Article Updated in January 2022
“Kawaguchiko” may sound unfamiliar to those who have never visited Japan before. But if you are planning on seeing Mount Fuji during your trip to Japan and you have a Japan Rail Pass then you should continue reading.
Kawaguchiko is one of the most convenient and breathtaking locations to view world-famous Mount Fuji.
There are many different locations to capture memorable photos of Fuji, but Kawaguchiko is one of the most accessible locations from Tokyo to capture water reflections as you take photos.
Kawaguchiko is the town and it surrounds Lake Kawaguchi, which is one of the renowned Fuji Five Lakes.
Typically, tourists try to head to the north shoreline of Lake Kawaguchi or book a room with a view to get the best vantage point of Mount Fuji.
Since a large number of tourists who visit Japan use the Japan Rail Pass, we figured that it would be convenient for our readers to know the cheapest way to get to Kawaguchiko using the rail pass from Tokyo based on our personal experience completing this journey.
Since Kawaguchiko is located within the region of the “Fuji Five Lakes” be prepared for top-notch scenery.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko (Mount Fuji) by train using the Japan Rail Pass.
1. While in Tokyo, take the circular JR Yamanote Line or the horizontal JR Chuo to get to Shinjuku Station.
Take note that you cannot use your Japan Rail Pass in all train lines in Tokyo. The JR Yamanote Line or the JR Chuo lines are both covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
Flash your Japan Rail Pass and use either one of these lines to get to Shinjuku Station (this component of your trip should be free of charge for rail pass holders).
Duration: of the trip:
Expect this to take up to a maximum of an hour if you are staying on the east side of Tokyo.
2. From Shinjuku Station, take another train to Otsuki Station.
Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station is the second segment of the train ride from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko.
The train to Otsuki Station will typically be bound for Kofu or Matsumoto via platform #10 at
Otsuki station is just one of the stops along the way to one of these terminal destinations.
Trip Duration: Roughly 1 hour.
Cost: Free for Japan Rail Pass holders (1320 yen if you don’t have a rail pass).
3. Arrive at Otsuki Station, and then transfer to a private train that goes to Kawaguchiko.
Take note that this private train ride is not covered by the JR Rail Pass. Therefore, make sure that you have some extra cash on hand.
Purchase a ticket from the office at Otsuki Station for the Fujikyu Railway service and hop on the next departing train to Kawaguchiko.
Trip Duration: 45 – 60 minutes depending on the service available when you arrive.
Trip Cost: 1140 yen for the normal train (an additional 300 yen is charged for the faster train that takes 45 minutes (1440 yen total)).
4. Arrive at the Kawaguchiko Station.
From Kawaguchiko Station, Mount Fuji will be visible if it is clear outside. It is an amazing sight!
To get the best views you can either purchase a retro bus ticket or walk to the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi to get the best views of Mount Fuji. There are English signs throughout Kawaguchiko to assist you along the way.
Since Mount Fuji is often covered by clouds we recommend that you spend at least one night in the area to maximize your chances of seeing it.
When we arrived the first day it was not visible due to cloud cover, but the next morning it was spectacular. To check out the hotels offering the best views of Fuji around Kawaguchi Lake click here.
Travel Checklist: Do you have everything you need?
Find the Cheapest Flight to Japan
Book Your Ideal Hotel in Japan: Booking.com or Agoda.com
Travel Safely, Get Travel Insurance for Japan
If you want more specific information about departure and arrival times refer to http://www.hyperdia.com/.
Where did we decide to stay in Kawaguchiko?
We had to conduct a bit of research before we determined where to stay in Kawaguchi-ko. Since we were on a strict budget we couldn’t afford some of the hotels with the nicest views from the Lake.
Therefore, staying near the train station became our priority. We eventually opted to stay at the Kawaguchi-ko Station Inn. It turned out to be a super nice budget choice. Very clean, quite low key with a common room in the basement.
It took us about 10-15 minutes to walk to the lake from this property and only about 1 minute from the train station. At the time of writing it had an excellent score of 8.4/10 based on 503 verified customer reviews. We feel that is score is a very accurate representation of this property. If you want something a bit closer to the Lake, then please read the section below.
Like other hotels in Japan, Kawaguchi-ko Station Inn has a large hot bathing area called onsen. The onsen was a great treat and something that I didn’t expect at a budget place to stay.
Find the Best Hotel Deals in Kawaguchi-ko, Mount Fuji Area
There are three hotel providers that we used when we were traveling throughout Japan and the Fuji region: www.agoda.com, www.hotelscombined.com and www.booking.com. All three of them offer a massive selection of rooms.
