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.

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

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    We are doing a family trip to Japan and we have different days that we leave Japan. I’m having difficulties to see how many days of JR pass I need to pass for each of us and also when to activate it so that we take the most advantage of the pass. Here is our itinerary (and please let me know if you have any suggestions/ changes!)

    6 of us:
    May 8-13 – TOKYO
    May 14 – TOKYO/ NIKKO/TOKYO
    May 15 – HAKONE
    May 16 – May 18 – KYOTO

    (in laws leave – 4 of us continue)
    May 19 – 20 (OSAKA)

    (husband leaves – 3 of us continue)
    May 21 – TAKAYAMA
    May 22 – KANAZAWA
    May 23 – Alpine Route – Sleep in MIDAGAHARA
    May 24 – Alpine Route – Sleep in MASTUMOTO
    May 25th – ? not sure where to go… any suggestions?
    May 26-27 – TOKYO

    (I leve, my parents continue)
    May 28 – 30 – Hiroshima
    May 31 – June 2 – TOKYO

    Any assistance is deeply appreciates, Takeshi! All the best,
    Carolina

  2. Tokyo-Ueno – 1 day
    Lake Kawaguchiko – 3 days trip
    Kusatsu onsen & Back to Kawagoe – 2 day trip
    Shinjuku – Akihabara – 2 days

    The above information is all my plan. I would like to know what JR pass, I have to buy. JR East Pass or JR tokyo wide pass. Which is the best for me. Thanks in advance for your advide.

    1. Hi Suthat,

      For staying in Tokyo, please see the link below:
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/airport_bus/index.html
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html

      I don’t recommend you to use any JR deals for the trip to Fuji. You may take an express bus to get there. If you intend to visit Hakone too, you may use Fuji Hakone pass.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-fuji-area-various-sample-itineraries-of-fuji-five-lakes-and-5th-station.html
      http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/fujihakone/

      You may use Tokyo Wide Pass for trip to Kusatsu and Kawagoe, one day in Tokyo. If you don’t use Fuji Hakone Pass, you may use one of 3 days of Tokyo Wide Pass for Lake Kawaguchi to Tokyo instead of using it in Tokyo.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be traveling to Lake Kawaguchiko from Nagoya. Is there a bus or rail line that takes me there? Which one is fastest and which is the cheapest? I read your post and you mentioned taking Mishima or Shin-Fuji, do you know if in Nagoya I can take those?

    Thank you so much!

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    From Nagoya, I will go to Hakone by Shinkansen and stay there for two nights to visit Hakone, Lake Ashi, and Mount Fuji. At the end of the second day, I will travel to Tokyo. Could you help me for the following questions:

    1. From Nagoya to Hakone, does Shinkansen stop at Hakone ? Or do I stop at Odawara and transfer to a local train to Hakone ? How long is the train transfer from Odawara station to Hakone station ?

    2. On the second day after I check out the room and before I go to Mount Fuji, I need to store my luggage during the day. Does Hakone train station have lockers that I can store my luggage ? If not, are there places in Hakone that I store my luggage ?

    3. Does Odawara train station have lockers for luggage ?

    4. Any other tips you may have for me for this trip ?

    Thanks.

    Michael

    1. Hi Michael,

      Shinkansen does not go to Odawara and need to change trains there. There are many lockers at Odawara station.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/odawara-station-guide-how-to-transfer-to-the-train-to-hakone.html

      Trip time to Hakone depends on which station in Hakone you go. If you go to Hakone-Yumoto, it takes 15-20 minutes. In Hakone-Yumoto station, there are lockers too.

      Many hotels store the luggage even after check out. Please ask your hotel in Hakone that they can do or not.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. HI Takeshi-san,

    I am planning to go to Mt. Fuji 5th station in the morning and GOTEMBA outlet in the afternoon and go back to Tokyo on May 17, 2018.
    I am staying at Shibuya.
    What is the best way to do this itinerary? By Bus or train?
    Should I buy the pass?
    Is there a transportation direct from Mt. FUji 5th station to GOTEMBA outlet?

    Thanks,
    Misel

    1. Hi Misel san,

      There are some direct bus running between Shinjuku and 5th station in summer season. The following link shows you winter schedule and you cannot find the direct bus to 5th station. But in summer schedule, it will come up.
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1

      This express bus is the best way to get 5th station.

      There is no direct bus to Gotemba from 5th station. You need to go back to Lake Kawaguchi or Fujisan station to catch the bus to Gotemba outlet.

      There is a direct bus from Gotemba to Shinjuku.
      http://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/gotemba/access/bus/

      You cannot use any passes. Just use a regular ticket to make this trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    I will travelling to Japan early 3- 14 Feb’18, i’ve plan 1 day to go to Mt. Fuji area on Feb 13. When in Tokyo I stay near Asakusa Station. I’ve plan to go to chureito pagoda, see mount fuji from lake kawaguchiko and Fuji Q Highland. Need your advise regarding the best pass / transportation to go there?

    Some question :
    – at my travelling time to Fuji area (13 Feb) where the best location to see mt. fuji ?
    – is it worthed to go to chureito pagoda at that time? (i read some article that the best time to see chureito pagoda is cherry blossom time)

    Thank you in advance for your help

    Best Regards

    Rike

    1. Hi Rike,

      You can see Mt Fuji from most of places around Lake Kawaguchi. Chureito is only place to see both Mt Fuji and Pagoda same time. If it attracts you, you should go.

      There is no deals available for your trip. Just take express bus from Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi. You can get Fuji Q land and Chureito by Fuji Kyuko railway. You can use a regular ticket to take Fuji Kyuko too.
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1
      http://e.fujikyu-railway.jp/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    Our trip will be Tokyo – Osaka – Nagoya. With side trip to Nara, and Fuji. What itinerary would you suggest?

    Thanks

  8. Hello Takeshi,

    Great write up. There was some mention about Mishima but not in so much detail. I need your advise.

    Will be travelling from Kyoto to Hakone > Kawaguchiko > Tokyo. I believe Mishima is a good gate. But was wondering whether I can get this Fuji Hakone pass without going to Odawara or Shinjuki. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Adam,

      If you use Fuji Hakone Pass, you can take the express bus from Kawaguchiko to Shinjuku directly. This is not covered but it’s the easiest and fastest way to get Tokyo (Shinjuku).
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1

      You can go to Mishima by this pass if you like, but you need to change the bus a few times. You cannot take the direct bus from Kawaguchiko to Mishima. And also you need to pay full fare for Mishima to Tokyo and it’s much longer trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    Please advise what will be the best travel pass for below routing:

    3days in Osaka
    Osaka-Kawaguchiko
    Mount Fuji
    Kawaguchiko-Tokyo
    5days in Tokyo

    Thank you in advance.

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