Autumn is here, and the colorful foliage is just waiting to be seen! Keen on koyo (autumn leaf viewing), but not so keen on navigating trains and whatnot? There are a bunch of Tokyo bus tours available during the season (late October to early December), where all you have to do is kick back and relax while being ferried from one fabulous sight to another. Here’s an idea of what’s available, with prices to match those cheapo budgets.
Top Tokyo bus tours this fall
In no actual order of preference, here are five suggestions for Tokyo bus tours this autumn. Pack up the family and enjoy!
Note: Most Tokyo bus tours leave from Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal (near Hamamatsucho Station). They may return to a different point, such as Tokyo Station.
1. Mt Fuji and Hakone tour
This bus tour is popular all year round, but autumn adds an extra dimension. You’ll be carted up to the fifth station of Mt Fuji, cruise nearby Lake Ashi on a pirate ship (embrace the kitsch), and ride the Komagatake Ropeway for views of Fuji-san, the Izu Peninsula and Hakone National Park (think autumn leaves). Lunch is included. You can choose to head back to Tokyo by bus or bullet train.
Cost: From ¥12,000 per person
2. Okutama autumn leaves and persimmon picking tour
This is a reasonably priced bus tour that takes you to Okutama, a mountainous area on the western outskirts of Tokyo. You can expect stunning views of autumn foliage (reflected in Lake Okutama, if the weather is good) and fresh persimmons plucked from the trees. A tasty crab hot pot is included for lunch.
Cost: ¥9,980 per person
3. Fukuroda Falls and Ryujin Suspension Bridge tour
Head into Ibaraki Prefecture (northeast of Tokyo) to check out stellar autumn views that include a waterfall (one of Japan’s best) and cool bridge. Lunch is included. This tour is pretty popular, and at the time of writing availability was rather limited for November—so if you want to book, it’s probably a good idea to hustle.
Cost: ¥8,900 per person
4. Yoro Valley tour (with seafood buffet)
Take a trip to Yoro Valley in neighboring Chiba Prefecture and suss out the scenic spots for autumn foliage. You’ll also visit Daifukuji Temple, built into the side of a cliff, for some wow as well as views of Tokyo Bay. Lunch is an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, including abalone, clams, oysters and more. Availability is very limited, so book fast if you’re interested in this one!
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Cost: ¥9,980 per person
5. Ninja Village and autumn leaves tour
Another tour to consider is this one, run by Hato Bus. It’s a full-day bus tour that takes you to Yamanashi Prefecture (southwest of Tokyo), where you’ll be shown around a Ninja Village, take a cruise around Lake Kawaguchi (near Mt Fuji), and see a rather impressive gorge called Shosenkyo, aglow in autumn colors. Lunch is included. This tour is only available from November 7-24, 2017.
Cost: ¥10,800 per person
While it’s not a specific autumn tour, you could always take the Hop on, Hop Off Tokyo Sky Bus around the city (great for first-timers) and see popular sights like Ueno Park, Sensoji Temple and more—taking in some incidental fall foliage along the way!
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