Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji access guide and the sample itineraries

Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Kawaguchi

Mt. Fuji is one of most popular spots. Because it is the highest mountain in Japan and very accessible from Tokyo. It is about 2 hours away from Shinjuku, Tokyo by the train or the express bus. You can visit there as a day trip from Tokyo easily.

In this post, I would like to show you several trip plan to Fuji Five Lakes area which includes Mt. Fuji 5th station. When you go to Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) is the gateway. I also will show you the access to Lake Kawaguchi.

Access to Lake Kawaguchi and Fujisan area

Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) is the hub in this area. Most buses depart from Kawaguchiko station. You can get there by either the train or the express bus. I will show you the acesse route to Kawaguchiko first of all.

Access to Lake Kawaguchi from Tokyo

Access routes to Mt. Fuji (click to view large)

There are many routes available to get Lake Kawaguchi but these are mostly by the express bus. If you take the train, you will depart from Shinjuku or Tokyo.

Before choosing the route, you have to make sure which pass you will use or do not use any passes. The route is varied by the pass. I would like to show you the best and most cost efficient way.

Train access to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) from Shinjuku via Otsuki by JR Pass or JR East Pass

You may use JR Pass or JR East Pass in your trip. In this case, the limited express Fuji Kaiyu (Fuji Excursion) is the best choice. This train takes you to Kawaguchiko directly. There is only two scheduled round trips a day. And this train has been very popular and hard to book a seat. But on the some specific dates, there is one or two extra trips. Please find the timetable in JR East official site in the link below:

JR East official site – the timetable

When you cannot take this train, you can take the limited express Azusa or Kaiji between Shinjuku and Otsuki. And you have to change the trains at Otsuki and take Fuji Kyuko Railway to Kawaguchiko.

Fuji Kyuko Railway between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko is not covered by either JR pass or JR East Pass. Please find the fare for Otsuki to/from Kawaguchiko in Fuji Kyuko Railway official site:

Fuji Kyuko Railway official site

Fuji Kyuko railway ticket can be purchased at some JR station. When you book a seat for the limited express train from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko or Otsuki by JR pass or JR East pass, you may ask the staff to purchase a ticket for Fuji Kyuko Railway. You may be able to buy it. If you cannot, you can purchase it at Otsuki station or pay when you exit Kawaguchiko station or pay to the conductor on board.

The typical trip schedule is the following:

Shinjuku (1 hour by the limited express Azusa or Kaiji) Otsuki (50 minutes by the limited express train / 60 minutes by the local train) Kawaguchiko

The train access to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) from Shinjuku via Otsuki by Tokyo Wide Pass

You can take same route as JR Pass and JR East Pass above. But Tokyo Wide Pass covers all the way to Kawaguchiko which includes Fuji Kyuko Railway segment between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko. The extra cost is not required to take Fuji Kyuko Railway.

Access to Lake Kawaguchi from many locations in Tokyo by bus

Actually the express bus is most convenient way. The express bus depart from Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo, and both Haneda and Narita airports. It is faster than train. And the biggest benefit by the express bus is direct transfer. If you take a train, you have to change the trains at Otsuki. But if you take the express bus, you can get Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) station, Fujisan station, Fuji-Q Highland, even Fuji 5th station (seasonal), Oshino-Hakkai and Lake Yamanaka directly.

Typical trip schedule is the following:

Shinjuku (1 hour 45 minutes by Express Bus) Kawaguchiko

Seasonally you can get 5th station directly too. If you do not intend to use any train passes, simply pay regular fare to take express bus. Any rail passes do not cover this express bus. You can find the information in Fujikyu Bus official site:

Fujikyu Bus – Highway Bus Information

Access to Lake Kawaguchi from Hakone by bus

If you intend to visit Lake Kawaguchi before/after visiting Hakone, you can catch the bus between Kawaguchiko station, Fuji-Q Highland, Fujisan station, Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet. Please see the link below to find more information:

You may find some information about Hakone in the link below:

Access from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. How to add Lake Kawaguchi on the way to Tokyo

The gateway to Lake Kawaguchi area from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya is Mishima. You can catch the express bus which is called Mishima/Kawaguchiko Liner Express Bus between Mishima and Lake Kawaguchi, Fuji-Q Highland, Fujisan station. Please see the link below to find the information about the bus from Mishima.

