So you want to see Mt Fuji, the 3,776-meter-high icon of Japan? It’s actually a volcano, but let’s not think too much about that…

Whether you plan to climb to the summit or just Fuji-spot around the lakes below, there are a few different transport options. Here’s an overview of how you can get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji — in or out of the climbing season — plus other useful stuff to know.

Quick answer: Buses are the easiest, fastest, and cheapest option for getting direct to the mountain. If you prefer trains to buses there are A LOT of options! Including fancy direct trains, theme trains, and regular trains — though these only get you as far as Kawaguchiko. Most options depart from Shinjuku.

Suggested Activity
Mount Fuji Day Trip with Private Driver
Spend a day exploring Mount Fuji and the area around it with this private, fully customizable tour - from all around Kawaguchiko Lake and up to the Mount Fuji Fifth Station.

However, if you weigh convenience over cost, then consider booking a private driver — this top-rated private service costs ¥66,000 for four people and is the smoothest way to enjoy the Mount Fuji area. For other options, there’s a wide range of Mount Fuji excursions on Viator.

Transport options from Tokyo to Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (for climbing Mt Fuji)

Direct bus★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆★ ★ ★ ★ ☆¥3,800 (one-way)2.5 hrs
Express train + bus★ ★ ★ ★ ☆★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆¥5,910(one-way)3 hrs + transfer time
Regular trains + bus★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆¥4,290(one-way)3.5 hrs + transfer time
Car + bus★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆¥6,160+ (one-way)3 hrs + waiting time for the bus

Transport options from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko (for Fuji-spotting in the Fuji Five Lakes)

TransportComfortConveniencePriceTimeBooking Links
Bus★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆★ ★ ★ ★ ☆¥2,200 (one-way)2 hrsWiller Express | Kosoku Bus
Express train★ ★ ★ ★ ☆★ ★ ★ ★ ☆From ¥4,000 (one way)Under 2 hrsBook online
Regular trains★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆¥2,510 (one-way)2 hrs 45 min + transfer time 
Tour bus (full day trip)★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆★ ★ ★ ★ ☆¥7,800 (return)2 hrsBook here
Private driver (full day trip)★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★¥65,385 (return)1.5 hrs depending on trafficBook here
View of fuji with maple tree
Mt Fuji as seen from one of the Fuji Five Lakes, near Kawaguchiko | Photo by

First of all, where exactly is Mt Fuji?

Mt Fuji straddles the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, southwest of Tokyo. It’s about 100km away, so at a minimum it’s a proper day trip (or overnight trip if you’re climbing).

Kawaguchiko is a popular resort town in the Fuji Five Lakes region at the base of Mt Fuji and a useful transport hub for the area.

For climbers coming from Tokyo, the Yoshida Trail, which starts at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, is the most convenient of the four trails to the summit. It can be reached directly from Tokyo or Kawaguchiko.

Both the Yoshida Trail and Kawaguchiko are on the Yamanashi side of Mt Fuji.

When is the best time of year to go to Mt Fuji?

Mt Fuji has an official climbing season, which runs from 1 July to 10 September. (On the Yoshida Trail; the other trails open on July 10).

Fuji Five Lakes (Fuji Go-ko), meanwhile, is a year-round destination for hiking, hot springs, and Fuji spotting. But the clearest time to see Mount Fuji is in the winter.

Note: Some people try to climb Mt Fuji outside of the climbing season but this can be super dangerous! Outside of the climbing season, the mountain trails are off-limits, and first aid stations are closed. Check out our guide to climbing Mt Fuji for other need-to-knows.

Direct buses during the climbing season

2 hours 30 minutes
¥3,800 (one-way)

Suggested Activity
1-for-1 Deals for Japan on KKday's 10th Birthday Bash!
Enjoy 50% off Japan tours and 1-for-1 e-SIMs, tickets and experiences!
Also, 1-for-1 USJ tickets, every Tues, 12pm (For SG/MY/TH only). T&Cs apply.
Gift shop at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station on Mt Fuji
During the climbing season, buses go directly from Shinjuku to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (pictured here). | Photo by

During the climbing season (1 July to 10 September), hikers can take a direct bus from the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, which is the starting point for the Yoshida Trail. Bus tickets cost ¥3,800 one way and the trip takes about 2.5 hours. You can book tickets on the website.

There are also 2-day Mount Fuji climbing tour packages available.

Year-round buses (Tokyo–Kawaguchiko–Mt Fuji)

Year round there are buses from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko. And, from around April through November (depending on the weather), there are buses from Kawaguchiko to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station.

