Mt. Fuji & Fuji Five Lakes Itinerary
The Fuji Five Lakes area in Japan is one of the most iconic places to visit due to, as the name of this itinerary suggests, the iconic Mt. Fuji. But, in addition to viewing Mt. Fuji, there are a lot of things to do in this beautiful area. In our Fuji Five Lakes itinerary, we will cover a number of sights to enjoy as well as other helpful information to make the most of your stay in Fuji!
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Where is the Fuji Five Lakes Area?
The Fuji Five Lakes area is located at the base of Mount Fuji, Japan. As the name of the area suggests, it is comprised of five different lakes. The two main cities to visit in this area are Kawaguchiko and Fujinomiya, we’ll cover attractions in both of these cities.
When to Visit Fuji
The best time to visit the Fuji Five Lakes area is during the spring for sakura season or between the months of October-February for the best possible viewing time. We visited Fuji during the middle of the summer, which sadly, is the WORST possible viewing time for Mt. Fuji… but hey, that’s what we had to work with so we went for it anyway!
I will say, after visiting during the summer I was pleasantly surprised by the more mild temperatures in the area while the rest of Japan was seemingly melting away during our trip. We also found that if you want to see Mt. Fuji in the summer, the best times of day are sunrise and shortly after sunset. You won’t be able to see the snowcap on the mountain, it is summer after all, but it’s still a sight to behold.
How To Get To The Fuji Five Lakes Area
Traveling to Fuji from Tokyo
Traveling by Bus
From Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station, there are two direct buses an hour to Kawaguchiko Station. The journey takes about 2 hours total and costs 2,000 yen one-way.
From Shibuya Station, there is one direct bus that departs every two hours to Kawaguchiko Station. The journey takes about 2-2.5 hours total and costs 2,000 yen one-way.
Regardless of which bus you take, make sure you book your tickets in advance to secure your spot. These buses are also not covered by the JR Pass.
Traveling by Train
From Shinjuku Station, there are two direct limited express trains per day that travel to Kawaguchiko Station. Like the buses from Tokyo, it takes about 2 hours to travel to Fuji by train but on the limited express, trains are about 4,000 yen one-way and seat reservations are mandatory.
Traveling to Fuji from Hakone
Tokyo is the easiest city to get to Fuji. However, if you are visiting Fuji from Hakone there are a number of buses that travel between these two popular areas. From Hakone, you would take the Hakone Tozan Bus to Gotemba Station. If you have some time to kill, I highly recommend shopping at the Gotemba Outlet! It has some fabulous stores. If not, then take the Fujikyu bus from Gotemba Station to Kawaguchiko. The entire journey takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Fuji Hakone Pass
If you are planning to visit Mt. Fuji and Hakone the Fuji Hakone Pass is a great option. It covers transportation from Tokyo to both Mt. Fuji and Hakone and transportation within Fuji and Hakone on all buses, trains, ropeways, and boats within 3 consecutive days. It also offers a number of discounts to attractions, restaurants, and shops within both areas.
|Departure Station||Adult Cost||Children Cost|
|From Shinjuku||9,780 yen||3,590 yen|
|From Odawara||7,180 yen||2,290 yen|
Transportation in Fuji Five Lakes
Trains in Fuji Five Lakes
The two main stations to utilize for your Fuji Five Lakes itinerary are Kawaguchiko Station and Fujisan Station that run along the Fujikyu Railway Line. Although the train will take you between the two stations it won’t take you to many of the places on this Mt. Fuji itinerary so you will have to utilize one of the other modes of transportation below!
Buses in Fuji Five Lakes
The Omni Buses are the most convenient way to travel around the Fuji Five Lakes area. From Kawaguchiko Station there are three lines of Omni buses that take you to various places in the area from Kawaguchiko Station.
Bus Pass: 1,500 yen for a 2-day unlimited pass
|Red Line (Lake Kawaguchi)||Runs every 15 minutes||Eastern and northern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko|
|Green Line (Saiko Line)||Runs every 30 minutes||Southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi|
|Blue Line (Narusawa Shojiko Motosuko Line)||Runs every 2 hours||Lake Shojiko and Lake Motosuko|
Mount Fuji World Heritage Loop Bus
This bus loops from Kawaguchiko Station to a few tourist sites in the Fuji Five Lakes area including the infamous Chureito Pagoda.
Bus Pass: 1,050 yen for a 2-day unlimited pass
Rental Car in Fuji Five Lakes
Another way to get around for your Fuji Five Lakes itinerary is by rental car. While we did drive a lot during our time in Japan, we didn’t end up driving in Fuji. However, we did notice a number of parking spots and realized that driving around would be a great option if you wanted to visit surrounding areas too.
