Directly access from Narita Airport : Lake Kawaguchiko and the majestic views of Mt. Fuji
In order to enjoy sightseeing in Japan, transportation that offers comfort en route to destinations is a key factor. “NARITA AIR & BUS”, an initiative to connect Narita Airport with tourist destinations via expressway buses, was launched to enhance convenience and comfort for tourists visiting Japan.
Adjacent to Tokyo, Yamanashi Prefecture is home to Lake Kawaguchiko, a resort spot located in the southern part of the prefecture, in the town of Fujikawaguchiko. With direct access made possible by an expressway bus from Narita Airport, Lake Kawaguchiko is currently a popular destination. The “Narita Airport – Mt. Fuji/ Kawaguchiko line”, the Keisei Bus line that departs from Narita Airport, arrives at Kawaguchiko Station, which is approximately 10 minutes by foot from Lake Kawaguchiko. Sightseeing can be enjoyed from the moment of arrival.
Cradled at the base of Mt. Fuji are five lakes, referred to as the “Fujigoko (the Five Lakes of Fuji)”. All five offer beautiful views of Mt. Fuji, but Lake Kawaguchiko offers a particularly iconic view. Adding to that delight is the immersive experience of Japan’s beautiful four seasons – cherry blossoms in the spring, lavender in the summer, leaves ablaze with autumn colors, and picturesque snow-covered views in the winter.
Throughout history, Japanese artists have expressed their adoration for the highest peak of the land in countless paintings and Ukiyo-e classics. The image of Mt. Fuji reflected in the lake is admiringly referred to as the “Sakasa Fuji (Upside Down Fuji)”, and still today continues to capture the hearts of many, including artists and photographers.
From majestic views of Mt. Fuji to tour boat rides and hot springs, Lake Kawaguchiko offers a variety of attractions, and is a popular destination for tourists from abroad, boasting approximately 250,000 visitors a year. A highlight during the winter season are events called “Kawaguchiko Fuyuhanabi (Lake Kawaguchiko Winter Fireworks)” (in 2017 this event will be held every Saturday and Sunday during the period between January 14 and February 19, and on February 23). The magical display created by the lake reflecting the lights of the fireworks is like a scene out of a dream.
For those who have an interest in Japanese culture and craft, a site that is approximately 25 minutes by bus from Kawaguchiko Station, “Itchiku Kubota Art Museum” is recommended. This museum displays exquisite Kimono created by Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003), who spent approximately 40 years to reproduce “Tsujigahana”* which had been popular during the 14th and 15th centuries, but had suddenly disappeared in the early 16th century, and was considered a legendary dyeing technique whose secret was lost, until he brought it back to life.
* A technique for dyeing patterns of plants and flowers, by integrating diverse dye methods with the primary “Shibori-zome (Shibori dye)”method. In the Shibori dye method, patterns are created by tying part of the cloth with string to restrict entry of the dye.
Lake Kawaguchiko and all its attractions can be accessed in approximately 4 hours via the “Narita Airport-Mt. Fuji/ Kawaguchiko Line”, a Keisei Bus line service that was launched in July 2016. Transport for returning from Lake Kawaguchiko to Narita Airport is available as well, so travelers can also choose to plan the excursion as a fun way to conclude their time sightseeing in Japan.
The expressway bus provides a relaxing ride to the destination
Keisei Bus Line’s “Narita Airport-Mt. Fuji / Kawaguchiko Line” runs from Narita Airport terminals 1, 2, and 3, and can also be boarded from Akihabara, a pop culture mecca in Tokyo. Since amenities such as rest rooms are available onboard, travelers can enjoy a relaxing ride to their destination. Currently services are offered 2 times per day, but an increase in services are being considered. Discounts are available when tickets are reserved and paid for in advance online: Tickets from Narita which cost 4,400 yen can be purchased online at 3,300 yen, and in Akihabara, the 2,400 yen price is discounted to 1,800 yen when purchased online (adult/ one-way ticket prices).
