15

We are currently in Tokyo and will be traveling to Kyoto tomorrow, March 31, by bullet train (nothing booked yet). We would like to see Mt Fuji along the way. Ideally it will take as little time out of the trip as possible, as we have a full itinerary planned in Kyoto, but we certainly want to take the effort to get excellent views. We are both physically capable, so walking to a high point is not an issue, though we will have small roller bags with us. Questions:

  1. What is the best Shinkansen station for a quick (less than 1 hour) stop at along the Tokyo-Kyoto route where we can get good views of Fuji?
  2. Can we hop off/hop on the Shinkansen with a single non-reserved ticket, or do we have to book two separate tickets for Tokyo->Fuji stop and Fuji stop->Kyoto?

2 Answers 2

21
+500

You get pretty good views of Fuji just from the train itself. Unless you're planning on getting a lot closer - car hire, bus trip - then it might just be 'good enough'… it's not small, you can see it from Tokyo on a clear day, 100km away;)
I've driven around it on the tiny roads in the area & tbh, you can't see it a lot of the time, if you get too close. It was very wooded where I was, though we were specifically aiming for an onsen in one of the small villages [I forget which.]
I think it's one of those instances where the closer you get, the less you see. The phrase, "You can't see the wood for the trees" springs to mind.

Planetware has a guide on getting to Kawaguchiko [& a good picture of Shinkansen & mountain for a sense of scale], which is over the opposite side [North] from the Shinkansen line. That's kind of the 'centre' of the five lakes district. I'm not sure how dedicated you'd need to be to want to do that just to see what is in effect a triangle shape from all directions - it's impressive because of its sheer size, but it's a pretty simple cone shape from all angles - except you get to see it over water rather than just over flat arable land. I'm not sure it presents a 'best face' from any particular angle, though if anything, the sun is going to be from east/south/west depending on time of day so the Kawaguchiko aspect is likely to be in shadow for some of the day.

Train & Fuji

Credit:Planetware
This picture is from perhaps 25km away. The drive to Kawaguchiko from Fuji [town] is about 60km by the shortest main route, 90 by the prettiest. If you want to get any closer, you're into some really twiddly roads - not too bad for me, I'm a Brit and used to driving on the left - but you really can't see anything further than the trees at the side of the road for mile after mile until you start to get close to or above the tree-line… by which time you're far too close.

Near the treeline, it starts to open up bit…

enter image description here

This is as far as you can go by car up the Skyline Road… your best view from here is back down the hill.

enter image description here

Pics from google

11
  • 4
    Whether you can get a good view from the train depends a lot on the weather. But I guess that's true for any viewpoint
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 14:37
  • Yeah, April isn't the best time - livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-fuji_mountain/in-mount_fuji/…
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 15:17
  • @Hilmar That caught us out - we were figuring on views from the train, but the day we travelled end up having miserable weather and we couldn't see more than a km or two. As a result I wouldn't bother hopping off just for a train station unless, as the answer suggests, you intend to travel closer.
    – dlanod
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 23:32
  • 6
    We ended up: 1) going up to the government building observation deck in Shinjuku (free) for sunset yesterday evening and caught hazy sunset views of Fuji 2) getting right side window seats on the Nozomi Shinkansen this morning which we’re currently riding and the Fuji views are INSANE. We are content with the views from the train - Fuji is visible for much more of the ride than expected.
    – swrobel
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 23:36
  • 1
    @swrobel perhaps you're planning on doing this later, but could you please add your comment as an answer (with maybe a photo or two)? Thanks! Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 15:55
3

(This is a bit late for OP but might benefit future visitors.)

You can, if the weather is good, easily get great views of Mount Fuji from the Shinkansen, as Tetsujin mentioned. In fact, here is a picture of Mount Fuji I took from my phone from the Shinkansen in December 2019:

Mount Fuji as seen from a Shinkansen

Note that you want to be sitting on the right in the direction of travel when going westbound; and on the left when going eastbound. Those should be the sets of two seats, not the sets of three.

If you really want to get off somewhere to see it through air only instead of a train window, I suppose Shin-Fuji station is the one to go to. Iirc, the picture above was taken somewhere around Shin-Fuji station.

However I strongly recommend against doing it. Why? Only the all-stop Kodama trains stop at Shin-Fuji. The Nozomi trains do not stop at all between Shin-Yokohama and Nagoya and the Hikari trains have only about two intermediate stops, most likely inconveniently located for Fuji-viewing. Thus, adding a 30-minute or 1-hour stop to get better views of Mount Fuji (assuming the cloud base even allows you to) will probably add at least two hours to your entire Tokyo–Kyoto train trip. So if your objective is to add as little time as possible, go for the train window view.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .