Japan Railways is the best way to access Mt. Fuji? How much can we use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji?

Tokaido Shinkansen and Mt. Fuji ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Tokaido Shinkansen and Mt. Fuji ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

As you know, Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. Sometimes we can see it even from downtown Tokyo. And when you travel to west from Tokyo by Shinkansen, you will be able to see this beautiful shaped mountain through the window on your right side.

*If you want to see Mt. Fuji on Shinkansen, when you reserve the ticket for Tokaido Shinkansen, try to get D which is isle side, or E which is window side unless you travel as party of 3. The seat configuration on Shinkansen is 3 (A,B,C) + 2 (D,E). (If you take Green seat, C and D are the right place to see it.) Even if you travel to opposite direction (from Osaka to Tokyo), the seat configuration is same. D and E are always on the mountain side.

Of course Mt. Fuji is one of most popular destination for the tourists. We have several choices to enjoy Mt. Fuji. Let’s see how much you can use Japan Rail Pass to get Mt. Fuji.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.


View How to get Mt. Fuji in a larger map

Hakone

Mt.Fuji and Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) at Hakone ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Mt.Fuji and Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) at Hakone ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This is the most well known place to see Mt. Fuji and also is known as the famous hot springs resort. When you go to Hakone, you can take “Kodama” on Tokaido Shinkansen to Odawara. Then transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway. Hakone Tozan Railway is the private railway company. So you cannot use Japan Rail Pass and need to pay the extra. If you need more information about access to Hakone, please refer the post, How to get Hakone from Tokyo. Compare Japan Railway and Odakyu lines. And also, Hakone Navi (external link) the following site gives you lots of information too.

Kawaguchiko (=河口湖=Lake Kawaguchi) area

Fuji Shibazakura Festival at Kawaguchiko ©Akira Okada/© JNTO
Fuji Shibazakura Festival at Kawaguchiko ©Akira Okada/© JNTO

This is the most popular area at the base of Mt. Fuji. It is located the north side of Mt. Fuji. We have another four lakes, such as Lake Motosu (=本栖湖), Lake Sai (=西湖), Lake Shoji (=精進湖) and Lake Yamanaka (=山中湖) around Lake Kawaguchi. So these lakes are called Fuji Goko (=富士五湖=Fuji five lakes).
You can access from Otsuki (=大月) on Japan Railway Chuo line to get Lake Kawaguchi. JR East operates Limited Express trains “Super Azusa (=スーパーあずさ)”, “Azusa (=あずさ)” and “Kaiji (=かいじ)” from Shinjuku (=新宿). It takes just 1 hour from Shinjuku to Otsuki. But you have to take Fuji Kyuko line from Otsuki to Lake Kawaguchi. I will explain you about the trains and rates to take Fuji Kyuko line.

If you need more information about transfer from JR train to Fuji Kyuko train at Otsuki station, please see the post, Otsuki station guide. How to transfer from JR train to Fuji Kyuko train.

Fuji Kyuko

Fuji Kyuko operates the railway from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko via Fuji-Yoshida and a lot of the bus lines. When you get Kawaguchiko, you need to take the trains from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko. They have Limited Express train “Fujisan Tokkyu” (=フジサン特急=Mt. Fuji Limited Express), Rapid train “Fuji Tozan Densha” (=快速富士登山電車=Rapid Mt. Fuji climbing train) and many local trains.

I wrote about Otsuki station in other post. Please see the details about transfer between JR train and Fuji Kyuko train at Otsuki station guide. How to transfer from JR train to Fuji Kyuko train.

