Mount Fuji and Hakone: day trip itinerary

Monte Fuji al amanecer desde el lago Kawaguchi

A day-trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji and the lesser known Hakone five lakes area is among Japan’s traveler’s favorites, so here is our guide on how to visit make this famous landmark with the Japan Rail Pass. Whereas you prefer climbing or a more relaxed pace, we have the perfect guide for you make the most out of this trip!

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji at sunset

Interesting facts about Mount Fuji

Mt Fuji is not only the highest mountain (3.776 meters), Japan’s most climbed and depicted one, but it is also the pure representation of good luck and good fortune for all Japanese citizens. This is a curious fact, considering the mountain is actually a giant volcano (with low risk of eruption).

Nevertheless, what is even more fascinating is that it is not a single volcano. It is part of three volcanoes, one on top of the other. The bottom one is Komitake volcano, the second layer is Kofuji, while Fuji is the youngest of all three. Although officially classified as active, it has very low eruption risk, since it was last active in 1708.

Interesting fact: Did you know that Mount Fuji is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, located less than 100 kilometers away from Japan’s capital?

Climbing Mount Fuji

All travelers eager to climb the top of Mount Fuji must bear in mind that the climbing season lasts from July until September. During summer all hiking trails are open.

In any other period, trails and mountain huts will be closed, so it can be very dangerous for anyone to attempt climbing on their own.

To climb Mount Fuji, there are four Fuji trails, which will take you to the mountaintop:

  • Yoshida trail – 2,300m (altitude of head trail)
  • Subashiri trail – 2,000m
  • Gotemba trail  – 1,450m
  • Fujinomiya trail – 2,400m

All trails can be accessed via a mountain bus, taking passengers from one of the five 5th stations (although all are named 5th station, these are different stations), with the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, at Yoshida trail, being the most popular one.

Climbing Mt Fuji
Climbing Mt Fuji by @Azlan DuPree (Flickr)

Mt. Fuji from the Shinkansen trains

Summer is also the time when Mount Fuji can be clearly seen from a Shinkansen train leaving Tokyo towards Nagoya – Osaka – Kyoto. The window view is impressive – make sure to reserve your D or E seat (C or D in Green Cars), which is the right side from Tokyo, left side from Kyoto.

Fuji bullet train
On a clear day, Mount Fuji can be seen from inside a bullet train

Tokyo to Mount Fuji via Gotemba

Apart from the Yoshida trail, the Gotemba one one of the most popular routes among visitors, here is how to get to it (travel time by train should be a little over 2 hours from Tokyo):

  • Take JR Tokaido line for Kozu from Tokyo Station, using your JR Pass
  • Once at Kozu (Kanagawa), take the JR Gotemba Line for Numazu
  • Get off at Gotemba Station | final destination
Tokyo to Gotemba
Tokyo to Mt Fuji via Gotemba – Hyperdia screenshot

Note: The Hyperdia screenshot shows you a detailed description of a journey example with pre-selected departure time and date. Note that the train trip will be free of charge for all Japan Rail Pass holders. The displayed price is only valid for passengers with no JR pass.

Once at Gotemba station, take a bus to Subashiri 5th station, the gateway to climbing Mount Fuji. The bus operated by Fujikyu to reach the Gotemba climbing route. One-way bus journey is about an hour long, at the cost of 1.540 yen (round trips are 2.060 yen).

Please note that Fujikyu is not part of the Japan Rail Group, which means the Japan Rail Pass does not cover buses ran by this company, and no seat reservations are available.

Note: During the climbing season, buses operate differently in comparison to the off-season. For more detailed information and timetables, please check with the local operator.

What to see in the Mount Fuji area

As we have already mentioned, Mount Fuji forms part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among tourists, located less than 100 km. from the capital city of Japan. Famous for its scenic area, Ashi lake, hot springs and breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, Hakone is more than worth the visit.

LakeAshi and Mt Fuji Hakone
Lake Ashi – Hakone by @木更津乃風 (Wikipedia)

Best time to visit Mount Fuji and its area

Also, please remember that the best time to visit any of those places is the hiking (summer) season, from July to mid-September. These are the months that promise sunshine, good weather, and fantastic views. Unfortunately, travelers who decide to make this trip in October or March may not be able to enjoy the area scenery fully due to heavy rains or clouded mountain peaks.

Tokyo to Hakone with the JR Pass

Here’s how to get from Tokyo to Hakone with the bullet train:

  • Take the Tokaido Shinkansen (Kodama and some Hikari trains, please check) from Tokyo Station (covered by the Japan Rail Pass)
  • Get off at Odawara station
  • Take the Hakone Tozan train for Hakone-Yumoto (not covered by JR)
  • Get off at Hakone-Itabashi. This is your final destination.

Also very popular among the locals are Fujigoko or Fuji’s Five Lakes, which are located in the northern area of Mount Fuji.

Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi

Kawaguchiko (or lake Kawaguchi), Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko, and Motosuko are the five lakes, each of them offering unforgettable views and outdoor activities. Some of them include fishing, hiking, camping and anything that can come to your mind – nature has no limits. Most hotels in the area are located close to the lakes too.

Mount Fuji as seen at sunrise across Lake Kawaguchi
Mount Fuji as seen at sunrise across Lake Kawaguchi by @Mstyslav Chernov (Wikimedia)
  • Take the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station (Tokyo) to Otsuki Station (covered by JR)
  • Once at Otsuki, take Fujikyu Railway to Kawaguchiko Station (not covered by JR)

How to get from Kyoto and Osaka to Hakone

Some travellers prefer to visit the area coming from the Kansai region (Osaka and Kyoto). Here’s how to get from the west, with the bullet train:

  • Take the Tokaido Shinkansen (Kodama and some Hikari trains, please check) from Kyoto Station or Shin-Osaka station (covered by the Japan Rail Pass)
  • Get off at Odawara station
  • Take the Hakone Tozan train for Hakone-Yumoto Station (not covered by JR)
  • Get off at Hakone-Itabashi Station. This is your final destination.

 

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73 thoughts on “Mount Fuji and Hakone: day trip itinerary”

  1. I plan to travel from Osake to Tokyo by Shinkansen train. Pls advise if I can view Mount Fuji from Shinkansen train leaving Osaka heading to Tokyo ? what seat should I reserve ?

    Thank you

    1. Hello Connie,
      Yes, you can enjoy the great Mount Fuji views from the Shinkansen trains when going to Tokyo.
      Head to any ticket office and ask to book a left-hand train seat with a mountain view.
      The Japanese staff at the counter will take care of the rest.

      All the best,
      The JRailPass team

  2. Hello, im from the Philippines where can we purxhase the JrPass. We are 4 persons leaving for Osaka on Feb 1, 2017

    1. Hi Michael,

      As stated in the article, to get from Tokyo to Gotema you should take JR Tokaido line (Kozu direction) from Tokyo Station. Once at Kozu (Kanagawa), you should change to the JR Gotemba Line (Numazu direction).

      For information about schedules, please check Hyperdia or Google Maps.

  3. We have the following itinerary planned and am wondering if purchasing a pass makes sense:

    3 days in Tokyo
    On to Osaka for 2 days
    On to Kyoto 1 day
    On to Hiroshima. Does it makes sense to get 7 day pass and can you tell me approximately how long each trip will take between cities

    1. Hi Lu,

      You can check in Google Maps and Hyperdia the travel times between each city. Keep in mind that just the round trip cost from Tokyo to Hiroshima is already over 200 USD, so for your itinerary, the Japan Rail Pass would be cheaper than getting individual tickets.

      Have a great time in Japan!
      The JRailPass team

  4. hey what if I wanted to go from Kyoto to Hakone is that possible and what is the best route?
    Also I have 13 days so wanted to know which cities and how many days to make my base. Tokyo 4 days? Hakone 2 days? Kyoto 6 days? any less or more and any cities to add. Also what day trips to take from Kyoto and also from Tokyo.
    The dates for my trips 12th to 25 th april. Will I manage to see the cherry blossoms?

    1. Hi Rina,

      To go from Kyoto to Hakone you should take the Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto Station to Odawara, and then change to Hakone. You can check the full itinerary in Google Maps and Hyperdia.

      We suggest a minimum of 3 days of stay both in Kyoto and Tokyo. For further information, please check our Japan 14 days itinerary: as well as our cherry blossom forecast and selection of best places to see the cherry blossoms.

      Have a great time in Japan!

      The JRailPass team

  5. Hi.
    We are travelling to Japan this Friday. Do you think is a need for us to purchase jr pass? The itinerary as below
    1. Kansai airport to Osaka, 3 nights
    2. Osaka to Kyoto, 1 night
    3. Kyoto to Tokyo
    4. Tokyo to airport

    1. Hello Ginnie,
      Yes, the Japan Rail Pass makes perfect sense for your trip to Japan because:
      1. It covers the transfer from Kansai Airport to Osaka
      2. It covers the Shinkansen and rapid trains from Osaka to Kyoto
      3. The JR Pass covers the Shinkansen and rapid trains from Kyoto to Tokyo
      4. The central metro loop line in Tokyo – Yamanote is also covered by the Japan Rail Pass
      5. You can reach Narita Aiport from Tokyo, using your Japan Rail Pass.

