Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest volcano and undoubtedly one of the most picturesque mountains in the world. It’s viewable from Tokyo and many other Japanese cities. Head to Kawaguchiko for some of the best views of Mount Fuji. You can enjoy stunning views from this hot spring resort town with natural surroundings. It’s especially breathtaking during the cherry blossom and/or autumn season.
Kawaguchiko is easily accessible from Tokyo with daily train and direct bus connections. Additionally, many people choose to take a day trip here or stay overnight. The Mount Fuji view is particularly magnificent from Lake Kawaguchiko. Of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko offers the most attractions and activities for tourists. Furthermore, the public transaportation system makes it easy to travel around this charming town.
How to Travel to Kawaguchiko
There are several different option on how to travel to Kawaguchiko.
By Bus From Shinjuku Station
Fujikyu and Keio Bus Companies offer 1-2 direct buses hourly from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station. You cannot use the Japan Rail Bus on these 2 buses. Purchase tickets on Willer Express.
One Way Price: 1800 Yen Per Adult
Journey Time: Under 2 hours
By Bus From Tokyo Station
Fujikyu and JR Kanto Bus Companies offer 1-2 direct buses hourly from Tokyo Station to Kawaguchiko Station. You cannot use the Japan Rail Bs on these buses. Purchase tickets through Willer Express or Japan Bus Online.
One Way Price: 1800 Yen Per Adult
Journey Time: 2 hours
By Bus From Shibuya Station
This is the option we took. I’d highly recommend taking the direct bus from any of these mentioned 3 stations, because it’s the most affordable option if you don’t have a Japan Rail Pass. There’s one Fujikyu bus that operates from Shibuya Station every 2 hours.
One Way Price: 1800 Yen Per Adult
Journey Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
Take the direct limited express train that operates from the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station.
One Way Price: 2500 Yen Per Adult, 1320 Yen if you take a local train which includes 1 transfer
Journey Time: 100 minutes
You can take a train to Kawaguchiko only if you have the JR Tokyo Wide Pass. However, you can’t use this pass for panorama seats.
How Long Should I Stay In Kawaguchiko If I Do An Overnight Trip?
Most people choose to take a Kawaguchiko day trip, because they’re short on time. However, I’d strongly suggest you stay for at least 1 or 2 nights. This is due to the fact that Mount Fuji is known to often have clouds, which can cause poor visibility. The colder seasons tend to have the best visibility, while summer is known to have hazy and cloudier conditions. The best times to view Mount Fuji are in the early morning or in the late afternoon.
We stayed for two nights and we were so happy we did. Our first full day was snowing with absolutely zero visibility. However, we got so lucky the next day with perfectly blue skies! Staying overnight can help you avoid the possibly temperamental weather you might encounter. Kawaguchiko reminds me of a quiet cottage town, so it’s nice to be able to treat this part of your trip as a relaxing retreat!
Where To Stay
When booking a hotel, I’d strongly suggest picking a place within walking distance to Kawaguchiko station. If they’re all booked out, choose one that offers free shuttle the station. This is because the main centre for all trains and buses. Taxis aren’t easily accessible if you’re far from the station.
We stayed at Fujizakura Inn and had an awesome experience. We ideally would’ve loved to stay even closer to the Kawaguchiko station since it was so cold, but everything was fully booked. However, this hotel was only a 14-minute walk to the main station and free shuttle service was provided. The rooms were super clean and had an absolutely beautiful view of Mount Fuji.
How To Get Around Kawaguchiko
There are many transportation options for travelling around the town. If you’re planning to visit the attractions around Lake Kawaguchiko, then purchasing tickets for the Mount Fuji World Heritage Loops Bus is your best option.
There are 3 route options: Green line, Orange line, and the Red Line. Purchase tickets for the route that includes stops to all the attractions you would like to visit! We bought tickets for the “red line” sightseeing bus, because we wanted to travel around Lake Kawaguchiko. The red buses operate every 15 minutes from both directions, while the green bus only comes every 30 minutes.
Price: 1500 Yen for 2-Day unlimited travel (so worth it!)
If you have any questions, head to the tourist information centre next to Kawaguchiko Station. They’ll answer your questions and give you a map with the bus timetables. Purchase tickets from the ticket counter! Furthermore, there are English-speaking staff around if you need assistance!
If you’re lucky with warm weather, you can also rent bicycles! There’s also car rentals available. Just remember that you need an international driver’s license to be able to rent a car. Click here if you need more detailed information on transportation options.
What to Do – A One Day Itinerary
Explore Lake Kawaguchiko
Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the best place to enjoy the Mount Fuji view. We spent a couple hours exploring this area by using the “red line” sightseeing bus. You can hop on and off as much as you’d like! My favourite views are from stop 1 and 14. From stop 14, we walked all the way to 17!
Hours: 24 Hours
Address: 3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0011, Japan
This is where you’ll find the famous postcard Mount Fuji view beside the Pagoda. Take the train from Kawaguchiko Station to Shimoyoshida. It’s the 4th stop. Once you arrive, it’s a 20-minute walk to Chureito Pagoda. There are signs along the way to point you in the right direction. The journey requires you to climb 398 steps, but the climb is well worth it. It’s one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen! Arrive before sunset if possible.
Watch the Mount Fuji Sunset
I’d highly recommend viewing Mount Fuji at sunset if possible. Golden hour lights up Mount Fuji, while the clouds turn all sort of pink! We were trying to catch the sunset, but we flew the drone instead to get a different aerial view!
Other Things To Do
Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
If you’d like to view Mount Fuji from a different perspective, take the ropeway up to Mount Tenjo. At the top, you can visit the observation deck where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Fuji in its entirety. There’s also a famous matcha green top if you need a drink!
One of the most unique ways of enjoy the Mount Fuji view from an onsen (hot spring). Lake Kawaguchiko is extremely popular for onsen hotels, because many of them offer scenic Mount Fuji views. If you’re not staying overnight, many onsens are available for daytime visits.
Iyashi No Sato
This is a little out of the way, but you can catch the Green sightseeing bus to Iyashi No Sato village. Here, you can enjoy art studios, restaurants, traditional Japanese huts and rent kimonos or samurai costumes! They’re famous for their soba noodles, so give it a try during your visit.
Visit Fuji-Q Highland
Fuji-Q Highland is a poplar amusement park that holds several Guiness World Record rollercoasters! It’s surrounded by hotels, restaurants and giant mazes. Visit their official website for more information.
Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum
This is a spacious garden where art, music and flowers have been integrated together. Additionally, you can also enjoy the Rose Garden, while there are events that occur throughout the day.
Japan Recap Video!
This is a short video I edited to recap our amazing time in Japan!
To read all of my Japan travel posts, click here!