Japan’s most iconic landmark, Mount Fuji, is located on Honshu Island, about 100 km southwest of Tokyo, on the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures. Having an exceptionally symmetrical cone, it is the country’s tallest mountain. The best views of Mount Fuji can be seen from the five lakes of Yamanashi prefecture. Of these lakes, Kawaguchiko is probably the easiest to get to and has the most hotel choices.
Depending on the season, the scenery of Mount Fuji and Kawaguchiko changes all year. Popular months are October and November when the leaves change colors. In winter (December – February), Mount Fuji is covered with snow which can be quite stunning – although it can be very cold and some attractions might close early. During the cherry blossom season (March – May), the weather is pleasant and you can see the blossoms set against the snowy backdrops.
By bus – Head to Shinjuku JR station’s west exit and purchase a ticket at the ticket center for Keio Express Bus (opposite a camera shop). A ticket to Kawaguchiko is ¥1,700/one-way, ¥3,400/roundtrip. The bus ride takes two hours and drops you at Kawaguchiko train station.
By train – From Shinjuku station, take the JR Chuo Rapid to Takao then change to normal JR Chuo trains (¥1,280/trip) to Otsuki station. From Otsuki, change to Fujikyu line (¥1,100/trip) to Kawaguchiko station.
You can easily get around this small town by a retro bus (¥1,000 for one lake, ¥1,300 for two lakes). The other option is to take a taxi but it is very expensive.
There are a few dozen hotels, from budget to high-end. You can click here to search ALL hotels in Kawaguchiko / Mount Fuji area or view our recommended list: