Autumn is on its way, 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.
Note: While most Tokyo bus tours leave from Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal (near Hamamatsucho Station), they may return to a different point, such as Tokyo Station. Also note that dates differ by tour, with some available earlier/later in the season than others.
1. Mt. Fuji and Hakone tour
This tour is popular all year round, but autumn adds an extra dimension. You’ll be carted up to the fifth station of Mount Fuji, cruise nearby Lake Ashi on a catamaran, 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: Between ¥12,000 and ¥16,000 per person, depending on the exact package booked. Book your ticket here.
2. Mt. Fuji Autumn Leaves, Persimmons, and Grape Picking tour
This is a reasonably priced fall bus tour that takes you to the vicinity of Mt. Fuji, where you can see the mountain itself through a maple-tree tunnel, and ride a ropeway to get a better view of Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi surrounded by autumn foliage. Then take in the famous persimmon-drying village of Korogaki no Sato, and finally pick all the grapes you can eat in Yamanashi Prefecture. A crab hotpot and beef sukiyaki are included for lunch.
Cost: From ¥11,500 per person. Book your tour here.
3. Fukuroda Falls and Ashikaga Illuminations tour
Head into Ibaraki Prefecture (northeast of Tokyo) for a tour of some stellar autumn views that include one of Japan’s three most beautiful waterfalls and some evening lights. A BBQ buffet lunch is included, and you’ll be able to enjoy nature-themed illuminations at the famous Ashikaga Flower Park before heading home.
Cost: From ¥9,900 per person. Book your seat here.
4. Nikko, Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji tour
Another year-round tour made all the more amazing by autumn, this is a chance to see Nikko at its best. The area is famous for fall foliage viewing, as well as traditional spots like Toshogu Shrine. You’ll be able to enjoy chestnut rice and other seasonal specialties for lunch before heading out to enjoy the autumn colours, Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji (or a few other sights, depending on the time of year).
Cost: From ¥13,000 per person. Book your ticket here.
Tokyo bus tours sold out or looking for other options? Here are some ideas for autumn day trips.
This post was originally published in October, 2018 and was last updated in August, 2019. While we make every effort to be accurate, details may vary.
Explore Hiroshima — a place known for its haunting history, but its resilience even more so.