Best places to visit in Japan: Lake Kawaguchi

The Ultimate Mount Fuji Day Trip: A Journey from Tokyo

If you’re planning a visit to Japan and seeking an awe-inspiring day trip, you absolutely must include a journey to Mount Fuji. This iconic volcano is not only revered as a national symbol but also offers an unforgettable experience with its breathtaking vistas and rich cultural heritage. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to embark on a remarkable Mount Fuji day trip from Tokyo. We’ll provide you with directions on how to get there, offer tips on climbing this majestic mountain, and help you discover the best viewing spots. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun as we delve into the wonders of Mount Fuji.

Section 1: Mount Fuji Day Trip from Tokyo

1.1 By Train

Traveling by train is a convenient and popular option. We’ll discuss the train routes, ticket options, and approximate travel times from Tokyo to the Mount Fuji region.

How to Get to Mount Fuji by Train from Tokyo – JR Pass Options

To reach Mount Fuji by train from Tokyo, you have several options available. One of the most convenient ways is to use the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass), which offers unlimited travel on JR trains, including the Shinkansen (bullet train) and other JR lines. Here’s how you can reach Mount Fuji using the JR Pass:

Buy your Japan Rail Pass here

1. Take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Mishima Station:

– Use your JR Pass to board the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Mishima Station. The journey takes approximately 40 minutes on the Hikari or Kodama trains.
– Mishima Station serves as a gateway to the Mount Fuji area and offers connections to local train lines and buses.

2. Transfer to the Fujikyu Railway:

– From Mishima Station, use your JR Pass to transfer to the Fujikyu Railway.
– Take the Fujikyu Railway Line bound for Kawaguchiko Station, which is the closest station to the popular Lake Kawaguchiko area of Mount Fuji.
– The journey from Mishima to Kawaguchiko takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

3. Arrive at Kawaguchiko Station:

– Once you reach Kawaguchiko Station, you can explore the beautiful Lake Kawaguchiko and enjoy stunning views of Mount Fuji.
– From the station, you can take a bus or walk to various attractions around Lake Kawaguchiko, such as the Oishi Park or the Kachi Kachi Ropeway for panoramic views of Mount Fuji.

It’s important to note that the JR Pass does not cover the entire journey to Mount Fuji. It covers only the JR portion until Mishima Station. For the Fujikyu Railway and other local transportation in the Mount Fuji area, separate tickets or passes may be required.

Before your journey, check the train schedules and availability, especially during peak tourist seasons. It’s advisable to make seat reservations for the Shinkansen whenever possible to ensure a comfortable and convenient travel experience.

Please remember to activate your JR Pass before using it and present it at the ticket gates when entering or exiting the designated areas.

1.2 Mount Fuji Day Trip Tour Packages and Guided Excursions

An important consideration when you plan your Mount Fuji day trip is the weather condition and also time of the day. You should pick a clear day and also visit Mt. Fuji as early in the morning as possible. Mt. Fuji is clearly visible early in the morning but as the day progresses, cloud cover can obscure your view. Therefore, we recommend taking these bus tours which take your there with minimal hassle. Don’t waste your time in travel.

Mt. Fuji can be seen clearly from either Hakone or Fuji Five Lakes. There are several guided bus tours that take you on a Mount Fuji day trip from Tokyo to these locations to see Mt. Fuji. These are:

  1. Mount Fuji Day Trip including Hakone
  2. Mt.Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

The first Mount Fuji day trip takes you on a Full-Day Trip to Mt. Fuji and Hakone. This is one of the best tours in our opinion. They pick you up early in the morning (around 7:20 AM) from Shinjuku, then take you on a 2-hour bus ride to Mt.Fuji 5th Station, Fujikawaguchiko. From there, they take you to lunch at Shinobi No Sato Ninja Village (Make sure you pick the lunch option during booking the tour). After lunch, you ride the Hakone ropeway to Owakudani, an active volcano! You end the day with a cruise of Lake Ashi.

If you want to see Mt.Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi, you can choose the second Mount Fuji day trip instead. This tour doesn’t take you to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji but it is a very scenic tour. This tour is suitable for photography enthusiasts to get the best views of Mt. Fuji.

