Kawaguchiko station: Train travel guide

Kawaguchi lake - Fuji 5 Lakes

The majestic Mount Fuji is a symbol of Japan. Each year, around 250,000 travelers from around the world visit the 3,776-meter mountain – an average of 4,000 visitors per day.

Many of these visitors use Japan’s highly efficient train system to reach their destination. This often includes passage through Kawaguchiko Station.

Kawaguchiko Station is one of the highest in the world at an altitude of 2,812 feet or 857 meters. It was named for Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the most accessible and interesting of the Fuji Five Lakes. Founded in 1950, the train station has grown to serve around 3,000 passengers daily. Its history, however, can be traced even farther to the Tsuru Horse-drawn Tramway, which opened in 1900.

Consider the following information when planning your next trip to the Fuji Five Lakes region.

Kawaguchiko station train lines

Kawaguchiko Station is operated by the Fujikyuko Line, which runs between Otsuki Station and Kawaguchiko Station. Officially, the Fujikyuko Line consists of the Otsuki Line and the Kawaguchiko Line, but the two are operated as one line.

The Fujikyuko Line is the only rail service to the northern side of Mount Fuji. It consists of a single track with passing loops at some of the stations. During the ascent, Mount Fuji is often visible from the train.

Kawaguchiko is not a JR station. Therefore, the Japan Rail Pass will not be accepted for passage on between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko. IC cards such as Pasmo and Suica are accepted. The JR Tokyo Wide Pass will also cover the entire trip between Tokyo and Kawaguchiko Station.

Kawaguchiko station layout

Kawaguchiko Station contains two outdoor island platforms and a bus terminal. The bus stop known as Terminal 1 can be reached by passing through the station’s ticket gate. Buses may be more frequent than trains, and 2-day unlimited bus passes may be purchased.

How to get to Kawaguchiko station from Tokyo

Kawaguchiko Station is located at 3641 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture. It is the terminal station of the Fujikyuko Line.

Kawaguchiko Station can only be reached by train using the Fujikyu Railway Line. From Shinjuku Station (Tokyo), you may take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station. There, transfer to the Fujikyu Line to Kawaguchiko Station. This trip takes about two and a half hours.

Using your JR Pass

The Fuji Excursion is a regular limited express service which runs directly between Shinjuku on the Chuo Line and Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) on the Fujikyuko Line. There are two round trips a day which stop at the following stations:

  • Shinjuku
  • Tachikawa
  • Hachiōji
  • Ōtsuki
  • Tsuru-bunkadaigaku-mae
  • Mount Fuji
  • Fujikyu Highland
  • Kawaguchiko

The last three stations (Mount Fuji, Fujikyu-Highland and Kawaguchiko) serve as gateway stations for Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes.

Fuji excursion route
Fuji excursion route and map. Source: Fujikyu Railway.

If you have a Japan Rail Pass you can ride a part of the Fuji Excursion (Shinjuku – Otsuki) without needing an additional ticket. This means that JR Pass holders need to buy a ticket for the ‘Otsuki – Mount Fuji / Fujikyu Highland / Kawaguchiko’ section of the journey:

  • Otsuki – Kawaguchiko: 1140 yen
  • Express fare: 600 yen for adults; 400 yen for children
  • Total: 1740 yen

Things to do near Kawaguchiko station

Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes are famous for stunning vistas and unforgettable sightseeing. In spring, the area comes alive with colorful cherry blossoms. In autumn, it is a prime location for koyo leaf viewing. The mountain is best viewed from Lake Kawaguchiko’s northern shore in the early morning before 9 am. Clouds often obstruct the view later in the day.

Chureito Pagoda with the Mount Fuji in the background

Kawaguchiko is also a hot spring resort town. You can visit hotels such as the Hotel Mifujien or Kaiun no Yu for a dip in the onsen, even if you are not staying overnight. Or, you may book a unique Fuji excursion in one of the tradition Japanese inns known as ryokan.

Adventurous visitors may use Kawaguchiko as a base for climbing Mount Fuji. You can also enjoy the area via a boat tour or the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway, which allows you to access an observation point near the top of the smaller Mount Tenjo.

Climbing mount Fuji

Other attractions include the Fuji Q amusement park, the Kubota Itchiku kimono museum, the Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, and the Yamanashi Gem Museum. You can also stroll through the European gardens of the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, dedicated to automatic musical instruments.

Several types of buses use Kagawuchiko Station. The Red Line is the Kawaugchiko Sightseeing Bus, the Green Line is the Saiko Sightseeing Bus, the Blue Line is the Narusawa, Shojiko, and Motosuko Sightseeing Bus, and the Brown Line is the free Fujikyu Loop Shuttle Bus.

Unique shops can also be found in Kawaguchiko. Visit the greenhouse and purchase tea at the Herb hall, or browse pleasantly scented soaps and perfumes at the Perfume Hall.

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