Mt. Fuji is obviously one of most popular spots in Japan. There are many place to visit around Mt. Fuji. And there are many ways to get there. And also there are several deals to explore Mt. Fuji. In this post, I show you the location to visit surrounding Mt. Fuji and how to visit access these places from major cities. And also I show you how to use the deals to visit Mt. Fuji area.
Your can find the sample itinerary to Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi/Fuji area in the links below.
- 1 Find the location where you want to visit
- 2 Access to Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)
- 3 Access to Hakone
- 4 Visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone by Fuji Hakone Pass
- 5 Access to Gotemba
- 6 How to use JR Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass or JR East Pass?
- 7 Assessment
Find the location where you want to visit
First of all, you have to decide which area you want to go. Please see the map below:
There are many places around Mt. Fuji. But most of tourists visit Lake Kawaguchi (north side) and/or Hakone (south side), And some of tourists want to go to only Gotemba. As long as weather is good, you can see Mt. Fuji from these locations. You can visit one of those places from Tokyo as day trip. But if you want to visit several spots, I recommend you to stay at least one night around Mt. Fuji area.
Let’s see access and route by location.
Access to Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)
If you go to Lake Kawaguchi from Tokyo by train, Otsuki is the gateway. You can reach there by Limited Express Azusa or Kaiji from Shinjuku. And then transfer to Fuji Kyuko Railway to get Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) station. You can find more information about Otsuki station at the link below:
If you use JR Pass or JR East Pass, you have to pay extra for Fuji Kyuko Railway. But Tokyo Wide Pass covers Fuji Kyuko Railway base fare.
You also find some more information about Fuji Kyuko Railway at the link below:
Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 6, round trip to Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku by Azusa and Fuji Kyuko
You can get Lake Kawaguchi by highway bus service. If you don’t use any train passes, highway bus is the best option.
Highway bus timetable and fare table at Mt. Fuji and Fuji-Goko Navi
If you have a plan to go to Lake Kawaguchi from Osaka, Kyoto or Nagoya, you can access there from either Mishima or Shin-Fuji. But Mishima is better gateway. Both station can be accessed by Shinkansen from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. But some “Hikari” that is second fastest train on Shinkansen line stops at Mishima. And there is an express bus service between Mishima and Lake Kawaguchi. This route is much faster and more convenient than Shin-Fuji route. Please check both timetable of Shinkansen and bus from Mishima to Lake Kawaguchi.
You can access there from Shin-Fuji station too. But there is no Hikari that stops at Shin-Fuji. It takes much longer time to get Shin-Fuji than Mishima. Mishima route is much more accessible.
But if you intend to drop by Lake Kawaguchi on the way to Tokyo, you might visit Lake Kawaguchi from Tokyo as day trip. You can visit there by Mishima-Kawaguchiko bus service. But you will have luggages, probably many and big. If you get Tokyo first and visit Mt. Fuji as day trip, you will have luggage-free trip. Both of your hands will be empty. The trip will be much easier. Especially if you use JR pass, extra fare will be cheaper than Mishima route.
Access to 5th station
Mt. Fuji 5th station is very popular spot to visit. I show only one 5th station in the map above. But actually there are another three 5th stations around Mt. Fuji. The 5th station that is shown in the map above is called Fuji-Subaru line 5th station. This is most accessible station from Lake Kawaguchi. And it is most popular in all 5th stations too. Please find more information about access to other 5th stations at the link below:
Day trip to Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji is very popular side trip destination from Tokyo. You can get there as day trip.
It is not realistic to visit Mt. Fuji from Osaka or Kyoto as day trip. It is not impossible. But you have to spend 2.5 hours to get Mishima by Shinkansen for one way. And then it takes another 1.5 hours to get Lake Kawaguchi from Mishima. I think it is too tight to see Mt. Fuji. You can drop by there on the way to Tokyo easily.
Access to Hakone
Odawara is the primary gateway station to get Hakone. Odawara can be accessed by Shinkansen from both side, Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya. Some of Hikari on Tokaido Shinkansen stops at Odawara mostly every two hours Let’s see Tokaido Shinkansen timetable again.
I think you have found some “H” trains in timetable stop at Odawara. That is Hikari that stops at Odawara. If you access to Odawara from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya, you should take this train. This is the fastest way to get Odawara. You can get some more information about Odawara station at the following link:
On the other hand, if you access to Hakone from Tokyo, Shinkansen is not best way to get Hakone. Especially if you do not intend to use JR deals, you can take Odakyu Railway trains from Shinjuku. Odakyu Railway operates many “Romancecar” limited express trains to Hakone-Yumoto directly from Shinjuku. Romancecar is highly recommended to get Hakone from Shinjuku.
If you intend to use JR deals, such as JR Pass, JR East Pass or Tokyo Wide Pass, Odakyu Railway is not covered by the passes. I will tell you later about access to Odawara by JR deals.