Tokyo to Kawaguchiko buses

2 hours
¥2,200 (one-way)

Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal is a convenient hub for buses to Kawaguchiko and Mt Fuji | Photo by

The most frequent departures are from the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, which is also the most user-friendly of Tokyo’s long-distance bus hubs. These buses run about once an hour, with more frequent departures in the morning (for Kawaguchiko) and in the afternoon (returning to Shinjuku).

Suggested Activity
Navigate Japan with a Saily eSIM from $US3.99
With mobile data packages from $US3.99 for 1GB to $US22.99 for 20GB, Saily has your Japan data needs covered. Saily is brought to you by the people behind NordVPN.

There are also departures from Shibuya Station and Tokyo Station. All buses also stop at Fuji-Q Highland (the theme park for thrill-seekers, which is a fun addition to a trip to Mt Fuji).

The journey from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko takes about 2 hours and typically costs ¥2,200. All seats are ticketed. You can purchase tickets online in advance. We recommend checking out the booking sites Willer Express and Kosoku Bus, as well as, to compare routes and ticket prices.

Note: This is a little confusing, but a few years ago, the city of Fuji-Yoshida (near Kawaguchiko) changed the name of its train and bus station to Fujisan Station, which appears on timetables in English as Mt Fuji Station. Fujisan/Mt Fuji Station is NOT the stop for climbing Mt Fuji! Fuji-Yoshida does, however, have some neat, historical attractions.

Kawaguchiko to Mt Fuji buses

50 minutes
¥1,780 (one-way)

Kawaguchiko station with Mt Fuji and a bus
Kawaguchiko Station, where you can catch a bus onwards to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. | Photo by

From Kawaguchiko, buses run on a seasonal schedule to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Buses depart hourly during the climbing season and less frequently in the shoulder season. The ride takes about 50 minutes and costs ¥1,780 (or ¥2,800 for a return ticket). You can pre-purchase them here.

Pro tip: You can also book an all-inclusive sightseeing tour from Tokyo to Mt Fuji and Hakone. You can take the bus both ways, or take the bus there and ride the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

Taking the train from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko

If you aren’t so keen on a bus, you can take a train from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko. However, this is pricier than the bus and, if you want to get to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, you will still need to take a bus from Kawaguchiko. As with the buses, Shinjuku is the most convenient departure point. Options include deluxe limited express trains (the priciest) and a combination of regular trains.

Wait, can I take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Mt Fuji?

Sort of. You can take the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Mishima. This takes just under an hour. Note that only Kodama and some Hikari trains stop at Mishima (no Nozomi trains stop at Mishima but if you are using a Japan Rail Pass you are not riding Nozomi trains anyway).

From Mishima Station, buses run hourly-ish to Kawaguchiko (schedule here). The journey takes about 90 minutes and costs ¥2,530.

The shinkansen bullet train passing Mt Fuji
The Tokaido Shinkansen has a famous view of Mt Fuji, though unfortunately it comes right after Mishima Station. | Photo by

Fuji Excursion limited-express trains

Just under 2 hours
From ¥4,000 (one way), book online

The special Fuji Excursion limited-express train is the fastest train from Tokyo to Fuji-san, taking less than two hours from JR Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station. There are four departures every morning. There are also four trains running the return route, in the afternoon.

Note: Tickets sell out fast. It is highly recommended that you book online, either on Klook or Eki-net, 1-4 weeks in advance.

Fuji Excursion trains also stop at Fuji-Q Highland and Shimoyoshida Station — the nearest station to the famous Chureito Pagoda — on the way to Kawaguchiko.

The cost of a one-way journey starts from ¥4,000. All seats are reserved. It’s a very comfortable train, with power outlets at every seat, toilets, and space for luggage. However, it can get crowded, with overflow passengers sometimes trying to stand in the aisles and inter-carriage decks. This is not recommended!

  • Departure times from Shinjuku Station: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Departure times from Kawaguchiko Station: 2:10 p.m., 2:55 p.m., 4:42 p.m (4:45 p.m. on weekends and holidays), and 5:33 p.m.

What if I have a Japan Rail Pass?

The Fuji Excursion train runs on both JR lines (from Shinjuku to Otsuki) and private Fujikyu Railway lines (from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko). The Japan Rail Pass only covers the JR part (the JR Tokyo Wide Pass is an exception; it covers travel on Fujikyu Railway).

JR Pass holders need to pay a ¥1,770 surcharge for the Fujikyu Railway part of the journey and are only permitted to sit in seats that have not been reserved — you can check by the light above the seat.

