So you want to see Mount Fuji, that 3,776-meter-high icon of Japan? It’s a volcano, but let’s not think too much about that. Depending on what it is you plan to do there (climbing to the summit or exploring the surrounding lakes, soaking in a hot spring or shopping), your choice of transport is going to differ. Here’s an overview of how you can get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji by train or bus, in or out of season.
Easiest way of getting to Mount Fuji from Tokyo: Highway buses
Most visitors to the mountain seem to go for this option. The best bus depends on what time of year you’re traveling.
Tokyo to Mount Fuji year-round buses
Outside the climbing season and for general visitors to Fuji-san, there are regular services that operate between Shinjuku/Shibuya/Tokyo and the broader Fuji area. Kawaguchiko Station, Fuji-Q Highland (the theme park for thrill-seekers), Fuji-San Station and Lake Yamanakako are the major get-off points. Where you alight depends on what it is you want to explore. Kawaguchiko and Yamanakako give you access to some of the lakes around Mount Fuji, which make for excellent walking and hot spring-ing spots.
A bus ticket from Tokyo Station to Kawaguchiko Station or Fuji-Q Highland will set you back about ¥2,000 (one way), and the journey takes two hours on average. If you’re going to Lake Yamanakako, you’re looking at closer to 2.5 hours and ¥2,100 yen each way. We recommend you look at Kosoku Bus and Willer Express when making reservations for the Tokyo to Kawaguchiko bus trip. There are several buses a day, with the bulk of departures in the morning.
From Kawaguchiko Station, you can hop onto a local bus and get up to the Fuji Subaru 5th Station, as long as the roads aren’t snowed under. It takes about 50 minutes and costs ¥1,540 (or ¥2,100 for a return ticket). Buses leave once an hour off season, and slightly more frequently during the climbing season. You don’t need a reservation.
You can also book an all-inclusive bus tour from Tokyo to Mount Fuji.
Special buses in the climbing season
In season (July to mid-September), climbers can take a direct bus from the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal to the 5th Station (the Fuji Subaru Line one), which is the starting point for the popular summer sunrise hike that follows the Yoshida Trail. Bus tickets cost ¥2,900 one way, and the trip takes about 2.5 hours. You can reserve tickets here.
Taking a train from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
If you aren’t so keen on a bus, you can take a train from Tokyo to Mount Fuji—but note that they are a bit more expensive than the buses.
Regular trains from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
Your year-round options are as follows:
- Take the (new) Fuji Excursion Limited Express train from Shinjuku Station direct to Kawaguchiko Station. This takes 1 hour 52 minutes, and costs ¥4,060 one way.
- Take a JR Limited Express train (Azusa or Kaiji) from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway for Kawaguchiko. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours, and costs between ¥3,290 and ¥4,060 one way, depending on whether a transfer in Takao/Tachikawa is required or not, and whether you’re traveling on a weekday or weekend.
- Take the JR Chuo Special Rapid Service instead, following the same route. It takes 10-20 minutes longer, but only costs ¥2,460 each way.
See more information on this train below.
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Note that some trains on the Fujikyu Railway, including the Fuji Excursion, stop at Fuji-Q Highland too. Also note that if you are traveling on a JR Pass, your JR trains will be covered.
Another rail option is to take the JR Tokaido Line for Atami from Tokyo Station, then transfer to the JR Gotemba Line for Mishima at Kozu Station. The trip takes about two hours and the fare is ¥1,940. From Gotemba Station, you can catch a free shuttle bus to Gotemba Premium Outlets for some retail therapy, or take a local bus up to Subashiri 5th Station (in climbing season). This tour makes your Gotemba shopping adventure easy, and adds in a lake cruise, too.
Tokyo to Mt. Fuji: Special summer/fall trains and the new Fuji Excursion Limited Express
It used to be the case that on weekends and public holidays in summer and fall, you could take advantage of a special Holiday Rapid Fujisan train direct from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko. There was a similar Rapid Fujisan service on Fridays. The trains would head back to Tokyo in the late afternoon, from around 3pm.
These trains seem to have been retired with the March 2019 launch of a new direct train from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko—the Fuji Excursion Limited Express train run by JR and the Fujikyu Railway. This runs twice daily on weekday mornings (departing at 8:30am and 9:30am) and three times on weekend and holiday mornings (departing at 7:35am, 8:30am and 9:30am), with return trains departing Kawaguchiko Station in the afternoons (at 3:05pm and 5:38pm weekdays and 3:05pm, 4pm and 5:38pm weekends and holidays). It’s ¥600 more expensive than the other limited express trains, bringing the cost of a one-way journey to ¥4,060 with a reserved seat.
Tokyo to Mt. Fuji: Discount passes
Between July and November, you can buy a two-day Mount Fuji 5th Station Pass, which gives you rail access from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko, as well as hop on/off bus access up to the 5th Station, for ¥3,700 at Otsuki Station. This saves you around ¥700. There are a few other discount transport passes available—enquire at Otsuki Station.
Throughout the year, you can also 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.
This post was first published in June, 2017. Last updated in June, 2019.
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