Hekona Free Pass
If you want to visit most of places in Hakone, Hakone Free Pass is the best chocie.
This pass covers Hakone area between Odawara and Gotemba. If you purchase this pass in Shinjuku, Shinjuku – Odawara round trip fare is included too. Romancecar surcharge is not included in the deal. You have to add on. You can take Hakone Tozan Raiwlay, Cablecar, Gondola, Cruise ship on Lake Ashi, most of bus services in Hakone area by this pass. You also can purchase this pass at Odawara. If you need the coverage for only Hakone area, Hakone Free Pass Odawara departure version is your option. This deal covers many things in Hakone. I could not show everything in the map above. Please find more information about Hakone Free Pass at the link below:
Visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone by Fuji Hakone Pass
If you want to enjoy both places, Fuji Hakone Pass gives you everything. Please see the map below.
It includes Shinjuku – Lake Kawaguchi highway bus and Odakyu Railway train service between Hakone and Shinjuku. You can enjoy Shinjuku – Fuji/Hakone – Shinjuku circle tour by this deal. It is valid for 3 days. Please find more information at the link below:
Access to Gotemba
Gotemba can be accessed from Hakone. But some of you want to visit Gotemba only. Gotemba has a huge outlet shopping complex, Gotemba Premium Outlet. And also you can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji from Gotemba.
There are lots of direct bus service from many places in Tokyo area. Please see the official site of Premium Outlet:
Gotemba Premium Outlet website
Bus service is the best option to get Gotemba. But as you see the map at the top of this post, Gotemba can be accessed by train. Especially if you use JR pass, you can get there without any extra fare. Now I would like to explain about using JR deals in Mt. Fuji area. Please see next chapter.
How to use JR Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass or JR East Pass?
Some of you intend to use JR deals, like Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass), Tokyo Wide Pass or JR East Pass. But actually JR deals do not cover this area very much. Because there is no JR lines in the heart of Mt. Fuji area. Most of transportation in Hakone belong to Odakyu Railway group. That is reason why Odakyu Railway sells Hakone Free Pass. On the other hand, Fuji Kyuko Railway connects Otsuki and Lake Kawaguchi. This is not JR lines either.
Before I explain about each JR deals, I would like to introduce two posts. I have written about Mt Fuji and Hakone for JR Pass user before. If you intend to use JR Pass, please refer the following posts as well.
Let’s see the coverage of each JR deals.
Japan Rail Pass, a.k.a. JR Pass
Please see the following map. it show you the coverage of JR Pass.
You cannot reach either Hakone or Lake Kawaguchi without any extra. But Otsuki, Mishima and Odawara can be accessed by JR pass to use Shinkansen with no extra charge. Even though it is not convenient, you can get Gotemba without any extra.
If you take a train to Gotemba, please keep your mind that Gotemba line is not a primary line. Trains runs every an hour in daytime and mostly every 30 minutes in morning/evening peak hours. On this line, Odakyu Railway operates Limited Express Asagiri between Shinjuku and Gotemba on both Odakyu line and JR Gotemba line. This train is not covered by JR Pass fully because it runs on non JR line, Odakyu Railway line mostly.
When you take Gotemba line train, you have to access to Kozu or Numazu. Both stations are not Shinkansen stations. And also any limited express trains do not stop at these stations. So you have to take local train and transfer to Gotemba line local train.
Tokyo Wide Pass
You can access both Otsuki and Odawara by this pass. But the conditions are a bit different from JR Pass. Please see the map below:
If you want to go to Gotemba by this pass, you can take Tokaido line local train to Kozu. But after Kozu, you have to pay extra to Gotemba that is 670 yen one wya. It is not in the coverage area of this pass. Actually this pass is not recommended to get Gotemba because of extra fare and train does not run very frequent on Gotemba line.
On the other hand, this deal covers Fuji Kyuko Railway. You can get Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) without any extra. But this deal includes limited express surcharge (even reserved seat fee). But it does not cover limited express surcharge on Fuji Kyuko. Fuji Kyuko operates several kinds of express train. If you take these trains, you have to pay extra on top of JR Pass. Please find some more information about Fuji Kyuko Railway at the post, Japan Railways is the best way to access Mt. Fuji? How much can we use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji?
JR East Pass
Actually Kanto Area Pass has better coverage than JR East Pass. Please see the map below to check the coverage by JR East Pass.
This deal does not cover Shinkansen and Gotemba line. And even Fuji Kyuko Railway is not covered by JR East Pass either.
Both Hakone Free Pass and Fuji Hakone Pass are well designed pass. But you will use JR Pass or other JR deals. Please check your itinerary before/after trip to Mt. Fuji/Hakone area. If you have other trip for using JR deals, use Hakone Free Pass or Fuji Hakone Pass. JR deals do not cover any local transportation in Mt. Fuji area except Fuji Kyuko by Kanto Area Pass.
I hope this post will help you to build your plan.