If you’re looking at which Mt. Fuji day trip tour is best for you, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ll show how to pick and book the perfect guided day tour for you depending on your situation.
Which is better: Join a guided Mt. Fuji day tour or on your own?
It’s BEST to join a guided day tour if you only have one day and want to see Mt. Fuji and as many of the surrounding attractions as possible. Most of these Mt. Fuji day tours start from Tokyo, so it should be pretty easy to fit into your plans.
Joining a Mt. Fuji day tour is also much CHEAPER and removes the hassle of figuring out the complicated transportation there and back on your own. And if you have kids, then joining a group tour is a no-brainer as most tours are very family-friendly.
There are many Mt. Fuji day tours to choose from, most of which include meals, and some even include the option to return to Tokyo by bullet train. But the best tours, the ones we recommend, are the ones that take you through the Fuji Five Lakes areas (more on that later).
Now, if you want to do it on your own, it’s BEST to stay overnight or at least 2 days in the area, particularly in Kawaguchiko. This is because the areas around Mt. Fuji are still VERY rural and it’s complicated to go from one place to the other (i.e. going from Hakone to Kawaguchiko or vice versa by public transport on your own is rather complex and you’ll end up wasting your time).
Check out our recommended accommodations in Kawaguchiko.
That said, this isn’t really a negative in our eyes. Mt. Fuji is both a UNESCO Heritage Site and a protected area within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. So we’d rather not see the natural beauty of the area destroyed by too much tourism.
So, if you’re doing it on your own, we recommend that you follow our DIY Kawaguchiko itinerary.
Now, if you’re in a group of 6-8 people traveling together, consider booking a Private Mt. Fuji tour as the price is per group rather than per person. This can make the tour itself far more affordable since you’re splitting the cost however many ways and don’t need to purchase individual tours.
Quick Comparison of Popular Mt. Fuji Day Tours From Tokyo
Area Orientation: Mt. Fuji and the Surrounding Attractions
This section is meant to orient you with all the highlight attractions surrounding Mt. Fuji.
Because our goal here is to help you join the most suitable Mt. Fuji day tour for you. That way, you can better focus your trip around specific activities, rather than trying to cram everything into one day. An impossible task to be sure.
1. Mt. Fuji 5th Station.
Mt. Fuji 5th Station is almost always included in every tour package. That because it’s Mt. Fuji itself, and the starting point for the most commonly used trail to climb the sacred mountain of Fujisan (as the Japanese call it).
If you’re not climbing, there’s really not much to see here except for a small shrine, some short hiking trails, and souvenir shops. But it’s still nice to visit this place because it makes your experience more authentic because you visited Mt. Fuji itself.
It also allows you to fully take in the actual immense size of Mt. Fuji. Interested in climbing Fujisan? Read our article about joining a guided Mt. Fuji climbing tour.
2. Fuji Five Lakes.
Fuji Five Lakes has formed hundred years ago from Mt. Fuji’s lava flows during multiple eruptions. Fuji Five Lakes is comprised of:
- Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)
- Lake Sai (Saiko)
- Lake Shoji (Shojiko)
- Lake Motosu (Motosuko, also read our Lake Motosu camping guide)
- Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako, also read our Lake Yamanaka itinerary and things to do)
‘-ko’ means lake in Japanese.
Lake Kawaguchi is the most popular because it’s the most well-developed area and the most accessible from Tokyo.
Attractions around Fuji Five Lakes
1. Lake Kawaguchi.
Of all the lakes, we recommend Lake Kawaguchi for first-time visitors. And we find it most beautiful during the spring and autumn months.
There are so many things to do in and around Lake Kawaguchi alone, including eating the delicious hoto noodles (a local dish), riding the Kachi Kachi Ropeway, visiting the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, sightseeing in the many beautiful parks surrounding the lake, and an incredible number of hiking trails.
However, if you’re pressed in time and want to see other attractions as well aside from Kawaguchiko, we recommend joining this package tour to visit Lake Kawaguchi.