Limited Express “Fujisan Tokkyu”
Limited Express Fujisan Tokkyu
Limited Express Fujisan Tokkyu

This train takes you to Kawaguchiko station in 45 minutes. They have 4 round trips between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko on weekdays. They have 6 trips to Kawaguchiko on weekend and holidays, and 8 trips to Otsuki on weekend and holidays. Basic fare is 1,100yen and Limited Express surcharge is 300yen.
This train is operated by 2000 series. It has the observation seat on car#1 with the huge glass windows. If you want to take the seat on car #1, you need to pay the extra 100yen for securing your seat. This extra charge is not for the seat assignment. You are guaranteed to get the seat on car#1, but it is first come, first serve. If you want to get the front row, come to the station as early as possible.
And also this train has a compartment room on car#2. If you want to take this room, the extra charge is 1,000yen. This compartment can accommodate up to 6 passengers.

Interior images Fuji Kyuko Limited Express Fujisan tokkyu Fuji Kyuko Limited Express Fujisan tokkyu Fuji Kyuko Limited Express Fujisan tokkyu Fuji Kyuko Limited Express Fujisan tokkyu
seat | observation seat | compartment | lounge on car#1

Rapid train “Fuji Tozan Densha”
Rapid train Fuji Tozan Densha
Rapid train Fuji Tozan Densha

This train takes you to Kawaguchiko station in 1 hour. They have 1 round trip between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko on weekdays except Thursday. They have 2 round trips on weekend and holidays. They do not operated this train on Thursday. Basic fare is 1,100yen and Express surcharge is 200yen. This express charge is not for the seat assignment, but you are guaranteed to get the seat on this train.
This train is operated by specialized train 1200 series. This train is designed by Eiji Mitooka who designed many express trains of JR Kyushu. This train gives you very nostalgic atmosphere and traditional culture of Japan.

Interior images Fuji Kyuko Rapid Tozan Densha Fuji Kyuko Rapid Tozan Densha

Reservations and Local trains

Unfortunately they take a reservation on the phone only. (Of course it’s in Japanese!) If you really want to take these trains, you have to use the travel agency. As long as they have a seat, you can get the ticket at the station. But if you cannot make it, take the local trains. They have the local trains every 20 to 30 minutes. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get Kawaguchiko.

Japan Railway operates some Rapid trains “Holiday Rapid Kawaguchiko” to Kawaguchiko directly from Tokyo via Shinjuku on weekend and holidays during summer season. When you take this train, you don’t need to transfer the trains at Otsuki. But you still need to pay for Otsuki to Kawaguchiko if you use Japan Rail Pass. They usually have 1 or 2 round trip(s) between Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko. Travel time is about 2 hours. Sometimes JR East operate same type of train between Yokohama and Kawaguchiko. Please check the details at “Seasonal trains schedule“.

Bus line from Kawaguchiko station

If you want to go to Lake Kawaguchi or Lake Sai, you can take Retro Bus. You can get more informations at Retro Bus info on Mt. Fuji and Fuji Goko Navi. If you want to go to Lake Yamanaka, you can take the bus “Fujikko-Go” at Fuji-Yoshida station. You can get more informations at Fujikko-Go info on Mt. Fuji and Fuji Goko Navi. And you can catch the bus to Fuji Skyline 5th station on Yoshida trail for Mt.Fuji climbing.

Gotenba (=御殿場) Area

You can access to Mt. Fuji from South side. Gotenba is the place to catch the bus to Fuji Skyline 5th station on Gotenba trail and Fuji Skyline 5th station on Subashiria trail for Mt.Fuji climbing.

Gotenba is accessible by Japan Railway. But you need to transfer the train twice. First of all, take Tokaido Shinkansen to Odawara (=小田原). Most of Hikari do not stop at Odawara. So you better take Kodama. After getting off Shinkansen, transfer to the local train to Kouzu (=国府津). Then transfer the local train on Gotenba line. It takes 35 minutes to get Odawara from Tokyo by Shinkansen, takes 7 minutes from Odawra to Kouzu and takes another 50 minutes from Kouzu to Gotenba. You will not have many trains on Gotenba line. It usually is operated every 30 minutes. Please be sure to check the timetable.

