The Fuji Excursion (called Fuji Kaiyu in Japanese) is a new limited express service that runs directly between JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and Kawaguchiko Station in Yamanashi Prefecture. Rail travelers using this service can travel directly from Tokyo to Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes resort area in under two hours. Previously passengers traveling between these two destinations had to change trains on the way at Otsuki Station. The Fuji Excursion is jointly operated by JR East and the Fuji Kyuko railway company.
The Fuji Excursion is a three-car E353 series train which runs on the JR Chuo Line between Shinjuku Station and Otsuki Station and then runs on the private Fujikyuko Line. Between Shinjuku and Otsuki the Fuji Excursion is coupled with a Kaiji limited express train. At Otsuki Station the two trains separate and the Fuji Excursion continues its journey to Kawaguchiko.
There are eight stations on this route:
Shinjuku > Tachikawa > Hachioji > Otsuki > Tsuru-bunkadaigaku-mae > Mt. Fuji > Fujikyu Highland > Kawaguchiko
Travel time for the full journey is just 1 hour and 52 minutes. The full fare between Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko is 4,060 yen and between Shinjuku and Mt. Fuji it is 3,940 yen. Although the Japan Rail Pass covers the section between Shinjuku and Otsuki stations, the Fujikyuko Line is a private railway line so Japan Rail Pass holders will have to pay a separate fee for that section of the journey.
There are two round-trip services each day and tickets are available at JR East ticket offices one month prior to the date of travel. Here is the current schedule:
|Westbound Services||Shinjuku||Mt. Fuji||Kawaguchiko|
|Fuji Excursion 1||8.30||10.14||10.22|
|Fuji Excursion 3||9.30||11.14||11.22|
|Eastbound Services||Kawaguchiko||Mt. Fuji||Shinjuku|
|Fuji Excursion 16||15.05||15.13||16.58|
|Fuji Excursion 20||17.38||17.46||19.27|
Kawaguchiko Station serves the Lake Kawaguchi area. Located at the base of Mount Fuji this is a very popular resort location with stunning views of Japan’s highest mountain. Facilities around the lake include parks, hotels, museums, and hot spring spas. Pleasure boat cruises, windsurfing, hiking, and camping are among the area’s popular activities.
Travelers interested in climbing Mount Fuji can access the mountain’s Yoshida climbing trail by taking a bus from either Kawaguchiko Station or Mt. Fuji Station (also called Fujisan Station). The bus will take you as far as the Fuji-Subaru Line 5th Station where you can begin your climb. The climbing season for this trail is from July 1st to September 10th. For more information on climbing Mount Fuji please visit the official Mt. Fuji Climbing website.
Article by Michael Lambe. Photos courtesy of Fuji Kyuko Co.Ltd. All rights reserved.