It’s a much better way to enjoy Mount Fuji than from a speeding bullet train.
When visitors to Japan travel between Tokyo and Osaka by Shinkansen, a clear day will grant passengers a glorious view of Mount Fuji. It’s a sight that disappears all too quickly, though, given the speed the streamlined bullet train zips through the landscape. A much more enjoyable way to gaze upon Japan’s most sacred mountain is on the Fujikyuko Line, which runs from Otsuki Station to Kawaguchi-ko, located in the famous Mount Fuji Five Lakes region.
▼ From Shinjuku Station, it’s an easy transfer to the Fujikyuko Line at Otsuki Station. Those wanting to climb to the summit of Mount Fuji often board this train to connect with the bus to the fifth Station, which is located 2,305 metres above sea level.
To commemorate the 90th anniversary of operations, the Fujikyuko railway company will be replacing one of its current trains, the 2000 Series Fujisan Express, with a new, refurbished three-car model that features a warm-looking interior with wood panelling throughout, including the trays and armrests.
Called the Fujisan View Express, the new train helps passengers enjoy the journey, rather than the destination, with extra-large windows and a relaxing space that’s designed to replicate the atmosphere of a hotel. The 26.6-kilometre (16.5-mile) journey takes roughly 45 minutes to complete, which the company says is a perfect amount of time to drink, eat and chat with friends while taking in the stunning views.
▼ To maximise the relaxing experience, there are spaces designed for enjoying the light meals, sweets and drinks service provided on board.
The Fujisan View Express has been designed by Eiji Mitooka, an industrial designer who also worked on the Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series and Seven Stars in Kyushu, a luxury cruise train. We’ll have to wait until April to see his newest work on the rails, when the first service is due to run, alternating trips with the remaining 8000 series Fujisan Express Train on the network.