Go sightseeing at Mt. Fuji using a rental car! Lots of hotel choices, too!
If you tour Japan, you should go to Mt. Fuji at least once. It is the symbol of Japan, and was registered as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2013. More and more tourists are visiting Mt. Fuji. Your first purpose would be to climb it, or admire the view of the mountain. But that wouldn't be all. You should go to sightseeing spots in the area, go to hot springs, enjoy great food, and more. There are so many sightseeing spots, you would have a hard time choosing where to go to fit your schedule.
There are many means of public transportation available for sightseeing the Mt. Fuji area, but in order to further efficiently go to the many tourist attractions, I highly recommend using a rental car. If you do, you should have more hotel choices, too.
In what situations should you use a rental car? Different ways of renting a car when you are touring Japan.
When you are touring Japan, in what situation would you use a rental car? The following are some examples.
1. When you are in Japan as a tourist, you would rent a car at the airport, and visit sightseeing spots directly from the airport. All airports have a car rental shop counter, so you can rent one as soon as you arrive. You can return the car before your departure.
2. When you stay for a long period of time in places where transportation is convenient, such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto, and use a rental car sometimes. For example, if you plan to use a rental car when going to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo, you would rent a car near your hotel, and return it when you get back from your visit.
3. When you decide you need to rent a car while touring all over Japan using public transportation. For example, you would go to Nagano Station using a train, then rent a car and go to Onawa hot springs, Yean-Koen (paradise of the monkeys) which is famous for wild snow monkeys, and Soar Terrace, then stay at a hot springs hotel in the mountains and return the car before leaving Nagano Station.
Three tips on how to rent a car
If you're going to rent a car, better get a bargain! I'm going to show you some tips on renting a car more economically.
First, you should stay near the car rental shop the night before you plan to rent the car, and also the night you will be returning the car. This is because if you rent the car early in the morning and return it at night, it would save you time and money.
If your plan is either 2 or 3 in the above list, you can use a “one way system.” You can return the car at a different shop if it is run by the same car rental company. Some major shops allow you to return your car at a different shop without charge if it is within the same prefecture. However, take note that most of the shops will charge you. Also in some cases, if you get a bargain price, you won't be able to use this system. Be sure to check beforehand.
Lastly, I will talk about choosing what types of cars you should rent. In 2 of the above, you should keep your baggage at a minimum and rent a compact car to lower your costs. Also, you may want to choose a hybrid car if you compare and the cost of gasoline is lower. The rental fee of a hybrid may be somewhat higher, but if you intend to travel long distances, you can save money on gasoline, which would be economical in the end.
The advantages of sightseeing Mt. Fuji and choosing hotels near Kawaguchi-ko Lake!
When you visit Mt. Fuji, one of the things to think seriously about is how to choose a place to stay. There are many hotels around Kawaguchi-ko Lake. According to what I've found, there are about 30 hotels within a 15-minute walking distance from the station, and there are about 70 hotels within a fare of 1,000 yen or less by taxi from the station, and if you use a rental car, that number will be about 160.
Some hotels that charge affordable prices do not have a shuttle bus, so if you have heavy luggage with you, renting a car is highly recommended.
Especially if you are going to visit Mt. Fuji, aside from the foreign tourists, many people from within Japan also go there, so it seems difficult to book a hotel room. For that reason, also, having more hotels to choose from is a good thing.
Driving with a rental car is fun! Do you know the Fuji Subaru Line that climbs from Kawaguchi-ko Lake to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station? It is about 30km road, which is chosen as one of The 100 best roads in Japan (about 40 minutes without traffic jam). Various trees line up, and its panoramic view is dynamic. The altitude of the ending point is about 2,300m, and it is the highest height in Japan as a place to be able to drive by oneself! There are some car regulations including closing roads due to snow. Check the schedule beforehand and try to enjoy the drive at the period, which the road opens.
When you plan to rent a car, be sure to carefully read the websites of the shops, and check what documents you need to show them, such as your driver's license. Please abide by the traffic rules in Japan, be safe, and enjoy driving!
“Mt. Fuji Toll Road Fuji Subaru Line”
*The above information was last updated March 8, 2018. For further information, please contact the facility directly.
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