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I have a 15 hour layover in Tokyo, which arrives at 8:35 AM, and doesn't depart until 12:35 AM the next day.

I was wondering if it would be feasible to take a bullet train to Mount Fuji, and back and still have time to enjoy the mountain, lunch and just relax?

If so, can you let me know what stations to take? I'm trying to understand the train routes, but it's quite confusing in my opinion.

  • 2
    Although it is possible to go somewhere closer to Fuji in 15 hours, I would advise not to do it but just go to any high rise building in Tokyo, such as Mori tower in evening and see Fuji in its all beauty. Depends on the season and a day, but if the evening is clear Fuji can be seen quite well. During the day not so much. Then, spend remaining time around Tokyo which will definitely will be much more fun than industrial cities around Fuji. – Rilakkuma Dec 25 '14 at 1:03
  • Is bullet train a must (for the experience of riding it), or is any transportation OK if it gets you there faster? – nic Oct 25 '16 at 10:20
  • @nic When I went, I ended up being in Tokyo for a week, versus 15 hours. I didn't get the chance to ride the bullet train, however I will say that the normal train system will take you forever to get anywhere. So if the option to take the bullet train is there, take it. – TravelLikeBeaker Oct 25 '16 at 12:29
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Yes. But be careful of course, timewise, if you have a flight.

Your best resource that I've found for this is Wikitravel's article on Fuji which has a Get in section.

I was there in July but just wanted a view, not a climb, and was coming from Kanazawa on the west coast. We took trains down to Nagoya, and across, and then inland to Fujinomiya. It's fairly easy - at each point just ask someone if unsure, or if you have a JR wifi pass (pick it up at any JR station) we used that to get google maps, and Google tells you exactly which train and routes to take. They're fairly frequent too so if you miss one, it's all good.

I did all that, still had an hour in Fujinomiya, and still made it to Tokyo by 6pm, so it's definitely feasible for you.

You can approach on the north side and south side like I did, but the Wiki article explains all the options in detail.

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It's possible to get there easily enough:

Getting out of Narita: 1 hour

Narita express to Tokyo station: 1:30

Shinkansen to Shin-fuji (Shizuoka) station: 1:30

So that's 4 hours travel time to get there, same back including the usual airport time. Leaving 7 hours for sightseeing.

One thing about Fuji - it is frequently hidden in the clouds, especially after mid-morning. And the area around Shin-fuji station isn't all that exciting.

So, if the mountain isn't visible on the right side of the train as you approach Shin-fuji station, I suggest the following alternatives:

  • continue to Kakegawa station and spend the afternoon at the Kakegawa Kachoen Bird Park. Soccer-stadium size greenhouse stocked with assorted tropical birds. It's not a zoo - the toucans will sit on your shoulder while you feed them (and give you a smack with their beak if you don't).

  • back up to Odawara and go up the hill to Gora and Owakudani.

  • if it's raining in Tokyo just forget Fuji altogether and go to Asakusa. Then take the sea bus from the bridge to Odaiba. (rain in Tokyo and clear in Fuji almost never happens)

  • Disneyland is on the airport side of Tokyo.

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