Fujikyu Bus – Highway Bus Information

You can get Mishima by the Shinkansen from Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka. Some Hikari which is the second fastest train stop at Mishima. Please check the timetable of the Shinkansen in the link below:

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

Please refer the post below to find some more information about Mishima station. You can find the information about the transfer between the Shinkansen and the bus to Kawaguchiko:

Sample itineraries to visit Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi to Lake Kawaguchi.

Sightseeing spots in Fuji Five Lakes area (Click to view large)

I would like to show you the sample itinerary of Mt. Fuji part only. This sample itinerary is starting from Lake Kawaguchi and finishing at Lake Kawaguchi. You can add one of these sample itineraries on the access route from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi or other cities to Lake Kawaguchi.

Lake Kawaguchi and 5th station one day plan

Mt. Fuji and Chureito Pagoda (C) Fujiyoshida City / JNTO

This itinerary includes most popular spots around Lake Kawaguchi area.

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) 5th station

Enjoy mountain air in the middle of Mt. Fuji (1 hour)

5th station (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) Kawaguchiko

Lunch time around Kawaguchiko station

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 15 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Shimo-Yoshida

Visit Arakura Fuji Sengen shrine, Chureito Pagoda (1 hour)

Shimo-Yoshida (Trip time 15 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Kawaguchiko

Visit Mt. Tenjo Ropeway (Kachi Kachi Yama Ropeway) and/or Cruise on Lake Kawaguchi
*If you start this trip in very early morning, you may visit both.

Lake Kawaguchi and Shibazakura venue one day plan

Fuji Shibazakura Festival (C) Akira Okada / JNTO

Fuji Shibazakura Festival is hold from mid April to late May. Shibazakura (pink moss flower) cover the field and Mt. Fuji can be seen behind this amazing pink field. You can find more information in the official site:

Fuji Shibazakura Festival official site

Try to get Shibazakura venue to avoid congestion. This festival is very popular and still getting popular year by year.

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 30 minutes by Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus or 50 minutes by regular bus) Fuji Shibazakura venue

Enjoy Shibazakura Festival (2 hours)
*It usually takes 60 to 90 minutes to see this festival. But you can spend more if you like. And also there are lots of food stands in the venue. These stands offer many kinds of local food. You can take lunch before you leave.
*In the period of this festival, combo ticket which includes round trip bus fare and admission is sold around 2,000 yen. You can purchase it at Kawaguchiko station.
*If you intend to take the express bus from Shinjuku, some of buses are running to Shibazakura venue directly.

Fuji Shibazakura venue (Trip time 30 minutes by Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus or 50 minutes by regular bus) Kawaguchiko

Visit Mt. Tenjo Ropeway (Kachi Kachi Yama Ropeway) and/or Cruise on Lake Kawaguchi
*If you start this trip in very early morning, you may visit both.

You may visit Arakura Fuji Sengen shrine, Chureito Pagoda instead.

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 15 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Shimo-Yoshida

Stay for one hour to visit shrine.

Shimo-Yoshida (Trip time 15 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Kawaguchiko

If you intend to take a train, you can go back to Tokyo via Otsuki from Shimo-Yoshida. You do not need to go back to Kawaguchiko.

Shibazakura Festival and 5th station one day plan

Try to get Shibazakura venue to avoid congestion. This festival is very popular and still getting popular year by year.

