If Kawaguchiko (河口湖) or Lake Kawaguchi is on your Japan itinerary, the limited express, Fuji Excursion, might be the train you want to take from Tokyo! To accommodate the mass amount of passengers traveling from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko, JR East Japan introduced the limited express service, Fuji Excursion (富士回遊), in March 2019.
Fuji Excursion connects JR’s Chūō Line and Fujikyūkō Line, replacing the Narita Express (成田エクスプレス). The best thing about Fuji Excursion is that it saves the trouble of changing trains at Ōtsuki Station, saving you time on transportation!
However, Fuji Excursion only has three services to and from Kawaguchiko each day, so advance planning is required if you want to take Fuji Excursion to Kawaguchiko.
A List of Contents
- The Cost of Fuji Excursion and Required Travel Time from Tokyo
- Things to Note About Fuji Excursion
- How to Reserve Fuji Excursion
- What If All Fuji Excursion’s Tickets Are Sold Out?
The Cost of Fuji Excursion and Required Travel Time from Tokyo
Important: For JR Rail Pass and/or JR East Pass holders, a separate fee will be charged when boarding Fuji Excursion as Fujikyūkō Line is operated by Fuji Kyuko Co., Ltd, a different company from JR East Japan.
Tip: Get the JR Tokyo Wide Pass for unlimited rides on Fuji Excursion. You can pre-purchase yours HERE!
Taking Fuji Excursion will only take around 2 hours from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko.
Refer to the official website HERE for Fuji Excursion’s timetable and station information.
Things to Note About Fuji Excursion
- It is best to reserve a spot as early as possible, as Fuji Excursion’s tickets sell out quickly.
- Reservation is open at 10 am, 1 month in advance.
- If you use JR East Pass or JR Pass to cover the train fare from Tokyo to Ōtsuki Station or have purchased an unreserved seat ticket, check if the carriage you want to board is shared between Fuji Excursion and limited express train, Kaiji (かいじ) or Azusa (あずさ).
- If the carriage is shared, you must head to Carriage One to Three at Ōtsuki Station. They are the only three carriages bound for Kawaguchiko.
- An easy way to tell if a seat in Carriage One to Three is reserved is to look at the color of the indicator light above the seat (refer to the 2nd photo in the Instagram Post).
- Red = The seat will be vacant for a while. It is okay for a passenger to sit.
- Yellow = The seat will soon become a reserved seat (within the next two stations).
- Green = The seat is currently reserved.
- If the Fuji Excursion you take departs from Chiba Station, the train will separate into two parts at Ōtsuki Station. In this case, the indicator at the platform will only show the destination of the limited express. It can be confusing, but you are at the correct platform as long as Carriage One to Three are marked Fuji Excursion on the ground.
- You can utilize the time required for this process for a short break from a long train ride.
How to Reserve Fuji Excursion
Fuji Excursion’s ticket can be purchased by one of the methods below:
- Via JR East’s Train Reservation Website
- Via any JR East Ticket Office (みどりの窓口) at JR East Travel Service Center (びゅうプラザ)
- JR East’s reserved ticket vending machine
- Major travel agencies in Japan
Please note that reservation is open at 10 am, 1 month in advance.
As previously mentioned, it will be free for you if you are a JR Tokyo Wide Pass holder.
Tip: From Tokyo to Shinjuku, seats on the right-hand side of the train are best to adore the magnificent Mt. Fuji.
What If All Fuji Excursion’s Tickets Are Sold Out?
If you are in a hurry and all Fuji Excursion’s tickets are sold out, there are a few options for you to consider:
- Split the train trip into half at Hachiōji Station (八王子駅).
- As previously mentioned, Fuji Excursion may only be the first three carriages of the train if it departs from Chiba Station. The rest of the carriages are limited express, Azusa or Kaiji.
- While the chances are low, seats from Hachiōji Station to Kawaguchiko Station on Fuji Excursion might be available. You can make a reservation for Azusa or Kaiji from Tokyo to Hachiōji and another reservation for Fuji Excursion from Hachiōji to Kawaguchiko.
- Unreserved seat tickets are on sale too. The prices are the same as reserved seat tickets. While the unreserved seat ticket isn’t ideal as it means you won’t be seated during the train ride, it is still an option if you want to get to Kawaguchiko as soon as possible.
- Note that the Fuji Excursion’s speed slows down from Ōtsuki, allowing you to enjoy the scenery on your way to Kawaguchiko. This prolongs the standing time of those who don’t have a seat.
- You can reserve seats on the limited express, Azusa or Kaiji. That way, you won’t be required to stand throughout your ride from Tokyo to Ōtsuki Station.
- But remember to head to the first three carriages at Ōtsuki Station.
Tip: If no reserved seats are left on the date you try to book, check again later, as someone may cancel their reservation.