JR Tokai 371 series Asagiri (C) Sonic Rail Garden
JR Tokai 371 series Asagiri (C) Sonic Rail Garden

*Odakyu Railway (=小田急電鉄) has Limited Express train “Asagiri (=あさぎり)” from Shinjuku to Gotenba. This train takes you to Gotenba from Shinjuku directly. This is the easiest way to get there. But Japan Rail Pass does not cover from Odakyu Shinjuku to Matsuda. But from Matsuda to Gotenba, this express train go through on Japan Railway Gotenba line. So you don’t need to pay for this section. You need to pay 1,420yen (Base fare 750yen + Ltd Exp surcharge 670yen) to take this train by using Japan Rail Pass. If you need more info about Odakyu, please see Odakyu Railway website (English ver).

Fujinomiya (=富士宮) Area

JR Tokai 373 series Fujikawa (C) Sonic Rail Garden
JR Tokai 373 series Fujikawa (C) Sonic Rail Garden

If you want to take Fujinomiya trail to climb Mt. Fuji, Fujinomiya station and Shin-Fuji station are the place to get the bus. Shin-Fuji (=新富士) station is on Tokaido Shinkansen. So it is more accessible and easier. But if you want to save the money as much as you can, you have to take Shinkansen to Shizuoka, and transfer Limited Express train “Fujikawa (=ふじかわ)” to Fujinomiya.

*Actually the bus fare is only 340 yen difference between Shin-Fuji and Fujinomiya. If you access from Tokyo side, I think you don’t need to go to Shizuoka. Just get off Kodama at Shin-Fuji.

Hikari do not stop at Shin-Fuji. So you need to take Kodama from either side Tokyo and Nagoya. It takes 1 hour and 15 minutes from Tokyo. 1 hour and 30 minutes from Nagoya. If you take Fujinomiya via Shizuoka route, some of Hikari stop at Shizuoka. It takes 1 hour from both Tokyo and Nagoya. It takes another 40 minutes to get Fujinomiya by “Fujikawa”.

234 thoughts on “Japan Railways is the best way to access Mt. Fuji? How much can we use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji?”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    My plan as follows :
    15 Oct : arrive at Nagoya (check in Nagashima Spa Land)
    16 Oct : Theme Park and factory outlet shopping
    17 Oct : travel to Tokyo (pls advise which Shinkansen line I should take. I am considering to stay at Shinjuku , Shibuya or Tokyo area, do you have any advice?)
    18 Oct : Tokyo Disneyland
    19 Oct : Mount Fuji (pls advise how to get there?)
    20 Oct : Ueno
    21 Oct : shopping
    22 Oct : Haneda airport

    Pls advise as I will be travelling in family of four. 2 adults and 2 children.

    Regards,
    Sherry

    1. Hi Sherry,

      1. Shinkansen
      Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html

      2. Mt Fuji
      There are many places to see this mountain. You may find the detailed info at the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      3. Ticket
      You may use subway ticket during staying in Tokyo.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/compare-many-discount-tickets-and-passes-for-sightseeing-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-right-tickets.html
      But there is no deals available for most part of your trip at this point. If you go to Hakone to see Fuji, you may use Hakone Free pass. Please refer the link of Fuji above.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Good day, I am traveling to Tokyo next year 26 March 2016 until 3rd April 2016. Here is my itinerary:

    26/3: Arrive at Haneda Airport at 2230
    27/3: Tokyo Disneysea
    28/3: Tokyo
    29/3: Tokyo to Fujisan
    30/3: Fujisan to Kyoto
    31/3: Kyoto
    1/4: Kyoto to Osaka
    2/4: Osaka
    3/4: Depart from Kansai Airport to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Basically the plan is to travel along from Tokyo down toward Osaka. I have one doubt on travelling from Mt Fuji to Kyoto. Do you have any suggestion?