For travelers preferring to spend ample time sightseeing in the Mt. Fuji region, the recommended option would be to purchase the 2-day unlimited ticket, the “Fujisan/ Fujigoko (Mt. Fuji/ Fuji Five Lakes) Passport”, in combination with a one-way ticket for the “Narita Airport – Mt. Fuji/ Kawaguchiko Line” departing Narita Airport.
With price and service that delights travelers, “Tokyo Shuttle “attracts many repeat customers.
Among travelers who, in spite of being interested in Mt. Fuji, prefer to start their sightseeing in Japan first from Tokyo, the non-stop expressway bus that connects Narita Airport and the Tokyo Station area, “Tokyo Shuttle” remains a favorite transport option. The reasonable ticket price — 1,000 yen for a one-way trip (2,000 yen for services between 1:00 AM at night and 5 AM in the morning) — and the frequency of services, which include no less than 113 round-trips, attract many repeat customers.
“Tokyo Shuttle” utilizes a system where customers purchase tickets for a shuttle departing at a specified time at any one of the counters located at each of Narita Airport’s terminals. Therefore, seats can be secured with certainty, and there are no worries about being stuck with uncomfortable spare seats. Onboard, travelers can access the free Wi-Fi to get Tokyo sightseeing info or submit posts to online traveler forums.
Using Tokyo Shuttle’s Special Perks, to Enjoy Tokyo Sightseeing at Lower Cost
Using “Tokyo Shuttle & Subway Pass”, which combines access to both “Tokyo Shuttle” and Tokyo’s subways, enhances both value and convenience for Tokyo sightseers. Travelers can purchase a “Tokyo Shuttle & Subway Pass” of their choice, which includes a ticket for Tokyo Shuttle (one-way or two-way tickets can be selected), combined with the “Tokyo Subway Ticket” which provides unlimited access to all subway lines within the Tokyo Metro/ Toei Subways, and which can be selected from 3 different options: the 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour unlimited-ride Tokyo Subway Ticket. The pass can be purchased at a Keisei Bus line ticket sales counter at Narita Airport. Offering value without placing limits on travel schedules, the “Tokyo Shuttle & Subway Pass” serves Tokyo sightseers as a powerful ally. For example, the following fun-packed schedule could be planned.
[Usage example: Tokyo Shuttle Two-Way Ticket + Tokyo Subway Ticket 72-hour Pass]
Day 1: Take Tokyo Shuttle from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station.
Exit Nihonbashi Station and head to hotel.
Day 2: Visit Tokyo’s famous sightseeing spots, including Asakusa, Ueno, Tokyo Sky Tree, and more!
Day 3: Explore Ginza, Roppongi, and other top shopping spots, of course including Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro.
Day 4: Take Tokyo Shuttle from Tokyo Station to Narita Airport.
Travelers taking “Tokyo Shuttle” can receive a discount pass for the first-ever hot spring theme park in Japan, “Oedo Onsen Monogatari (Oedo Hot Spring Story)”. The entrance fee, which is normally 2,280 yen for adults (weekdays; tax included), is reduced to 1,200 yen, offering Tokyo Shuttle travelers an unbeatable discount. “Tokyo Shuttle” has services to Oedo Onsen as well, so travelers can enjoy access to the hot spring theme park’s fun facilities, which allows visitors to feel like time-travelers in the world of the city of Edo (later named Tokyo) during the 17th to 19th centuries, making for an unforgettable experience.
The secret for enhancing the joys of sightseeing in Japan, is to choose transport options that ensure comfort en route to destinations. That is why adding an excursion via a bus line that offers both convenience and comfort — such as the “Narita Airport-Mt. Fuji/ Kawaguchiko Line”, which provides non-stop access from Narita Airport for travelers wishing to view Mt. Fuji, or the “Tokyo Shuttle”, which provides value and fun for Tokyo sightseers — is highly recommended when planning sightseeing in Japan!