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 30 minutes by Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus or 50 minutes by regular bus) Fuji Shibazakura venue

Enjoy Shibazakura Festival (2 hours)
*It usually takes 60 to 90 minutes to see this festival. But you can spend more if you like. And also there are lots of food stands in the venue. These stands offer many kinds of local food. You can take lunch before you leave. Otherwise you have a lunch time at Kawaguchiko station.
*In the period of this festival, combo ticket which includes round trip bus fare and admission is sold around 2,000 yen. You can purchase it at Kawaguchiko station.
*If you intend to take the express bus from Shinjuku, some of buses are running to Shibazakura venue directly.

Fuji Shibazakura venue (Trip time 30 minutes by Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus or 50 minutes by regular bus) Kawaguchiko (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) 5th station

Enjoy mountain air in the middle of Mt. Fuji (1 hour)

5th station (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) Kawaguchiko

5th station and Fuji-Q highland one day plan

Fuji-Q Highland is located just by the station.

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) 5th station

Enjoy mountain air in the middle of Mt. Fuji (1 hour)

5th station (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) Kawaguchiko (Trip time 3 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Fuji-Q Highland

Enjoy Fuji-Q Highland as much as you want. You can have lunch time in either Kawaguchiko or Fuji-Q Highland.

Fuji-Q Highland (Trip time 3 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Kawaguchiko

If you intend to take a train, you can go back to Tokyo via Otsuki from Fuji-Q Highland. You do not need to go back to Kawaguchiko.

Mt Fuji overnight 2 days plan

Oshino Hakkai (C) JNTO

If you can spend 2 days, you can visit most of places in Lake Kawaguchi and surrounding area.

Day 1

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 30 minutes by Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus or 50 minutes by regular bus) Fuji Shibazakura venue

Enjoy Shibazakura Festival (2 hours)

Fuji Shibazakura venue (Trip time 30 minutes by Shibazakura Liner shuttle bus or 50 minutes by regular bus) Kawaguchiko

If you do not visit in spring season, you may visit Oshino-Hakkai instead.

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 25 minutes by regular bus) Oshino-Hakkai

Enjoy walking in Oshino-Hakkai (1.5 to 2 hours)

Oshino-Hakkai (Trip time 25 minutes by regular bus) Kawaguchiko

Lunch time around Kawaguchiko station

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 15 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Shimo-Yoshida

Visit Arakura Fuji Sengen shrine, Chureito Pagoda (1 hour)

Shimo-Yoshida (Trip time 15 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Kawaguchiko

Visit Mt. Tenjo Ropeway (Kachi Kachi Yama Ropeway) and/or Cruise on Lake Kawaguchi

Stay in Lake Kawaguchi

Day 2

Kawaguchiko (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) 5th station

Enjoy mountain air in the middle of Mt. Fuji (1 hour)

5th station (Trip time 55 minutes by bus) Kawaguchiko (Trip time 3 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Fuji-Q Highland

Enjoy Fuji-Q Highland as much as you want. You can have lunch time in either Kawaguchiko or Fuji-Q Highland.

Fuji-Q Highland (Trip time 3 minutes by Fuji Kyuko Railway train) Kawaguchiko

If you intend to take a train, you can go back to Tokyo via Otsuki from Fuji-Q Highland. You do not need to go back to Kawaguchiko.

If you are not interested in Fuji-Q Highland, you can visit museum and park around Lake Kawaguchi. You may take Fujikyu bus to visit various places around Fuji Five Lake. Please find some information in the link below:

Fuji Kyuko Bus official site – Route bus information

I hope this post helps you to build your trip plan to Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji are.

84 thoughts on “Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji access guide and the sample itineraries”

  1. Thank you for the information provided very well, I am heading to Tokyo from Takayama, and plan to stop by Gotemba outlet and Kawaguchi before reaching to Tokyo. Do you think it is accessible to make a one day trip? If so, where is the best route to go from Takayama?

    Mishima (via nagoya) – Gotemba outlet – Lake Kawaguchi – Tokyo

    Do you think this route is correct?

