ring. The term double diamond Fuji refers to this event, and its reflection caught in a body of water in the foreground. This happens around April 20 and August 20 of every year (give or take a few days) at Lake Tanuki.

Prior to my trip, I did my research and found that one of the most picturesque locations to capture a double diamond Fuji is at Lake Tanuki—a man-made lake made for irrigation purposes. Unfortunately, other than Kyukamura Hotel (pictured below) which sits right on the shores of the lake, there weren’t many places to stay around this area, unless you wanted to camp out in the open.

This hotel books far in advance, and especially during special times like this. We were fortunate enough to get a cabin for two nights during mid-April, as we had booked well in advance. The area around this hotel has some great viewing spots including a public lookout that is located literally right behind the hotel (located to the left of the pathway in the photo below).

The grounds behind Kyukamura Fuji Hotel.

If you walk a little further away along a pathway, it will lead you right to an open area where you can enjoy an unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji.

Walking down the pathway to the opening.

Beyond the opening, you’ll come across a spectacular shoreline with unobstructed views of Mt. Fuji with Lake Tanuki in the foreground.

An unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji with a perfect reflection.