If you’re anything like us, you hunt out the biggest, best roller coasters wherever you can.
If you’re planning a trip to Japan and you’re anything like us, then Fuji Q Highland will also be top of your list even though it’s not the easiest spot to get to from Tokyo.
We’ve got good news though – it can be done and it’s not anywhere near as difficult as it might at first look.
We travelled in to Fuji Q Highland via train and travelled out on a highway bus, having spent a lot of time researching all of our options. We are here to help you figure out how to get to Fuji Q Highland.
Are you trying to figure out if you’ll catch the highway bus? Or whether you’ll connect up on the train? Maybe you’re even considering a rental car to get to the park?
To save you the time and hassle that we went through, this post will explain the differences between train, bus and rental car travel in the region, help you figure out which is best for you and spell out everything you need to know to make the journey.
How To Get To Fuji Q Highland From Tokyo (and Back Again)
There are a number of different transport options to help you make the connection between Tokyo and Fuji-Q Highland, each with their own pros and cons.
To help decide which is the best option for you, we’ve outlined all of the different benefits (and disadvantages), along with everything you need to know to use these modes of transport in Japan.
Transport Options Between Tokyo and Fuji Q Highland
Train: Option #1 – Japan Rail & Fujikyu Railway – The Most Convenient Option
If you already have a JR Pass and/or you’re in love with the Japanese rail system, chances are you’ll seriously consider jumping aboard one of their trains to get to Fuji Q.
We travelled almost exclusively by train throughout our two weeks in Japan (thanks to the incredible Japan Rail system), but unfortunately, your pass won’t get you quite everywhere.
Fuji-Q Highland is one of those places that isn’t easily and fully accessible by JR pass alone (with one exception that we will discuss next).
This method is best if you’re wanting to travel to Fuji-Q at any time of the day as trains are incredibly frequent. It worked well for us, as the fully-supported JR pass times were just too restrictive – we travelled in from another part of the country and there was just no way we were ever going to make the last train put on by Japan Rail. Instead, the Fujikyu Railway trains ran throughout the day, suiting our schedule much better. We used the JR network as far as we could and then paid for the remainder of the journey.
How to Get to Fuji-Q Highland by Train (Almost Any Time You Like)
- Use your JR Pass (or purchase a ticket) to travel between Shinjuku (or any other convenient station) and Otsuki. It is from Otsuki that you will transfer off of Japan Rail.
- Follow the signs and transfer to the Fujisan or Fujisan Express train. These trains are operated by the Fujikyu Railway and require an additional payment of JPY1,300 (USD11.65/NZD18.35) for the express train, payable by cash or credit card. If, like us, you plan to spend the night in the area, you’ll probably get off at Mt Fuji Station. If you’re heading straight to the theme park, you can stay on until Fujikyu Highland (Fuji-Q Highland). These trains run frequently throughout the day but you can check the best times for you on their website.
- Once at the train station, you’ll follow the signs and make the short walk to the ‘secondary’ Fuji-Q entrance gate. There, you can store your bags should you wish and begin your day of fun.
Time: This journey takes approximately 2 hours to get from Shinjuku to Fujikyu Highland station. Though it is marginally slower than the Limited Express Fuji Excursion train (which we discuss next), we feel the benefits outweigh the slightly slower journey time (and we’re only talking about 10 minutes difference).
Cost: JPY1,300 one way (USD11.65/NZD18.35) for the express train from Otsuki (plus the use of your JR Pass).
Train: Option #2 – Connecting with Japan Rail – The Least Convenient Option
So you’ve got a JR Pass and a little more time up your sleeve? Assuming you’re able to fit the limited JR trains into your schedule, there is now an option that will get you all the way to Fuji-Q without the need to transfer (note that this does not necessarily mean the journey is free of charge on your JR Pass alone – tricky, huh?)
The three options are as follows:
- The Limited Express Fuji Excursion Train. Connecting Shinjuku with Fuji a few times a day, this is the fastest way to travel on train between Tokyo and Fuji-Q, taking 1 hour, 50 minutes. Though you’ll stay on the same train, you’ll need to pay for the additional journey after Otsuki. This will cost JPY1,740 (USD15.60/NZD24.50) in addition to your JR Pass in each direction.
- Weekdays, Shinjuku to Fujikyu Highland: Departures 8.30am and 9.30am (arrival 10.19am and 11.19am)
- Saturdays and holidays, Shinjuku to Fujikyu Highland: Departures 7.35am, 8.30am and 9.30am (arrival 9.37am, 10.19am and 11.19am)
- Weekdays, Fujikyu Highland to Shinjuku: Departures 3.08pm and 5.41pm (arrival 4.58pm and 7.29pm)
- Saturdays and holidays, Fujikyu Highland to Shinjuku: Departures 3.08pm, 4.03pm and 5.41pm (arrival 4.58pm, 5.59pm and 7.27pm)
- The Tokyo – Kawaguchiko train. This train also runs twice a day in each direction (Tokyo to Fuji-Q and visa versa) and takes approximately between 2 hours, 20 minutes and 2 hours, 40 minutes. Information about this service is limited (and it wasn’t one that we looked seriously at doing), so we can’t be sure, but it would appear that there is no additional cost to JR Pass holders for this service.
- Weekdays, Shinjuku to Fujikyu-Highland: Departures 6.23pm and 7.20pm (arrival 9.03pm and 10.04pm)
- Saturdays and holidays, Shinjuku to Fujikyu-Highland: Departures 6.23pm and 7.26pm (arrival 9.03pm and 10.04pm)
- Departures from Fujikyu-Highland to Shinjuku: 5.52am and 6.22am (arrival 8.15am and 8.43am)
- The Takao – Kawaguchiko train. Departing from a station in western Tokyo, you will need to get yourself to Takao before then transfer. This journey takes 1 hour, 40 minutes, plus the additional time it will take you to get from Shinjuku to Takao (which we haven’t accounted for here). As above, this service looks to be included on the JR Pass, though we can’t be sure.