    1. Hi Dave,

      I don’t think you can drop by both places on the way to Tokyo. Please see the link below to find the bus timetable to outlet from Mishima:
      https://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/gotemba/access/bus/detail13.html

      There is no ways to get Mishima from Takayama to get the bus at 10:00. Even if you take the earliest train from Takayama (at 06:46 departure), you can get Mishima at 11:18. So your choice is 13:40 departure at Mishima and get Outlet at 14:40. It’s too late to add Kawaguchiko after this. You have to choose either outlet or Kawaguchiko. Outlet is closer to Mishima than Kawaguchiko. So outlet is more realistic choice.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Will the Mt Fuji Pass cover a portion of Fuji Excursion ticket?
    We plan to buy Mt Fuji Pass to cover Nov 21-22 then return to Shinjuku on Nov 23 around afternoon. Is it worth to buy 3-day pass or just 2-day then pay regular fare for either first or last day?

    Regards,

    Arianne

    1. Hi Arianne,

      This pass covers only the base fare of Fuji Kyuko Railway between Kawaguchiko and Otsuki. You have to pay the express fee ticket 600 yen. And also you have to pay the full fare for Otsuki to Shinjuku. This pass covers only Fuji area. You cannot go to Shinjuku by this pass.

      I cannot say which is better 2-day pass or 3-day pass. It depends on how much you use the pass. The difference of 2-day and 3-day is 2,000 yen. Please see the link below to see the brochure. You can find the cost of main attractions which are covered by this pass.
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/_file/mtfujipass_EN.pdf

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Initially, my partner and I wanted to do a trip to Hakone + Fuji 5 Lakes for 3 days 2 nights. However, we know currently Owakudani is still under closure.. Hence, we have decided to just cover Fuji 5 Lakes and maybe Gotemba Premium Outlet too, and to forgo Hakone. Our trip would be from Shinjuku, November 9 to 11.

    Our main aim is that we are thinking to cover all 5 lakes – Kawaguchi, Saiko, Shoji, Yamanaka, and Motosu – because we love photography and we want to experience all different views of Mt Fuji, but we think that not many people would do so.. We are planning to do with public transport.

    November 9
    – First bus from Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station
    – Cover areas: Lake Kawaguchi, Momiji Corridor, Momiji Tunnel, Chureito Pagoda, Arakurayama Sengen Park
    – If have time, we plan to take the panoramic ropeway

    November 10
    – Cover areas: Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko, Lake Motosu and Lake Yamanaka
    – If have time, we plan to visit to Oshino Hakkai

    November 11:
    – Visit to Gotemba Premium Outlet, arrive by 10.00 a.m.
    – Travel to Mishima at 12.00 p.m.
    – Take Shinkansen from Mishima to Kyoto

    We would like to know your thoughts in this. Do you think we should also get a special discount passes? Or, we can just purchase 1 way Express bus ticket and rely on SUICA card for the rest of the journey?

    Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Li Peng

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for the reply. Noted on your advise too.

        Also, just your opinion, do you think our itinerary for November 9 and 10 is a little tight? Feasible..?

        Thank you.

        Cheers,
        Li Peng

  4. Hi Takeshi san
    Firstly, I appreciate your hard work in providing all the information and is on go to website whenever I visit Japan.

    I’ll be travelling down to Tokyo from Kyoto and will stop over for Mt Fuji. We are planning to stay one night in either Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko so that it’s not very rush. I want to see both Mt Fuji and Hakone Shrine/Torii gate, Gotemba outlet.

    Can you suggest where is a better place for me to stay?

    I will probably leave Kyoto around 8 or 9am on 16th Oct. so I’ll have 16th Oct a full day and 17th Oct half a day before leaving to Tokyo.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jeff san,

      Are you going to see only Hakone shrine and Gotemba outlet? Don’t you think to visit other places in Hakone, such as Owakudani? If you visit only Hakone shrine and Gotemba outlet, you can get Kawaguchiko and stay there. If you visit some more places in Hakone, it’s tight to get Kawaguchiko.