View of Mt Fuji from a train going from Tokyo to Mt Fuji
There are usually some good views of Mt. Fuji from Fujikyu Railway trains between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko. | Photo by

JR limited express trains from Shinjuku

2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
¥3,530 (one-way)

A compromise option (price/convenience-wise) is to take a JR Limited Express “Kaiji” or “Azusa” train from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway for Kawaguchiko. You can also get Kaiji trains from Tokyo Station. Board on Platform 2 at Tokyo Station and Platform 9 at Shinjuku Station.

The total journey takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours (depending on transfer time) and costs ¥3,530 from Shinjuku and ¥3,710 from Tokyo. Times vary, but departures from Tokyo Station usually take place in the afternoon and departures from Shinjuku take place every hour from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Otsuki Station is pretty small and easy to navigate, so don’t worry about getting lost. Fujikyu Railway trains between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko run once or twice an hour. Note that some ~special~ trains require a small surcharge (more on that below).

Regular trains from Tokyo and Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko

2 hours 45 minutes
¥2,510 (one-way)

Two daily regular trains run directly from Tokyo Station (via Shinjuku Station) to Kawaguchiko Station. These are commuter trains, so they depart Tokyo in the evening and Kawaguchiko in the morning. The train you’re looking for in Tokyo is the “Chuo Line Commuter Rapid (For Kawaguchiko)” and it will depart from the Chuo Line tracks Platform 1 at Tokyo Station; Platform 11 or 12 at Shinjuku). The journey takes a total of 3 hours from Tokyo Station and 2 hours and 45 minutes from Shinjuku. It costs ¥2,690 from Tokyo Station and ¥2,510 from Shinjuku.

  • Departure times from Tokyo Station: 6:07 p.m. & 7:05 p.m. (weekdays); 6:21 p.m. & 7:08 p.m. (weekends and holidays)
  • Departure times from Shinjuku Station: 6:22 p.m. & 7:19 p.m. (weekdays); 6:36 p.m. & 7:23 p.m. (weekends and holidays)
  • Departure times from Kawaguchiko Station: 5:49 a.m. & 6:15 a.m. daily

It is also possible to do this same route throughout the day with transfers. The price will be the same but it may take 20 to 30 minutes longer depending on transfer times. Take the JR Chuo Special Rapid Service to Takao, then a Chuo Main Line train for Otsuki. At Otsuki, transfer for a Fujikyu Railway train for Kawaguchiko.

Special Rapid Service trains run approximately every 20 minutes (except during the weekday morning rush hour when there are no Special Rapid Service trains). A regular rapid train adds maybe 10 minutes to the journey. Some trains terminate at Hachioji; if yours does, just wait for the next train that is continuing on to Takao.

Important: Do not get on an Ome-bound train! If you do, by accident, then get off at Tachikawa (before the line splits) and get a Takao-bound train there.

Super Cheapo train option via Takao

2 hours 45 minutes
¥2,130 (one-way)

Take a Takaosanguchi-bound Keio Line train from Shinjuku to Takao. At Takao, transfer to a JR Chuo Line train for Otsuki and then transfer again to a Fujikyu Railway train for Kawaguchiko. This takes about as long as going non-direct, regular JR all the way but costs a little bit less: ¥2,130.

Make sure to catch one of the special express trains, which gets you to Takao in about 50 minutes (as opposed to like 80 minutes on the local). They run often enough; see the schedule here. Do not get a train bound for Hashimoto or Keio-Hachioji! Especially not Hashimoto; if you get a Hachioji-bound train get off at Kitano and transfer to a Takaosanguchi-bound train.

Fujikyu Railways special trains from Otsuki

54 to 57 minutes
From ¥1,170, plus surcharges (one-way)

Fujisan Express train
The Fujisan Express is one of your transport options to Kawaguchiko. | Photo by

Travel from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko is on the Fujikyu Railway, which runs several resort/theme trains in addition to regular trains. These trains only run a few times each day so we’ve included the departure times below (so you don’t have to look them up yourself!).

The base fare is ¥1,170; listed below are the additional costs to ride each of these trains. Travel time between the regular and express trains is negligible (like 5 minutes). All trains also stop at Fuji-Q Highland Station.

Fujisan View Express

Departs Otsuki: 11:49 a.m. & 2:54 p.m. daily
Departs Kawaguchiko: 9:40 a.m. & 1:13 p.m. daily
Surcharge: ¥400 for an unreserved seat; ¥600 for reserved seat; and first-class reserved seat ¥1,300

A fancy train with big windows for Fuji spotting en route. On weekends and holidays, first-class reserved seats can be booked as part of a “sweets package” that includes sweets and coffee/tea and costs adult/child ¥4,900/¥3,900.

