The Ultimate Tokyo to Mount Fuji Day Trip Guide
Mt. Fuji, Japan
by Coco Tran On October 2, 2023
Are you visiting Tokyo and wanting to take a day trip to see the majestic Mount Fuji? I’ve got all the information you need for the perfect Tokyo to mount Fuji day trip. As Japan’s highest and most iconic mountain, getting a glimpse of Mount Fuji is a must for any trip to Tokyo!
In this ultimate guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know to plan the perfect Tokyo to Mount Fuji day trip, including:
The Ultimate Tokyo to Mount Fuji Day Trip Guide
In This Article: Table of Contents
- Why Visit Mount Fuji
- Best Time to Visit
- Transportation Options
- Renting a Car
- Tokyo to Mount Fuji Itinerary
- Fuji Five Lakes
- Gotemba Premium Outlets
- Oshino Hakkai
- Fuji-Q Highland
- What to Pack
- Where to Stay in Tokyo
- Helpful Tips
Why Visit Mount Fuji?
Mount Fuji, known as “Fuji-san” in Japanese, is the tallest mountain in Japan at 12,388 ft (3,776 m). Mount Fuji is actually an active volcano, although it last erupted in 1707. Today, it remains dormant but is still classified as active by geologists.
Some key reasons why visiting Mount Fuji should be on your Tokyo itinerary include:
- Iconic Views: Mount Fuji has long been celebrated in Japanese art and photography for its symmetrical cone shape. On clear days, you can see Mount Fuji towering in the distance from Tokyo skyscrapers and high vantage points around the city. Getting an up-close view of this majestic mountain is a quintessential Japanese experience.
- Spiritual Significance: Mount Fuji has been revered in Japanese culture for centuries. As early as the 10th century, pilgrims would climb Mount Fuji for spiritual purification. Many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are located at the base of Mount Fuji, reflecting its sacred nature.
- Outdoor Adventure: Hiking at least part of the way up Mount Fuji is an unforgettable experience. The official hiking season runs from July 1 to September 10 each year when the trails and mountain huts are open. Or you can admire Mount Fuji from below year-round while enjoying lakes, waterfalls, and hot springs.
- Proximity to Tokyo: Since Mount Fuji is only about 1-2 hours from Tokyo by train or bus, it makes for an easy and convenient day trip!
tokyo to mount fuji distance
Here are the details on the distance and travel times from Tokyo to Mount Fuji:
- The distance from central Tokyo to Mount Fuji is around 100 km (60 miles)
- By direct highway bus, the journey takes approximately 2-2.5 hours depending on traffic conditions. Buses depart from locations like Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Station and go straight to Kawaguchiko.
- The fastest way to get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji is thus by highway bus or driving yourself. But trains are the most convenient option for tourists already exploring Tokyo without a car.
- No matter which mode of transportation you take, getting from Tokyo to the Fuji Five Lakes area around the base of Mount Fuji takes approximately 2-2.5 hours each way for a nice full day trip.
So in summary, the Tokyo to Mount Fuji distance is around 100 km taking around 2 hours to travel between. This proximity makes it very accessible as a day trip from Tokyo!
tokyo to mt fuji travel time
- By train, it takes around 2-2.5 hours to reach Kawaguchiko Station at the northern base of Mount Fuji from major stations like Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station. This includes transferring from the JR Chuo Line to the Fujikyu Line at Otsuki.
- Driving yourself by rental car or private transportation takes around 1.5-2 hours under normal traffic conditions. The route mainly takes the Chuo Expressway west from Tokyo towards Mount Fuji.
When is the Best Time to Visit Mount Fuji? Best Month To See Mt Fuji
Mount Fuji can be visited year-round, but some times of year are better than others:
- July-August – The official climbing season when trails & huts open. You will find the best weather and visibility during these months. It’s also when Fuji is at its busiest with tourists.
- September-November – Is the best time of year to see mt fuji. Cooler temperatures but with fewer crowds. September still brings clear skies good for views. The autumn foliage in November is stunning with Mount Fuji in the backdrop.
- December-February – Fuji is snow-capped in winter, but visibility can be hit or miss with clouds and storms. Trails are closed for climbing at this time.
- March-June – Spring brings blooming cherry blossoms, but rain and low clouds are common obscuring views of Fuji. Trails remain closed.
Ideally visit during summer or autumn if you want the best chance to see Mount Fuji in all its glory! But it’s still worth seeing on a Tokyo day trip year-round if your timing is less flexible.
Transportation Options from Tokyo to Mt fuji Day trip from tokyo
You have a few options for getting from Tokyo to Mount Fuji for a day trip:
Best Option for Mount fuji from Tokyo day trip :
Tour from tokyo to mt fuji
Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to take a guided tour or go independently for a day trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji:
Why you should take a Mount Fuji Tour from Tokyo:
- Convenience – A tour handles all transportation and logistics for the day. No need to plan train/bus schedules.
- Saving Time – Tours use direct buses which are faster than public transport. More time for sightseeing.
- Expert Guide – Get history, culture and facts about sights from a knowledgeable local guide.
- Hassle-free Experience – Don’t have to worry about navigating to attractions or language barriers.
- Meet Fellow Travelers – Tours are a great way to meet other travelers interested in Mount Fuji.
- Wide Selection – Many tour companies offer Fuji tours with different itineraries to choose from.
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how to get to mt fuji from tokyo
Option 1: Tokyo to Mt fuji train
- How to get to mt fuji from tokyo. Here are some additional details on taking the train to Lake Kawaguchiko as part of a Mount Fuji day trip from Tokyo:
- The fastest train option is the Fuji Excursion direct train from Shinjuku Station. This limited express train departs Shinjuku at 7:30am, 8:30am, and 9:30am daily and takes around 1 hour 40 minutes to reach Kawaguchiko Station.
- The Fuji Excursion train requires an additional fee and reservation. It is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. The cost for a one-way trip is around 2,700 yen.
- An alternative is to take the regular JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku or Tokyo Station to Otsuki (around 1 hour, covered by JR Pass). At Otsuki, transfer to the Fujikyu Line to Kawaguchiko (around 1 hour 20 mins, not covered by JR Pass).
- The Otsuki-Kawaguchiko segment costs 1,140 yen one-way without a rail pass. The total train journey takes around 2 hours 20 minutes.
- The JR Tokyo Wide Pass covers trains on the JR Chuo Line portion only. You would need to purchase separate tickets for the non-JR Fujikyu Line from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko.
- In summary, taking the train to Kawaguchiko for a Mount Fuji day trip is possible either by the direct Fuji Excursion or by transferring at Otsuki. Only part of the journey will be covered if using a rail pass.
Option 2: tokyo Bus to mt fuji
Highway buses offer direct connections from Tokyo to the Mount Fuji area, taking around 2-2.5 hours depending on traffic. This can be faster than the train option.
There are also a variety of convenient guided tours and bus packages you can book from Tokyo to Mount Fuji for a hassle-free day trip experience. I’ll go over some recommended specific bus tours in the itinerary section below.
Option 3: Rent a Car
If you want maximum flexibility exploring the Mount Fuji area, renting a car for the day is an option. The drive from Tokyo to the Fuji Five Lakes area takes 1.5-2 hours.
Having your own car allows you to set your own schedule and stops rather than relying on public transport. However, driving on the left side of the road can be daunting if it’s your first time in Japan!
1 day Tokyo to Mount Fuji day trip Itinerary
best place to visit mount fuji
There are a few main areas around Mount Fuji that make for a great day trip from Tokyo:
Kawaguchiko is perhaps the most popular spot to view Mount Fuji thanks to its picturesque lake views. Some top things to see:
- Kachi Kachi Ropeway – Ride this cable car up Tenjoyama for sweeping views of Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji in the distance.
- Kubota Itchiku Art Museum – Browse the gorgeous kimono artworks while admiring Mount Fuji through the windows.
- Lake Kawaguchi – Stroll along the northern shore for those classic Fuji reflections on the lake photos.
- Oishi Park – Relax amidst landscaped gardens and flowers with Fuji views across the lake.
Fuji Five Lakes
The Fuji Five Lakes area has several lakes and vantage points for admiring Mount Fuji:
- Lake Yamanaka – The largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, also offers great views of Fuji and several walking trails.
- Lake Shoji – The smallest and least developed of the five lakes, providing a peaceful spot to take in natural scenery.
- Motosu Lake – Offers a iconic vantage point of Mount Fuji rising over the lake’s surface.
- Panoramic Ropeway – Get aerial views out over Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka.
Gotemba Premium Outlets
After taking in the natural beauty around Mount Fuji, finish off your day trip with some shopping! Gotemba Premium Outlets sits in the shadow of Mount Fuji and offers over 200 outlet shops. It takes just under 2 hours to get back to Tokyo from here.
Other popular outlet malls closer to Tokyo include the LaLaport Tokyo Bay and Iruma outlet malls if you want to maximize shopping time.
Hakone is a scenic hot spring town near Mount Fuji and part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Top sights include:
- Lake Ashi – Take a sightseeing cruise on this beautiful lake with Mount Fuji views.
- Hakone Ropeway – Ride gondolas over volcanic valleys and get panoramas over the mountains.
- Owakudani – See active sulfur vents and hot springs in this volcanic “Great Boiling Valley”.
- Hakone Shrine – Stroll through the enormous red torii gates of this ancient shrine set in a forest.
This small village has eight ponds fed by melted snow water from Mount Fuji that collectively are called Oshino Hakkai. The crystal clear springs make for great photos with Mount Fuji rising behind them.
If you have kids or thrill-seekers in your group, add Fuji-Q Highland theme park to your itinerary. Home to some record-breaking rollercoasters against the backdrop of Mount Fuji!
Things to Do in Lake Kawaguchiko
Here is a more comprehensive overview of all the top things to do in the Lake Kawaguchiko area for a Mount Fuji day trip:
- Oishi Park – This small park on the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko offers beautiful views of Mount Fuji. The flower gardens are especially colorful during bloom seasons. The end of the Flowery Path is a popular spot for Mount Fuji photos across the lake. No entrance fee.
- Chureito Pagoda – Located in Arakurayama Sengen Park, the bright red Chureito Pagoda is an iconic view with Mount Fuji rising behind it. You’ll need to climb about 400 steps to reach the lookout point. Chureito Pagoda is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing in spring or fall colors in autumn. The park entrance fee is 200 Yen.
- Lake Kawaguchiko – Stroll along the northern shore for iconic Mount Fuji reflection views. Walking paths with Rowing boats also available to rent.
- Kachi Kachi Ropeway – Ride the cable car up Mount Tenjo for panoramic views over the lake and Mount Fuji.
- Itchiku Kubota Art Museum – Admire beautiful kimono fabrics dyed using traditional techniques.
- Music Forest Museum – See an impressive collection of music boxes and automated musical instruments.
- Yamanashi Gem Museum – See a collection of over 3000 gems and jewelry.
- Kubota Itchiku Art Museum – Browse gorgeous kimono artworks and Mount Fuji views.
- Kawaguchiko Museum of Art – Museum showcasing Mount Fuji inspired paintings and pictures.
- Lake Saiko Bat Cave – Explore this 386 meter long lava cave near Mount Fuji.
- Fugaku Wind Cave – Used in the past as a natural refrigerator to store ice.
- Narusawa Ice Cave – See ice formations in this cave with below freezing temperatures year-round.
- Oshino Hakkai – View the 8 crystal clear springs in this small village near Mount Fuji.
- Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway – Get aerial views of Fuji and Lakes Kawaguchi and Yamanaka.
- Fuji-Q Highland – Ride rollercoasters and thrill rides with Mount Fuji views.
- Hiking Trails – Various hiking trails around Lake Kawaguchiko and up Mount Fuji during climbing season.
- Onsen Hot Springs – Bathe in therapeutic hot spring baths, many providing views of Mount Fuji.
- Boat Cruises – Relaxing boat rides on Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Saiko.
- Flower Parks – Lavender Park, Rose Park, and other flowering gardens.
- Cultural Experiences – Try activities like calligraphy, tea ceremonies, pottery classes, and more.
Some other top scenic viewpoints of Mount Fuji that can be added to a Lake Kawaguchiko itinerary include:
- Kotobiki Forest Park
- Mount Tenjo
- Lake Yamanakako
- Fuji Shibazakura Festival (Moss Phlox Festival)
Where to Stay in Lake Kawaguchiko
Lake Kawaguchiko offers a variety of accommodation options for overnight stays near Mount Fuji:
- Kawaguchiko Lake Hotel – Offers amazing views of Mt. Fuji from some rooms and has several on-site restaurants.
- Kozantei Ubuya – Traditional ryokan (inn) with hot spring baths, perfect for a relaxing stay.
- Fuji Lake Hotel – Spacious Western-style rooms and an indoor pool with views of Lake Kawaguchiko.
- K’s House Mount Fuji – Popular budget/backpacker hostel near Kawaguchiko Station.
- Airbnbs – Various houses, apartments, and cabins available, great for groups or families.
What to Pack to Mt Fuji Day trip from tokyo
Here are some items that will be handy to have with you for a Mount Fuji day trip from Tokyo:
- Cash (buses & taxis may only accept cash)
- Light jacket & scarf during colder months
- Sun protection like hat, sunglasses & sunscreen during summer
- Hiking shoes if doing light trekking around the trails & lakes
- Camera, tripod & spare batteries to capture perfect Fuji shots
- Snacks & water
- Travel sickness tablets for windy roads
Helpful Tips for a Mount Fuji Day Trip
Keep these tips in mind to make the most of your Tokyo to Mount Fuji day trip experience:
- Check the weather and visibility reports to target days with the clearest views. Clouds often obscure Fuji even if forecast is sunny.
- Go very early in the morning to beat crowds at popular Fuji viewpoints and secure those photos before clouds potentially roll in.
- Bring yen cash for bathrooms, food stalls, and any parts of transportation or attractions not covered by rail passes.
- Charge camera batteries and empty memory cards to have ample space for Fuji photos!
- Pack motion sickness pills if you get queasy on windy roads up to Mount Fuji viewpoints.
- Hiking up Mount Fuji itself is only allowed during the official climbing season from July-September. During other months, trails will be closed.
I hope this guide gives you all the information and itinerary inspiration you need to plan an epic Tokyo to Mount Fuji day trip!
With several transportation options, areas to explore, and amazing Mount Fuji viewpoints – you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Just don’t forget your camera to capture Japan’s stunning iconic mountain.
Have any questions or need tips for your own Mount Fuji day trip? Let me know in the comments!
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