Travelling from Tokyo to Mount Fuji entails a host of different choices, namely where you want to begin your climb from. While there are 10 stations from top to bottom, paved roads lead up as high as the 5th station. The vast majority of climbers will begin walking from one of these four ‘5th stations’ which are all based along one of four different trails. Some are distinctly easier (and thus more popular) than others, but all can be reached from Tokyo. Therefore, a direct bus from Shinjuku/ Shibuya is almost always the best option to get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, but there are alternatives.
Bus from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
The Yoshida-Guchi trail which begins from Kawaguchiko 5th Station is the busiest and most easily accessed from Tokyo. ‘Highway-buses’ operate a direct service to Fuji Subaru 5th Station in the summer months only, costing 2700 Yen (ca. 27 USD).
The Subashiri and Gotemba 5th Stations are not quite as popular but to reach them requires taking a bus (or train) first to Gotemba and then taking another bus up the mountain. The final 5th station is the Fujinomiya 5th Station which is the most accessible by those coming from western Japan, thus making it the most difficult for visitors from Tokyo. If you really wish to begin from here then it’s easiest to take the train to either Mishima or Shin-Fuji, and then take a bus.
Shuttle from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
Instead of getting a direct bus to the Subaru 5th Station, it’s also possible to get a bus/ train to Kawaguchiko Station and then a shuttle bus onwards up the mountain. This would be a good option for those looking to see the sights of Kawaguchiko or to spend the night. This 1540 Yen (ca. 150 USD) service runs from May to October as the Subaru 5th Station still offers plenty to do in the non-climbing months.
Walk from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
While the 118km walk from Tokyo to the summit is not advised, there is a much more challenging option than taking a bus halfway up the mountain. The popular Yoshida trail which many climbers begin from the Subaru 5th Station is actually the oldest route of them all and begins right at the very bottom of the mountain at the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine in Fujiyoshida. To attempt this climb, you must first reach ‘Fujisan’ Station by either bus or train from Shinjuku and then start walking.
Train from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
To reach any of the 5th Stations requires taking at least one bus, therefore it is often much easier to simply take a bus the whole way.
Car from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
The roads that lead up to all of the 5th Stations are closed to private cars during climbing season, only accessed by buses.
Best way to get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji
Hiking the entire way from the bottom involves a 5/6am departure from Shinjuku to give you enough time to make it near the summit in time before dark. Starting from any one of the 5th Stations allows for a lot more leeway but regardless of how you decide to climb Fuji, a bus is probably the most sensible option as they have the greatest range of travel times, provide the best value and allow you to proceed directly to your starting point.
The return journey is very straightforward, simply walk back down to one of the 5th Stations and book a shuttle bus back to Kawaguchiko or another of the nearby towns.