Mt Fuji Day Trip: The Ultimate Guide 2023
Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
I’m going to take you on a journey to one of the most iconic destinations in Japan – Mt. Fuji! By the end of it, you’ll be able to plan your own trip to Mt Fuji. Or book the best available tour.
Mt Fuji is the highest peak in Japan at 3,776 meters tall. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707. But don’t let that scare you off! It’s a popular tourist destination and has plenty of safe and fun activities for everyone.
I’m excited to share everything I know about visiting Mt. Fuji, from planning your trip to exploring the area. I’ll give you the best times to visit, transportation options from Tokyo, and what to expect when you arrive.
But I won’t just give you the facts and figures. I’ll share my own experiences and recommendations like my favourite hiking trails, sightseeing spots, and food and drink options.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of planning your Mt. Fuji day trip! Here are the key things you need to consider before embarking on your adventure.
Best time to visit Mt. Fuji
The best time to visit Mt. Fuji is during the summer months of July and August. When the weather is mild, and the skies are clear. Remember that this is also the busiest time of year, so plan accordingly. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, consider visiting during the spring or fall months. Mt. Fuji with the backdrop of cherry blossom or fall foliage is breathtaking! The climbing season for Mt. Fuji is from early July to early September.
How to reach Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
There are a few options to do a day trip to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo. The most convenient and cost-effective option is to take a train from Tokyo to either Shin-Fuji or Fujinomiya station. And then transfer to a bus that will take you directly to the mountain.
If you’re planning to use public transportation to visit Mt. Fuji, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get there:
- First, take the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to either Shin-Fuji or Mishima Station. This journey takes around 45 minutes and costs approximately ¥6,500 ($60 USD) one way. Note that if you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can use it to cover the cost of the Shinkansen.
- At Shin-Fuji or Mishima Station, transfer to the Fujikyu bus that will take you to Mt. Fuji’s 5th Station, which is the starting point for many hiking trails. The bus journey takes approximately 2 hours and costs ¥2,700 ($25 USD) one way. Note that the JR pass does not cover the bus fare.
- If you’re not planning to hike and simply want to enjoy the views from the base of the mountain, you can take a different bus from Kawaguchiko Station to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. This journey takes around 50 minutes and costs ¥1,570 ($15 USD) one way. JR pass does not cover the bus fare.
- When you arrive at the 5th Station, you can purchase tickets for the various attractions and activities on offer, such as a cable car ride or a visit to the Mt. Fuji Museum. Prices vary depending on the activity.
- When you’re ready to return to Tokyo, simply take the bus back to Shin-Fuji or Mishima Station. And then take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo. Remember to factor in enough time to catch your train and bus connections, as well as any time you plan to spend at Mt. Fuji.
Alternatively, you can rent a car and drive there, but keep in mind that parking can be challenging. The roads can be narrow and winding.
Mt. Fuji Tours
From guided hikes to helicopter tours, there are loads of options. The key is to choose a tour that fits your interests, budget, and schedule. Do you want a leisurely experience with plenty of sightseeing stops? Or are you looking for a more challenging hike with stunning views?
There’s a brilliant one available on GetYourGuide. This tour packs in all the must-see sights, including Kawaguchiko Oishi Park. Where you can snap that perfect Instagram shot with Mount Fuji in the background. And let’s not forget about the Arakura Sengen Shrine, the holy grail of photo spots. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll also get to visit Oshino Hakkai, which is made up of eight beautiful ponds created by the melting snow on the top of Mt. Fuji. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and take in the stunning natural beauty of Japan.
And the best part? You can easily book this unforgettable day trip with Klook. You don’t have to worry about transfers from one location to another. Comes with an English-speaking guide.
Things to do at Mt. Fuji
If you’re visiting Mt. Fuji for the day, you’ll want to make the most of your time and experience all that this incredible destination has to offer. Here are some of the top things to do at Mt. Fuji:
Sightseeing around Mt. Fuji
Here are my top 3 things to do around the Mt. Fuji day trip. Since you won’t have a lot of time in hand, I highly recommend at least visiting these sites on your day trip to Mt. Fuji. I’ll soon be sharing an exhaustive list of things to do in Mt. Fuji that’s not hiking! Yes, you read that right, there’s plenty to do without having to hike Mt. Fuji. Stay tuned for the list. For now, read on.
