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

fujiChubu Area
Sponsored links
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.

Sponsored links

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.

Comments

  1. winn says:

    hi,

    We are planing for japan trip. Can you let us know which way is cheaper.

    1) Osaka – kyoto – hakone – fuji – tokyo

    2) Tokyo – hakone – fuji – kyot – osaka

    please advise us on the local transportation issues.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Winn

  2. Mayan says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    We plan to go to Japan on June for around 7 to 10 days. We want to visit Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Mt. Fuji. Could you help us make an itenary? Maybe we can climbed Mt. Fuji and how much it would cost? Is it worth getting the 7 day JR pass for our plan?

    Thanks!

  3. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Wondering if you could help me with this.

    Is it advisable to do (considering the valid passes, price and travelling time)

    1)tokyo- 3d2n hakone & lake kawaguchi- 2d1n yokohama & kamakura – tokyo
    Or
    2) tokyo- 3d2n hakone/lake kawaguchi- tokyo- 2d1n yokohama & kamakura – tokyo

    Thanks

  4. Regina says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Can I check with you if there is any train or bus that depart from Gotemba station and directly to Odaiba, Tokyo Bay? We plan to stay around the area if not too inconvenient.

    Thanks
    Regina

  5. Benjie says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I was wondering if you can you possibly give us advice in our trip to Japan this coming May 23-31, 2015. Here is our itinerary:

    May 23 arrived evening Narita Airport Japan (booked in Osaka)
    May 24 Universal Studio ( booked in Osaka)
    May 25 visit Golden Buddha of Nara (Nara Daibutsu), Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple)
    Kyoto Imperial Palace, Omeda Sky Building (booked in Osaka)
    May 26 travel to see Mt. Fuji (Hakone) – no hotel booking yet
    May 27 travel to Tokyo (see Disney Land) booked in Tokyo
    May 28 visit Disney Sea (booked in Tokyo)
    May 29 visit Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, others
    May 30 travel to Kyoto (no hotel booking yet)
    May 31 travel home

    Can you possibly give us advice if we are going to buy 7 day JR Pass? what date and when do we use it in our trip? Do we have to buy Fuji Hakone pass for this trip? Do we have to buy any other pass? In our trip in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, do we need to buy a pass to save on the fare?

    Thank you very much for the much needed information and guide.

    Benjie

    • Hi Benjie,

      Before I answer your inquiries, I would like to make sure several things.

      1. What time are you going to arrive in Narita on May 23?
      2. Which airport are you leaving from on May 31?

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Seb says:

    Dear Takeshi
    We are going to Japan in March/April. I need your help and advise on which pass should I take to maximize the fare usage. Below is my itinerary:
    23-27 03 Tokyo
    28-29 03 Hakone( we are staying in Hakone Tent hostel which is in Gora)
    30-31 03 Mt Koya /Koyasan
    01-04 04 Kyoto
    05-07 04 Tokyo
    Can you advise us what is the best way to get from one place to another using JR Pass or maybe you advise using any other passes? Looking forward to hearing from you. Kind regards

  7. Reva says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    I have plan with my colleagues to visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Gotemba from Tokyo within 1 day.
    we already have JR Pass, how to utilized this pass and make the time efficiency for this trip?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Rgrds
    reva

    • HI Reva,

      The best route by JR Pass is Shinjuku-Otuski-Kawaguchiko-Gotemba-Kouzu-Tokyo.
      But as I mentioned above, Gotemba-Kouzu route is not very convenient. But there is only one choice to use JR Pass to visit Gotemba.
      You need to add extra fare for Otuski-Lakaguchiko and Kawaguchiko-Gotemba anyway. JR Pass does not cover both the heart of Hakone and Fuji.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. Lindsay says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    We are going to tokyo in Apr.
    Need your help on hakone. We are going to get the Fuji Hakone 3day pass. We hv book our hotel 1st nite in Hakone area and 2nd nite near Yamanakako. We want to go Gotemba the next day. The hotel is near Nakagora train stn. How can we go gotemba fr here?
    Is it worth to buy JR East pass to travel to Kusatsu for a day trip?

  9. Dalila says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    I’m going to Japan this coming May – June. I need your help and advise on which pass should I take to maximize the fare usage. Below is my itinerary:

    29 – 31 May – Tokyo
    1 June – Hakone
    2 June – Kyoto
    3 – 4 June – Osaka
    5 – 7 June – Nagoya
    8 June – Osaka(KIX)

    1. Im considering to take Odakyu Railway from Shinjuku to Odawara and purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara and fully utilized the pass during at Hakone.

    2. From Odawara to Kyoto OR Odawara to Osaka better? I am not very certain which pass would best to suit me. Which economical way or better for me to travel to Nagoya, either from Osaka or Kyoto?

    3. Is there any pass directly commute from Nagoya to KIX?

    4. is it worth for me to buy 7 day JR Pass base on my itinerary?

    Please advice. I hope will hear from you soon.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Dalila,

      Your plan is very similar to my sample itinerary.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/sample-itinerary-of-tokyo-hakone-kyoto-and-osaka-classic-route-in-7-days.html

      I’m wondering why you visit Nagoya after you go to Osaka. Because Nagoya is located between Tokyo and Kyoto. You can drop by there on the way to Kyoto. If you do this, JR Pass is too much. But if you want to visit Nagoya after Osaka, JR Pass will work. In this case, you can use JR Pass from Jun 2 (Odawara-Kyoto) to the end.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Dalila says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you fo your reply.

        We have to visit Kyoto or Osaka before Nagoya. Because we need to attend a friend ceremony in Nagoya on 7th June.

        In your opinion, it is better for us to buy the 7 Day Pass? (Econimical)If it worth for us, we will work more on our itinerary. And make use our pass till the last drop. Hehe..

        Yes. I do study on your sample itinerary! It really helps! Apreciate so much.

        Hugs!

        • Hi Dalila,

          Now I understand why you will go to Nagoya at last.

          JR Pass does not give you huge savings. But it will be slightly cheaper than single fares. And it’s much easier than single fare. If you use single tickets, it will be too complicated and may be stressful.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

  10. tak says:

    I think 世界遺産富士山フリー乗車券 sold by JR East is also useful. This gives return ticket from Tokyo to Otsuki and allows unlimited use of Fuji kyuko railway and buses in Lake kawagugichi area.

    http://www.jreast.co.jp/tickets/info.aspx?GoodsCd=2020

    Unfortunately I can’t find English webpage.

Copied title and URL