Japan Golden Route. Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara.
Follow the ancient Tokaido Highway from Tokyo to Hakone and
Mt Fuji. Then on to Kyoto, Osaka and Nara.
Route 9 Day Tour.
Day 1. Start
our Tomisato office near Narita airport. Drive on the Shutoko
Expressway that winds it way through Tokyo city center past
famous Roppongi and Shijuku districts and on to Hakone and Mt
Fuji. It takes about 3 hours from Narita.
Stay the night
at one of the many free parking area or at a full featured
campground and soak in onsen bath fed by natural volcanic hot
Day 2. Hakone
Hakone, a small city along the shores of Lake Ashi
and is a popular get away for Tokyo residents. There are several
rope and cable way including Hakone Komagatake Ropeway, which
goes to the top of Mount Komagatake with views of volcanically
active Owakudani geysers and Mt Fuji. There are boat trips
around the lake and at the end of big day return to a hot spring
bath house in the area.
For more on Hakone go to
Day 3. Mt Fuji
Just 1 hour drive away
is Mt Fuji and the famous Fuji 5 lakes area. Stop by the shores
of Lake Kawakuchi-ko, Sai-ko and Mototsu-ko. All providing
amazing views of Mt Fuji. The most famous view is at Lake
Mototsu and is the same as seen on a 1000 Yen note.
Depending on the time of year it possible to drive up the Mt
Fuji Subaru Line to the 5th Station ( Closed to private vehicles
during peak climbing season and heavy snow ). The 5th Station is
2,300 Meters high and the starting point to climbing to the
See more about Mt Fuji area here,
Finish the day at one of the many excellent restaurants serving
local home made Miso Udon and bathing in Onsen ( Hot Spring Bath
Day 4. Lake Biwa
Get onto the Shin Tomei
Expressway and head for Lake Biwa near Kyoto. It is about a 5
hour drive but the road is smooth and wide and you can marvel at
the modern bridge and tunnels as you traverse across the top of
the mountains. There are service areas every 20 minutes or less
if you need to take a break.
Upon arriving at Lake Biwa
you will want to rest by the shore of Japan's largest freshwater
lake. The eastern shore has many free parking areas where you
have a relaxing time bird watching or fishing. The lake has over
1100 species of wildlife in the waters and some can only be
found there. The most famous is the Giant Biwako Catfish which
in Japanese mythology, a giant catfish named Namazu causes
earthquakes as he moves below the earth's surface.
more on Lake Biwa go to
the night in a campground or one of the free parking area's. The
are some fantastic hot spring baths in the area.
Day 5. Kyoto
Head to the historical
capital city of Kyoto. It is less then 1 hour drive from Lake
Biwa to Kyoto.
The city has very narrow and crowded
streets and there is no kerbside parking. Use the Times 24h
parking area on the map below. It costs 200 JPY per hour or 800
JPY 24 hours and you can walk to the Tobakaido train station in
just 10 minutes. From this one train line you can easily access
all of the major attractions including Fushima-inari Shrine,
Kiyomizu Dera, Gion and Kyoto Imperial Palace. There are so many
places to see you can spend all day in the city.
on Kyoto go to
either spend the night in the car park and bath in the nearby
onsen or head back to Lake Biwa or start driving toward Osaka
and use one of the road side rest areas. The choice is yours.
Day 6. Osaka
Osaka is Japan's 3rd largest city ( Yokohama is No. 2 ). It
takes about 1 hour from Kyoto.
Parking in the city is
limited to off street paid parking lots and streets are busy and
narrow. If you want to explore the area's such Dotonbori, Nanba,
Osaka-jo or Umeda then we have another easy to access parking
area for you. And it is also right next to Universal Studios
Japan theme park. 24 hours cost is 700- 1,000 JPY. See
directions on the map below.
From just across the road
of the carpark is Sakurajima station. It takes 30 minutes to
Dotonbori for famous Osaka foods Takoyaki ( Grilled octopus
dumplings ) or Okinomiyaki ( Savory pancakes ) a favourite that
the locals love. From here it is another 40 minutes by train to
Osaka Castle. An impressive structure built in 1583 AD. From the
top there are veiws of most of the city which was handy for the
warlords of that era. For the those who love shopping and
entertainment stop by Umeda next to Osaka station before heading
back to the camper.
For more on Osaka go to
You can stay overnight in Sakurajima
station parking lot or within 10 minutes drive of is
Maishima Auto Camp a small seaside campground ( reservations
recommended in summer ) and in the same area there is a nice
Day 7. Nara Koen and Iga
Nara city is
another hour from Osaka and home to Todaiji Tera. The temple is
a world heritage site and dates back to 700 AD and inside is the
world's largest bronze statue of Buddha. Outside in the gardens
are hundred of tame but free deer ( Shika ). You can buy rice
crackers and feed the deer by hand.
After a one hour
drive is the small city of Iga, famous for it's Ninja heritage.
In late 1500 AD the Iga and Koga district was a republic and was
at war with the Shogun ( General ). The Ninja were masters of
Ninjitsu, a type of gorilla warfare at the time. Later they
become the special forces of the Shogunate in Edo ( Old Tokyo ).
See real Ninja artefacts and way of life. There are Ninja shows
and you can even become a Ninja for a day.
For more on
Nara go to
There are many
free parking option and onsen in this country area. OK
Campground is just 15 minutes drive from the city.
Day 8. Shizuoka
back onto the highway and head toward Nagoya
and beyond to Shizuoka and the western side of Mt Fuji. This is
about a 4 hour drive.
About 20 minutes
drive from Fujinomiya city is the sacrad Shiraito no Taki
waterfalls and just 5 minute walk another impressive waterfall
is Otodome-no-Taki. A few more kilometres away is Tanuki Lake
with great views of Mount Fuji and free parking areas along the
For more on western Fuji go to
This area has many campsite and onsen. See
Return to Office
Finish exploring the Mt Fuji area and head back on the motorway
towards Tokyo. If you leave early you can stop by places such as
Tokyo Tower or Odaiba and take in the city sights before going
back our office in Narita. It is about a 3 hour drive.
There are many free and paid camping options. Parking lots
are very busy during summer months and you will have to pay to
stay. But during off season it is relaxed and you can park for
free. There are Michi no Eki ( Parking Stations ) which offer
free overnight parking and toilet facility.
phone number below in GPS navigator to find recommended parking
lot close by.
1. Kyoto. Ph- 075-671-6376
2. Osaka. Ph-
Bathing can be done
at the many Onsen ( Hot Spring Bath ) around Japan.
Go here for
link to Onsen. ( Japanese Only Site ).
Find Michi no Eki here,
For full featured camping there are Kyanpu-jo ( Campgrounds )
that provide 100 volt AC power, children play area, bathroom/
shower and laundry. Here are our recommendations from the map
Hakone, Fun Camp Lake Ashi Village. Web- http://campmura.com
2. Mt Fuji Gotemba, Onoji
Family Camp. Web-
Mt Fuji 5 Lakes, Odakyu Yamanakako Forest
Cottage. Web- http://www.odakyu-forest.com
4. Lake Biwa, Miami Hama Auto
5. Osaka, Apa
Auto Camp. Web-
6. Iga, OK Auto
Inokashira Auto Camp. Web-
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