Fuji Five Lakes
The Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) are a group of five picturesque lakes located at the northern base of Mount Fuji. The five lakes are Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Saiko, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Shoji, and Lake Motosu. And they make for a great option when you are planning a day trip to Mt Fuji.
Each lake has its own unique charm and activities to offer. Kawaguchi is the most developed and popular lake, with many hotels and restaurants, as well as a variety of water sports, such as boating and fishing. Saiko is known for its quiet and serene atmosphere, with great hiking trails around the lake. Yamanaka is the largest of the five lakes and is popular for water sports as well as scenic drives. Shoji is the smallest of the five lakes and is known for its clear water and fishing. Motosu is the deepest and clearest of the lakes and offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and camping.
One of the main draws of the Fuji Five Lakes is their stunning views of Mount Fuji. The lakes offer some of the best spots for photographing the mountain, and many visitors come to the area specifically to capture that perfect shot.
In addition to water activities, there are also many hiking trails in the area. The most popular hike is the trail around Lake Kawaguchi, which takes about three hours to complete and offers beautiful views of the lake and Mt. Fuji. There are also many other trails around the lakes, ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging.
Chureito Pagoda is a famous landmark located in the town of Fujiyoshida, at the base of Mt. Fuji. It is a five-storied pagoda that stands on a hill overlooking the town and offers one of the most iconic views of Mt. Fuji in Japan.
The pagoda was built in 1963 as a peace memorial for the victims of the Second World War. It is located within the Arakura Sengen Shrine, which is known for its beautiful cherry blossom trees in the spring season. Visitors can climb up a steep set of stairs to reach the pagoda, and the climb is worth it for the breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji from the top.
The best time to visit Chureito Pagoda is during the cherry blossom season in early April or during the autumn foliage season in late November. During these times, the view of the pagoda and Mt. Fuji surrounded by the pink and orange hues of the blossoms and leaves is simply stunning.
Chureito Pagoda is also a popular spot for photographers, and many visitors come here to capture that perfect shot of the pagoda and Mt. Fuji. It’s important to note that the pagoda is a popular destination, so it can get quite crowded during peak season. It’s best to visit early in the morning or later in the day to avoid the crowds.
Oshino Hakkai is a set of eight beautiful ponds located at the foot of Mt. Fuji in the village of Oshino. The ponds are fed by melting snow from Mt. Fuji and are known for their crystal-clear water that reflects the surrounding nature and the stunning Mt. Fuji in the background.
The area surrounding the ponds is also known for its beautiful cherry blossom trees in the spring season and colourful foliage in the autumn season. Visitors can enjoy strolling around the ponds and taking in the beautiful scenery. The ponds are also home to a variety of fish and aquatic plants, making them a popular spot for nature lovers.
Aside from the ponds, there are also traditional Japanese houses and shops in the area that offer local souvenirs, snacks, and meals. Visitors can try some local delicacies such as soba noodles made from buckwheat flour or grilled ayu fish, a speciality of the region.
Oshino Hakkai is a popular destination for tourists, so it can get crowded during peak season. However, the ponds and the surrounding nature are well-maintained and offer a serene and peaceful atmosphere, making it a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Hiking Trails and Viewpoints at Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji is, of course, famous for its stunning views and breathtaking scenery. One of the best ways to take in these views is by hiking one of the many trails around the mountain. There are several different trails to choose from, ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging. Note that these are operational only from July to September. For the exact dates visit the official website or check with the tour company. Here are a few popular options:
For those looking for a more popular and well-trodden path up Mt. Fuji, the Yoshida Trail is a great option. This trail starts at the Yoshida Trailhead, which is conveniently located near the Mt. Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station.
The Yoshida Trail is a bit easier than some of the other trails. Making it a great option for beginners or those looking for a more leisurely hike. Along the way, you’ll pass through several mountain huts where you can rest, grab a bite to eat, and take in the stunning views.
One of the highlights of the Yoshida Trail is the view from the summit, which is absolutely breathtaking. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to bring warm clothing as it can get chilly at the top, even in the summer months.
Keep in mind that the Yoshida Trail can get quite crowded, especially during peak season. If you’re looking for a quieter, more secluded experience, you may want to consider one of the other trails.
