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

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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.

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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. Kyo says:

    Hi!

    What’s the best way to go from Nagoya to 5th station? Can I use JR Pass? Can I use the JR Pass from 5th station to Lake Kawaguchi?

    • Hi Kyo,

      The best way is the following:
      Nagoya (Shinkansen) Mishima (bus) Lake Kawaguchi (bus) 5th station

      JR pass covers only Shinkansen between Mishima and Nagoya. You need to pay regular fare to take a bus.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Magdelene says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning for Nagoya -> Hakone (2-3days as my main interest would be little prince museum) -> Takayama -> Shirakawa-go -> Kanazawa -> Nagoya.

    I’m concerned about which pass should be the best for this route as I discovered there are few options for passes (Shoryudo highway bus ticket, Takayama-hokuriku area tourist pass, etc) but they don’t cover the train/bus ride to Hakone area (Only between Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa area), and the shinkansen to Hakone from Nagoya is so costly.

    Sorry for the lengthy msg and thank you!

  3. bbsin says:

    hi Takeshi,

    I plan to travel from Kyoto to Mt Fuji and stay at Highland Resort, can you advice how I can travel from Kyoto to Mt Fuji and get to Highland? Thank you so much.

    I was planning to purchase JR Pass but seems like cant be use for Mt Fuji as I want to go to Tokyo after.

  4. wan says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to do a day trip to Hakone and the next day i want to spend my day at Fuji Q highland.
    So, I would like to know if i buy the Hakone free pass for 2 days, can i use the pass to Fuji Q Highland on the next day?

    • Hi Wan,

      No, you can’t. Hakone Free Pass does not cover Fuji Q. Fuji Hakone Pass covers Fuji Q but it includes one way for Hakone and one way for Fuji Q or Lake Kawaguchi. You cannot use Fuji Hakone Pass for two day trips.

      So you need to have Hakone Free Pass for day trip to Hakone and other tickets, such as express bus for trip to Fuji Q.
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • wan says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for replying my question.

        I would like to ask one more question. My actual itinerary to go to Hakone, lake Kawaguchi and Fuji Q Highland is as below:

        First day – go to lake kawaguchi by express bus from shinjuku, and cover hakone area for a whole day and back at shinjuku. (it’s a day trip since ive booked a place to stay at shinjuku)
        Second day – from shinjuku go to Fuji Q theme park for a whole day and back again at shinjuku

        But, after read your posts about these places, should i just go to hakone for first day and go to lake kawaguchi at second day instead? Since lake kawaguchi and fuji q highland is at the same area.
        But if i make it on second day, is there any transportation i can take to go from lake kawaguchi to fuji q theme park? Or is it too pack to go to both places at one day?

  5. Valerie Tan says:

    Good Afternoon, is it possible to travel from Shinjuku to Mt Fuji by bullet train then, do a day trip using JR pass and the next day visit the Fuji Q highland?

  6. Daryl says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning a trip from tokyo shinjuku to Hakone. Staying 1 night in Hakone, going to mt fuji 5th station and then heading off to Nagoya for a few hours and then to Kyoto.

    Is it possible for me to travel from Hakone to fuji 5th station to nagoya to kyoto in a day?

    What is the recommended transportation I should take? And what passes should get?

    Thank you

  7. jocelyn says:

    Hi I am.planning to visit fuji and hakone for two days from tokyo. we plan to stay for one night.in kawaguchi or hakone area before heading to osaka. Which area should we visit first the fuji then hakone then go to osaka or other way around?is advisable to.purchase fuji hakone pass even.if we are not going back to tokyo?which area.should.we look.into.for accesiblity and.convenience when staying for a night? should.it be in the middle of kawaguchiko and hakone yumoto?thank you.

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      I recommend you to stay in Lake Kawaguchi first and then stay in Hakone Yumoto. Hakone Yumoto is one of the biggest onsen towns in Hakone and very accessible to Odawara to catch Shinkansen train to Osaka.

      Even if you don’t go back to Tokyo, Hakone Free Pass is recommended.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Ira says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I intend to visit both sides of Mount Fuji for 2D2N from Osaka. Is it possible to do so? Since I intend to utilize my JR pass and also purchase the Fuji Hakone Pass, how do I go about getting to these 2 places? What would be the best itinerary to enjoy both Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi while using these passes? Can I also get to Fuji Q Highland with these passes?

    Do let me know. Thank you for the help.

    • Hi Ira,

      You can do it in 2 nights trip.
      You can use Fuji Hakone Pass from Odawara station. After trip, you can go back to Odawara by this pass to catch Shinkansen to go back to Osaka. You can get Fuji-Q land by this pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. leann says:

    Hi,

    May I check..how can I go to Kyoto from Lake Kawakuchigo or Mt Fuji?

    Thank you.

  10. Jatin says:

    Hi,

    I am planning to stop and stay over Hakone for 3 Nights on my way from Kyoto to Tokyo. Pls help me on below queries :

    1. Can I use Fuji-Hakone for complete 3 days ?
    2. Can this be used to make free journey on shinkansen from Hakone to Tokyo (Shinagawa or Tokyo Station or Shinjuku)
    3. Can I use pass for numerous trips on ropeway ?
    4. Bus service within Hakone runs till late night or they finish services early ?

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