- Departures Takao to Fujikyu-Highland: 7.43am (arrive 9.23am)
- Departures Fujikyu-Highland to Takao: 10.42am (arrive 12.22pm).
Initially we tried to make the Limited Express Fuji Excursion work but due to the limited number of departures, it just wasn’t possible. In the end, we decided on option #1 and purchased a ticket to ride on the Fujikyu Railway. It was both cheaper and offered much more convenient times; happy days!
Highway Bus: Tickets Purchased Independently
Located around at the main gate (which trust us, is much easier to access from inside the park than by walking out through the secondary entrance only to have to navigate your way around the outside of Fuji-Q!), you’ll find the bus station.
Before arriving, we had been told that bus tickets needed to be purchased in advance and could not be bought from the driver. This is true, but they can also be purchased in the bus station.
The bus costs JPY2,000 (USD17.90/NZD28.20) per person, per direction, but takes you all the way to/from Tokyo (to Shinjuku Station) in one go.
Because we had JR Passes, it worked out to be a little more expensive, but if you don’t have a JR Pass, it actually is cheaper to catch the bus.
Regardless of the finances though, the bus is the fastest way to travel between Tokyo and Fuji-Q Highland. Once you jump onboard, you’ll be in Shinjuku Tokyo in approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes.
How to Get to Fuji-Q Highland by Highway Bus
- Purchase your ticket either online or at the ticket counter. Buses run frequently but it is important to note that as seats are allocated, tickets are not transferable – if you miss your bus, you’ll need to purchase a brand new ticket.
- Wait for your allocated time of departure and jump on.
As we only caught the bus back from Fuji-Q to Shinjuku, we only have photos from Fuji-Q’s point of departure – the following buildings and landmarks are the ones you’re looking for – this is what the main entrance looks like.
And this is the bus station that you’ll be looking out for…
Highway Bus: Combo Park Ticket
If you’ve not yet purchased your tickets to Fuji-Q Highland and you’re keen to travel by bus (which really is the most direct way in and out from Tokyo), it is possible to buy a combination pass that covers both your park entrance (and unlimited rides) and a return ticket for the highway bus.
Everything is as mentioned above, only you won’t need to purchase your bus ticket outright – just follow the instructions on your confirmation to reserve the times you’d like.
If you’re planning to catch the bus, this is by far the most affordable way to do so.
When we were first made aware of the Limited Express Fuji Excursion Train, it soon became apparent that the times on offer would not suit our schedule. Having to travel through from Shiga Kogen to Nagano and then on to Tokyo all in a morning would never see us make the two morning trains.
At that stage, we began looking into each and every option to get us from Tokyo to Fuji-Q ready to ride the rollercoasters that same morning. In the end, we gave up on making the journey right through and getting into the park that same day (instead choosing to travel over on one day and then spend the next day at Fuji-Q before travelling back to Tokyo that afternoon/evening).
Rental cars in Japan are surprisingly affordable but by the time you add fuel, consider an excess waiver and, most significantly of all, pay for tolls on the way there and back, it actually becomes more expensive than either the train or the bus and less convenient to make happen.
For us, a rental car really wasn’t worth seriously considering.
How Does Each Transport Option Compare?
JR & Fujikyu Railway (Option #1)
JR (Option #2)
Make use of your JR Pass. Frequent trains on both legs.
Make us of your JR Pass. No need to transfer at the train station.
The fastest way to travel. No JR Pass required. Frequent buses.
Flexibility in schedule. Multiple people travel at no extra cost.
JR Pass required or you’ll need to purchase an additional train ticket. Transfer required at train station.
Incredibly limited times/schedules – at most three times a day, all around the same time. JR Pass required or you’ll need to purchase an additional train ticket.
You’ll pay to travel the whole journey, even though you have a JR Pass that could have taken you part way.
Time taken to rent a car. Significant tolls on the road + fuel costs add to overall bill. International drivers license required. Parking may not be available in Tokyo.
1 hour, 50 minutes (at best)
1 hour, 40 minutes
1 hour, 35 minutes (plus time to organise car).
JPY1,300 each (one way) + JR Pass
No charge, up to JPY1,740 each (one way) + JR Pass
JPY2,000 each (one way)
From JPY5,000 for rental
Fuji-Q, Fuji Q or Fujikyu? Which Name is Right?
They all are!
As you’re travelling in Japan, you’ll notice all three of these words being used to describe both the theme park itself and the area around it.
All are correct and all are recognised.
Fujikyu is the name of the train station you’ll be looking for though, so it’s especially worthwhile to remember that one.
So, What is the Best Way to Get to Fuji Q Highland?
We made the decision to travel into Mt Fuji by train (option#1 – Japan Rail and Fujikyu Railway) as doing so kept our costs down and made good use of the JR Passes that we already had. Trains ran frequently on both networks, giving us plenty of flexibility.
For the return journey, we booked seats on a highway bus as we needed to get back to Tokyo as quickly as possible. They offered super frequent trips (even more so than the trains) and the ability to book seats online easily.
Had we not been in a rush, we would have returned via train and saved a little money.
With that said, we unequivocally recommend both of these options as being the best ways to travel to/from Fuji-Q Highland, dependant on your circumstances.
Fuji-Q Highland is an exciting theme park with many world-record holding rides. Though on first impression, transport out there looked to be quite challenging, it really was anything but.
If you love coasters, you’ll want to get yourself there for sure!
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