Overall, the Yoshida Trail is a great option for those looking for a well-marked and well-travelled path up Mt. Fuji. Just be sure to come prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and warm clothing, and be prepared for crowds during peak season.
If you’re up for a challenging yet rewarding hike, the Subashiri Trail is a must-try. This trail starts at the Subashiri 5th Station and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys as you make your way up to the summit of Mt. Fuji.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Subashiri Trail is considered to be one of the more difficult trails due to its steep inclines and rocky terrain. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking and well worth the effort.
Along the way, you’ll also pass by some interesting landmarks, including the Taishikan mountain hut, which is a popular resting spot for hikers. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, and dress in layers as the weather can be unpredictable.
Overall, the Subashiri Trail is a fantastic choice for experienced hikers looking for a challenge and some of the best views of Mt. Fuji. Just be sure to do your research and come prepared for the journey ahead.
The Fujinomiya Trail is a popular and challenging route up Mt. Fuji, starting at the Fujinomiya 5th Station. This trail is known for its steep inclines and rocky terrain, making it a great option for experienced hikers looking for a challenge.
One of the highlights of the Fujinomiya Trail is the stunning view of Mt. Fuji’s peak, which can be seen almost immediately from the trailhead. As you make your way up the trail, you’ll pass through several mountain huts where you can rest and refuel before continuing on.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Fujinomiya Trail can be quite crowded during peak season, so it’s important to plan accordingly and arrive early to avoid crowds. The trail is also known for its loose rock and scree, so be sure to wear sturdy footwear and watch your step.
Another thing to consider is the weather, as the trail can be closed due to high winds or other inclement weather conditions. Be sure to check the forecast before embarking on the hike and always come prepared with warm clothing and rain gear.
Overall, the Fujinomiya Trail is a challenging and rewarding option for experienced hikers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience climbing Mt. Fuji. Just be sure to come prepared and follow proper safety precautions along the way.
Vegetarian Food recommendations around Mt. Fuji
For vegetarians visiting the Mt. Fuji area, there are a few food and drink options available that are worth trying out. Here are some recommendations:
- Houtou – Houtou is a hearty noodle dish that originates from the Yamanashi Prefecture, which is near Mt. Fuji. The dish consists of thick udon noodles served in a rich miso-based soup that is flavored with vegetables such as pumpkin, onion, and carrot. The dish can be easily made vegetarian by omitting meat-based ingredients.
- Tempura – Tempura is a popular Japanese dish that involves deep-frying vegetables or seafood in a light batter. Many restaurants in the Mt. Fuji area serve vegetarian tempura options that include a variety of vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, and green beans.
- Tofu dishes – Tofu is a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine and is widely available in the Mt. Fuji area. Visitors can try dishes such as yudofu, which is tofu simmered in a light broth, or agedashi tofu, which is deep-fried tofu served in a savoury sauce.
- Soba noodles – Soba noodles are thin noodles made from buckwheat flour and are commonly served in hot or cold broth. Vegetarian options are available that feature a variety of vegetables and tofu.
- Dango – One of my favourite sweets to eat while in Japan. Try these rice cakes with either red bean paste or sweet soy sauce glaze. And do try the special purple-coloured sweet potato dango if you visit lake Kawagushigo. I didn’t find them anywhere else and they were extremely delicious.\
For drinks, try local green tea or sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. Many restaurants and cafes in the Mt. Fuji area offer vegetarian-friendly or vegan options. I’ll soon write detailed guides on being a vegan or vegetarian in Japan.
Pin this Guide to Mt Fuji Day Trip
Many would simply assume it’s just a big volcano and not visit Fuji San. If you are one of them, I urge you to change that thought. Mt. Fuji isn’t just a geographical wonder. It is a cultural wonder. My visit to Mt. Fuji stirred many creative ideas. Not sure if it was the perfect symmetry or the commanding presence that ignited my imagination. But, it’s not hard to see why so many great minds throughout history have been captivated by its beauty. From the flowing lines of Hokusai’s woodblock prints to the contemplative haiku of Basho, Mt. Fuji has been a muse for generations of artists.
Hope my Mt Fuji day trip guide helps you plan your trip and witness the marvels of this natural wonder.