    Regards,
    Harn Chia

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    My frens & I have booked our flight to Japan next year 2016 from 3rd Apr to 9th Apr. My last day in Japan is on 08/04 and flying home on 09/4 early morning.
    Currently my planned itinerary is as follows:
    03/4 – Arrive airport Narita and stay in Shinjuku
    04/4 – Mt Fuji day trip( By Shinkansen)
    05/4 – Kyoto Day trip( By Shinkansen)
    06/4 – Disneyland or Disney Sea
    07/4 & 08/4 – Leisure tour within Tokyo area such as Ginza, Nakamise, Ueno Ameyoko Street.
    08/4 – At night, leaving Tokyo to Singapore

    1. How many days JR Pass should I get?
    2. Is JR Pass cover the Shinkansen routing???
    4. How to access from Shinjuku to My Fuji or even MT Fuji 5th Station?
    5. Does JR Pass covers all the route stated in my itinerary?

    Kindly advise.
    Jade

    1. Hi Jade,

      1. 7 days is fine.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      2. Yes. But you cannot take the fastest train, “Nozomi”. You have to take the second fastest train, “Hikari”. But Hikari runs mostly 2 trip an hour. It’s not an issue.
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html
      http://english.jr-central.co.jp/info/timetable/_pdf/westbound.pdf
      http://english.jr-central.co.jp/info/timetable/_pdf/eastbound.pdf

      3. It’s not Shinkansen route. You can take limited express to Otsuki and take Fuji Kyuko train. You can find more more info in the post above or see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      4. Mostly. Fuji kyuko to Lake Kawaguchi from Otuski, subway and local bus in Tokyo and Kyoto. Please find some more info about the coverage by JR pass in Tokyo and Kyoto in the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/compare-many-discount-tickets-and-passes-for-sightseeing-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-right-tickets.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Please note that it takes 2.5 hours to get Kyoto from Tokyo. You will spend 5 hours to just access. It’s not impossible but it will be very long trip. It might be also very tight trip if you have many places in Kyoto on your wish list.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi, would like to ask if our itinerary is ok.
    Day 1 Saturday arrive Narita in the afternoon hotel is in Shinjuku
    Day 2 Sunday take Bullet train to Osaka hotel is New osaka hotel
    Day 3 Monday go to Universal Studio
    Day 4 Tuesday go back to Tokyo
    Day 5 Wednesday go to Disney World
    Day 6 Thursday go to Yuzawa for Skiing
    Day 7 Friday depart Narita in the evening.

    our itinerary is like this because of hotel availability

    questions,
    1) It is cheaper to get JR pass Right?
    2) What is the best way to enjoy mt fuji sight seeing on our way to Osaka (day 2)
    3) What other places can we pass by on our way back to Tokyo?
    4) Since we will be travelling with our children is it possible to send our luggages directly to the hotel from tokyo to osaka and vice versa ?
    5) aside from yuzuwa is there any other place where we can enjoy snow?

    Thank you for your inputs

    Sorry if there were multiple posts friend submitting this comment but I’m not sure if it pushed thru

    1. Hi Zeke,

      1. Yes. 7 days pass will suit your plan.

      2. Hakone is most recommended. Please find more info at the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      3. Nagoya is located on the way to Tokyo. If you are okay with some challenging itinerary, Kanazawa can be dropped by.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/takayama-kanazawa-and-shirakawago/how-to-get-kanazawa.html

      4. It’s possible. But delivery service usually spend one night two days to deliver. You will stay in Osaka for only two nights. Delivery service does not suit your trip in my opinion. I recommend you to pack small for 2 nights trip to Osaka. You can leave most part of your luggage in Tokyo. If you stay at same hotel in Tokyo, you can leave your luggage. Otherwise you can store your luggage at Tokyo station before taking Shinkansen to Osaka.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/customer_support/service_center_tokyo.html

      5. Yuzawa is most recommended and most accessible from Tokyo.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I planned go to Japan on 29 March 2016 – 7 April 2016 (it is Sakura right???)

    I arrived in Japan (Narita Airport) 17.00 on 29 March, my planned itinerary is:

    29 March arrived 17.00 go to shinagawa and stay at hotel
    30 March morning go to Kyoto from shinagawa station
    1 April Morning go to Osaka
    2 April Noon go to Mt. Muji
    3 April Noon go to Tokyo
    4-6 April Stay in Tokyo
    7 April going back (Narita Airport)

    1. should i bought JR Pass??
    2. if i want to go to place that cannot use JR Pass, what should i use? ICOCA/SUICA Pass?
    3. is my itinerary suits me well to travel japan? or it is a wrong route?
    4. is that right if i want to go Kyoto i go from Shinagawa Station to get Shinkansen?

    Thank You :)

  6. Hi,
    I travel to Tokyo on 18th and go to Liyama on 22nd. After that I wish to get from Liyama to Mount Fuji for a day trip and then back to Tokyo.
    Can you advice me
    1) is it worth getting JR pass? or just buy the ticket there.
    2) how to get from Liyama to Mount Fuji.

    Thanks in advance
    Fam

  7. Wow, this is great. Is their a specific app or something similar that I can use to help guide me throughout my trip? I plan on staying close to Tokyo and visiting Mt. Fuji.

  8. Hi Takeshi
    I have booked my flight to Japan next year 2016 and I’m looking forward to this trip. I will stay from 15/5 to 31/5. My last day in Japan is on 30/5 and flying home on 31/5 early morning.
    My planned itinerary is as follows:
    15/5 – 17/5 Arrive airport Haneda and stay in Sendai
    17/5 – 19/5 Leave Sendai to Kyoto.
    19/5 – 22/5 Leave Kyoto to Osaka
    22/5 – 25/5 Leave Osaka to Sapporo
    25/5 – 27/5 Leave Sapporo to Tokyo
    27/5 – 30/5 Tokyo to Singapore

    1. How many days JR Pass should I get?
    2. How do I access from Osaka to Sapporo?
    3. How to access from Sapporo to Hakone?
    4. How to access from Hakone to Tokyo?
    5. Does JR Pass covers all the route stated in my itinerary?

    Do you think my itinerary is too packed?
    Kindly advise.
    Regards
    Nichole

    1. Hi Nicole,

      1. 14 days JR pass will suit your plan. But I recommend you to change the order to visit.

      2. It’s a big big trip. Please find the info at the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/hokkaido-area/how-to-get-sapporo.html
      In next March, Shinkansen will be extended to Hakodate in Hokkaido. So trip time is appx 1 hour shorter than current timetable. But anyway it’s very far.

      3. You have to go back to Tokyo from Sapporo. And then take another Shinkansen to Odawara. Please find the link below to get more info:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-hakone-from-tokyo-compare-japan-railway-and-odakyu-lines.html

      4. Same as above

      5. In the cities, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, subway is not covered by JR pass. So you may need to add some fare. But overall your plan is covered by JR pass almost fully.

      As I explained, your trip is a big big trip. Sendai is located on the way to Sapporo. So you may put Sapporo after Sendai. It’s much easier and save your trip. If you visit Sendai, Kyoto/Osaka and then Sapporo, you will waste many hours.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi
        Thank you for your reply.

        I think I shouldn’t be ambitious to cover Sapporo in this trip and shall do it next time to visit Hokkaido.

        I will look for other shopping and sightseeing places such as Mt Takao and Gotemba Premium outlets to visit.

        So a 14 days JR pass to travel to these places is still worth to buy?

        Thanks
        Nichole

        1. Hi Nicole,

          It’s doubtful to use 14 days pass. You have to make sure where you want to go and how many day you will spend at each cities. Tokyo-Osaka round trip fare by Shinkansen is slightly cheaper than 7 days pass. Even if you add trip to Sendai, it’s not enough to use 14 days pass. If you want to use 14 days pass, you need to have a big trip, like trip to Sapporo.
          At this point, your trip plan is rough and hard to find the deal.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals

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