Here’s How You Can Travel from Lake Kawaguchi to Kyoto, Japan

Japan boasts an extensive and efficient transportation network, making it easy to navigate between its diverse cities and attractions. Here is a bus and train travel guide to get you to Kyoto, Japan from Kawaguchiko or vice versa.

The different routes can seem confusing and overwhelming at first, so here are the easiest and most direct routes I’ve found and even traveled myself!

Kawaguchiko Station is operated by the Fujikyuko Line, which runs between Otsuki Station and Kawaguchiko Station.

Kawaguchiko Station is not a JR station, so the Japan Rail Pass will not be accepted for passage between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko. However, IC cards such as Pasmo and Suica are accepted. If you have the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, it will cover the entire trip between Kawaguchiko Station and Tokyo.

Trains are a popular choice for travelers in Japan, offering a combination of comfort, convenience, and scenic beauty. To embark on your journey from Lake Kawaguchi to Kyoto, head to Kawaguchiko Station, the main railway hub in the area. While direct trains are not available, a convenient transfer will take you to your destination.

Step 1: Kawaguchiko Station to Shinjuku Station

From Kawaguchiko Station, board the Fujikyuko Line bound for Otsuki Station. This scenic journey, taking about 1 hour and 10 minutes, offers picturesque views of Mount Fuji, allowing you to capture stunning panoramas from the comfort of your train seat. Remain onboard once you reach Otsuki Station continue to Shinjuku Station (Chuo Line) and get off there.

Step 2: Shinjuku Station to Tokyo Station

Upon reaching Shinjuku Station, take the Chuo Line to Tokyo Station.

Step 3: Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station

Upon reaching Tokyo Station, transfer to the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen heading for Kyoto Station. The ride is a little over 2 hours. Grab a bento box or snack for your ride!

Alternative Route – Bus to Mishima Station & Shinkansen

Pictured: Express Mishima Kawaguchiko Liner headed to Mishima Station, in front of Kawaguchiko Station
For a combination of bus and shinkansen travel, consider taking a bus from Kawaguchiko Station to Mishima Station, followed by a shinkansen ride to Kyoto Station. This is hands down my favorite route to take.

Step 1: Kawaguchiko Station to Mishima Station

Board a bus from Kawaguchiko Station to Mishima Station. The Express Mishima Kawaguchiko Liner is the best bus to get you to Mishima Station. Depending on traffic conditions, the journey typically takes around 90 minutes. Book your tickets the day before or the morning of at the Kawaguchiko Station Ticketing booth in person. These are about $20 per person.

Step 2: Mishima Station to Kyoto Station (covered by JR)

Upon reaching Mishima Station, catch the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen and enjoy a speedy and comfortable ride to Kyoto Station in 2 hours. This option combines the convenience of bus travel with the efficiency of the Shinkansen.


Additional Tips for Planning Your Journey

  • Book your transportation in advance, especially during peak seasons. This will help ensure you get the desired time slots and fares.

  • Consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass if you plan to take multiple train journeys. This pass can save you money if you are traveling extensively.

  • Be aware of Japan’s train schedules, which are generally very punctual. However, it is always a good idea to allow extra time in case of unexpected delays. I recommend using theGoogle Maps app!

  • Pack for the weather conditions. Japan’s climate varies depending on the region and time of year. Be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly.

  • Learn a few basic Japanese phrases. This will help you communicate with locals and navigate your way around.


Traveling from Lake Kawaguchi to Kyoto is a convenient and enjoyable experience. With its efficient transportation network and stunning scenery, Japan is a delight to explore. By carefully considering your travel preferences and budget, you can choose the mode of transportation that best suits your needs.

Happy travels!



  1. Anja says:

    Big Japan fan here. Thank you for sharing this informative post! During my time studying in Nagasaki, I had an IC card and just used local trains and sometimes the local long distance coaches – a lot cheaper than Shinkansen! For me, Google Maps worked reasonably well for train times and connections but specialized apps for train connections exist.

  2. Jenn says:

    This post came in so handy! I have no idea on how to use a train, in LA everyone has cars and it’s chaotic lol Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jaqueline says:

    Japan is such a wonderful destination – can‘t wait to go one day. I‘ll definitely keep your guide handy for that!

  4. Cosette says:

    Thanks for this bus and train guide. We’re planning on going to Japan in 2024 or 2025 so this is convenient.

  5. Sinjana says:

    Thanks for the detailed guide. This will help me save some money as well as time when I visit Kyoto.

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