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How to Travel to Mount Fuji from Tokyo in 2024: By Train, Bus, and Car

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In this article, we compare five ways to travel from Tokyo (Tokyo/Shinjuku Station) to Mount Fuji (Kawaguchiko) in terms of travel time and price.

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How to Get to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo: By Public Transit and More

If you want to travel to Mount Fuji, you need to head to Kawaguchiko, a city that lies at the base of the famous mountain, nestled around Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes.

There are several different ways from various places to access Kawaguchiko. While the bus is the most well-known option, you can take the limited express train, another popular choice, or drive a rental car.

In this article, we'll compare five ways to access Kawaguchiko at the foot of Mount Fuji from Tokyo. We've also included each method's respective advantages and disadvantages.

*The one-day passes introduced in this article are exclusive to international travelers. Please keep this in mind if you are a Japanese resident.

From Tokyo to Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji

1. Direct Travel: Limited Express Fuji Excursion
2. Express Bus from Shinjuku, Tokyo, or Haneda Airport
3. Train: JR Chuo Line Rapid + Fujikyuko Line
4. Rental Car
5. Join a Bus Tour

1. Direct Travel: Limited Express Fuji Excursion

How to Travel from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi in 2024: A Comparison Guide of Transportation Methods

Photo by PIXTA
The most convenient way to travel to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo is via the limited express Fuji Excursion. Following the timetable revision in 2024, now eight round-trip trains operate between Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko daily. The first train leaves Chiba Prefecture for Kinshicho in the morning and then heads to Kawaguchiko via Shinjuku.

You can arrive in an hour and 53 minutes at the earliest with a fare of 4,130 yen by taking the train from Shinjuku. However, the limited express Fuji Excursion is only available with reserved seating. Due to Lake Kawaguchi’s popularity as a sightseeing destination, it would be best to reserve your tickets early.

International travelers can use the JR Tokyo Wide PASS. You may want to consider purchasing this pass according to your travel schedule.

Limited Express Fuji Excursion: Updated 2024 Timetable

Fuji Excursion (for Kawaguchiko) Main Departure Station and Time Kawaguchiko Arrival Time
Fuji Excursion No. 3 Chiba 6:38, Kinshicho 7:08, Shinjuku 7:30 9:28
Fuji Excursion No. 7 Shinjuku 8:30 10:27
Fuji Excursion No. 11 Shinjuku 9:30 11:30
Fuji Excursion No. 15 Shinjuku 10:30 12:22
Fuji Excursion (for Shinjuku) Kawaguchiko Departure Time Shinjuku Arrival Time
Fuji Excursion No. 32 14:10 16:07
Fuji Excursion No. 36 14:55 16:57
Fuji Excursion No. 44 16:42 18:45
Fuji Excursion No. 48 17:33 19:31

What if I Can’t Reserve Seats on the Fuji Excursion?

You can use another method if you can't get a reservation on the Fuji Excursion. Take the limited express Kaiji or Azusa to Otsuki Station, then transfer to the Fujikyuko Line to access Kawaguchiko.

It’s not a direct route, but it’s still quite fast as the trains run often on these lines, making it a convenient method. But some limited express Azusa trains don't stop at Otsuki Station. Make sure to confirm this beforehand before making your reservation.

2. Express Bus from Shinjuku, Tokyo, or Haneda Airport

How to Travel from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi in 2024: A Comparison Guide of Transportation Methods

Photo by PIXTA
Another major transportation method to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo is the express bus. The express bus mainly departs from Shinjuku Bus Terminal or Tokyo Station (from either Tekko Building or Yaesu Bus Terminal, depending on the bus company). There is also a bus that travels from Haneda Airport via Shinagawa.

Buses departing Shinjuku take about an hour and 45 minutes to arrive at Lake Kawaguchi, and prices range between 2,000 and 2,200 yen, making it a deal. However, expressway conditions change daily, so the bus may arrive much later than scheduled if a traffic jam occurs.

We recommend reserving your express bus tickets online beforehand, similar to limited express trains. Buses to Lake Kawaguchi will often sell out and be full.

International travelers can make their reservations via the sites below.

3. JR Chuo Line Rapid + Fujikyuko Line

How to Travel from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi in 2024: A Comparison Guide of Transportation Methods

Photo by PIXTA
The Chuo Line Local operates two direct trains to Kawaguchiko every night. Outside of this time frame, you will need to take the train for Takao Station, transfer to a train for Otsuki Station, then transfer one more time to the Fujikyuko Line.

There has been an increase in rapid trains along the Chuo Line and other lines, with Otsuki as the last station. However, this route currently has the longest travel time and requires you to transfer at least one to three times. As such, the fare will sometimes be more expensive than the bus. This route is not highly recommended unless you have extra time.

Chuo Line Tokyo - Kawaguchiko Tokyo Departure Time (Outbound) Kawaguchiko Arrival Time
Weekdays 18:07, 19:05 21:06, 22:07
Weekends & Public Holidays 18:21, 19:08 21:06, 22:07

4. By Rental Car

How to Travel from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi in 2024: A Comparison Guide of Transportation Methods

Photo by PIXTA
Another recommendation is a rental car from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko.

Once you arrive at Kawaguchiko, you can ride the local bus to each sightseeing spot. But if you rent a car, you can travel to places without worrying about the bus schedule and enjoy a stress-free time there.

MATCHA currently offers 10% discount coupons for Nissan Rent a Car and Nippon Rent-A-Car!

5. Join a Bus Tour!

How to Travel from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi in 2024: A Comparison Guide of Transportation Methods

Photo by PIXTA
Are you thinking, “It’s too much trouble and tiring to do all this research before my trip?" Then your best option would be to purchase tickets for a one-day bus tour online.

Participants board the bus at a designated meeting point and embark on a tour with a guide for the entire day. Lunch and several stops at sightseeing destinations are included in the tour package, so you don’t have to worry about planning your travel itinerary.

Many one-day bus tour packages to Lake Kawaguchi are available on booking sites such as Klook, so how about referring to the booking website to compare packages? Two of the most popular plans are linked below.

Travel with Ease from Tokyo to Mount Fuji

How was our comparison of transportation methods to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo?

If you exclude one-day tours and rental cars as options from the five methods above, then the overall comparison between each method is as follows:

Best: Express bus
Second best: Limited express Fuji Excursion
Third best: Transfer at Otsuki to the Fujikyuko Line via a limited express train
Fourth best: Transfer to the Fujikyuko Line via a local train on the Chuo Line

Nonetheless, there are various travel methods. As long as you arrive safely in Kawaguchiko, you can’t go wrong with choosing your preferred method of transportation!

Main image by Pixta


Written by

Born in Taipei, Taiwan. I worked in the inbound tourism industry in Kyoto, writing a blog about travel in Japan. I joined MATCHA in October 2019. Hobbies: travel, watching trains, visiting stylish cafes, sweets, collecting seal stamps, watching musicals, taking photos, and others - so many, in fact, that I find it weird myself.
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