Options for staying near Mount Fuji

Travel Forums Asia Options for staying near Mount Fuji

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1. Posted by Peter (Admin 6704 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone,

We're headed to Japan in a month from now for a 3 week trip. On two things we are clear - we're spending a chunk of time in Tokyo and a chunk in Kyoto.

In addition to this, we're keen to spend a few days somewhere near Mount Fuji. Around Lake Kawaguchi is my preferred option at the moment, but I'm looking for other opinions on this from anyone who has been around there. In particular regarding transport - we're not planning on getting a car, so we'll need to use whatever buses / local trains are available to get there. This also means it's a bit pointless going somewhere where all the nearby attractions require a car. We'll want somewhere where we can go for nice walks, maybe a bike ride if we can get some bikes. We have no plans to climb the mountain. We're just looking for somewhere with nice views.

The other thing that concerns me is the time to travel from Kyoto to Lake Kawaguchi - over 5 hours. With two kids, I'd kind of rather limit long trips like that. So is there somewhere you'd recommend between Kyoto and Lake Kawaguchi that would make a good stop for a night?

Any suggestions are welcome. The planning is still very flexible.

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1307 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

We were there around five years ago and used the Fuji Hakone Pass to get from Tokyo to Hakone to Kawaguchiko to Tokyo using trains, the gondola, the trams, the pirate ships on Lake Ashi and buses. For the night in Kawaguchiko we stayed at K's House in a private, ensuite room - perfect! I was up early in the morning walking across the bridge over the lake to get sunrise photos of Mt Fuji and later we walked all the way around the east side of the lake and up the ropeway to Tenjozan Park for some great views. For a couple of days there we didn't need a car.

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6704 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

We were there around five years ago and used the Fuji Hakone Pass to get from Tokyo to Hakone to Kawaguchiko to Tokyo using trains, the gondola, the trams, the pirate ships on Lake Ashi and buses.

pirate ships you say?!!

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1307 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Google "Lake Ashi Pirate Ships" and look through the images - your kids will love it!

5. Posted by Peter (Admin 6704 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Oh wow. You're not wrong - they will love that!

Did you do the trip to Kawaguchiko in a day or stop a night along the way?

6. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1307 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

From Tokyo, one night in Hakone, one night in Kawaguchiko and then back to Tokyo (3 day pass). Then from Tokyo we went to Kyoto on an overnight bus and caught some sleep.

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 926 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

We used the Hakone Pass too - it's great value. Use it to take the gondola up to the Owakudani Hot Springs - great views of Fuji from there if you're lucky and an eerie landscape (photos at https://toonsarahvt.travellerspoint.com/117/ if you're interested).

We stayed in Sengokuhara in a lovely informal guesthouse, the Fuji-Hakone Guesthouse - no views or anything from there but very handy for buses and the sweetest landlady (if she's still there), plus private onsens which are great if you're feeling self-conscious or have a tatoo!

9. Posted by Peter (Admin 6704 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Awesome. The Hakone pass does seem like a winner !

[ Edit: Edited on 24-May-2019, at 23:26 by Peter ]

10. Posted by cecilecutblues (Full Member 42 posts) 2w 2 Star this if you like it!

Hi, Peter. Welcome to Japan!

Are you doing Hakone as a stop before getting to Lake Kawaguchi? I would like to add some points for you to consider about...

1. Most people are referring to the following routes as “Hakone Loop.”

1) Hakone Yumoto - Gora by Hakone Tozan Line
2) Gora - Souunzan by cable car
3) Souunzan - Togendai by Hakone ropeway (gondola)
4) Togendai port - Motohakone Port by pirate ship
5) Motohakone port to Hakone Yumoto or Odawara

Currently the gondola on the above 4) is suspended its operation because risk level of volcanic activity at Owakudani has been risen up and Owakudani area became restricted and it’s not allowed for anyone to enter.
There are still buses as substitute mode of travel between Souunzan and Togendai for the same cost as the ropeway.

2. Hakone has been overhyped these days due to increase of inbound tourists and transport along the above Hakone loop is always full especially high season and weekends. If you are doing entire Hakone loop and not going to Kawaguchiko after, I would highly recommend you to do the loop backwards to avoid long queues to ride on Tozan trains or cable cars.
( June is the season for hydrangea blossoms along Tozan line so I would expect more people than usual even on weekdays.)

3. June is a rainy season in Japan so visibility of Mt. Fuji may not be good enough even if you go to Kawaguchiko. I have been to Kawaguchiko and Hakone numerous times but it’s not rare not to see Mt. Fuji at all in summer. I was in Yamanakako (another one of Fuji 5 lakes near Oshino Hakkai) 2 weeks but Fuji was hidden entirely in clouds even weather was not bad at all. If you want a clear visibility of Fuji when you visit Kawaguchiko, you can do it as a day trip from Tokyo as bus between Kawaguchiko and Shinjuku is cheap enough.

4. There are no direct transport between Kawaguchiko and Hakone. You will need to transfer the bus at Gotemba station or Gotemba Premium Outlet. The entire duration of travel is 2hrs without traffic jam and transfer time.

5. Calculate the transport fare before buying Hakone Free Pass or Fuji Hakone Pass. If you just do Odawara - Lake Ashi Pirate ship (Motohakone to Togendai) then take bus to Kawaguchiko via Gotemba and not doing entire Hakone loop, the pass won’t pay off.

Anyway, happy planning! I would be happy to help with your plannings as much as I can.