      Have a wonderful trip to Japan!
      The JRailPass team

  6. Hi.
    We are travelling to Japan this Friday and spend 9 days in Japan. Do you think is a need for us to purchase jr pass? The itinerary as below
    1. Kansai airport to Osaka, 3 nights
    2. Osaka to Kyoto, 1 night
    3. Kyoto to Tokyo
    4. Tokyo to airport

  7. Hi what is the easiest way to get to Hakone from Haneda airport with luggage? Is it better to use shinkanzen from Haneda to Hakone/Fuji Five Lakes or from Hakone/Fuji Five Lakes to Tokyo? We want to experience taking the bullet train at least 1 way.

    1. Hello Jad,
      When it comes to traveling with luggage, the recommended option would be to take the train at your most convenient time from Tokyo Station.
      As this is a terminal station, you will have the biggest chance for available luggage storage space.
      Depending on your departure date and time, you can reserve seats with larger leg or storage space for the Shinkansen train on your way back to Haneda Airport.
      This way, you will get to experience the Shinkansen train and have no luggage-related worries during your first trip.

      Have a great experience in Japan!
      The JRailPass team

  8. hi we are going to japan for the first time..
    our itinerary would be tokyo for 4 days then tokyo to osaka for 4 days then osaka going back to manila. do i need a jr pasws ? is it worth it?im also planning to to to mt fuji, kyoto and nara thank tou very mucj

    1. Hi Katherine,

      If you make all the mentioned trips the Japan Rail Pass will for sure be worth it 😉

      First thing you need to know is that depending on the airport you land the transportation to the main cities might be included with the pass (either Narita Express to Tokyo if landing in Narita, Tokyo Monorail to Tokyo if landing in Haneda or Haruka Express to Osaka or Kyoto if landing in Kansai).

      For the days you will be staying in Tokyo you have to be aware that the Japan Rail Pass will not cover all the transportation in the city but you can make use of the Yamanote line, which is probably the most popular and convenient way for getting around Tokyo. For more ideas on how to take the most out of Tokyo please refer to our 3 days in Tokyo itinerary and what to do article.

      The Japan Rail Pass will include transportation from Tokyo to Osaka since they are connected with by the Tokaido Shinkansen line. You should take either the Hikari bullet train or Kodama from Tokyo or Shinagawa stations in central Tokyo. Also to arrive to Kyoto you would be using the same lines: these 3 cities are connected by it.

      Regarding Nara, it is just 37 km away from Kyoto. There is a direct Rapid Service on the JR Nara Line that will take you to the city in less than an hour. The JR Nara Line is included in your Japan Rail Pass, which means that all JR pass holders can make this trip for free.

      Have a great trip!

  9. Thank you so much for that great advicr..it was really a great help…

    Tokyo going to osaka .. will we able to see the mt fuji ? If yes, what side if the bullet train do we need to seat order to see the amazing view?

    Going to disney in tokyo and USJ in osaka can we still use or jr pass without transfers to other train stations? Thank you very much .

    More power!

    1. Hello Katherine,
      On your way from Tokyo to Osaka, make sure to book “D” and “E” right-hand seats, to enjoy the view of Mount Fuji.
      When going to Universal Studios in Osaka, take the JR Yumesaki Line straight to Universal City Station, using your JR Pass.
      To reach Tokyo Disneyland, travel from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station, on the JR Keiyo line. The trip will be around 20 minutes. Once at Maihama Station, walk to Disneyland, which is located at a 5-minute walking distance.
      You will be able to reach both destinations, using just your Japan Rail Pass.

      Happy travels,
      The JRailPass team

  10. To JR pass team

    Thank you very much for answering all mu inquiries .. i willsure purchase jr pass … more power and have a great day !

  11. HI JP Pass team.

    I am planning to go Japn for 20 days which hope to cover Tokyo , Osaka, Kyoto, Hakone , Tohuku,hakodate and amori. What is the best initernary to follow? I am arriving in Hanade airport on 14 December and leaving 4 Jan 2018 from Hande airport too.

    1. Hello Shirley,
      20 days in Japan sounds like an amazing plan!

      Here is our detailed 21 days in Japan itinerary, in which you will find a lot of useful information on what to see and how to get there.
      If you are arriving at Haneda Airport, using your JR Pass, you will be able to take the Tokyo Monorail, which links the airport to Hamamatsucho station in Tokyo, from where you can take the Yamanote circular metro line.

      Very happy travels,
      The JRailPass team

  12. Hi JR Pass Team,

    I am planning 10 Days trip in Tokyo and would like to go Hakone & Takayama (2 nights each).

    Can you advise me which place I should visit first using the 7 days J Pass

    1. Hi Madeline,

      You can choose any of them to be visited first since both destinations are easily reached from Tokyo.

      Hakone is one of the closest and most preferred weekend destinations for citizens of Tokyo. Getting to Hakone from Tokyo will take you about an hour and a half. Take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen, covered by your Japan Rail Pass, from Tokyo Station straight to Odawara. Once there, take the local Hakonetozan Line, which will take you straight to Hakone Yumoto station, in just 14 minutes (4 stops).

      Takayama can also be easily reached from Tokyo. Please refer to Takayama travel guide for more details on how to get there and what to visit.

      Happy travels!

  13. Hi, we are planning to travel from Tokyo to Osaka using the JR pass, what station are we going to get off in Osaka? We are staying in Nannbanaka, Naniwaku, Osaka-shi. And from Namba station what JR line are we going to take to go to Universal Studios.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Chelo,

      The Shinkansen Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line leaves approximately every 30min from Tokyo and arrives at Shin-Osaka station after 2:30min. To get to central Osaka station, change to any of the local JR Tokaido-Sanyo trains. As there are direct JR connections between the two stations. To arrive to Universal Studios you need to reach first Osaka. After that, from Osaka Station, take the Osaka loop line to Universal City Station. From Nishikujo Station, you can also take the JR Sakurajima line (also called Yumesaki line).

      Have a nice trip!

  14. Hi I am getting 5 tickets all adult JR pass for 7 days. We will land in Tokyo Haneda and I was thinking of taking taxi because of our luggage . We will stay in Chou, Tokyo from June 11 to 16. Nagoya from June 16 to 19. We arrived Tokyo around 230 pm so can I start my booking for the JR pass on June 12.
    We will go to and see the palace ,fish market, Odaiba, Tokyo tower. How do we go to Disney sea with JRPass. Does JR train also go to Nagoya. From Chou, Tokyo how long is the ride to Nagoya station. How can we see Mount Fuji on the JR train. Tokyo to Osaka or Tokyo to Nagoya. We are also planning to go to miyajima island for just a day. Is it possible. What time do we have to leave. Please help me and my family have a wonderful time. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jennifer!

      The activation date of your Japan Rail Pass is the date you wish to start using your pass. Any date that is within 30 days of the exchange date can be selected as “Activation”. You can do this from any JR Exchange Office in Japan and of course you can set June 12th as the activation date. To get to DisneySea use your JR Pass to travel from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station, on the JR Keiyo line. Travel time is a twenty-minute walk from Maihama Station, or you can take the Disney Resort Monorail from Maihama to Tokyo Disney Sea Station.

      The Japan Rail Pass fully covers the trip to Nagoya. If travelling from Tokyo you will have to take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Tokaido Shinkansen is Japan’s busiest line and most popular one, as it connects the three biggest metropolitan areas of the country: Tokyo to Yokohama; Osaka to Kyoto; Nagoya. Regarding Mount Fuji, all details are stated in this article you are commenting 🙂

      Last but not least, to get to Miyajima you will have to take a tram to the Miyajimaguchi ferry port from central Hiroshima, which is fully included in your Japan Rail Pass. The ferry ride takes only about ten minutes.

      Enjoy your trip!

  15. Hi JR Pass Team,

    I am planning to go Takayama and Hakodate using 7 days Rail Pass.

    Is it advisable to go these 2 places or should I just opted for one place and do some day trip from Tokyo using the JR Pass?

    Please help me with the planning

    Nicole

    Thank you for

    1. Hi Nicole Ng!

      It will depend on what you prefer.

      Takayama, the Japanese Alps, offer a taste of the Japanese culture of yesterday and today, which is very interesting for some travellers. On the other hand Hakodate is a big city (actually the third in size in the Hokkaido area!) and it has plenty of things to offer. Both are easily reachable with your Japan Rail Pass.

      In case you still want to check other day trip from Tokyo ideas you will find many that are also interesting: besides Mount Fuji (detailed in this article), you can also opt to visit Kamakura, Nikko, Yokohama or Hakone for example.

      Have a nice trip!

  16. Hello. What is the best and economical transportation to take on the following itinerary.
    From Narita airport going to Kyoto(stay). Visit Osaka and Hiroshima from kyoto.
    From Kyoto to stop by in Nagoya (probably) then on to stay in My. FUJI.
    From Mt FUJI to Tokyo.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Donna!

      All the mentioned trips are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass:

      – Transfer from Narita Airport to central Tokyo with the Narita Express. From there you can easily travel to Kyoto. You should take the Shinkansen Hikari train from either Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station in central Tokyo (both are Narita Express’ stops), and arrive at Kyoto Station.
      – Numerous trains in and around Kyoto can be accessed using your Japan Rail Pass. Local Kyoto JR lines include the Sagano Line and the Nara Line.
      – To go to Osaka from Kyoto just take the Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. You will get between Kyoto Station and Shin-Osaka Station in less than 30 minutes.
      – To visit Hiroshima, you can take the Hikari bullet train from Kyoto Station to the Shin-Osaka Station, then transfer to the Sanyo Shinkansen line for the remainder of the trip.
      – If you want to go to Nagoya from Shin-Osaka Station, take the Hikari or Kodama trains on the Tokaido Line to Nagoya.
      – And last but not least, Mount Fuji can also be easily accessed with your Japan Rail Pass.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  17. Hi !

    We will be in japan from july 13-19 and we will arrive at narita airport. We are planning a kamogawa (sea world), Tokyo (shibuya,tsukiji), Yokosuka(to visit family), mt. Fuji and back to narita trip. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Gab Pineda!

      Sure – and best of all is that all your trips are covered by the Japan Rail Pass!

      Once you land, you can take the Narita Express, is the most convenient Tokyo city transfer from and to Narita International Airport. To move within Tokyo you can use your Japan Rail Pass to get to most of the corners of the city. Yokosuka is easily accessible from Tokyo and can be reached by using the Japan Rail Pass. Regarding Mount Fuji you have all the details in this very same article.

      Additionally, you might want to check some interesting day trips from Tokyo to complete this amazing vacation.

      Very happy travels!

      To go to Sea World in Kamogawa you can take the Limited Express Wakashioo from Tokyo Station, trip should last around 2 hours.

  18. My plan is to travel from Tokyo to Mt Fuji (day trip), then down to Kyoto. From Kyoto travel day trip to Nara, Kobe and may be Nagoya. Then from Kyoto to Osaka.
    Just wonder is it worth to get JR pass covering this entire plan.

    1. Hi PY!

      Yes – your Japan Rail Pass will cover the entire plan.

      – As detailed in this article, the pass will fully cover Gotemba trail all straight to Mount Fuji.
      – To get from Kyoto to Nara, begin at Kyoto Station. Take the Miyakoji Rapid Train, on the JR Nara line to JR Nara Station.
      – Two options are available to travel from Kyoto to Kobe: you may take the direct Hikari Shinkansen from Kyoto Station to Shin-Kobe Station or you may take a JR Special Rapid Train on the JR Tokaido Line from Kyoto Station to Sannomiya Station.
      – To go to Nagoya, begin your journey from Kyoto at Kyoto Station. Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen lines – using your JR Pass for passage on the Hikari or Kodama trains – to Nagoya Station.
      – To travel between Kyoto and Osaka just take the Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. You will get between Kyoto Station and Shin-Osaka Station in less than 30 minutes.

      Additionally your Japan Rail Pass will also cover airport transfers and many other trips across the country.

      Have a nice trip!

  19. Hi
    If we are visiting Mt Fuji and Lake Ashi from Hakone, which train station should we be staying close by to if we are to head to Kanazawa early morning next day by JR pass?
    Any ideas of airbnb in the area?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Raj!

      The closest JR station in Hakone is Odawara JR station. You can take JR Tokaido Shinkansen line from there to go to Mt Fuji. It takes about an hour to get the Shin-Fuji station which is the closest Shinkansen stop to Mt Fuji.

      We hope you enjoy your stay in Japan!

  20. Hi,

    at which station of the tokaido line should I get off ?It says Kozu but I cannot find it on the tokaido itinerary.

    Thank you!

  21. Hi dear sir or madam:-
    I am wish to come Tokyo see Mt Fuji which train station should we be staying close from Tokyo to mt.fuji?
    Is it Take the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station (Tokyo) to Otsuki Station (covered by JR)
    Once at Otsuki, take Fujikyu Railway to Kawaguchiko Station (not covered by JR)

    Where to stay will see mt fuji everyday ? Hotel La vista ?
    Airport -Tokyo 2 night
    Mt Fuji 3 days 2 night

    Back to Tokyo

    Need to buy JR pass ?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Fiona!

      You might start your trip to Mount Fuji from Tokyo Station – the central as well as a terminal station for all Shinkansen bullet trains. From there take JR Tokaido line for Kozu and, once at Kozu (Kanagawa), take the JR Gotemba Line for Numazu. Then get off at Gotemba Station and you will be there. All the trip is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

      Have an amazing trip!

  22. Hi there,

    Thanks for the great article and just want to say firstly your customer service seems fantastic!
    I’ll be travelling to Mount Fuji next month and just wanted to ask what is the easiest route to travel from Mount Fuji onwards to Kyoto using the JR pass?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Alex!

      We are happy you like our site 🙂

      To go to Kyoto from Mount Fuji you can take Fujikyu Bus from Kawaguchiko and then JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Mishima, it is the fastest method.

      Have a nice trip!

  23. Wanting to get the Shinkansen from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko. Is this possible or are the trains just regular local trains? It is the only opportunity we will have to experience the Shinkansen and I understand that it may not be the most economical or time-saving option but we really did want to travel on a bullet train. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Danielle!

      To travel from Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Kawaguchiko you need to take the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station (covered by your Japan Rail Pass). Once at Otsuki, take Fujikyu Railway to Kawaguchiko Station (not covered by your Japan Rail Pass).

      We hope you enjoy the bullet train experience!