2. Oshino Hakkai.
This is a quiet and peaceful place to walk around. Located between Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka, Oshino Hakkai is a small village with 8 clear water spring ponds that are fed by snowmelt from Mt. Fuji.
The water is so clear you can see the fish swimming at the bottom of the ponds. There’s even a place here where you can drink its water directly from the source.
3. Shinobi No Sato Ninja Village.
Also known as Oshino Ninja Village, it’s located just a few minutes from Oshino Hakkai. This village is a fantastic place for both adults and children, with performances and activities sure to entertain and educate about being a ninja.
4. Arakurayama Sengen Park.
This is where the famous postcard of Mt. Fuji and the iconic Chureito pagoda with a panoramic view was taken. It’s beautiful here year-round, but cherry blossom and foliage seasons offer splendid views.
We recommend this joining this tour if you’re visiting during the beautiful autumn foliage season.
5. Aokigahara Forest.
Located near Lake Saiko, and is more infamously known as the “Suicide Forest” (but Japanese tourism association is now trying to replace that with “Sea of Trees” for obvious reasons).
If you’re fond of adventure and spelunking, this is where you should go because a trip to Aokigahara is always paired with a visit to its famous Ice and Wind Caves.
Warning: Don’t go here alone. You must join a private guided tour to explore this forest.
3. Fuji-Q Highlands.
Famous for its Dodonpa roller coaster, currently the 4th fastest rollercoaster in the world, Fuji-Q highlands are for the thrill-seekers among you. You can also see some great views of Mt. Fuji from here on clear days.
Fuji Airways 4D Flight simulator.
This is an attraction inside Fuji-Q Highlands that reopened in 2016. There are tours that include this attraction as a great backup in case of poor weather. We recommend this package tour if you want to experience the Fuji Airways 4D and other extreme rides.
4. Gotemba Premium Outlets.
For the fashion-savvy shoppers among you, you’ll find Gotemba Premium Outlets to be a heaven on Earth. With over 200 stores, Gotemba Premium Outlet is one of Japan’s most popular shopping centers and the flagship outlet of Mitsubishi Estate and Simon Property Group.
Located southeast of Fuji in Gotenba City, it’s a bit out of the way but is well worth the trip if you’re looking to purchase some high-end clothing. And if you’re looking for a combination of luxury and local fashion brands, you’ll find it here at significantly discounted prices, especially during New Year.
To sweeten the deal, most of the stores here are tax-free for tourists. So don’t forget to SHOW your tourist passport.
And while enjoying your shopping, this mall also boasts a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. We recommend this package tour as it allows 2-2.5 hours of visit at Gotemba Premium Outlet.
Renowned for its natural hot springs and resorts, Hakone is a small town nestled in the mountains near Gotenba. What it lacks in accessibility, it makes up for in a natural beauty lost in the large cities of Japan.
If you’re into hiking, kayaking, fishing, and just being outdoors, then this is the place for you. The area is a bit spread apart though, so expect to rely on lots of buses. Because of this, we recommend making Hakone an overnight trip of its own.
Attractions in Hakone
1. Lake Ashi.
This is the highlight of Hakone. Visit Kuzuryu Shrine Hongu for the spectacular view of its Torii Gate standing in the lake, as well as a beautiful walk through the forest to reach the shrine proper.
For a better view, take a ride on the local pirate ship! This tour includes a pirate ship Lake Ashi cruising.
2. Owakudani Valley.
Here you can view the “Valley of Hell” while riding the ropeway and enjoy some black eggs boiled in sulphuric water. We recommend this tour if you want to visit Owakudani Valley and try its black eggs that are also known to prolong life.
3. Mt. Komagatake.
Mt. Komagatake is the highest peak of the Hakone mountain range and where the original Hakone Shrine is located. Going to Mt. Komagatake is slightly off-the-beaten-path, and not covered by any Hakone Free Pass.
We recommend joining a guided tour, to take you there by ropeway.
6. Odawara Castle.
A recreated castle from the 15th century, it contains a plethora of historical items from that time within it as it doubles as a museum.
The grounds surrounding the castle often hosts large festivals where you can try various foods and local craft beers. The castle is best seen during the cherry blossom season, as the grounds are surrounded on all sides by sakura trees.
7. Mishima Skywalk.
At 400m, this is the LONGEST suspension bridge in Japan and gives you a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji. Featuring a Skygarden, athletic park, and ziplining, Mishima Skywalk makes a perfect day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
This tour combines Lake Ashi cruising, Odawara and Mishima Skywalk in one day.
8. Fujinomiya City.
This is another interesting city near Mt. Fuji, it offers some of the best views of Fujisan. A town with ancient roots, Fujinomiya started as a market town which developed slowly around the Sengen Shrine, it’s become a popular starting point for those looking to climb Mt. Fuji.
Attractions in Fujinomiya City
1. Fujisan Hongu Sengen Shrine.
Undoubtedly the most significant cultural location for Fujinomiya outside of Fuji itself. The shrine is where many of those looking to climb Fuji come to wish for safe passage. The shrine also holds over 159 festivals each year, so there’s a good chance there will be one going on during your trip.
2. Tanuki Lake.
If you’re looking for a quiet overnight camping trip, but want to keep access to amenities like showers, sinks, and bathrooms, then this small artificial lake is for you.
Don’t let the ‘artificial lake’ thing fool you, this is still a beautiful area which boasts a view of “Diamond Fuji” from April 20th thru August 20th.
3. Shiraito Falls.
Fed by Mt. Fuji’s spring water, the falls gets its name from the thin white strands of water, giving it an almost silky look.
We recommend joining The Golden Tour if you want to visit Shiraito Falls and the Fujisan Hongu Sengen Shrine.
Best time to visit and see Mt. Fuji
November to February offers the BEST time to visit and see Mt. Fuji with extremely clear skies. In fact, February is the sweet spot of the year as the weather is almost always sunny and dry.
Meanwhile, visiting Mt. Fuji from May to September can be tricky. And although June to August is the climbing season, it is also the worst time of the year to visit due to the high probability of rain and being typhoon seasons.
So if you’re visiting during typhoon season, always check the live camera of Mt. Fuji. Ideally, you should plan your trip when Mt. Fuji is unobstructed.
Best places to view Mt. Fuji
Fuji Five Lakes area, Fujinomiya City, and Gotemba City are the best places to view Mt. Fuji. These places are closer to Mt. Fuji, and you’ll have a better chance of seeing a clear and unobstructed Mt. Fuji than you would in Hakone.
Quick Comparison of Popular Mt. Fuji Day Tours From Tokyo
Choosing the Best Mt. Fuji Day Tour for You
We’ve laid out ALL the available one-day tours to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo from licensed tour operators in Japan by choosing the “Top 3” for each situation.
You just have to figure out the most suitable Mt. Fuji day tour for you. Note that most tours depart from Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Top 3 Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko Day Tours from Tokyo
Kawaguchiko is the best place to see Mt. Fuji up-close and personal. And highly recommend that you time your visit for a clear day. Because each attraction offers a different yet still breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji.
Here are our recommended day tours to Mt. Fuji with Kawaguchiko:
This guided tour is on top of our list due to affordability yet it’s packed with must-do activities such as visiting Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Lake Kawaguchi sightseeing cruising and riding Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway also known as Kachi Kachi Ropeway.
You can add buffet lunch as an extra but they don’t accommodate dietary preferences. You’ll have to eat somewhere or pack your own lunch. This tour is suitable for all ages and free for 2 years old and below.
This tour highlights Oishi Park in Kawaguchiko, which offers one of the best panoramic views of Mt. Fuji. It’s also packed with must-do activities such as Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway, and Oshino Hakkai village.
The tour includes a Japanese-style lunch at Hotel Regina Kawaguchiko, and they don’t accommodate dietary preferences. You’ll have to eat somewhere or pack your own lunch. This tour is suitable for all ages and free for 5 years old and below.
This tour has a “Limited Time Autumn Plan” this season where you can visit and see the Maple Corridor and the Arakurayama Sengen Park, which are both extremely attractive foliage spots in Lake Kawaguchi.
You’ll get to visit Oshino Hakkai village and do some shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlet if you wish, and don’t forget to bring your passport for a tax-free shopping!
This tour doesn’t have any lunch options. You’ll have to buy your lunch in Gotemba Premium Outlet or Oshino Hakkai. This tour is suitable for all ages and free for 2 years old and below.
Top 3 Mt. Fuji Day Tours for Families with Kids
While ALL Mt. Fuji tours are family-friendly, if you have kids, you’ll want to choose a day tour that includes an attraction they will certainly enjoy.
Here are our recommended Mt. Fuji day tours that your kids will love:
This tour will take you from one highlight to the next and ends with an exhilarating Fuji Airways 4D simulation ride in Fuji-Q Highlands. We’ve been to ALL attractions listed in this tour package, and visiting these attractions is the BEST way to experience Mt. Fuji — if you’re not climbing it.
Your kids will love the Oshino Ninja Village. They can dress up as a ninja while exploring. Our daughter loved this place so much! Just make sure to bring thermals for them if the weather is cold.
Age 3 years and below are free. This tour accommodates special dietary preferences such as vegetarian or Halal meals.
Kids love adventures! And we’re certain that they will love this tour as it includes many kid activities such as fruit picking, Daruma doll making, and spelunking in caves near Lake Sai (Saiko).
This tour includes lunch and can accommodate vegetarian requests. Age 2 years old and below are free.
Now if you want a balanced tour that is both kid-friendly and doesn’t miss must-see attractions, then you’re going to love this tour.
Aside from fruit picking, you’ll visit Mt. Fuji 5th Station, ride the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway also known as Kachi Kachi Ropeway, and taste the famous regional dish of Yamanashi, hoto noodles!
Age 2 years old and below are free.
Top 3 Mt. Fuji and Hakone Day Tours from Tokyo
We’ll be honest here… For us, Hakone ISN’T the best place to see Mt. Fuji.
In fact, Hakone should be the last destination to visit if you wish to see Mt. Fuji. But that’s not to say that you should not visit Hakone.
In fact, Hakone is a charming small town, with many attractions and adventures of its own. Instead of a day trip, we recommend staying overnight or 2 days to experience all Hakone has to offer.
Here are our recommended day tours to Mt. Fuji with Hakone sightseeing from Tokyo:
This is the most popular and best-selling of all time! The reason it’s so popular is that this tour hits all the must-do experiences in Mt. Fuji and Hakone, and you have the option to ride the Shinkansen (bullet train) on your way back to Tokyo all in one day at an affordable price!
This tour highlights Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Hakone Ropeway, Owakudani Valley, and Lake Ashi cruising. An optional Japanese-style lunch can be added and vegetarian lunch is available if requested. Kids age 5 years and below are free.
This tour is slightly similar to the tour above. But instead of riding the Hakone Ropeway, you’ll ride Mt. Komagatake Ropeway which will take you to the highest peak of Hakone and see the beautiful mountain top grounds of Mototsumiya Shrine, which is the original shrine of Hakone.
This tour has an optional lunch and an option to ride the bullet train back to Tokyo. Muslim-friendly lunch is also available. Kids age 5 years and below are free.
This is another very popular Mt. Fuji and Hakone Day tour, but with a visit to Gotemba Premium Outlets which offers a great view of Mt. Fuji as well. Don’t forget to present your passport for tax-free shopping.
Included in this tour are Lake Ashi cruising, Hakone Ropeway, Owakudani Valley, and delicious yakiniku (grilled meat) lunch. Unfortunately, they don’t accommodate dietary preferences, so you’ll need to bring your own lunch or have lunch in Gotemba Premium Outlets.
Top 3 Private Tours of Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
A hiring a private charter tour is perfect if you’re a large family or a large group and can be even a CHEAPER option as you can divide the costs among you.
All private tours below are conducted by Tokyo Star Agency, a reputable travel agency in Japan known for its top-notch tour guides.
This tour is known for having professional (and very enthusiastic) tour guides which only delivers the best experience to their guests. Read ALL 5-star reviews here.
This tour is very straightforward, it consists of a jaunt to Mt. Fuji 5th Station, a taste of the delicious regional dish of Yamanashi–hoto noodles, sightseeing around Lake Kawaguchi, and shopping in Gotemba Premium Outlets.
This tour also has a Personal Photographer option for an additional fee. The photographer will take high-quality and memorable photos of your entire Mt. Fuji trip, and you can access the photos on Google Drive after your tour.
Your first stop in this tour is the beautiful grounds of Odawara Castle, where you can learn about how the castle played a major role during the Sengoku era (1467-1600).
This tour also includes Lake Ashi cruising, visiting a wood art shop, and an optional relaxing onsen (hot spring bath) in Hakone Yumoto.
This tour includes lunch and also has a Personal Photographer option for an additional fee.
This is a deep-dive tour about sake brewery and whiskey distillery business while also visiting the perfect viewing spots of Mt. Fuji in Lake Kawaguchi. Find out which tour option is for you here.
Best Wheelchair Accessible Mt. Fuji Day Tours
Tokyo Travel Partners Co., Ltd is the only company that conducts barrier-free tours to Mt. Fuji and surrounding areas. They have a specialized vehicle to comfortably accommodate 1 guest in a wheelchair.
You have the option to book the entire vehicle for yourself which can accommodate up to 8 people.
All tours include lunch at a wheelchair-friendly restaurant and trained personnel to assist the needs of the guest in a wheelchair.
Your first stop is Lake Kawaguchi where you’ll have the delicious regional dish of Yamanashi hoto noodles for lunch at a wheelchair-friendly restaurant. After lunch, you will explore and enjoy the beautiful scenes of Lake Kawaguchi with views of Mt. Fuji without any time constraints!
Your first stop is Lake Ashi, where you’ll visit Hakone Shrine and visit souvenir shops around. After that, You’ll visit the longest suspension bridge in Japan, Mishima Skywalk! Mt. Fuji is visible from this bridge on a lucky clear day!
Best Mt. Fuji Day Tour for Adventurers
No doubt, it’s the Mt. Fuji with Aokigahara Forest & Cave Exploration Tour. The most underrated Mt. Fuji tour, but for those who give it a try, ourselves included, it offers you a wonderful experience.
There were only 3 of us that went to the forest and cave (and guide), which was perfect. The cave was beautiful, and definitely a favorite of my trip. Warning: the spelunking is definitely for able-bodied people and is very physical. I really enjoyed my group I was with, and the day was beautiful. I had a wonderful time! Thank you!!!Flannery
The Japanese consider Aokigahara Forest to be haunted by mythical elements. Also known as the “Sea of Trees,” but is known more infamously as the “Suicide Forest.”
This area has unfortunately been popularized as a place where many depressed and overworked Japanese go to end their lives. Despite that unsettling fact, the forest certainly does feel like it has a presence of its own; as if you’ve wandered into a forest out of a fantasy novel.
So it still holds a mysterious allure for the more curious traveler.References:
- Shu, C. (2015, July 2). Rakuten Acquires Tokyo-Based Travel Startup Voyagin. Retrieved October 22, 2019, from https://techcrunch.com/2015/07/01/rakuten-acquires-tokyo-based-travel-startup-voyagin/
- VELTRA becomes a Publicly Listed Company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Market. (2019, January 25). Retrieved October 22, 2019, from https://partner.veltra.com/2019/01/02/veltra-listed-on-the-tokyo-stock-exchange-mothers-market/