How to get to Mt Fuji from Tokyo 〜 When is it likely to erupt?
What is the highest mountain in Japan?
It is the famous Mt. Fuji which is 3,776 meters high. It can in no way be compared with the world’s highest peaks such as Mt. Everest (Chomolungma, 8,848m) in terms of height.
However, it has become emblematic of Japan with the striking beauty of its nearly perfect conical profile and wide-flowing skirts.
At the peak of this dormant volcano, there is a crater, 800 meters across and 200 meters deep. From ancient times, Mt. Fuji has been an object of worship as a sacred mountain, and its perfection has long been celebrated in traditional verses such ashaiku andtanka.
Many renowned artists have taken up the challenge to depict Mt. Fuji in pictures. Among them, Katsushika Hokusai, an ukiyo-e woodblock print artist in the Edo period (1603 〜 1867), won great acclaim for hisFugaku Sanju-rokkei (36 scenes of Mt. Fuji ), in which he painted Mt. Fuji from various perspectives, at various hours of the day, in each season.
First of all, you don’t have to climb Mt Fuji to get a great view. Even from a distance, Japan’s tallest mountain offers a backdrop that can’t be matched—so long as clouds don’t thwart the experience. For the best chance at a successful viewing…
★ Time of Year
To maximize your chances of catching Mt Fuji on a clear day, try to book your trip so it falls between October and February, as colder weather means higher atmospheric visibility.
Spring is also a good option, when the weather is still fairly cool.
It’s also important to remember that the mountain doesn’t stay snow-capped all year. For those looking to capture the classic image of Mt Fuji—snow and all—winter wins. Alternatively, mid-spring cherry blossoms and colorful fall leaves can each create a stunning frame for the mountain.
★ Time of Day
Since cool weather means better visibility, the best time of day to see the mountain (regardless of season) is early morning. Travelers are more likely to see Mt Fuji in full if planning a visit at 8 a.m. than if arriving in the afternoon, although the mountain is also a sight to see at sunset.
Know Before You Go ☆
Even when Tokyo faces sweltering heat, temperatures at the top of Mt Fuji can be chilly, if not downright frigid. At the bare minimum, day trip visitors should bring along sturdy hiking shoes, waterproof clothing, and a hat for sun protection.
Those heading to the summit should be prepared with gloves, layered clothing, a flashlight, a minimum of one liter of water, and some high-energy snacks.
★ Don’t miss Mt Fuji’s Fifth Stations
Mt Fuji can be approached from a number of directions—most visitors and hikers start their trip from one of the mountain’s Fifth Stations, which are waypoints reachable by mass transport and roads. The most popular Fifth Station is Kawaguchiko, although access is also available from Gotemba, Fujinomiya, and Subashiri, among others.
★ Save summit trips for summer
Visit the region at any time of year, but know that official climbing season on Mt Fuji takes place in July and August, when temperatures at the summit are warmest and most mountain facilities are open.
Only hikers with mountaineering experience and special gear attempt to climb Mt Fuji outside of this time period; roads to the Fifth Station waypoints are closed during this time. Most travelers need from four to eight hours to reach the summit, plus another two to four hours for the descent. Some summit excursions begin in the dark to time arrival at the top at sunrise.
How to get to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo ☆
Japan’s tallest peak, Mt Fuji dominates central Japan’s landscape. Both visitors and locals flock to the area to enjoy the scenery and, during the summer months, climb to the summit. Here are your options for getting to this iconic sight from Tokyo.
◉ By Bullet Train
Japan’s efficient train system offers one of the most flexible methods of reaching the Mt Fuji region from Tokyo. While there’s no train service that travels directly to the mountain, a number of nearby stops offer connections to virtually all Fuji access points and mountain stations via bus service.
Many visitors and tour groups get off at stops along the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) line, such as Shin-Fuji or Mishima, where they transfer to local buses to complete their journey to the mountain.
◉ By Bus
A variety of coach bus trips depart from Tokyo for Mt. Fuji. In addition to guided bus tours, it’s also possible to independently purchase tickets for the Keio express bus, which travels directly from Tokyo’s Shinjuku area to the popular Kawaguchiko 5th Station. Book a tour with bus transport and independent exploration at the mountain for the best of both worlds.
◉ By Car
Visitors can choose from a range of chartered car services, opt for a private day trip with a chauffeur, or even arrange to rent their own vehicle. Most car travelers arrive at the mountain via Japan’s Tomei or Chuo expressways. Be sure to have cash for expressway tolls if you plan to drive yourself.
Mt.Fuji Tours From Tokyo
Japan’s most iconic landmark, Mt Fuji is an extremely popular destination from Tokyo. Visit the UNESCO-listed mountain, see the countryside, and take in the area’s scenic views.
The benefit of a guided tour to Mt Fuji is that all transport logistics for your trip are taken care of for you. Depending on the excursion you choose, you may travel directly from your Tokyo hotel aboard a coach bus, or combine a bus trip to this famous mountain with a ride back to the city aboard one of Japan’s famous bullet trains.
★ Full-Day Tours
Sample all that the Mt Fuji region has to offer with a convenient full-day visit. Sit back and relax as your train or bus whisks you from the Japanese capital to the mountain area, where you can take in highlights such as Lake Ashi, the Gotemba Outlets, and Mt. Fuji’s famous 5th Station. A range of private and customizable trip options offer plenty of flexibility, and you can count on being back in Tokyo later that same day.
★ Multi-Day Tours
Multi-day tours offer the opportunity to deepen your Japan knowledge and see more of the country during your excursion. Enjoy roundtrip transport from Tokyo to Mt Fuji and a handful of other Japanese cities, such as Kyoto and Nara, plus included overnight accommodations. At the mountain, you’ll have enough time to take part in boat rides, shopping, and onsen (hot spring) visits.
Things to Know ☆
🔵 Mount Fuji is located about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of Tokyo, and trips by road take about two to three hours each way. Bullet trains from Tokyo reach nearby Shin-Fuji Station in about an hour.
🔴 Day trips typically last between 9 and 12 hours, so be sure to pack for a full day.
🔵 Bring comfortable hiking shoes and appropriate cold-weather clothing if you plan to ascend Mt Fuji.
When is Mt. Fuji likely to erupt?
The first recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji was in 781, and it is said to have erupted 13 times roughly once every 30 years till 1083.
An interval of 428 years elapsed before the 14th eruption, and only 3 eruptions were recorded between 1511 and 1707. Since then, no volcanic activities have been observed, which means Mt. Fuji has been in a dormant state. However, there still is the possibility of an eruption, no matter how slim.
As is the case with earthquakes, it is difficult to predict volcanic eruptions, but Japan’s excellent observation system, equal to that of Hawaii, boasts of its quick response to volcanic activities making it possible to quickly issue warnings.