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

fujiChubu Area
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.


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:


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.


  1. Ken says:

    Takeshi-san! Thank you for replying to peoples queries so quickly! You are doing a great service to Japan!
    I unfortunately left my bookings for a day tour to Mt Fuji too late and everything is booked out (apparently). I have a JR Pass for 7 days, I’ll be getting a Suica card, and will be staying in Tokyo and then moving onto Kyoto for a few days but I would like to visit Mt Fuji while I am in Tokyo. I’d like to just do my own thing and not worry about the useless bits that tours offer. Perhaps skipping the 5th station and maybe just focusing on Lake Ashi and Hakone Komagatake Ropeway? And perhaps Gotemba? I’ve also heard about Lake Kawaguchi as being another great spot. I’m just a tad confused because of the many options. Appreciate your help!

    • Hi Ken san,

      If you visit Fuji and Hakone area as day trip, it’s hard to visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone area in one day. It’s not impossible but not recommended.
      Lake Kawaguchi is the best spot to see the view of Fuji. You can see Mt. Fuji from Hakone area too. But Lake Kawaguchi is closer.
      However Hakone offers many more sightseeing attractions. If you want to enjoy Fuji plus something, Hakone is better.

      JR Pass does not cover everything. It covers to Otsuki on the way to Lake Kawaguchi and Odawara on the way to Hakone. You need to add single fare or Hakone Free Pass on top of JR pass.

      So I recommend you to decide which one you want to visit, Lake Kawaguchi or Hakone.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Javen says:

    Last year Aug, Owakudani was closed for visit due to volcano activities.

    Is it open now?

  3. Nickk says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    May I ask is it possible to travel in the morning from Shinjuku by bus to Kawaguchiko for short sightseeing then by bus to Mount Fuji 5th Station for short sightseeing then by train or bus to Hakone area like Hakone Shrine, Hakone Komagatake Ropeway & Lake Ashi as a day trip?

    I read that Owakudani cable car is closed becos its emitting some smoke?

    May I know I hardly come across visits to the Mt Fuji Lava cave or Aokigahara Jukai walking Trail?

    Lastly, is it possible to travel by myself in Kyoto going to Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari-taisha & Nijo Castle? Are these places nearby and accesible by train and bus?

    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Nickk,

      Fuji and Hakone in one day is not impossible but not feasible. If you really want to do it, you can go for it.
      Aokigahara and Cave are located at other side of Fuji. If you go there, you need to go back to Kawaguchiko and then take a bus to Hakone. It’s impossible to squeeze these two places into Fuji and Hakone day trip.

      You can visit Kyoto by yourself by bus and train.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Ping says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        I plan to spend 3 days in the Fuji and Hakone area so will take either the Hakone free pass or Fuji Hakone pass. My plan is to go from Shinjuku to Kawaguchi , visit Fuji 5th station, then travel down to Gotemba, Gora and explore the Hakone area (such as Owakudani valley, Lake Ashi, Hakone open air museum). That means I will need to stay at different places along the route. Also means I need to travel with my luggage trolley everyday to the next destination. What is your advice on where I can stay to minimise moving my luggage around? I feel I need to travel to and fro the lodging areas so as to collect my luggage to the next destination and that will waste travelling time.
        Thank you in advance!

        • Hi Ping,

          If you take early bus from Shinjuku, you can go to Hakone area after visiting Lake Kawaguchi area and 5th station. You may leave your luggage at Lake Kawaguchi station. There are coin lockers and luggage storage in/around the station. So you don’t need to stay in Lake Kawaguchi.

          Then you can proceed Hakone area and stay there 2 nights. You may get Lake Ashi area or Gora by bus with one change at Gotemba.
          You can visit all places in Hakone without luggage in next day.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Sindhu Ravindraprasad says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We are planning to visit MtFuji and Hakone are on 3 n 4 th of Apr 2016, and will be using Fuji Hakone Pass. Will start from Shinjuku by Keio highway bus to kawaguchiko.

    Could you please help me answers few question and help me complete my itinerary

    1. Do we have coin locker facility at Kawaguchiko station ? ( we will be having 2 backpacks of ~ 12 kg each )

    2. After seeing Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Music Forest, Iyashi no Sato and Chureito Pagoda ( if time permits ) , planning to reach Gotemba at 20:00 . We have an accommodation booked at Gora. Are there bus services which will let me reach GORA after 20:00 or should I plan early. If early what will be the latest hour I must be reaching Gotemba.

    3. If available , pls share the timetable of
    – odukyu bus from gotemba
    – hakone Tozan bus

    Thank you,
    Sindhu Ravindraprasad

  5. June says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    I am very confused by the Japan rail although your guide has been very useful and comprehensive. Hope you can help with some decisions. I am planning a 8D7N trip with the following itinerary:
    Day 1 & 2: Tokyo
    Day 3: Tokyo ->Mt Fuji & Hakone
    Day 4: Hakone -> Kyoto
    Day 5-6: Kyoto
    Day 7: Kyoto -> Tokyo
    Was wondering if I should get a JR Pass. If not what will you recommend. Or will you recommend getting JR Pass and other passes? Appreciate your advice.


  6. Talisa says:

    Hi Takashi San,

    We are planning to visit Japan early March 2016.
    We have JR Pass and would like to visit Hakone, Lake Kawaguchi and Fuji Q highland. Is that okay if my itinerary –>

    Day 1 : Sightseeing around Tokyo
    Day 2 : From Shinjuku to Hakone (will spend one day in Hakone) then go back to Shinjuku (one day trip)
    Day 3 : From Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi and Fuji Q highland (will spend one day in Fuji) then go back to Tokyo (one day trip)

    which pass should i purchased? Should i purchase 2 days hakone fuji pass ? Or should i just purchased hakone free pass? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Talisa,

      You can use JR pass to get Odawara for Hakone and Otsuki for Lake Kawaguchi and Fuji Q land. You have to add some fare or pass from Odawara and from Otsuki. But you can use JR pass partially.
      If you don’t want to use JR pass for these trips, you can use Hakone free pass for Hakone.

      Express bus is the best way to get Lake Kawaguchi as you read the post above.

      Fuji Hakone Pass covers both places but it includes only one round trip between Shinjuku and Hakone or Lake Kawaguchi. You cannot use this pass for 2 day trips.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. QiaoPing says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I will be in Tokyo for 8 days and I’m planning a trip down to Hakone for 4days (3nights). My plan is:

    Day1: arrive at Hotel Green Plaza hotel and stay at Palace Hotel Hakone
    Day2: Mt Fuji 5th Station/Lake Yamanaka Onsen
    Day3: Gotemba outlet mall (from Palace Hotel Hakone)
    Day4: Go back to Tokyo

    With my above itinerary, i’m not sure if it is better to stay at Hakone for 3 nights or I should stay in Tokyo every day and head down to Hakone on a daily basis (which i think will be very tiring due to the 2-3 hours journey).

    I was thinking of getting the Fuji Hakone Pass because it covers most of my above itinerary except Mt Fuji 5th station. But as per the website, only one trip can be made within 3 days. I’m not sure if I can take both Odakyu Electric Railway and Chuo Highway Bus, or can I only choose one? My next question is, can the round trip be made on two different dates e.g. Odakyu Electric Railway: Shinjuku-Odawara on Day 1, and Odakyu Electric Railway:Odawara-Shinjuku on day 4?

    Also, Lake Yamanaka Onsen is very difficult to get to as there are not much details on Google. Are you able to help?

    Thank you!

  8. Suhaila says:

    hi, i intend to go hakone and fuji in mar. 2 adults & 2 kids.

    12/3 – shinjuku to fuji by bus
    12/3 – stay 1 night in hotel regina in fujikawaguchiko
    13/3 – check out and move to hakone
    13/3 – stay 1 night in hakone gora kanon
    14/3 – check out and move to shinjuku

    Can i know if the above feasible and which pass i should take?

    Many thanks

  9. sindhu says:

    Hi Takeshi ,

    I have a vague plan for my 10Ds trip to japan. I am kind of doubtful about 2D trip from Tokyo to MtFuji ( wanna see 5th station and go around Kawaguchiko lake and Yamanakako lake ) – stay for a night at Hakone area – Next day take a round trip of hakone area – reach Odwara and go ahead to Kyoto.

    Day 1: reach haneda at 9:30, staying at Shinjuku
    – planning to buy 2D metro pass to go around Tokyo
    Day2: take 1/2 tour to Kamakura and sightseeing in Tokyo
    Day 3: Nikko and back to Tokyo
    Day4: start towards Mt.Fuji and stay at Hakone ( @ Gora )
    – I am gonna purchase 7D JR pass and start using it from day 4
    Day 5: roundtrip of Hakone and leave to Kyoto from odwara
    Day 6: sightseeing in Kyoto
    Day 7: Sightseeing in Kyoto
    Day 8: Nara and back to Kyoto
    Day 9: Osaka / Himeji / Kobe ( any of these )
    Day 10 : Osaka / Himeji / Kobe ( any of these ) and leave to Tokyo , stay at tokyo
    Day 11: Tokyo sightseeing, take back flight from Narita at 18:30
    – Which pass will be more suitable to go round Tokyo and also to commute to Narita on day 11 ??

    Do you feel that plan is ok and can be executed ? We are open to modify our plan for a better ( if you can suggest any )

    Sindhu Ravindraprasad

  10. Aishah says:

    Hi Takeshi san;

    We have a JR Pass and wold like to visit Mt Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi, Gotemba Premium Outlet etc. How would you suggest the trip like if we have a 7 day JR Pass ? We would also like to have a sightseeing at Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, Imperial Palace, Ginza, Tokyo National Museum, Rikugien Garden, Komehyou etc..is it worth to have the 7day pass to go to all those places? is the pass valid to all the places? by the way we will land at Haneda Airport and stay at Best Western Nishikasai. So, is the 7D pass useful as airport transfer too? Sorry for my multiple questions as this is my first time to Japan.

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