If you’re trying to get to Mt Fuji 5th station from Tokyo, you might find a lot of conflicting information online about how to get there and where exactly it is. Let me start by saying Mt Fuji is NOT in Tokyo. Not at all. Not near the city, not even in the prefecture. Although it can be seen from Tokyo on a clear day, it’s actually about 100km away from the city so you have to travel quite a bit to get there. Of course, it’s Japan we’re talking about so transiting from place to place isn’t too painful. With that being said, there are definitely a few things that make it confusing so you should be aware of. Here I am to help you figure it out!
Things to ask yourself before your trip to Mt Fuji 5th Station from Tokyo:
is the bus running today? check before you go.
This website is updated every morning and will tell you how far the bus is going on any given day. It is in Japanese but you can easily Google Translate the page and it is understandable. The 5th station is the highest point the bus can go by bus. So if the website says it is going to 5th station, that means you’re getting your time and money’s worth. The 3rd or 4th station still look nice and could be worth the trip (it should be a little cheaper as well). Some days if it is too snowy or stormy on the mountain, the buses won’t run at all so you’re probably best to make your trip to Mt Fuji another day, if you can.
which bus will you take?
You can see the bus timetable here. As you can see the buses both going up and coming back only run once every hour or so. Make sure you plan well when you will arrive. Plan which buses you will catch to go up and come back down. One hour is a good amount of time to explore the 5th Station but if you want to spend more time, 2 hours would be more than enough.
is it the best Time of year?
Note that it’s not recommended to climb Mt Fuji unless you are there during climber’s season (July 1 – September 10). You can still get up to the highest point the buses go, Mt Fuji 5th Station, any time of year (as long as the buses are running). But don’t expect to do much hiking there. When we went, all the tracks were closed due to avalanche warnings so we couldn’t even explore the path a little bit. If it’s just for sightseeing, you should still consider the benefits of going in summer (not much snow on the mountain) vs winter (too cloudy and rainy to see much), or somewhere in between.
Why do you want to go to Mt Fuji 5th station?
If you don’t want to climb the mountain, think about why you want to go to the 5th Station. If it is a clear day, you can get a nice view of the towns and lakes down below which could be quite cool, but the majority of the time from that altitude all you will see are clouds.
So, what is there to do at the 5th station? There is a really nice shrine there, some traditional Japanese restaurants which actually aren’t very overpriced, a number of souvenir shops, a café, a few lookouts. On a nice day you will also be able to see the peak of Mt Fuji. But again, don’t count on it not being covered by fog the entire time you’re there. We were lucky to get a few nice shots of it before it disappeared into the clouds for the rest of the morning.
How is the weather going to be? Plan your trip but don’t book too far in advance.
My advice is check the weather forecasts frequently before the day. On what looks to be the best day, set a tentative date for your trip to Mt Fuji. But do not decide for sure whether you’re going until the morning of. We woke up at 6am, checked the updated weather forecast for the day, checked whether the buses were running, and only then did we decide we were going for sure. There’s just not much point if it’s going to be too foggy or if you want to go up Mt Fuji and the bus isn’t even running!
The best way to get to Mt Fuji 5th station from Tokyo by yourself:
Shinjuku – Otsuki – Kawaguchiko (Fujikyu line)
The best way to get to Mt Fuji is by getting the train from Shinjuku Station in the city to Otsuki Station. From there, you can then carry on to Kawaguchiko. If you’re on an express train, you wouldn’t actually need to get out of the train to transfer. It’s not made very clear before you actually get there, but this last part of the journey (Otsuki to Kawaguchiko) is not covered by JR pass. You can pay for your fare for this part after you have already arrived at Kawaguchiko. You won’t be able to leave the station without paying the fare of about 1800 yen if you take the express service, and about 1440 yen if you take the local service.
At Kawaguchiko station, you can buy the bus tickets to get up Mt Fuji 5th station at the bus ticket counter. Then you catch the bus from the bus stop nearby. The good thing about this bus is that notwithstanding weather conditions, it operates daily all year long.
What you need to know about the Fujikyu line
The Fujikyu line is currently running two express services every morning, at 8:30am at 9:30am (as well as a 7:35am service on Saturdays and holidays). It will get you there faster, but it is more expensive. Whichever your priority, check the timetable in advance and make sure you know which train you’re getting on.
All cars are “reserved seats” in the express service, so be aware you might end up standing for the 1 hour + journey. The local trains, while they take longer, are not reserved and usually not as full.
While the express services are reserved only, I wouldn’t really recommend reserving a seat in advance unless you can get a fully refundable one. Mt Fuji is one place you really want to visit only if the weather’s good.
cheapest way to get to mt fuji 5th station from tokyo using JR Pass:
Tokyo – Kozu – Gotemba
From Tokyo Station, take JR Tokaido line to Kozu. From Kozu, take the JR Gotemba Line to Numazu. Get off at Gotemba Station. From Gotemba, there is a bus available which can take you up to Mt Fuji 5th Station. However, my understanding is that it only operates during the summer months, or climber’s season.
This trip is completely covered by JR Pass. Find more about JR Pass and some options here.
This is a great option if you are only wanting to go up the mountain and, for example, start your descent up Mt Fuji (in summer). But if you want to also explore the surrounding areas of Mt Fuji (like go up the Mt Kachi Kachi ropeway, or check out Oishi park, or go on a lake cruise) then Kawaguchiko is really the place to be, as all of these activities are nearby. I can’t say much about what you can do from Gotemba because I havem’t been there. But it’s not really close to the main lakes and attractions. In contrast, from Kawaguchiko station, there are a lot of different tourist buses which will take you to the places you want to see. See my suggested itinerary for a day trip to Mt Fuji.
Organised tours to Mt Fuji from Tokyo:
If you’re a bit overwhelmed with all the information and just want a nice and easy way to see all the sights of Mt Fuji, there are a number of tours that take you to Mt Fuji 5th Station from Tokyo, or even just take you to the nicest viewpoints of Mt Fuji without going up the mountain. These tours will take you right from Tokyo to where you want to go in Mt Fuji, without you having to worry about organising your transport or planning your itinerary. Here are some of the best value ones that I’ve found.
Bear in mind that these tours do not refund you, or often even warn you, if the weather is not nice and you don’t have a good experience. For this reason I wouldn’t recommend booking them too far in advance. At least wait until you have a weather forecast for the day you want to go, and can see it won’t be too cloudy.
Tours to Mt Fuji 5th Station from Tokyo:
Tours to Mt Fuji area from Tokyo (these do not go to Mt Fuji 5th Station):
- Mount Fuji Tour with Oshino Hakkai ponds, Gotemba premium outlets shopping, Lake Kawaguchi (Matcha experience)
- Mt Fuji area sightseeing tour
I hope I’ve helped you plan your trip to Mt Fuji 5th Station from Tokyo. I’ve tried to make the info as clear as possible, but if you have any other questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments. In the mean time, now that you know how to get there, check out my itinerary for spending a day at Mt Fuji.
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