Mount Fuji is truly a spectacular place and it would be a shame to skip it on your trip to Japan. The trouble is, it can be really difficult to figure out first, how to get there, but also what to do there, how to get around, everything! I know I had trouble when I was trying to plan my Mt Fuji day trip. Well, now it’s time for you guys to benefit from my trial and error, as always! My suggested Mt Fuji day trip itinerary has everything you need to know, from how much everything costs, to my suggestions of the best places around Mt Fuji to visit, to the times you need to take the buses and trains! You might think some of the times in this itinerary are oddly exact. That is only because those are the times the buses and trains are scheduled. This itinerary is planned out so that if you follow it, you won’t miss out on anything at Mt Fuji!
A summary of this suggested Mt Fuji Day Trip Itinerary
Total time of your Mt Fuji Day Trip:
Around 12 hours – Departing at 8 30am, arriving at 8 08pm( not including time spent getting to and from your accommodation in Tokyo via Shinjuku station).
Total cost for your Mt Fuji day trip
The total amount you will spend for the day depends on which of the various tourist passes you have at the time. Here, I’ve put together a quick table detailing how much it will be with or without the JR Pass and the Mt Fuji Pass. Please note, these prices don’t include money you spend on food or personal purchases.
|Without JR Pass or Mt Fuji Pass||With JR Pass||With Mt Fuji Pass||With Mt Fuji Pass and JR Pass|
|Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko||3600||1740||1920||600 Y (for express service)|
|Kawaguchiko to 5th Station||2300||2300||2300||2300|
|Bus to Oishi Park||480||480||FREE||FREE|
|Bus to and entrance to ropeway||1230||1230||FREE||FREE|
|Ropeway to station||150||150||FREE||FREE|
|Train to Pagoda||300||300||FREE||FREE|
|Train to Shinjuku||3280||960||2320||FREE|
|Total||11,340 JPY||7,160 JPY||6,540 JPY||2,900 JPY|
As you can see, being a passholder can save you a significant amount of money, especially on the train fares. With the Mt Fuji pass, as well as a heap of other benefits and discounts, you get to use the Fujikyu rail (up to Otsuki) freely, and with JR Pass the line from Otsuki to Shinjuku is covered. That is why if you have both of these passes, the only things you’ll end up paying for are the bus up to Mt Fuji 5th Station and the little bit of extra for the express train fare (which you can choose not to take).
Find out more about these passes!
My suggested Mt Fuji Day Trip Itinerary:
8:30am – Take the train from Tokyo (Shinjuku station) to Kawaguchiko station
The first step for your day trip to Mt Fuji is obviously to get there! Since it is quite a while away, you should leave quite early in order to make the most of the day.
On weekdays, the Fuji excursion trains only go twice a day, once at 8.30am and once at 9.30am. On Saturdays, there is an additional service which leaves at 7.35, so this might be a good option if you want to beat the crowds.
1 hour 52 minutes journey time
Suggested schedule: Leave Shinjuku at 8.30am, arrive at Kawaguchiko at 10.22am.
1740 yen if you have JR pass, 3600 yen if you don’t have JR pass
Still unsure of how to get to Mt Fuji, or want to see some other options to get there? See my detailed guide on how to get from Tokyo to Mt Fuji.
11:00am -Take the bus from Kawaguchiko station up to Mt Fuji 5th station
Once you get to Kawaguchiko, the first thing I suggest you do is to make your way up the mountain. Mt Fuji 5th Station has amazing lookout, some souvenir shops and restaurants, a cafe and even a temple! It’s like a mini town – except no-one lives there. Anyway, it’s worthwhile to visit earlier in the day, because the later the time, the more the crowds start arriving.
The buses leave every hour on the hour, so if you arrive on the 10.22 train, your next bus will be at 11. This might seem like a long gap to wait, but remember – this is Japan. When you get to Kawaguchiko station, you have to wait in line to pay for the train you just caught, then you have to wait in line to buy a bus ticket, and finally you’ll have to walk to the bus stop and wait in the line for that. So, this schedule allows you time to get that all sorted out in time before the bus arrives.
55 minutes travelling up, spend 55 minutes there, 45 minutes travelling back
Suggested schedule: Leave 11am, return 1:35pm
2300 yen round trip
1:35pm -Have lunch near Kawaguchiko station
If you didn’t have anything to eat up the mountain, chances are you’ll be starving by the time you get down! This is why I suggest you now have a break to get lunch before you continue exploring. There is a Sushi bar across the road and a tempura restaurant just down the road from Kawaguchiko station, which are both good options for a quick and delicious Japanese-style lunch!
Another option instead of this is to spend longer up the mountain and have lunch in one of the restaurants there, and catch the next bus instead (again, there’s only one every hour). The restaurants up Mt Fuji aren’t really more expensive than your average Japanese restaurant, so it’s not a bad plan. However, if you do this you won’t get back down until 2.35pm, which puts you a bit behind my suggested schedule (but is still totally doable).
Suggested schedule: Start finding a place at 1:35pm, finish your meal by 2:00pm
1000-2000 yen per person
2:15PM – Oishi park
To get to Oishi Park, you need to take the red tourist bus line. This bus leaves from just outside Kawaguchiko station. It is a regular service, with one leaving every 15 minutes during the day. As part of this Mt Fuji day trip itinerary, I suggest you first take this bus all the way to the end of the line, which is where Oishi Park is. Oishi Park is a flower garden on the opposite side of Lake Kawaguchiko to Mt Fuji.
This is a good spot for your Mt Fuji day trip because it doesn’t take too long to get to from Kawaguchiko Station, so you can spend more time exploring. It is a really picturesque location with abundant beautiful views of the lake, the flowers, and of course, Mt Fuji. Also, it’s totally free to explore here.
27 minutes to get there, you can spend up to an hour here
Suggested schedule: Leave at 2 15pm, arrive at 2 42pm
3:27PM – Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji panoramic ropeway (cable cars)
Once you’ve relaxed at Oishi Park and taken some amazing pictures, the next stop is the cable cars to have some fun and get yet another amazing view of Mt Fuji. Hop on the red bus again to go back in the direction you came. Hop off at the cable cars, which is only a few stops before Kawaguchiko Station.
14 minutes to get there; you can spend up to an hour here
Suggested schedule: Leave Oishi Park at 3 27pm, arrive at the ropeway at 3 41pm
1230 yen (330 yen for bus fare, plus 900 yen for return ropeway)
4:41 PM – Chureito Pagoda
Chances are you’ve already seen pictures of this place well before you started planning your trip to Japan. This spot is probably the most photographed in the entire Mt Fuji area – and it’s clear to see why. To get here, you will need to take the red bus back to Kawaguchiko Station, and then from there take a train to Shimoyoshida Station, which is a short walk from the Pagoda. Note that this stop requires walking for about 20-30 minutes to get to the top, which involves climbing 400 steps.
Important note: if you miss the 5:03 train, the next one is not until 5 56, which means you might miss the sunset.
13 minutes on the bus, 9 minutes to get on the train, 14 minutes on the train. You can spend up to an hour at the Chureito Pagoda.
Suggested schedule: Leave Kawaguchiko Ropeway at 4:41pm, get to Kawaguchiko Station at 4:54pm. Then get the train from the station at 5:03pm, arrive at Shimoyoshida Station at 5:17pm, and walk to the pagoda.
150 yen for the bus, plus 300 yen for the train (450 yen)
6:10 PM -Take the train back to Tokyo
It’s such a shame to have to leave this beautiful area, but some of us are really on tight schedules, right!
About 2 hours
Leave at 6 10pm (train departs), arrive at Otsuki at 6 51 pm
-Change at Otsuki
Leave Otsuki at 7 05pm, arrive in Shinjuku at 8 08pm
960 yen with JR pass, otherwise 3280
Here is the timetable from Shimoyoshida Station (remember that you are travelling to Otsuki!).
The latest express service in the afternoon leaves Kawaguchiko Station at 5 30, meaning you wouldn’t get to experience the sunset at Mt Fuji if you go for this option. If you don’t mind returning to Tokyo a little later in the night, getting a normal commuter train is also cheaper. If you do choose this, it obviously takes longer to get back to Tokyo than it does to get to Mt Fuji in the morning.
Are you planning a trip to Mt Fuji? I’d love to know what you’re thinking of doing while you’re there! Let me know in the comments.
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