Visit Mount Fuji as a day trip from Tokyo and see all of the best scenic views including from Lake Kawaguchiko and Oishi Park and Chureito Pagoda

Spectacular Mount Fuji Day Trip from Tokyo, Japan

Mount Fuji is the perfect day trip from Tokyo. This iconic mountain can be seen from some points in Tokyo but it’s worth leaving the city to get a closer view. I did this day trip on a bus tour to the Kawaguchiko and Fuji Five Lakes area and was happy to experience Mount Fuji up close.

There are many day trip options from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. I went on this bus tour to Kawaguchiko and it was the perfect day. I wanted something where I could have a relaxing day seeing different angles of Mount Fuji and not have to worry about driving or logistics. It was a great way to see one of Japan’s most famous sites while spending two weeks in Japan.

This post contains affiliate links, If you make a purchase through these links I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko. This full two week itinerary for first-timers to Japan has everything for planning your perfect vacation including the best day trips.
Mount Fuji as viewed from Lake Kawaguchiko

Mount Fuji Day Trip

I did this day trip as a bus tour, you can check availability below. It does sell out in high season and on weekends. In addition to taking care of all the travel logistics, the bus tour has the advantage of a tour guide who will explain what you are seeing and talk about Japanese customs as well.

Powered by GetYourGuide

Is Mount Fuji Worth Visiting?

Mount Fuji is worth visiting! I wasn’t sure what to expect out of a day trip to Kawaguchiko because it sounded like a lot of time looking at a singular mountain, but I enjoyed it. Knowing the importance of Mount Fuji to the Japanese people I wanted to experience it myself to see what all the fuss was about. The fuss is deserved, it’s beautiful and there are some gorgeous viewpoints that you can appreciate it from.

If the views of Mount Fuji were obscured I probably wouldn’t have felt the same way.

When to Visit Mount Fuji

Your best chance of seeing Mount Fuji without being obscured by clouds is over winter, November to February. I visited in March and booked my tour based on the weather forecast so I would have the best opportunity to see it.

Hakone vs Lake Kawaguchiko

Hakone is a great option if you are looking to take the Hakone Ropeway and do a cruise on Lake Ashi. If you want to see an active volcano area, you should choose a Hakone day trip as the ropeway here will take you to see Owakudani on Mount Hakone where there is sulphur seeping out of the ground.

Tours that focus on Lake Kawaguchiko tend to focus on taking in different viewpoints of Mount Fuji. They will take you to some of the most iconic views including the famous pagoda and Mount Fuji view and views from Oishi Park of the mountain towering over the glittering Lake Kawaguchiko. I took this tour to Kawaguchiko.

Lake Kawaguchiko is closer to Tokyo than Hakone and can be done entirely on the bus. Hakone day trips tend to start with a bus tour and then drop you at a train station to get the train back to Tokyo.

A tour to either Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko will often include a stop at Mount Fuji 5th Station. You can’t go wrong with either option. I chose Lake Kawaguchiko because I wanted to experience the Fuji Five Lakes area.

Mount Fuji on a clear day with Chureito Pagoda in the foreground. This is one of the must visit stops on a day trip to Mount Fuji from Tokyo
Chureito Pagoda and Mount Fuji

Book Your Day Trip from Tokyo in Advance

You need to book your trip at least a couple of days in advance because tours do book up, especially in peak tourist months.

If you decide to do this trip independently, public bus tickets should be booked in advance as well. I was quite surprised with how booked up buses to Mount Fuji get. Book a round-trip ticket so you aren’t stuck around Mount Fuji without a way to get back to Tokyo.

Lake Kawaguchiko

From the bus, you start to get your first glimpses of Mount Fuji. Driving past Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, you’re almost at your first stop of the day in Oishi Park. You start the tour with a visit to Lake Kawaguchiko, the most famous of the Fuji Five Lakes. The Fuji Five Lakes were formed by prior eruptions of Mount Fuji on the northern side. If you have clear weather, this is one of the best views of Mount Fuji you will get. Rising above Kawaguchiko, you can appreciate Mount Fuji while sampling some of the local ice cream, blueberry is a popular flavour here.

A blueberry ice cream on a charcoal cone in front of Mount Fuji as viewed from Oishi Park on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko
A blueberry ice cream in Oishi Park

Chureito Pagoda

The second stop was to Arakurayama Sengen Park with a walk up 499 steps to Chureito Pagoda. From here, you get iconic views of Mount Fuji, though the viewing platform is extremely crowded.

Chureito Pagoda and the crowds at the viewing platform
The viewing platform at Chureito Pagoda

The walk up is a lot of steps but there is also a sloped walking path if that is easier. From the top, you can get views of the Chureito Pagoda with Mount Fuji in the background. The viewing platform was a bit too crowded to be enjoyable but there are still nice views the entire walk up.

View of Mount Fuji during a day trip from Tokyo to Chureito Pagoda during winter with snow on the top of the mountain.
Mount Fuji from Chureito Pagoda

Oshino Hakkai

Afterwards, you are back on the bus a short distance to Oshino Hakkai for your lunch stop. Oshino Hakkai are eight springs from Mount Fuji that are part of the Mount Fuji World Heritage Site. This small village has impossibly clear water with scenic waterwheels. Each of the ponds here has a name. Kagami-ike for example means mirror pond and is supposed to have the clearest image of Fuji reflected on its surface.

One of the springs in Oshino Hakkai on a sunny day with Mount Fuji in the background
Oshino Hakkai

There are plenty of great street food options here. I had some yummy mugwort dumplings as well as roasted mushrooms and fresh rice crackers. There are also fresh tofu options and lots of fish.

A mugwort dumpling on a Mount Fuji Day trip from Tokyo.
Mugwort Dumpling
A heart shaped rice cracker wrapped with seaweed in Oshino Hakkai village while having lunch on a Mount Fuji tour from Tokyo
Freshly made rice cracker
Roasted shitake mushrooms in Oshino Hakkai village
Roasted shiitake mushrooms

Make sure to wander around the entire village as there are nice views outside of the shop area with a crystal clear pond and Mount Fuji in the background. While it’s clear that this town is used by tour buses as a lunch stop, it’s so much better than most tour bus pit stops.

Oshino Hakkai with traditional homes covered in snow and a snowy Mount Fuji in the background on a sunny day
Oshino Hakkai and Mount Fuji

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine

As I did this bus tour in March, it wasn’t possible to go to the highest accessible station (5th station) of Mount Fuji due to snow so instead we visited Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine.

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine torii gate with lanterns lining a gravel path and tall camphor trees
Walking into Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine near Mount Fuji

This shrine is one that climbers visit before they ascend Mount Fuji on the Yoshida-guchi Climbing Trail. To reach the shrine you walk through a lantern and camphor tree-lined path. While this shrine may not be as spectacular as others you will see in Japan, it feels very spiritual to be in a spot that holds importance for those attempting to ascend Mount Fuji.

A dragon water fountain for ritual water purification at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine at the base of Mount Fuji. This stop on a Mount Fuji Day Trip from Tokyo is a great option in winter.
Dragon water spout at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine

Mount Fuji 5th Station

If you are visiting during summer, you will get to visit Mount Fuji 5th Station. I did this tour in March so there was still too much snow blocking the road to be able to go that high. We did a stop at Mount Fuji 1st station instead. Unfortunately, it was starting to cloud over a bit but there were still some great views of the peak. Mount Fuji looked amazing from this close so I can only imagine that 5th station would be even better.

Mount Fuji from 1st station during winter with some clouds obscuring the top of the snowy mountain on an otherwise sunny day
Mount Fuji from 1st Station

Return to Tokyo from Mount fUJI

After your excursion to Mount Fuji, it’s 2 hours on the bus back to Tokyo. It’s a pretty nice drive but I was happy not to have to deal with Tokyo traffic or road tolls myself. Back in Tokyo, you should arrive around 5-6 pm, depending on traffic, so you should have plenty of time to get dinner.

I didn’t know what to expect from a day tour to Mount Fuji but I was pleasantly surprised. I feel like I got to see a lot more of the area around Lake Kawaguchiko than if I were to try to do this independently on public transit. It made for a very relaxed day instead of exploring.

With More Time at Mount Fuji

If you have more time in your Japan itinerary, you can spend a couple of nights in either Hakone or near the Fuji Five Lakes area. If you stay in Hakone, it’s the perfect place to try out a ryokan to enjoy the hot springs. Hakone is extremely popular for ryokans so the best ones do book well in advance. Around the Fuji Five Lakes, many glamping options offer up views of Mount Fuji, including this cottage and glamping resort.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *