fuji

Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.

View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

Mt. Fuji is the icon of Japan. Many tourists visit and see this magnificent mountain. Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi are most popular places to see this mountain and you may think to visit both. I have written two posts in regards to Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.

In this post, I will focus on the route of these two places. You can find how to combine these two places.

Overview

First of all, please see the map below:

Click to enlarge. *The map shows you major stations and spots only.
Click to view large. *The map shows you major stations and spots only.

The map shows the whole part of Fuji and Hakone area. Lake Kawaguchi is located at the north of Mt. Fuji. Hakone is located at the south side. Lake Yamanaka is located at the east side.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I will not explain the access to Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone areas. Please see the posts below to find the detailed information about the access to each locations and the sample itineraries:

In the map above, you can find the access route between Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone which goes at the east side of Mt. Fuji. This is the route which connects Hakone and Fuji.

Fuji Hakone Pass is highly recommended to travel in both Kawaguchiko and Hakone.

This pass is the best deal to cover both places. You can choose either Shinjuku version or Odawara version. Shinjuku version includes unlimited travel of the most local transportation in Kawaguchiko and Hakone area, one way Shinjuku – Kawaguchiko and one way Shinjuku – Odawara. You have to use one way each. You cannot take same way to get the round trip, such as Shinjuku – Odawara and Odawara – Shinjuku. If you get Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku, you have to go back from Odawara.

Odawara version does not include the round trip from Shinjuku. It gives you the unlimited travel of Hakone and Fuji only. Both Odawara version and Shinjuku version covers Kawaguchiko – Gotemba route too. Please see the official site in the link below to find the information of Fuji Hakone Pass:

Fuji Hakone Pass official site

Lake Kawaguchi – Gotemba (Hakone) bus route

I showed you the map of the whole part of Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi above. I show you the map which focus on this route only below:

Click to view large

Fujikyuko bus between Kawaguchiko and Gotemba

There are two kinds buses running between these places. All buses are operated by FujiKyuko bus.

The local bus

  • Travel time – approximately 1 hour 30 to 40 minutes
  • Frequency of the operation – every 30 minutes
  • It is covered by Fuji Hakone Pass.

This bus runs between Lake Kawaguchi, FujiQ Highland, Fujisan station, Oshino-Hakkai, Lake Yamanaka, Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet. There are 70 to 80 more bus stops between these places. This local bus service stops all bus stops. This bus runs a few different routes between Fujisan station and Fujisan Yamanakako bus stop. And also some bus trips do not go to Gotemba Premium Outlet. As I mentioned before, most buses to Hakone depart from Gotemba Premium Outlet. You may have to the free shuttle bus which runs between Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet to get the bus to Hakone. It depends on the bus connection at Gotemba station.

The limited express bus

  • Travel time – approximately 1 hour
  • Frequency of the operation – 3 round trips a day
  • It is NOT covered by Fuji Hakone Pass.

This bus connects Gotemba and Kawaguchiko directly. This bus stops at Kawaguchiko, FujiQ Highland, Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet only. This bus does not stop at Oshino-Hakkai, Lake Yamanaka, even Fujisan station. And the bus stops at either Gotemba station or Gotemba Premium Outlet. There is no limited express bus stopping at both bus stops in Gotemba. Please be careful.

You can find the timetable of the bus between Kawaguchiko station and Gotemba in the FujiKyuko bus official website:

FujiKyuko Bus official site- Route bus timetables

The departure point in Lake Kawaguchi area

Fuji Kyuko Railway's Kawaguchiko station
Fuji Kyuko Railway’s Kawaguchiko station

You can get the local bus at all major places in this area, such as Kawaguchiko station (Lake Kawaguchi), FujiQ Highland station and Fujisan station (Mt. Fuji station).

*By the way, Fujisan station is not located on Mt. Fuji. The elevation is not much different from Kawaguchiko. You have to take the other bus to get 5th station of Mt. Fuji.

But the limited express bus does not stop at Fujisan station.

The departure point in Gotemba area

Gotemba Premium Outlet (C) myself [CC BY-SA 3.0]

The bus to Lake Kawaguchi area departs from Gotemba Premium Outlet and Gotemba station. Gotemba is only place in Hakone area to get Lake Kawaguchi area directly. You cannot get Lake Kawaguchi area from other places in Hakone, such as Hakone-Yumoto, Gora, Togendai, Hakonemachi. You have to get Gotemba first.

Hakone Tozan bus runs in all part of Hakone which includes Gotemba. But most buses depart and arrive at Gotemba Premium Outlet. The number of the bus to Gotemba station is limited.

On the other hand, some local buses and the limited express buses to/from Kawaguchiko depart and arrive at Gotemba station only.

You may be able to take Odakyu Hakone express bus. This bus takes you to Togendai. It is located at the shore or Lake Ashi. You can change the buses at Sengoku if you go to Gora or Hakone-Yumoto.

JR Gotemba station

Otherwise you can take the free shuttle bus between Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet. The outlet free shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes during the operation hours of Gotemba Premium Outlet.

You may find the timetables of Hakone Tozan Bus and Odakyu Hakone express bus in the link below:

Hakone Navi – Transportation guide and the timetable

Other places along the bus route between Lake Kawaguchi and Gotemba

As you saw the map, Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako) and Oshino-Hakkai are located on the route. You may drop by or stay overnight at the shore of Lake Yamanaka. Lake Yamanaka is much quieter than Lake Kawaguchi. You can enjoy and relax at the mountain lake resort.

You can access to Lake Yamanaka directly by FujiKyuko express bus from Shinjuku. You also can access to Lake Yamanaka by the express bus between Kawaguchiko and Mishima which is called “Mishima/Kawaguchiko Liner”. Please see the link below to find these express bus timetable:

FujiKyuko Bus official site – Express bus timetable

Sample itineraries

I have a day trip plan and 2-day trip plan which cover Fuji and Hakone. Please find the posts below to get the detailed trip plan:

Assessment

Lake Kawaguchi area and Hakone area are located at the base of Mt. Fuji. But these two places have the different atmosphere. As long as you have enough time, I recommend you to visit both. Fuji Hakone Pass helps you lots to travel in these places.

I hope this post will help you to build your plan.

239 thoughts on “Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.”

  1. Hello Takeshi,
    What is the fastest way to go from Hakone-Yumoto to Kawaguchiko and return in the same day?
    Thank you,
    Mihai

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thank you for your fast reply. I have asked the wrong question. What would be the earliest connection Hakone-Yumoto –> Kawaguchiko and the latest return and included in the Hakone Fuji Pass.
        Thank you,
        Mihai

  2. Hello Takeshi,

    I’m planning on doing if it is better to head over to Hakone from Tokyo or work my way back from Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone, then Tokyo.

    I’m planning on staying 2 nights in Hakone if it works. If its convenient to head from Tokyo to Hakone, what is the best transit option? (I am considering getting JR).

    Thank you in advance!
    Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle,

      If you use JR Pass to get there, it doesn’t matter which side you access to Hakone. You may do it as you like.

      You may take the Shinkansen from Tokyo or Shinagawa to get Odawara. JR Pass covers until you get Odawara. From Odawara, you have to buy Hakone Free Pass. Please see the link below to find more info:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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