The “Fuji” of Gunma Prefecture

Mt. Fuji’s iconic shape is so beloved in Japan that other stratovolcanoes that share the “classic cone” configuration are often nicknamed in homage to the famous peak.

Not Mt. Fuji – despite the similarity.

Mt. Haruna rises 1,390 meters high, towering over the shores of Lake Haruna (Harunako) in Gunma Prefecture, about 4 hours from Tokyo. (A little less than 3 hours by shinkansen and local train from Tokyo station, followed by a 90-minute bus ride from Takasaki Station to Harunako)

At first glance, if you didn’t know what you were looking at, you might even mistake Harunafuji for the real thing.


In addition to its Fuji imitator, Lake Haruna is known for ice fishing and go-karts in the winter, smelt fishing in the summertime, and a specialty called “Cock-a-doodle” chicken all year long. (Come back on Foodie Friday for a look at that special dish…)

The lake is also surrounded by a number of lovely mountains and many hiking trails, and although the cold (wind chill temperature well below freezing) prevented me from climbing more than Harunasan on the day I visited, I’ll definitely be back when the weather is warmer to ascend a few more of Harunako’s lovely peaks.