Section 2: Climbing Mount Fuji: An Unforgettable Adventure

2.1 Best Time to Climb

The best time to climb Mount Fuji is during the official climbing season, which typically runs from early July to mid-September. During this period, the weather conditions are generally more favorable, with milder temperatures and less snow cover. The months of July and August offer the highest chance of clear skies and good visibility, allowing climbers to enjoy breathtaking views from the summit. It’s important to note that even during the climbing season, weather conditions can change quickly, and it’s advisable to check the forecast and be prepared for temperature drops and potential weather fluctuations. Additionally, weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends, providing a more peaceful and enjoyable climbing experience. Overall, planning your climb during the official climbing season and considering weather forecasts will increase the chances of a successful and memorable ascent of Mount Fuji.

2.2 Which Trail to Choose

When climbing Mount Fuji, there are several trail options to choose from, each offering a unique experience. The most popular trail is the Yoshida Trail, starting from the fifth station on the mountain’s north side. This trail is well-maintained and has various facilities along the way, including mountain huts and rest areas. Another option is the Subashiri Trail, which starts from the fifth station on the mountain’s east side. This trail is known for its scenic beauty and less-crowded sections. For a more challenging and less crowded route, the Fujinomiya Trail on the south side of the mountain is a great choice. It features steeper slopes and offers breathtaking views. The Gotemba Trail, starting from the fifth station on the southwest side, is the longest and least crowded trail, but it requires more physical stamina. The choice of trail depends on factors such as fitness level, preferences, and desired experience. Regardless of the trail chosen, it’s important to be prepared, follow safety guidelines, and savor the incredible journey to the summit of Mount Fuji.

2.3 Essential Equipment and Preparations

When you climb Mount Fuji, it’s important to ensure that you have the proper equipment and make necessary preparations for a safe and enjoyable experience. Make sure to pack sturdy hiking boots to navigate the rocky terrain comfortably. Layer your clothing to adapt to changing temperatures and don’t forget to bring a waterproof and wind resistant jacket to protect yourself from the elements. Keep yourself warm by wearing a hat and gloves, especially in colder conditions. It’s also a good idea to carry a headlamp for early morning or night climbs. Use a backpack to carry your essentials, and be sure to pack enough food and water to sustain you throughout the ascent. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. A hiking pole can provide stability and support along the way. Lastly, it’s always wise to have a first aid kit handy in case of any minor injuries. Remember to stay hydrated, take breaks to acclimatize properly, check the weather conditions, follow the trail markers, and be aware of any symptoms of altitude sickness. By having the necessary equipment and making appropriate preparations, you can enjoy a safe and successful climb up Mount Fuji.

2.4 Safety Considerations

  • Check the weather forecast before starting your climb. Avoid climbing in inclement weather or during typhoon season.
  • Ensure you are physically fit for the climb and consult with a doctor if you have any health concerns.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as the weather can change quickly and the temperature drops as you ascend.
  • Carry enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout the climb.
  • Take regular breaks to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. Ascend at a steady pace to prevent altitude sickness.
  • Be cautious when navigating steep and rocky sections of the trail. Use trekking poles for stability.
  • Follow the instructions of the mountain guides and adhere to any warnings or advisories issued by the authorities.
  • Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to stay on the designated trails and avoid getting lost.
  • Notify someone about your climbing plans and estimated return time.
  • In case of emergencies, dial the emergency services number in Japan (110) or seek help from fellow climbers.

2.5 Accommodation Options on the Mountain

For climbers who wish to experience the beauty of Mount Fuji at different times of the day, staying overnight on the mountain is a popular choice. Here are some accommodation options:

  1. Mountain Huts: These huts provide basic facilities such as sleeping quarters, meals, and toilets. They are scattered along the trails and require advance reservations. Popular huts include Fujisan Hotel, Taishikan, and Goraikōkan.
  2. Subaru 5th Station: Located at the base of Mount Fuji, the Subaru 5th Station offers mountain lodges where climbers can stay before starting their ascent. This allows for an early start and avoids the need to hike in the dark.
  3. Campsites: For those who prefer a more rugged experience, there are designated campsites on Mount Fuji. These campsites provide tent spaces and limited facilities. Some popular campsites include Fujisan Miharashi-no-oka Campground and Yoshida Trail Campsite.
  4. Hotels and Ryokans: In the surrounding areas of Mount Fuji, there are numerous hotels and traditional Japanese ryokans that offer comfortable accommodations. These options provide a relaxing stay after the climb.

It’s important to make reservations in advance, especially during the climbing season, as accommodations tend to fill up quickly. Additionally, keep in mind that staying on the mountain may involve shared facilities and limited amenities.