  24. Hello JRailpass,
    We are a family of five (2x adults and 3x kids under 10) traveling to Tokyo (Narita airport) from 5th April to 12th April 2018 inclusive. We plan to base in Tokyo (Ueno area) to see the cherry blossoms but also like to fit in a day trip to see Mt Fuji (not hiking, just looking from base or nearby with pagoda/ hot-spring side-trip), and possibly a day trip to Universal Studio or Disneyland.

    Please can you recommend an itinerary based on above that maximize JR pass?
    Will a 7 days pass be sufficient? the kids will be 10, 7 and 4 so we should only need 2 children tickets?
    (we will arrive in Tokyo very early on Thursday 5th April around 8.30am, so would it be better to go somewhere first before checking to Ueno accommodation? logistic of luggages and train travel plus most accommodation only checks in after 3pm)

    Many thanks,
    Leo.

    1. Hi Leo!

      Sure – we recommend you to check our Japan in 7 days: Travel itinerary as a reference of our recommended itinerary. Since you will spend an additional day you can easily add a visit to Universal Studios Japan (Osaka) or Tokyo Disneyland easily, and both can be reached with the Japan Rail Pass.

      You will only need 2 children tickets since only 2 of your kids are between 6 and 11 years old. Children under the age of 6 are eligible to travel free of charge on all JR public transport. However, please note that you will not be able to make any seat reservations for your child if they don’t have a valid train ticket (JR Pass).

      Happy travels!

  25. Hi,

    We’ll be spending two weeks in Japan, which we are really looking forward too. Thanks for all the information provided on your page, these are really helpful. Purchasing the JR Pass is a no brainer, but we haven’t figured out yet whether a 1 or 2 week pass is the better option. We’ll arrive at Narita Airport and plan spending the first 5 days in Tokyo, including a trip to Nikko on the last. Then we’ll be heading to Kyoto for another 4 days and to Hiroshima and Myajima for 2 days before heading back to Tokyo and finally flying out from Narita again.
    We plan to validate the 1-week ticket for the second week of the trip where we’ll be using it mainly for the long distance connections between Tokyo-Kyoto-Hiroshima-Tokyo. However, this wouldn’t include the connection to the airport (upon arrival and departure) and the trip to Nikko, as well as some inner-city connections during our stay in Tokyo (such as the Yamanote line). The difference between the 1-week and 2-week JR pass amounts to 17000 Yen per person. Do you think we’ll be spending more than 17000Yen for the back and forth connections to the airport, to Nikko and for some inner-city travel during our stay in Tokyo?

    Thanks in advance.
    Akin

    1. Hi Akin!

      Thank you for your nice comments on our blog 🙂

      For the exact cost of each train ride please check Hyperdia – the number 1 Japanese online transportation planning tool. Please note that the Japan Rail Pass is more useful the more you travel and the far you do so it will always depend on the use you are going to give to the pass.

      The Narita Express ticket price will differ depending on where you head to, its cost will be between 3.000 and 6.000 yen approximately since you will have to pay to reserve a seat a part of paying for the trip (please note you cannot travel without the seat reservation). All costs related to Narita Express are included in the Japan Rail Pass.

      Travelling to Nikko from Tokyo will take you around 1 hour and 30 or 45 minutes and cost starts from a little more than 2.500 yen, one way. However to this you will have to add the cost of reserving your space, which will either be a seat or a standing space. All of them have an additional price that can go from 2.500 yen onwards.

      We recommend you to take your time to draw your itinerary and to compare the cost of purchasing individual tickets with Hyperdia’s help to the cost of the Japan Rail Pass itself. It will for sure help you make the best choice.

      Happy travels!

  26. HI..I AM TRAVELLING WITH 4 YEAR OLD GIRL AND INFANT(LESS THAN ONE YEAR)
    DO I HAVE TO BUY JR PASS FOR THEM OR THE TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERED FREE FOR AGE LESS THAN 6
    TQ

    1. Hi Marwiza!

      Babies and children under the age of 6 are eligible to travel free of charge on all JR public transport. However, please note that you will not be able to make any seat reservations for your child if they don’t have a valid train ticket (JR Pass). If there are no available seats, children can be held by their parents in the unlikely event of full train cars.

      Happy travels!

  27. I will be going to Tokyo in Dec .
    I shall be staying in Gotanda .
    I need to go togoshi to have dialysis treatment every Mon, Wed and Fri .
    Does jr pass cover that area ?

    Does jr pass cover Yamamoto line?
    I shall be visiting
    Lake kawaguichiko (staying in kananso ryokan)
    Yomiuriland in Kawasaki
    Kamakura
    Odaiba
    Shiodome
    Daimon
    Is it more worthwhile to buy jr pass in my case for 14 days or 7 days?
    What advice can you give me?

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Hope you are well 🙂

      After seeing all the places you would like to visit, I suggest you to go for the 14 days Japan Rail Pass, because it gives you more flexibility and allows you to include more possibilities to your Japan trip. For that matter please have a look at our travel itinerary: Japan in 14 days

      Although, the Yamanote Line is included in the Japan Rail Pass and is the best way to get around Tokyo and discover Tokyo major spots, you won´t be able to use it to go to the hospital. however, you can go walking, wich is 20 minutes or by metro, but you will need to get a single ticket every time you take.

      Anyway, we hope you enjoy Japan as much as you can!

      Have a safe trip

      Best regards

  28. Aloha,

    Planning a short trip December 11-16. Would this be a bad time to see mt. Fuji on a day trip from Tokyo? We will be in shinagawa near the prince hotel.

    Mahalo
    Chris

    1. Hello Chris,

      Tourists are advised to schedule their visits to this special mountain during the climbing season which is from July to August. These months are ideal because of the good weather, accommodation options and convenient transportation.
      However, the snow will be seen covering the whole mountain during the winter, which reveals the most famous views or pictures of Mount Fuji. Apart from the summer months, temperatures at the peak are usually below freezing with the average temperatures falling around 19°F (-7°C ).

      Winter is a good time to visit Japan and you are looking for some ideas, don´t miss our post best times of the year to visit Japan

      Happy reading!!

  29. hi,

    i am going to japan with my family (1 toddler and 1 infant) for new year 2018, we are planning to go to osaka from tokyo and afterwards return to tokyo again using JRpass. I have read in a few travel blog that it is easier changing train in shinagawa station, because its easier and less crowded than Tokyo station. is that true ?

    thank you so much from your answer

    1. Hello Citra,

      For traveling with kids, shinagawa station may be a better option. It is easier to change lines, no hassle and less crowds.
      Still a good location to take the Tokaido Shinkansen to go to Osaka, as you can see in our map.

      Hope you and your family have a great time in Japan!

  30. Hi, we have travel to japan we already purchased the jr bullet train can i ask when can we reserved our seat and how to process to reserved the seat

    1. Hi Ruth!

      JR Pass holders can book a seat on all Japan Rail trains free of charge. All seat reservations should be done before boarding the train. As per JR Group’s policy, once you have boarded the train you may not change your seat reservation. To reserve your seat, please go to any Ticket Office (Midori-no-madoguchi), located in all Japanese train stations. Alternatively, you can also book your seet at a the ticket counters located in a Travel Service Center or a Travel Agency ticket sales office. The kind Japanese staff will ask for your Japan Rail Pass, which allows you to book seats for free. State your destination and preferred departure time and let the staff member find the best option for your trip.

      From February 2017, passengers can make seat reservations online for certain trains at the JR East Train Reservation Service. Eligible trains include the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Tokyo-Kanazawa), shinkansen and major limited express trains in the JR East area north of Tokyo, and shinkansen, limited express and rapid airport trains in the JR Hokkaido area (some exceptions may apply). After arriving in Japan, passengers can collect their seat reservation tickets at their chosen location. These include designated JR East and JR Hokkaido stations and JR travel service centres and information desks, as well as JR West Kanazawa and Toyama stations.

      Have a nice trip!

  31. Hi,

    Our schedule going to Japan Nov 3, 2017 i ask, when can we reserved seat and how to process to reseved seat to JR pass bullet train
    .Thanks

  32. Hi,

    I am planning to visit Mt Fuji from Osaka in a 1 day trip with my parents using JR Pass (7 day). Is it possible to cover this in a single day. I would like them to see Mt Fuji view from any location, if possible.

    Other days, I would like them to visit Hiroshima and Kyoto.

    Your response would ne highly appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Ajitesh!

      Visiting Mount Fuji from Osaka in just 1 day might be too much since each individual trip will take you around 3 hours. It might be a best idea to go there while they are in Tokyo. And a tip: if what you aim is to have the majestic view of Mount Fuji and not climbing it you might like to visit Fuji Hakone Izu National Park 😉

      To Visit Hiroshima from Osaka city center you need to first take the JR Haruka Express to Shin-Osaka Station, and then transfer to the Sanyo Shinkansen line (westbound, Hikari trains).

      Happy travels!

  33. Hello JR Pass team!

    Thank you for your amazing customer service. We are a family of 4 going around Japan from mid January for 2 weeks. We are planning to do a day trip from Tokyo to see Mt Fuji with the JR Pass. Obviously we cannot climb it, but which is the best location to receive the best views of the mountain/lake etc during winter and how do we get there using the Jr Pass? Thanks so much

    1. Hi Amelia!

      Thank you for your warm comment 🙂 To have good views of the astonishing Mount Fuji you might want to visit the five lakes, each of them offering unforgettable views and outdoor activities. You have all the details on how to get there in this article you are reading.

