Planning a Tokyo to Mount Fuji day trip: All you need to know

Wonder how to plan your Tokyo to Mount Fuji Day Trip? We got you covered.

The region around Mount Fujisan is located less than 2 hours away from Tokyo. You will find many beautiful places that will appeal to both culture and nature lovers. 

A trip to this region is also a good way to split your stay in Tokyo and escape the hustle and bustle of the capital for a day or two.

In this post, we describe the best things to do around Mount Fuji.

We will share all the things you need to know to choose the best Tokyo to Mount Fuji day trip or day tour based on your personal interests. 

And lastly, once you have seen the many things that you can see and do in this region you may want to go for 2 days instead of 1. Therefore we also share some excellent hotels to spend the night.

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Where is Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

It’s located less than 100 kilometers away from Tokyo.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013 and has always been a popular destination for day trips from Tokyo.

Most day trips from Tokyo to Mount Fuji will head to either Lake Kawaguchiko or Hakone. These are the two most popular regions as they are both easily accessible from Tokyo.

Both places offer a different experience. That’s why we’ll go into more detail about the differences between Hakone and Lake Kawaguchiko below.

But first, let us see what’s the best time to visit Mount Fuji.

What is the best time to visit Mount Fuji 

Despite the many other sights, most people only want one thing when they come to this region, and that is, of course, to see the beautiful mountain.  The many postcard-like pictures may give the impression that it is easy to take stunning pictures of the mountain but unfortunately,  Mount Fuji isn’t always visible.

The mountain is best seen on clear and sunny days with mild temperatures.  That makes  November to February the best period to see Fujisan. 

But a trip to this national park is not completely worthless if you aren’t lucky with the weather, and the mountain is hiding behind the clouds. 

It will still be time well spent because there are so many other things to see and do in both Hakone as well as Lake Kawaguchiko.

Still, we recommend those that absolutely want to see the mountain, check the weather forecast when they’re planning their visit. 

Hike mt fuji in one day
Mount Fuji

How to see Mount Fuji 

There are plenty of ways to discover this beautiful area. 

You could go independently or join a Mount Fuji Day Tour. 

Going independently to Mount Fuji

Pros and cons of going independently 

Joining an Mt. Fuji Day Tour

Another option is joining a day tour to Mount Fuji.

Pros and cons of joining a day tour 

If you prefer to join a day tour from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji we have both good and bad news. 

The good news is that the list of day tours from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji is incredibly long.  Everyone will be able to find something to his liking. 

The bad news is that the sheer variety on offer makes it that much harder to pick a tour.

It took us several days to compare the different tours. 

That’s why we decided to write a separate post just about these tours. We describe the various tours in detail and added a comparison table so you can quickly see the similarities and differences. Many tours are very much alike but still, they all have some small aspects in which they differ.

This overview will make it easier for you to choose the best tour based on your interests and budget.

How long do you need to explore the Mount Fuji area?

Mount Fuji is less than 2 hours away from Tokyo so it’s perfectly possible to get a good first impression of it in a single day. 

If you want to go hiking, spend the day in an onsen, or simply want to increase your chances of splendid views of Mount Fuji it’s recommended to stay 2 or 3 days.

We share some good hotels for your Mount Fuji trip further down in this post. 

Knowing that not everybody has the luxury to reserve 2 or 3 days just for Mount Fuji, a Mt. Fuji day trip from Tokyo is great to get a first impression of this beautiful area.

Don’t want to go independent? These one-day tours are perfect for those who don’t want to travel independently.

Hike mt fuji in one day
Fall Foliage at Lake Kawaguchiko

Choosing between Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko


Hakone is a small town nestled in the mountains near Gotemba. It is situated in a green environment and offers dramatic views of Mt. Fuji.

It is also a hot spring destination thanks to the volcanic activities in the area.

There are a lot of activities to enjoy around Hakone. A day trip from Tokyo is great to see Mount Fuji but wouldn’t leave much time to explore the wider region. If you have 2 or 3 days you are able to enjoy some of the other activities that can be done near Hakone.

If you’re into hiking, kayaking, fishing, or just love being outdoors, then this is the place for you.

Lake Kawaguchiko 

Lake Kawaguchiko is the largest and easiest accessible of the five lakes of the Fuji Five lakes resort area.

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Besides splendid views of Mount Fuji, it offers plenty of other great activities such as onsen, museums, cable cars, hiking trails, an amusement park, and much more. 