Where To Stay in The Fuji Five Lakes Area
When visiting Mount Fuji there are two main areas to consider staying in the area, Fujikawaguchiko and Fujinomiya. We stayed in two different places during our Fuji Five Lakes itinerary. Both places we stayed varied greatly but we really enjoyed elements of each!
The first place we stayed for our Mt. Fuji itinerary was Konansou. Konansou is a luxury ryokan in Kawaguchiko. We opted to stay in one of their Lake View rooms instead of the Mt. Fuji view room because it was slightly less expensive and since we traveled to Fuji during the summer there was limited visibility to see Fuji-san. However, if we had been traveling during prime viewing time, we definitely would have splurged a bit more for an Mt. Fuji view room.
Although Konansou has rooms with private onsen, we stayed in a room without a private onsen and booked a visit to the private onsen in the hotel. From the private onsen, we actually were able to catch a glimpse of Fuji!
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly place to stay in Fuji, Fujizakura Inn is a great place to consider. The hotel itself is smaller, as are the rooms, but they do have a view of Mt. Fuji and for considerably less of a price tag.
Both of these hotel options included a free shuttle service to and from Kawaguchiko Station, just make sure you let the hotel know when you’ll be arriving and departing.
Things to Do in Fuji Five Lakes
Stay At A Luxury Onsen Ryokan
Other than seeing Mount Fuji up close, staying at a luxury onsen ryokan to relax and dine is one of the most popular reasons to visit Fuji. When looking for a luxury ryokan for your Fuji Five Lakes itinerary there are a few factors to consider but two of the most important are the location and view. A number of ryokans in the Fuji Five Lakes area offer a view of Mt. Fuji or one of the lakes from your room.
Since you’re going to be splurging anyway, make sure you have that extra ambiance. A lot of ryokan also have private onsen in some rooms, or private onsen available by reservation. As I mentioned above, Konansou was the luxury ryokan we stayed at during our time in Fuji that offered a number of options for guests. Regardless of where you decide to stay, make sure it ticks all your boxes!
If you’ve looked up photos of Mt. Fuji, the Chureito Pagoda has more than likely popped up in your search. The Chureito Pagoda is a five-story pagoda that is part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine. It is also one of the best Mount Fuji viewing spots, especially during the spring for cherry blossoms or autumn for the gorgeous foliage.
If you plan to visit Chureito Pagoda, it’s best to head there early! It’s one of the most popular attractions on this Fuji Five Lakes itinerary so there is bound to be a number of tourists visiting. It is also a little bit of a hike to reach the pagoda.
Address: 3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0011, Japan
Hours: Open 24 hours, but sunrise to sunset is the best time to visit.
For thrill-seekers, Fuji-Q Highland is a popular amusement park that has excellent roller coasters – think Guinness World Record-breaking roller coasters. Considering it’s at the base of Mount Fuji, you can even get a fabulous view of the mountain while on a ride! Although there are a number of thrilling rides at Fuji- Q Highland, there are also leisurely and kid-friendly rides in the park too.
Address: 5 Chome-6-1 Shinnishihara, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0017, Japan
Hours: Monday 9am-5pm, Tuesday-Friday 9:30am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-6pm (hours may vary based on season and holidays)
Cost: 5,800 yen for an unlimited ride day pass
Although Fuji isn’t like the town of Kinosaki Onsen where you can “hot spring hop,” Fujiyama Onsen is a public hot spring you can visit in the Fuji Five Lakes area that is just outside Fuji-Q Highland Park. In addition to relaxing in the hot springs, there are also other spa treatments available such as massage, sauna, and bedrock baths.
Address: 4 Chome-17-1 Shinnishihara, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0017, Japan
Hours: 6am-8:30am, 10am-10pm daily
Cost: 1,500 yen (weekdays), 1,800 yen (weekends and holidays)
READ MORE: 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary
Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine
There is something so serene about Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine. There are a few others like it in Japan, in fact, the setting is similar to Hakone Shrine. But it’s still beautiful in its own way. The shrine is set in a thick forest area along a path of stone lanterns and tall trees. The main hall stands from 1615 where you can see a dancing stage and a number of artifacts and unique details carved towards the top of the shrine.
Address: 5558 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0005, Japan
Try Kaiseki-style Dining
If staying at a luxury ryokan we highly recommend trying kaiseki dining at your ryokan if it is offered. Kaiseki is a traditional, multi-course Japanese dinner that has a variety of seasonal ingredients elegantly prepared on small plates. It’s an extremely special and unique thing to enjoy while in Japan.
Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
The Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway is a short 400m ride from Lake Kawaguchiko to a viewing platform on Mount Tenjo. Once you’ve reached the viewing platform you can see a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and the Kawaguchiko area. Because of the view it offers, this attraction on our Mt. Fuji itinerary can get REALLY crowded so we definitely recommend visiting early or in the last part of the day.
Address: 1163-1 Azagawa, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0303, Japan
Hours: 9:30am-4:30pm daily
Cost: Round Trip: 900 yen/adult, 450 yen/child, One-Way: 500 yen/adult, 250 yen/child, Free with Fuji Hakone Pass
Visit Each of the Fuji Five Lakes
During our Fuji Five Lakes itinerary, we spent most of our time near Lake Kawaguchiko. Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes and is the easiest to visit by public transportation. It is also the most developed so this lake is a great place to grab something to eat for lunch or a lavender ice cream cone for a sweet treat!
The other four lakes are Lake Yamanakako, the largest of the five lakes, Lake Shojiko, the smallest yet deepest and least developed, Lake Motosu, which is featured on the 1000 yen note, and Lake Saiko, which is west of Kawaguchiko. If you have a lot of time we recommend visiting each one because they all are vastly different from each other!
Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park
Other than catching a glimpse of Mt. Fuji and staying in an onsen ryokan, Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park is my favorite thing on this Fuji Five Lakes itinerary. I’m a sucker when it comes to flower fields and these were some of the best.
I think the only thing that would have made it even better was seeing Mt. Fuji in all its glory with the flowers in the view too! I guess we’ll have to go back when it’s prime viewing time. Regardless, the scenery at Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park was so peaceful we never wanted to leave!
The flowers are changed by the seasons so no matter when you visit, there should be something beautiful to witness. If you’d like to visit a few other flower fields in the area you can also go to Oishi Park near Lake Kawaguchiko and Fuji Shiba-sakura near Lake Motosu.
Address: 1650 Yamanaka, Yamanakako, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0501, Japan
Hours: 9am-4:30pm daily (hours may vary based on season and holidays)
Cost: 500 yen
Yagizaki Park is a large, very photogenic park. The flower fields will entrance you with a light, floral aroma that fills the air and there is a stunning view of Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko Lake.
Other than these factors, the reason we wanted to mention it in our Fuji Five Lakes itinerary is due to its walkable distance and the size of the park. We grabbed some lunch at a local grocery store and took it by this park to enjoy a picnic. It honestly felt like we were sitting in a poem due to the natural beauty that surrounded us.
Address: Japan, 〒401-0302 Yamanashi, Minamitsuru District, Fujikawaguchiko, Kodachi, 897番地の1 先
Hours: 24 hours
READ MORE: The Best Day Trips From Tokyo
Fuji 5th Station
The Fuji 5th Station is 2,300 meters above sea level and is one of the four trails you can take to get to the summit of Mt. Fuji (more on this in a moment!). But if you aren’t interested in climbing, Fuji 5th Station is also one of the most visited spots for viewing Mt. Fuji and taking photos!
Address: Narusawa, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0320, Japan
Climb Mount Fuji
Considering most mountain hikes, Mt. Fuji is a relatively easy one. But at 12,388 ft, Japan’s highest mountain does have significant elevation change and steep inclines. If you’ve prepared physically and have the proper gear, this is easily an item to consider adding to your Japan bucket list.
If you do decide to climb Mt. Fuji, also make sure you allow yourself an extra day or two in the Fuji Five Lakes area and book a mountain hut in advance! There are limited spots available. The climbing season for Mt. Fuji is from Early July to mid-September due to the lack of snow and mild temperatures.
Mt. Fuji Access Points
Yoshida Trail (Yellow)
- Start at Fuji-Subaru 5th Station (2,300m above sea level)
- Trail Length: 12.7km round-trip
- Ascent: 5-7 hours, Descent: 3-5 hours
- Great for beginners. Most developed and most popular/congested.
Subashiri Trail (Red)
- Start at Subashiri Trail 5th Station (2,000m above sea level)
- Trail Length: 11.7km round-trip
- Ascent: 5-7 hours, Descent: 2.5-4 hours
- For more experienced hikers. A little developed.
Gotemba Trail (Green)
- Start at Gotemba Trail New 5th Station (1,450m above sea level)
- Trail Length: 21km round-trip
- Ascent: 6-8 hours, Descent: 3-5 hours
- This is the most difficult trail. It is best for veteran hikers.
Fujinomiya Trail (Blue)
- Start at Fujinomiya Trail 5th Station (2,400m above sea level)
- Trail Legnth: 7.6km round-trip
- Ascent: 4-6 hours, Descent: 2-4 hours
- Great for beginners. It is the shortest route to the top of Mt. Fuji and second most popular trail.