Fujisan Express

Departs Otsuki: 12:48 p.m. daily and also 3:52 p.m. on weekends
Departs Kawaguchiko: 11:11 a.m. daily and also 2:01 p.m. on weekends
Surcharge: Unreserved/reserved seat ¥400/¥600

Another express train. It has cartoon Fujis on the exterior, which is a fun photo op. They may replace the train with a less-fun alternative, so check the website on its status.

Thomas Land Train

Departs Otsuki: 7:55 a.m., 10 a.m., 1:50 p.m. & 4:37 p.m. weekdays; 7:55am, 9:59am, 2:17pm & 5:05pm weekends and holidays
Departs Kawaguchiko: 6:41 a.m., 8:59 a.m., 12:10 p.m. & 3:22 p.m. weekdays; 6:41 a.m., 8:59 a.m., 12:10 p.m. & 3:20 p.m. weekends and holidays
Surcharge: none!

A regular train decorated with characters from Thomas the Tank Engine.

Thomas the tank engine themed train from Tokyo to mt fuji
Or you can take this Thomas-themed train, because why not? | Photo by

Discount train and travel passes

Fujikyu Railway has a few different discount schemes for rail passengers coming from Otsuki. Getting to Otsuki from Tokyo (Shinjuku Station) is not covered by any of these passes and costs ¥960 on a combination of Keio and JR regular trains, ¥1,340 on regular JR trains, and ¥2,360 on a limited express JR Azusa or Kaiji train. You can purchase discount passes at Otsuki Station or online.

Mt. Fuji Pass

Get it here

Throughout the year, you can take advantage of a 1-3 day Mt. Fuji Pass, which covers entry to Fuji-Q Highland, as well as other attractions and transport in the area.

Fujisan Limited Express Free Ticket

Get it here

Covers unlimited rides on Fujikyu Railway trains between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko for two days. You can also use the Fujisan View Express or Fujisan Express trains (unreserved seats only). However, you’ll save only ¥140 if you do a round-trip on the limited express trains, but if you also use the trains for sightseeing, you can save more. This is a good option if you also plan to do some sightseeing at Fuji Q Highland or Chureito Pagoda. Get tickets via the app here.

There are a few other discount transport passes available — enquire at Otsuki Station. More details.

What about the JR Tokyo Wide Pass?

The JR Tokyo Wide Pass, which costs ¥10,180, does cover the Fuji Excursion limited express train (the priciest but most convenient train), which is a round-trip value of ¥8,260. The pass is good for three consecutive days, so if you tack on a day trip to Nikko or even just a ride into Tokyo from the airport on the Narita Express you are saving money.

Driving from Tokyo to Mt Fuji

View of Mt Fuji from the Tomei Expressway going from Tokyo to Mt Fuji
There are some good views of Mt Fuji from the expressway actually but it is still probably not worth it | Photo by ARAKAWA

If you prefer to be driven than drive, or just want the easiest option, then you could consider hiring a private driver for a day trip. Viator have a very reasonably priced private driver Mt Fuji day trip service — it’s under ¥66,000 for four people.

In addition to the usual caveats about the cost of driving in Japan (and the stress of driving in Tokyo), there are pros and cons for taking a car (your own or a rental) to Mt Fuji. On the pro side, if you want to do anything other than climb Mt Fuji, having a car is handy for visiting attractions (like onsen!) without having to rely on irregular local buses. It also makes gear wrangling easier.

On the other hand, private vehicles are banned from the access road to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station during most of the climbing season. It’s usually open in early to mid-July. For the rest of the climbing season, you have to pay to park at a big lot (¥1,000) and take a bus up the access road. Also, unless you are in very good shape your legs are going to hurt the next day which can make driving kind of miserable.

The highway toll for a regular car from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko costs somewhere between ¥3,000 and ¥4,000 (ETC price) depending on where you are starting in Tokyo and the route you take. Use Nexco Drive Plaza’s toll calculator to determine the exact cost. The drive takes about two hours (depending on traffic) — longer if you need to get through central Tokyo.

So if you want to explore the area before or after climbing Mt Fuji, it makes the most sense to rent a car in Kawaguchiko.

Helicopter to Mt Fuji

Okay, this isn’t a realistic option for most of us, nor is it particularly sustainable, but for those with cash to burn and/or special occasions to celebrate, there is a helicopter tour that takes you from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji (the area nearby, anyway) and back. You’ll fly to Hakone, taking in Mt. Fuji and other sights from the skies.

Staying overnight? See our Mount Fuji accommodation guide.

We work really hard to keep everything current and correct. But, alas, all information, including costs and travel times, is subject to change. This post was first published in June 2017. Last updated in August 2023.


Ask our local experts about Tokyo

Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox

Watch this next

Recommended hotels located nearby