We have a separate post about Hakone, so in this post, we will focus on the main attractions in Lake Kawaguchiko.

Things to do in Kawaguchiko

Lake Kawaguchiko money-saving tips

If you decide to travel independently by public transport you will probably save with the Mount Fuji pass.

This pass gives you unlimited rides on buses and trains around Mount Fuji, and free access to a number of attractions such as the Fuji-Q highland rollercoaster,  museums, cable cars, and more.

You also enjoy an extra discount at 12 locations including restaurants, onsen, and museums. 

Due to COVID-19 the pass is still not available, but we’re counting on it to be back soon.

Getting to Lake Kawaguchiko

Taking the bus to Lake Kawaguchiko

You could take a direct bus that leaves from Shinjuku station or Tokyo station.  The bus will take you to Lake Kawaguchiko in just under 2 hours.

Taking the train to Lake Kawaguchiko

If you want to go by train you need to take the JR Chuo line to Otsuki first where you need to change to the Fujikyu Line to Kawaguchiko. 

The train journey will take approximately 2,5 hours.

How to get around Lake Kawaguchiko

The easiest way to independently explore the region is by using a sightseeing bus. There are several lines. 

Each line covers a different area. 

They all leave from Kawaguchiko Station. 

The Red line brings you along the eastern and northern coastline and to the main resort amenities.

The Green line takes you to the southern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko. The bus follows a scenic route and offers many splendid views of the wooded Fuji 5 lakes region. 

The Blue Line travels along road 139 and through the Aokigahara Forest over to the Lake Motosuko Tourist Information Centre. 

The Fujikko-go (F-line) bus line leaves from Kawaguchiko Station for Fujiyoshida, Oshino Hakkai, and Lake Yamanakako. You can take this bus to visit Lake Yamanaka, including the Sengen Shrine, Mt. Fuji Radar Dome, Benifuji Spring, Oshino Hakkai, and Hananomiyako Park.

The Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop Bus takes you to lots of interesting places such as the Chureito Pagoda,  Oshino Hakkai Village, Oshino Ninja village, etc. 

JR offers an alternative pass for this region. The JR Mt. Fuji-Shizuoka area mini pass covers the same bus lines and, in addition, you can ride the local Tokaido, Gotemba, and Minobu JR lines. The private Izuhakone railway is also covered. Thanks to the addition of the JR lines a much larger region can be traveled, however, entrance fees to attractions are not included with this pass.

Where to stay in Lake Kawaguchiko

With all the great things to do in the Fuji 5 Lakes region, you might want to stay longer than 1 day. Here are some of the best places to stay around Lake Kawaguchiko.

Mizno hotel

Hike mt fuji in one day

This newly renovated hotel offers excellent service, an amazing view of Mt Fuji, and a wonderful traditional Kaiseki dinner.

The hotel also has a private onsen on the rooftop overlooking Mt Fuji. English is widely spoken by the staff. The hotel also has complimentary bicycles that you can use to explore the region. 

Be aware that the hotel is on top of a steep hill. But they offer pickup and dropoff at Kawaguchiko Station. 

Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso

Hike mt fuji in one day

FujiKawaguchiko Onsen Konanso offers a free shuttle bus to and from the station. You will stay in a comfortable traditional Japanese room. The breakfast offers a good selection of both Japanese and Western food.

From the rooftop, you can get amazing views of Mount Fuji while bathing your feet in the foot onsen.

Hike mt fuji in one day
Plan a trip to Japan to see Mt. Fuji

What to do in Lake Kawaguchiko

Now that we have taken care of the discount passes and hotel options, let’s have a look at all the marvelous things to see and do in and around Lake Kawaguchiko.

For each of these attractions we also state whether they are covered by a tour, and if so, which one. So if you’re still in doubt about joining a tour, you can get a better idea about what they include.

Enjoy the magnificent views of Mount Fuji

One of the reasons, or should we say the major reason, most visitors come to Lake Kawaguchiko is to see Mount Fuji.

That’s why we start with the list of places that offer the most beautiful views of Mount Fuji.

The good news is that the Fuji Five Lakes region one of the best places is to see the mountain. It offers visitors one of the highest chances of an unobstructed view thanks to its proximity. 

These are the places with the most beautiful views of Mt. Fuji. 

The northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko

A hike along the Northern shore of the lake will grant you several splendid views of the lake with the volcano in the background. 