      Happy travels!

  34. My husband and I will go to Japan in March 2018. Plan to stay in Tokyo from march 20 to march 25. Then go to mt. Fuji in march 26 leave in march 27( avoid the crowd in weekend). Then from mt. Fuji to Kyoto from march 27 till April 1. Do we need a two weeks JR pass or just One week pass? Which way, which date should we use the JR pass? And also we will leave Kyoto to Osaka for 3 nights then fly back home. Do we need JR pass from Kyoto to Osaka? Or just use daily pass?

    Mei Kwan from Australia

    1. Hi Mei!

      If you want to assess which pass is more cost effective for you we recommend you to first draw your whole itinerary. Once you have it, check which the cost of each individual trip is. You can do this very easily using Hyperdia – the number 1 Japanese online transportation planning tool. Knowing this should be very easy to compare how much do individual trips cost to the Japan Rail Pass.

      We hope you have an amazing trip!

  35. Hi, I’m visiting Tokyo in Dec 2017 and will stay in Tokyo mostly except for a day trip to Mt Fuji. Is getting a JR pass worthwhile?

    1. Hi Karen!

      The most economical pass will always depend on your itinerary and that is why we always recommend you to check which is the cost of the individual trips at Hyperdia and compare it to the price of the nation-wide pass. Keep in mind the Japan Rail Pass would not only cover your trip to Mount Fuji but also the airport transfers and some transportation within Tokyo city.

      We hope your have an amazing trip!

  36. Hi, I will be going to japan for 10 days and plan to get a 7 day JR pass. However, I’m not sure which day would be the best day to activate it considering I’ll be going to Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka’s Universal Studios, which means the JR pass will be sort of “wasted” for 2 full days.

    My itinerary is as follows:

    Landing at Narita International Airport
    Day 1 – Tokyo (free and easy – Shibuya/Shinjuku)
    Day 2 – Tokyo (free and easy)
    Day 3 – Mount Fuji
    Day 4 – Disneyland
    Day 5 – Transit to Osaka
    Day 6 – Osaka Universal Studios
    Day 7 – Kyoto
    Day 8 – Kyoto/Nara
    Day 9 – Osaka free and easy
    Day 10 – Kansai Airport

    Could you kindly advise on which day should I activate the JR pass? Activating on which day would be the most cost effective as I’m not sure on which day the travelling cost is higher.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Chacy!

      Indeed the Japan Rail Pass would be useful for almost all days. We recommend you to check which is the cost of the individual tickets for each trip and compare it to the cost of the pass. This can be easily done using Hyperdia – the number 1 Japanese online transportation planning tool.

      See below how the Japan Rail Pass would make your trip easier:

      – You will be able to reach central Tokyo from Narita Airport in the Narita Express, fully included in the pass.
      – When in Tokyo, the JR Pass affords access to five different railway lines: the Yamanote line, the Keihin-Tohoku line, the Rapid Chuo line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines.
      – You will be able to reach Mount Fuji through the Gotemba trail, as you have already read in this article.
      – To get to Tokyo Disneyland just use your JR Pass to travel from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station, on the JR Keiyo line.
      – To go from Tokyo to Osaka, you will need to take either the Hikari bullet train or Kodama from Tokyo or Shinagawa stations in central Tokyo. Both run on the Tokaido Shinkansen line.
      – When in Osaka, you will be entitled to make full use of the Osaka Loop Line.
      – You can easily access Universal Studios Japan in Osaka: just start from Osaka Station and take the Osaka loop line to Universal City Station. From Nishikujo Station, you can also take the JR Sakurajima line (also called Yumesaki line).
      – To travel between Kyoto and Osaka just take the Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. You will get between Kyoto Station and Shin-Osaka Station in less than 30 minutes.
      – To get from Kyoto to Nara, begin at Kyoto Station. Take the Miyakoji Rapid Train, on the JR Nara line to JR Nara Station.
      – And last but not least, to go to Kansai Airport you will just need to take the Haruka Express from either Kyoto or Osaka.

      We hope you have an amazing trip!

  37. Hi I have a JR pass for 7 days and plan to do a DIY trip for Mt. Fuji, Hakone and Gotemba. Please let me know what will be the best trip to do to achieve that in 1 day.

    1. Hi Maine!

      If you are planning to reach Mount Fuji it should be easy to combine with Gotemba: if you take the Gotemba trail, as described in this article, you will be able to easily hop off at Gotemba station. It will also be easy to reach Hakone since it is the same area. To get to Hakone you can take the same line that brought you to Mount Fuji (Tokaido Shinkansen) and get off at Odawara station. From there itinerary will be as described in this article.

      Since they might be many places to fit in a single day trip, we recommend you to use Hyperdia to plan the itinerary so that you make sure you get to see them all.

      Have a nice trip!

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