Many of our readers visiting Japan book exclusively with Agoda or Booking.com. We have created links to their respective properties to save you some time:
Top Rated Properties on Kawaguchiko, Mount Fuji Based on Verified Guest Reviews
Important: Mobile Users must swipe from left to right to see the entire table.
|Star/Budget Range||Guest Rating: Hotel Provider 1||Guest Rating: Hotel Provider 2|
|Agoda.com (Kawaguchiko, Mount Fuji)||Booking.com (Kawaguchiko, Mount Fuji)|
|5 stars/Luxury||Fuji Onsenji Yumedono Ryokan – 9.1/10||Kozantei Ubuya – 9.3/10|
|4 stars/Comfort||Shuhokaku Kogetsu – 9.3/10||Shuhokaku Kogetsu – 9.4/10|
|3 stars/Mid-range||Hotel Asafuji – 9.1/10||Hotel Asafuji – 9.2/10|
|2 star/ Budget||Hostel Fujisan YOU – 9.5/10||Lake Villa Kawaguchiko – 9.8/10|
|1 star/ Strict Budget||Fujiyoshida Youth Hostel – 9.2/10||Hostel Mount Fuji – 9.5/10|
|Compare all room prices near Mount Fuji using agoda.com||Compare all room prices near Mount Fuji using booking.com|
- Properties rated based on ‘overall’ review scores from each respective website’s verified guests.
- Minimum of 50 verified guest reviews required to be considered eligible for comparison.
- All star ratings and verified guest review scores are tallied at the time of writing, and therefore, are subject to change.
Flight Information – Getting to Mount Fuji From Tokyo
When we visited Fuji we first checked out Tokyo, and then made our way to Kawaguchiko using our Japan Rail Passes.
Most tourists that visit Fuji typically fly into Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport or Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.
These airports service flights from all over the world. Therefore, when you are trying to book your flight to Japan online these two airports should be considered if you’re trying to find the cheapest flights.
What is the closest airport to Mount Fuji?
The closest airport to Mount Fuji is called Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport. Most international tourists haven’t even heard about this airport, but according to our research, if you’re flying into or out of Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport then there is a good chance you will get some great views of Mount Fuji.
At the time of writing, domestic flights to/from Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, and Okinawa were available at Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport.
Some international flights also fly to/from Shizuoka Airport, but they are quite limited. At the time of writing, you could book a flight to Shizuoka from Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai, Wuhan, Ningbo, Nanjing and Hangzhou.
How can you find the cheapest flights to Mount Fuji or Tokyo?
I suggest using a price comparison site that will quickly give you a benchmark of the flight prices to get to Haneda, Narita or Shizuoka depending on your city of origin.
In our particular case we used BookingBuddy and Momondo for our flights to Japan. Be sure to check out both Haneda and Narita as prices can vary between airports. I have created links below to these price comparison pages to save you some time and money getting to Fuji:
COMPARE FLIGHT PRICES TO MOUNT FUJI (Tokyo) – Momondo
Read More About Kawaguchiko and Japan
If you have found this article to be helpful, please share this to your fellow travelers on your favorite social platform.
Follow us on Facebook and keep on chasing places!
30 thoughts on “How to get from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko (Mount Fuji) by Train (using the Japan Rail Pass)”
Hi, how do I get from Kawaguichi (16 March) Shinjuku station? I need to catch the Shinkansen to Osaka.
How to get to the hotel from Kawaguchiko Station? It is approx 3 kms and I have elderly people with me
Hi , you have a great blog and detailed instruction how to get to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo! Many thanks,
I wonder if you could tell me how to go from Kawaguchiko to Kyoto/Nara via JR Pass?
Thanks for the detail step by step on how to go to Otsuki Station.
I just want to ask if I don’t have JR pass, can I use Suica card instead to go from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station?
Thanks for your help 🙂
I am not sure about the Suica card if you can use it, but you can certainly pay cash for the train ride. Happy travels. Please like and review our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chasingplaces.net/
Hi, you said “To get the best views you can either purchase a retro bus ticket or walk to the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi to get the best views of Mount Fuji.” Could you please let me know how long it takes to walk from the station to that north shore? I would appreciate if you can point it out on google map as well.
From Kawaguchiko Station, the walk to the north shore of the lake takes about 25-30 minutes. It is about 3 kilometers.
was really confused about how to go there from tokyo, after looking at internet for a while I found you and I felt by far is the best step by step “how to go” blog out there. Thank you!