Hike mt fuji in one day
Chureito Pagoda
Chureito Pagoda

The Chureito Pagoda offers magnificent views of Mount Fuji and is an iconic Mount Fuji viewing spot. 

Oshino Hakkai 

This touristy village offers excellent picture opportunities with Mount Fuji in the background. 

Kachi Kachi ropeway

This ropeway offers 360-degree views of Mount Fuji and the five lake area. 

Oishi park

This small park offers great views of the lake and Mount Fuji. 

Hike mt fuji in one day
Mount Fuji Subaru Line 5th station
Mt Fuji 5th Station

Mt. Fuji 5th stations are intermediary stations for people that climb Mt. Fuji. As their name suggests they’re already a good part up the mountain. Because these stations can be reached by car most people will start their climb here, it may be cheating a little but it still takes about 6 hours to get to the top.

There’re 4 5th stations, roughly one in each wind direction. The stations are the closest you can get to the top of Mount Fuji without making the climb.

Each station is located at around 2000 meters above sea level and therefore when weather permitting, they offer breathtaking views of the mountain and its surroundings.

These stations are excellent places for beautiful views of Mount Fuji, the Japanese Alps, and the greater fifth lake area. 

Stroll around Arakurayama Sengen Park and climb up the Chureito Pagoda

The Chureito Pagoda is part of the Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine. It offers magnificent views of Mount Fuji and is an iconic Mount Fuji viewing spot. 

The image of the pagoda with Mt. Fuji in the back is one of the most famous pictures of Fujisan.

If you go to the Cureito Pagoda you can create your own version of this iconic shot.

Just be aware that you will first have to climb around 400 steps to reach the spot where you can take this picture. 

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How to get here

Coming from Kawaguchiko: You can ride all the way to Shimo-Yoshida Station on the Fujikyu Railway Line (14 minutes, 310 yen from Kawaguchiko).  From the station, it’s a short 10-minute walk to the park.

Coming from Tokyo: If you hold a JR pass you take the Chuo line express from Shinjuku to Otsuki station (1h). This part is covered by the JR Pass.  At Otsuki station change for the Fujikyuko line.  The ride from Otsuki to Shimo-Yoshida Station takes another 40 minutes and costs 960¥. 

Instead of the train, you can also use the Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop bus.

Try Hoto Noodles

Hōtō is a local Mount Fuji dish made of thick flat udon noodles and vegetables in miso soup. 

Hike mt fuji in one day
Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine

Visit the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine

This is the main Sengen Shrine on the Northside of the mountain and this used to be the place where hikers from Tokyo started their climb to the top of Mt. Fuji. 

The Shrine is dedicated to Princess Konohanasakuya, the deity of Mt. Fuji, and is built for protection from volcanic eruptions. 

The colorful red buildings of the Shrine are well hidden in a dense forest. The forest and beautiful buildings make it a great place to relax, walk around, and appreciate nature.

The Shrine is also known as Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine and shouldn’t be confused with the Fujisan Sengen Shrine.

The latter is located at the Southern side of the mountain and is the most important Shrine dedicated to Mount Fuji. 

Back in the days, when Kyoto was still the capital of the country, the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine was the starting point for those who wanted to climb Mount Fuji. 

Nowadays most climbers start from one of the much higher-located 5th stations. 

You can read reviews here. 

How to get there

By Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop bus.

Visit one of the Mt. Fuji 5th Stations

These days the Mt. Fuji 5th stations are the starting points for climbing Fujisan. They’re located at the Northern, Eastern, and Southern slopes of the mountain and are the highest points accessible by car.

As already said, on a clear day, you can enjoy beautiful views of Mount Fuji, the Japanese Alps, and the fifth lake area. 

How to get there

By bus from the Kawaguchiko train station. The bus operates daily except when the road is closed due to snow during the winter months. 

Hike mt fuji in one day
Onsen with a view of Mt. Fuji

Enjoy an onsen 

Soaking in an onsen, a Japanese hot bath, is something you should absolutely experience while in Japan. 

Onsen are an integral part of the Japanese traditional culture and the Japanese have been using the onsen for ages to unwind and to take good care of both body and soul.

Many of the outdoor onsen that are located around Lake Kawaguchiko offer stunning views of Mount Fuji.  It’s a unique experience to sit in an onsen with such a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji.

Several hotels and ryokans have their own onsen facilities. 

If you’re on a day trip your possibilities are slightly more limited.  You can either use one of the public onsen facilities or one of the hotel or ryokan onsens that are open to day visitors.

These are 2 onsen facilities with Mt. Fuji views that can be used by day visitors:

Hotel Mifujien has older gender-separated bathing facilities with nice views of Mount Fuji.  

Yurari is a public onsen complex that has over 10 different hot spring baths. From one of them, you have a view of Mt. Fuji. 

Hike mt fuji in one day
Oshino Hakkai Village

Wander around Oshino Hakkai Village 

This village lies between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako. It’s a world cultural heritage site famous for its eight crystal-clear sacred ponds. 

It’s a touristy village and several of the rustic houses contain restaurants and shops.

Next to the largest pond is Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, an open-air museum that showcases old traditional farmhouses along with traditional farming tools, samurai armors, and various weapons from that time.  

The houses, with the perfectly shaped volcano in the background, make for a perfect picture that could have been made in the old days of Japan.

Hours and Fees

There is no fee to view the ponds but there is an admission fee of ¥300 for the open air museum, Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, which is situated at the largest pond.

The museum is open every day from 9:00 am- 5:00 pm.

How to get here: 

By taking the red line of the Kawaguchiko sightseeing bus.

By Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop bus.

Learn everything about Ninjas in the Oshino Ninja Village

Oshino Shinobi no Sato also called the Ninja Village, is a place where you can rent Ninja costumes, watch a Ninja show and solve the mystery of the Karakuri house which is full of traps and secret doors. 

From the garden, you can enjoy great views of Mt. Fuji. 

You can find more info about the Ninja Village here and read reviews here. 

How to get here:

By Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop bus.

Hike mt fuji in one day
View from Kachi Kachi Mountain
Ride the Tenjoyama Park Kachi Kachi Ropeway 

This ropeway is known for its scenic view of Mt. Fuji. He is therefor more often referred to as the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway rather than its official name.

The Kachi Kachi cable car starts at the eastern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko and ascends 400 meters to an observation point near the summit of Mount Tenjo. 

From here you can enjoy amazing views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko.

It’s possible to hike an additional 300 meters uphill from the top station to the actual summit of Mount Tenjo where you can see a small Shrine.

Opening hours: 9 am- 5 pm

Winter: 9.30 am-4.30 pm ( December first until 28th February)

900 yen for a round trip with the cable car.  If you want you can also hike to the top and back or you can buy a one-way ticket for 500 yen and walk back down along the trail.

How to get there:

By taking the red line of the Kawaguchiko sightseeing bus.

Hike mt fuji in one day
Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park
Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park

Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park is the place to be for those who want to add a bit of adrenaline and thrills to their day trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. 

This is one of Japan’s most popular amusement parks. It has 4 spectacular roller coasters, all of them held a record when they opened and Do-Dodonpa still holds the record for being the rollercoaster with the fastest acceleration. It reaches its top speed of 180 km/h in just 1.6 seconds.

Despite the fact that the other coasters have lost 1 or 2 places in the rankings since their opening, they are still regarded as some of the best roller coasters in the world.

Besides roller coasters, you can also find a lot of other thrill attractions such as a scary labyrinth, a haunted hotel, water coasters, virtual reality attractions, and more.

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There is a 4D Fuji Airways Flight Simulator that provides a 4D aerial tour of Mt Fuji.

But also the families and the less brave aren’t forgotten, here’s an overview of the attractions.

How to get there

From Tokyo: Most busses coming from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko make a stop at the Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park.

From Kawaguchi station: 1 stop on the Fuji Kyūkō Line..

Visit one of the many museums

Museum fans will love the red line of the Fujikyuko sightseeing bus.  This bus has several stops at museums.  

Below are some of the most popular museums along the route.

Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum

The Kawaguchiko Music Forest museum shows a world-class collection of different types of music boxes. 

Various musical performances go on throughout the day; be sure to catch the water fountain show. Every hour, on the hour, the fountains just outside the museum, will ‘dance’ to music.

The beautiful gardens around the museum are also very festively lit up during the winter months.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor. 

How to get there

Using the Hop on hop off bus: Take the Red Retro bus to stop 15.

The Kawaguchiko Museum of Art

This museum houses a collection of Mount Fuji-inspired art pieces.  Visitors can see a variety of pictures and paintings showing the volcano. 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

How to get there

Using the Hop on hop off bus: Take the Red Retro bus to stop 16.

Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

This museum displays incredibly beautiful kimonos created by Itchiku Kubota. The museum is surrounded by a beautiful Japanese garden.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

How to get there

Using the Hop on hop off bus: Take the Red Retro bus to stop 19.

Yamanashi Gem Museum 

The museum has a collection of over 3000 valuable gems from all over the world. The exhibits cover a wide variety of gems ranging from rough gemstones created by nature to beautiful jewelry pieces created by true artists.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

How to get there

Using the Hop on hop off bus: Take the Red Retro bus to stop 8.

Hike mt fuji in one day
Fall colors in Oishi Park

Take wonderful pictures from Oishi park

This small park situated at the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiki offers great views and plenty of photo opportunities of Mount Fuji.

Thanks to the various flower beds spread throughout the park, a visit is always a colorful experience.  

The end of the 350-meter-long “Flowers road” is a popular Mt. Fuji picture spot.

The park is also a nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic. 

No entrance fee.

Read reviews on Tripadvisor.

How to get there

Hike mt fuji in one day

Stroll Around Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nemba

This open-air museum is situated on the site of the former farming village of Nemba.  The village was destroyed by a typhoon in 1966 and about 20 of the original houses were later restored.

Visitors can see the quaint thatched roofed houses, some of which contain small museums.  You can also participate in craft workshops to test your skills in traditional handicrafts.

It’s rather commercial so many of the houses contain restaurants and gift shops. You can also rent traditional Japanese costumes to take pictures.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Entrance fee:

500 yen

How to get there
Using the Hop on hop off bus: Take the green line and exit stop 48.

Hike mt fuji in one day
Narusawa Ice Cave

Explore a cave

Past eruptions have created lots of caves in this region. Three of these caves are open to the public. 

The bat cave 

With its length of 386 meters, the bat cave is the longest cave in the region. Although it’s called bat cave you will hardly see any bats during the day because they are sleeping. 

As you walk around the cave, you can see various kinds of formations created by the lava.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Opening Hours: 9:00 to 17:00

Closed: December 1 to March 19

Entrance fee

300 yen

How to get there

Take the green line from Kawaguchiko station to Saiko-Komriana.

The Fugaku wind cave

This cave was once used as a natural refrigerator to store ice and other perishables, as the temperature remains low through summer.  The year-round average temperature in the cave is 3 degrees.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (shorter hours in winter; longer hours in summer)
Closed: No closing days

Entrance fee

350 yen

how to get there

Take the green line from Kawaguchiko station to Fugaku-Fuketsu.

The Ice Cave

The ice cave has since long been used to store ice. The temperature in the cave stays below freezing all year round. It’s the smallest of the three caves.  During your visit, you can see some ice formations. 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (shorter hours in winter; longer hours in summer)
Closed: No closing days

Entrance fee

350 yen

How to get there

Take the blue line from Kawaguchiko to Narusawa Hyoketsu.

Hike mt fuji in one day
Aokigahara suicide forest

Go hiking in Aokigahara Forest

This forest grows on the bottom of hardened lava. The lava absorbs the sound and gives the forest a special quiet atmosphere.

It is believed that the ghost of the dead live in the forest and in recent years many suicides have taken place in this location.  As a result, the park is now known as the Suicide forest.

Some urban legends arose as a result of these accidents.

Stories are circulating about compasses that go haywire, but those are false.

The magnetic rays of the lava may interfere with the compass when put on the ground but when the compass is held at a normal height it will function perfectly fine.

Despite its lurid nickname and the urban legends, the park is a perfectly safe place to hike. 

It attracts two types of visitors these days, those who come here for vistas of Mount Fuji and disaster tourists who hope to spot some macabre activities.

How to get here

Take the green line from Kawaguchiko station to the Wind cave. 

Take the blue line from Kawaguchiko to the Ice cave


Lake Kawaguchiko and the surrounding national park is a nice region to spend a few days during your trip through Japan. 

You can admire Mount Fuji and enjoy a number of other activities, such as relaxing in the onsen or having a blast in the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park.

Lake Kawaguchiko is so diverse that young and old will never be bored.

The info in this post should help you to explore this region on your own but if you are short on time, or prefer the comfort of a guided tour, you should have a look at our top list of organized Mt. Fuji Day tours.

Either way, if you visit this region, we’re sure it will be one of the highlights of your Japan trip.

Did you already make a Mount Fuji day trip? How was your experience?

If you like this post, pin it. 

Hike mt fuji in one day


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