      You can see Mt. Fuji from either Hakone or Kawaguchiko. So please make sure where you visit in Hakone.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi san

        Thanks for the reply.

        How about this?
        Arrive in Kawaguchiko. Visit the lake, chuerito pagoda, Oshino hakkai and 5th station then stay overnight in Kawaguchiko.

        Next day to Hakone. Visit owakudani, hakone shrine, and Gotemba outlet and use JR pass to Tokyo.

        Not sure if this is too rush. Hope Hakone have places to store luggage.

        1. Hi Jeff san,

          Your trip plan is a bit tight. Because you cannot spend your time efficiently and actually you cannot save your cost too. Because you have to take the express bus to get Lake Kawaguchi from Mishima. It takes 1.5 hours. Even if you leave from Kyoto by the earliest Shinkansen “Hikari” (Kyoto at 06:23), you can get Mishima at 08:29. You will take the express bus at Mishima at 09:10 and get Lake Kawaguchi at 10:45.
          http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/29/

          5th station is another 1 hour away. You will spend at least 3 hours to visit there. Chureito and Oshino Hakkai are not very far from Lake Kawaguchi but you will spend at least 2 hours each for these. I think you can see how tight it will be now.

          About the cost, Fuji Hakone Pass is most useful deal.
          https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/fujihakone/

          But this is sold at Odawara and Shinjuku only. Shinjuku is in Tokyo and it doesn’t make sense to buy it there. Odawara is the choice to buy this pass. But Odawara is the gateway to Hakone. You have to visit Hakone first. It is not impossible to visit 3 places in Hakone and move to Lake Kawaguchi. But it may be a bit tight too. If you stay in Gotemba, your trip plan is very comfortable. But Gotemba is not very attractive place to stay overnight. There are many hotels around Gotemba station. But Gotemba is just the gateway to Fuji and Hakone. It is not like Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone. It is just one of these small cities.

          If you are okay with it, you can stay in Gotemba. Otherwise try to get Lake Kawaguchi on day 1 and stay there. If you stay in Hakone on day 1, your day 2 schedule will be tight as well.

          If you visit Hakone on day 1 and Kawaguchiko on day 2, you can get Otsuki and take the limited express train to get Shinjuku by JR Pass.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi san

            Thanks for the advice! If that’s the case, we might skip 5th station and Hakone. We will do lake Kawaguchiko, hoshino hakkai, chuerito pagoda and stay in lake Kawaguchiko area on day 1. Day 2 just Gotemba outlet and off to Tokyo.

  5. Hello Takeshi san,

    We are going to Tokyo from Nagoya in early morning and was thinking if we can visit Lake Kawaguchi and Gotemba premium outlet at the same time? If so, do you think we should stop at Mishima Station or Otsuki Station? Also, is there any bus or train from Lake Kawaguchi to Gotemba premium outlet? From Gotemba Premium outlet is there any train to Tokyo? Our travel is covered by JR Pass. Thank you for your help Takeshi.

    1. Hi Maggy san,

      You should take the following route:
      Mishima – Gotemba outlet – Lake Kawaguchi – Tokyo

      You can take these following buses:

      Mishima to Gotemba outlet
      https://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/gotemba/access/bus/detail13.html

      Gotemba outlet- Lake Kawaguchi
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/pdf/rosen/gotemba/pamphlet_201904.pdf

      Lake Kawaguchi to Shinjuku (Tokyo)
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1

      All these bus trips are not covered by JR pass. You may use JR Pass partially for Lake Kawaguchi to Shinjuku. But you still have to pay the fare for Lake Kawaguchi to Otsuki. And you have to change the trains in Otsuki. Your trip will be tight. I recommend you to pay the fare to take the express bus from Lake Kawaguchi.

      JR Pass is not very helpful in this area.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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