Exploring the Best Viewing Spots for Mount Fuji

3.1 Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko, located in the Fuji Five Lakes region, is one of the most popular viewing spots for Mount Fuji. Here, you can enjoy stunning vistas of the mountain, picturesque landscapes, and a range of activities. Some highlights of Kawaguchiko include:

  • Boat Tours: Take a leisurely boat ride on Lake Kawaguchiko, which offers breathtaking views of Mount Fuji reflected on the calm waters.
  • Kachi Kachi Ropeway: Hop on the Kachi Kachi Ropeway to ascend the nearby Mount Tenjo. From the observation deck, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji.
  • Oishi Park: Explore Oishi Park, known for its vibrant flower fields, walking trails, and stunning views of Mount Fuji. It’s especially picturesque during cherry blossom and autumn foliage seasons.
  • Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum: Immerse yourself in the world of music at this unique museum, featuring antique music boxes, concerts, and beautiful gardens.

3.2 Chureito Pagoda

Chureito Pagoda, located in the town of Fujiyoshida, is an iconic spot offering a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji framed by the pagoda’s striking red structure. To reach the viewpoint, you’ll need to climb a series of stairs, but the reward is a postcard-worthy view. It’s especially popular during cherry blossom season when the pagoda is surrounded by blooming sakura trees.

3.3 Lake Ashi

Lake Ashi, situated in the scenic Hakone region, provides a unique perspective of Mount Fuji. Here are some must-visit attractions around Lake Ashi:

  • Hakone Sightseeing Cruise: Embark on a cruise across Lake Ashi on one of the iconic pirate ships or elegant pleasure boats. Marvel at the reflection of Mount Fuji on the tranquil lake.
  • Hakone Shrine: Pay a visit to the historic Hakone Shrine, nestled along the shores of Lake Ashi. The shrine offers picturesque views of the lake and Mount Fuji from its torii gate.
  • Owakudani: Take a ropeway ride to Owakudani, a volcanic valley known for its active sulfur vents. Here, you can enjoy scenic hiking trails and breathtaking views of Mount Fuji on clear days.

3.4 Hakone Ropeway

The Hakone Ropeway is a popular mode of transportation and a viewing spot in its own right. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding Hakone mountains and the Owakudani volcanic valley. As you ascend in the cable car, keep an eye out for glimpses of Mount Fuji on clear days. The ropeway ride is an unforgettable experience and provides fantastic photo opportunities.

3.5 Arakurayama Sengen Park

Arakurayama Sengen Park, located in the city of Fujiyoshida, is renowned for its stunning view of Mount Fuji with the iconic Chureito Pagoda in the foreground. Here’s what you can experience in this picturesque park:

  • Chureito Pagoda: Climb the steps to reach the Chureito Pagoda, which offers an iconic and postcard-worthy view of Mount Fuji framed by cherry blossom trees during the spring season.
  • Peaceful Gardens: Stroll through the serene gardens surrounding the pagoda, featuring well-maintained landscapes, tranquil ponds, and traditional Japanese elements.
  • Seasonal Beauty: Visit Arakurayama Sengen Park during the cherry blossom season to witness the park adorned in delicate pink hues. The autumn foliage season also brings vibrant colors, creating a picturesque atmosphere.
  • Cultural Heritage: Learn about the history and cultural significance of the park, which is associated with the nearby Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine and its Shinto traditions.

Capturing the Magic: Photography Tips

4.1 Best Time for Photography

Capturing the beauty of Mount Fuji in your photographs requires careful consideration of the lighting and weather conditions. Here are the best times for photography:

  • Sunrise and Sunset: The golden hours around sunrise and sunset provide soft, warm light and breathtaking colors. Capture the mountain as it is bathed in the soft morning or evening glow.
  • Clear and Cloudless Days: A clear sky allows for unobstructed views of Mount Fuji. Look for days with minimal cloud cover to capture the mountain in its full glory.
  • Winter and Spring: Winter brings crisp and clear air, offering excellent visibility. Springtime offers the added bonus of cherry blossoms, creating a beautiful foreground for your photographs.
  • Foggy and Misty Days: While clear views are often preferred, fog and mist can add a mystical and ethereal atmosphere to your photos. Experiment with capturing the mountain partially veiled in mist for a unique perspective.

4.2 Recommended Camera Gear

To capture the stunning beauty of Mount Fuji, it’s essential to have the right camera gear. Here are some recommended equipment:

  • Camera: Use a digital camera with manual control settings to have greater control over exposure, focus, and other key settings.
  • Lenses: A wide-angle lens (around 16-35mm) is ideal for capturing the expansive views and grandeur of Mount Fuji. Additionally, consider a telephoto lens (around 70-200mm) to capture detailed shots of the mountain from a distance.
  • Tripod: A sturdy tripod is essential for capturing sharp and stable images, especially during long exposures or in low-light conditions.
  • Filters: Graduated neutral density (ND) filters can help balance the exposure between the bright sky and the mountain, while polarizing filters can enhance the colors and reduce glare.
  • Extra Batteries and Memory Cards: Mount Fuji offers endless photo opportunities, so ensure you have enough battery power and memory card capacity to capture all the moments.

4.3 Composition and Framing

Composition and framing play a crucial role in creating captivating photographs of Mount Fuji. Consider the following tips:

  • Foreground Elements: Incorporate interesting foreground elements, such as trees, lakes, or buildings, to add depth and a sense of scale to your images.
  • Rule of Thirds: Apply the rule of thirds by placing the horizon and the mountain on the horizontal or vertical lines to create a visually pleasing composition.
  • Leading Lines: Utilize leading lines, such as paths, roads, or rivers, to guide the viewer’s eye toward Mount Fuji and create a sense of depth and perspective.
  • Silhouettes: Experiment with capturing silhouettes of trees, people, or other objects against the backdrop of the mountain during sunrise or sunset for dramatic effect.
  • Reflections: Look for opportunities to capture the reflection of Mount Fuji on the water’s

Discovering the Cultural Significance of Mount Fuji

5.1 UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mount Fuji holds immense cultural and natural significance, which has been recognized by its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here’s what makes Mount Fuji a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

  • Natural Criteria: Mount Fuji is celebrated for its exceptional natural beauty and geological significance. Its iconic shape, volcanic origins, and cultural significance have made it a symbol of Japan.
  • Cultural Criteria: Mount Fuji has inspired artists, poets, and spiritual practices throughout history. It has been depicted in numerous artworks, literature, and religious teachings, representing the enduring cultural and artistic influence it holds in Japan.
  • Pilgrimage Routes: The ascent of Mount Fuji has been considered a sacred pilgrimage since ancient times. The mountain’s cultural and religious significance is reflected in the various pilgrimage routes, shrines, and rituals associated with the mountain.

5.2 Shintoism and Fuji Worship

Mount Fuji has been deeply intertwined with Shintoism, the indigenous religion of Japan, for centuries. Here’s a glimpse into the connection between Shintoism and Mount Fuji:

  • Shinto Shrines: Mount Fuji is home to several Shinto shrines that honor the mountain as a sacred entity. These shrines, such as the Sengen Shrine in Fujiyoshida, serve as important religious sites for pilgrims and visitors.
  • Fuji-ko: Fuji-ko, meaning “the faith of Fuji,” refers to the religious beliefs and practices associated with Mount Fuji. It involves reverence, worship, and the belief in the spiritual power and presence of the mountain.
  • Rituals and Festivals: Various rituals and festivals are held throughout the year to pay homage to Mount Fuji and seek its blessings. The most notable is the Fujiyoshida Fire Festival, held at the foot of the mountain, which features ceremonial torches and represents the spiritual significance of Mount Fuji.

5.3 Fuji Five Lakes and Surrounding Attractions

The Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) region surrounding Mount Fuji is a popular destination for visitors seeking a deeper cultural experience. Here are some attractions in the area:

  • Lake Kawaguchiko: The largest and most famous of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko offers stunning views of Mount Fuji, boat tours, hot springs, and cultural museums.
  • Lake Yamanaka: Known for its serene atmosphere and scenic beauty, Lake Yamanaka is ideal for outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and camping. It also offers various viewpoints for capturing mesmerizing images of Mount Fuji.
  • Lake Saiko: This picturesque lake is surrounded by dense forests and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking. It’s also known for its natural beauty, especially during autumn when the leaves change color.
  • Lake Shojiko: Nestled in a peaceful setting, Lake Shojiko is popular among nature lovers and photographers. Its tranquil ambiance and views of Mount Fuji make it an excellent spot for relaxation and reflection.
  • Lake Motosu: The clearest and deepest of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Motosu offers stunning reflections of Mount Fuji on calm days. It’s a popular spot for camping, picnicking, and fishing.
  • Oshino Hakkai: Visit the Oshino Hakkai village, known for its eight pristine spring water ponds. The ponds are fed by the snowmelt from Mount Fuji and provide a picturesque setting for exploration and cultural experiences.
  • Shiraito Falls: Marvel at the breathtaking Shiraito Falls, a beautiful cascade of water that flows from Mount Fuji. The falls, surrounded by lush greenery, offer a tranquil and photogenic setting.
  • Fuji-Q Highland: For thrill-seekers, Fuji-Q Highland is a popular amusement park that offers exhilarating roller coasters and attractions with Mount Fuji as the backdrop.

Safety Tips and Precautions

When visiting Mount Fuji, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential safety tips and precautions to keep in mind:

  • Check Weather Conditions: Before heading to Mount Fuji, check the weather forecast and ensure favorable conditions. Avoid climbing during storms, heavy rain, or other adverse weather situations.
  • Prepare Properly: Plan and prepare for the climb in advance. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear suitable for hiking, and pack essential items such as extra layers, sufficient food and water, a map, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.
  • Physical Fitness: Mount Fuji is a challenging climb, so ensure you are in good physical condition. Engage in regular exercise and consider practicing hiking or stair climbing to prepare your body for the ascent.
  • Altitude Sickness: Take precautions to prevent altitude sickness. Ascend gradually and allow your body time to acclimatize at each station. Stay hydrated, avoid alcohol, and pay attention to any symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or dizziness.
  • Follow Trail Signs: Stick to designated trails and follow the guidance provided by signs and markers. Straying off the designated paths can be dangerous and may lead to accidents or getting lost.
  • Respect Safety Closures: Be aware of any trail closures or advisories issued by authorities. Respect these closures for your own safety and the preservation of the mountain’s ecosystem.
  • Stay Hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your climb. Drinking water sources are available along the trail, but it’s recommended to bring your own supply to ensure access to clean drinking water.
  • Be Mindful of Weather Changes: Mount Fuji’s weather can change rapidly. Be prepared for temperature drops, strong winds, and sudden weather shifts. Carry extra layers of clothing to protect yourself from the cold and wind.
  • Careful Footing: Be cautious while navigating steep and rocky sections of the trail. Use hiking poles for stability, especially during descents. Watch your footing to avoid slips or falls.
  • Leave No Trace: Respect the natural environment by practicing “Leave No Trace” principles. Carry your trash with you and dispose of it properly at designated locations. Minimize your impact on the mountain’s fragile ecosystem.

By following these safety tips and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and memorable experience while exploring the majestic beauty of Mount Fuji.


Embarking on a Mount Fuji day trip from Tokyo is a journey filled with awe-inspiring beauty and unforgettable experiences. Whether you choose to admire the mountain from viewing spots, challenge yourself with a climb to the summit, or immerse yourself in the cultural significance of this iconic landmark, Mount Fuji never fails to leave a lasting impression.

From the convenience of Tokyo, various transportation options such as trains, buses, and cars allow for easy access to the mountain. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a range of activities and attractions, each offering a unique perspective of Mount Fuji’s magnificence.

Remember to plan your Mount Fuji day trip carefully, considering the best time for photography, preparing the right camera gear, and understanding the composition techniques to capture the mountain’s magic in your photographs. Additionally, respect the cultural significance of Mount Fuji by exploring its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the influence of Shintoism and Fuji worship, and the beauty of the Fuji Five Lakes region.

As you venture forth, prioritize safety by following the recommended safety tips and precautions. Being well-prepared, aware of weather conditions, and respectful of the mountain’s trails and guidelines will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Whether you’re gazing at Mount Fuji from Kawaguchiko, capturing its majesty from Chureito Pagoda, or exploring the cultural attractions and surrounding lakes, Mount Fuji offers a captivating and awe-inspiring journey.

So, set off on your Mount Fuji day trip, ready to embrace the beauty of nature, immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, and create lifelong memories of this iconic symbol of Japan.


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Please note that the information provided in this article is based on our knowledge and research at the time of writing. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information, please be aware that travel conditions, policies, and attractions may change over time. We recommend double-checking the details and availability before making any travel plans. Additionally, please be aware of any potential risks and exercise caution while visiting attractions or participating in activities mentioned in this article.

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