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Japan Hour

Local Bus Trip to Yamanashi Prefecture (Part 2)

A wrong decision leads to an agonising three-hour wait, but a relaxing hot spring bath and a delicious meal of local specialities make up for it during our bus trip around Mount Fuji’s vast base.

Our two-day bus trip around Mount Fuji continues. On the first day, we travelled from Miho no Matsubara to Fujinomiya in Shizuoka Prefecture. Our goal is to reach Kiyosato in Yamanashi Prefecture by taking fixed-route buses. We check into Fujikyu Hotel and have dinner at Gyosho, a Japanese-style bar recommended by the hotel staff. We feast on assorted raw fish; locally caught red sea bream; freshly fried sakura shrimp tempura; and steak, which is served with wasabi, ponzu with grated daikon and mustard. We also try Fujinomiya’s famous fried noodles.

The next morning, we go to Fujinomiya Station. We want to take the bus to Kawaguchiko Station and transfer buses to reach Kofu. However, a driver tells us that instead of going to Kawaguchiko, we should go to Lake Shoji first. From there, we can then take a taxi to Kamiku no Yu, about 7km away, before catching a direct bus to Kofu. So we take the bus from Fujinomiya, cross the border and enter Yamanashi Prefecture. We arrive at Lake Shoji an hour after leaving Fujinomiya. We call for a taxi, which takes about 40 minutes to come. 

We have 7,950 yen left from our taxi budget of 10,000 yen. The taxi ride to Kamiku no Yu costs us 7,000 yen. We arrive at around 10am and start looking for a bus stop. Much to our dismay and shock, we realise that the bus from here does not go to Kofu Station but Minami Kofu Station, 16km away. Furthermore, the bus to Minami Kofu will only leave three hours later. So our decision to go to Kofu Station via Lake Shoji - instead of Kawaguchiko as originally planned - has cost us three precious hours. 

We go to Kamiku no Yu Fureai Centre to calm ourselves down and take a relaxing bath. We then have lunch at a restaurant which serves udon noodles, tempura made with locally produced vegetables and sticky rice with edible wild plants. We finally take the 1.05pm bus to Minami Kofu Station, which is an hour away. We reach there just in time to catch the 2.05pm bus to Kofu Station from Minami Kofu. It is about 40km away from our goal of Kiyosato and the bus journey takes around 20 minutes. 

At Kofu Station, we go to the information centre to discuss the best route to go to Kiyosato. After much deliberation, at 3.10pm, we board the bus heading to Nirasaki City and reach Nirasaki Station slightly after 4pm. A local suggests we take a bus to Hyakkannon and then switch buses to go to Takane no Yu. From there, there is a bus which goes directly to Kiyosato. So at Nirasaki, we catch the 4.15pm bus bound for Masutomi Onsen via Hyakkannon. We reach Hyakkannon after 25 minutes and then take a city bus at 5.30pm to Takane no Yu. It is 20 minutes away and from there, we catch the 6.05pm bus to Hokuto Shimin Bus to Kiyosato. We finally reach our goal slightly after 7pm. During our 160km trip which started from Miho no Matsubara in Shizuoka Prefecture, we took 11 buses to go around Mount Fuji, before finally ending our journey at Kiyosato in Yamanashi Prefecture.


1)    Fried noodles are a must-try item in Fujinomiya
2)    If there’s a long layover till your next bus, find a hot spring or restaurant to relax in


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