Thanks so much for the compliment. Please like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chasingplaces.net/ to check out our new articles.
We are planning a trip to Mt Fuji and Tokyo next month and would be much thankful if you could help us with our queries below:
1) What are the options for transport from Haneda Airport to Kawaguchiko train station?
2) Is it possible to take the Japan Rail from Haneda Airport to Kawaguchiko train station?
3) We also intend to visit the Fujiten Snow Resort. How can we know the opening schedule of the resort? We need to find out if they are open on 6 Dec 17.
4) How do we get to Sibuya Train Station from Kawaguchiko train station?
For the train routes to specific places try this website:http://www.hyperdia.com/en/. It will tell you what route to take to get to and from Kawaguchiko train station. Unfortunately, online information states that Fujiten Snow Resort is open around early December, but it does not say the specific date. I think maybe they are trying to determine if the snow condition is good enough for skiing and other activities. My advice is to call the resort directly around the end of November and ask if they are open December 6. If you like our articles and appreciate our effort, please subscribe to our email list and like on Facebook. Have a great trip!
My friends and I will be in Kawaguchiko and Hakone in November. Since I am the planner in our group, I want me and my friends to go to Kawaguchiko and stay for a night. The next day will be in Hakone. While in Kawaguchiko, we will go to Mt. Kachi-Kachi, do the boat cruise, go to Shengen Shrine, Asama and Maternal White Falls. Here are my questions:
1. what train do we need to take from Shinjuku to Mt. Fuji? We want to experience shinkansen. If this is not possible, that’s okay.
2. Which is better to get Retro bus/Omnibus or the Hakone/Mt. Fuji Pass?
3. Is Kawaguchiko Hotel near the lake and Mt. Fuji?
4. Will recommend for us to stay overnight in Hakone?
I would appreciate any comments/thoughts that you can share. Thank you.
hi.. I am intending to visit during March this year.. Would I need to book the tickets to get to Otsuki from Shinjuku prior to my visit or will tickets be readily available or can be bought over the counter? plus if I wished to take a bus back from kawaguchiko station, what bus should I take or refer to? Thank a bunch!
Depending on the railway network you will choose, you can book some train connections online. However, in our experience, there is no need to book train tickets in advance. You just need to show up maybe an hour before your intended train schedule to secure a seat, as there are plenty of seats and trains are regular ( except for really busy times in Japan, when locals tend to go back to their hometown). With regards to the bus from kawaguichiko, which place are you going to? You did not mention. The kawaguchiko station has buses going to a couple of destinations, but where you are going, you will most likely has to do more than one transfer like bus then train. I would suggest that you ask for the help of people managing your guesthouse or hotel. We found the Japanese people extremely helpful. Best of luck to you and safe travels!
hi.. thanks for replying… I am intending to take a bus back from kawaguchiko to Shinjuku. Would it be necessary for us to make reservations for buses or would it be safer to just take train back? I am also afraid of the evening jam which happened when I was there last year but was departing from gotemba premium outlet. We were stuck in a traffic jam getting out from gotemba for nearly 2 hours. Your response would be great as I will be bringing my parents along this time and bringing elders may be quite difficult as they have more needs and I am currently preparing the itinerary so that things would not be hectic for them.
Hi, so sorry just saw this comment. I thought this is the original comment you posted. I don’t know if you have already done the trip. But in general, it is always safer to take the train as it is always on time, except for unusual technical problem
Thanks for tips. How do I get to 5th station from kawaguchiko? Thanks.
Hi! May I know if the suica pass covers the train routes?
Suica Pass is made by the JR East Company. For more information on how and when can you use your Suica Pass, please click http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html
Please like our Facebook Page and join our community if we helped you in any way.
I am in Kawaguchiko, successfully without misroutes/wrong trains etc. All thanks to
your awesome post!
Great tips! Cheers
Thank you very much, we will be going there in Nov 🙂
This is the best direction/guide I saw on the internet for someone has never been to Japan and trying to make to Mt Fuji. Thank you so much! I am going there in July and will stay at Kawaguchiko lake. They have July 4th fireworks there, any good?
Thanks for the compliment Ran. We have not experienced the Fourth of July fireworks on Kawaguchiko but the lake and the scenery is stunning so fireworks will just make it even amazing..
Excellent guide….thanks for the room suggestions and the supporting photos….cheers
We are looking forward to visit in a couple of weeks. Thank you kindly for posting.
Just followed these steps…great guide…thanks…a bunch
Excellent information…love the photos! Cheers
great info…making this trip tm…cheers