Here you will find everything you need to know about getting around and out of Yamanashi! Check out the Driver's Information section to learn about buying a vehicle and getting your license transferred. The Buses section covers local bus routes, express buses, and how to purchase tickets.
Check out the articles below to learn everything you need to know about acquiring a Japanese license, purchasing and taking care of your vehicle, and road closures.
There are three train lines in Yamanashi: The Chuo Line, the Minobu Line, and the Fujikyu Line. The Chuo Line connects Yamanashi with Tokyo and Nagano, and the Minobu Line runs south to Shizuoka. The Fujikyu line runs between Otsuki Station and Kawaguchiko Station.
Using the Train System
Before using a train station, please be aware that many stations do not have parking available while others only have paid parking lots nearby.
There are two types of train stations in Japan: Manned and Unmanned. Most stations in Yamanashi are manned, meaning that they have attendants. You can buy tickets from the ticket machines or ask the worker near the gates. Use this ticket to enter the gate, and when you leave use it to get out. If you need to adjust your fair, look for "Fare Adjustment" machines or ask an attendant.
Keep in mind that you may need to transfer trains. Within Yamanashi, the Chuo and Minobu Lines meet at Kofu Station and the Chuo and Fujikyu Lines meet at Otsuki Station.
Using Unmanned Stations
At unmanned stations, you can simply walk up to the train platform without a ticket. You usually need to line up at the point on the platform marked ウンマン (unman). This will be the only door through which you can enter the train. When you enter, be sure to get a white ticket from the machine to the right. If it is not dispensing tickets, there should be an attendant on the train. You may then purchase a ticket from the attendant.
If you have a white ticket, you will need to go through the attendant lane at the gates when you exit. If you hand them the white ticket, they will tell you how much you owe.
If you are exiting at an unmanned station, you should give your ticket to the conductor when you leave the train. If you have a white ticket, you will need to pay him (fares should be displayed at the front of the train). The machine at the front can provide change, so be sure to get exact change before arriving at your destination.
Limited Express Trains
Limited Express seats require a basic fare as well as an extra express fee. The express fee can be purchased at a ticket machine or attendant, or you can purchase it on the train when the attendant checks tickets.
There are two types of Limited Express tickets: Reserved and Unreserved. Reserved tickets can only be purchased ahead of time, but reserved tickets are less expensive. Each train cabin will be specified as reserved or unreserved and can only be used with the correct tickets. If you are traveling on an unreserved ticket, look for the kanji 自由 (jiyuu) to see which cabins are available for you. Limited Express trains in Yamanashi service larger stations like Otsuki, Kofu, and other major stations in the basin.
Shinkansen work similarly to Limited Express trains, except that their platforms are through separate gates from other trains. You will have to buy the appropriate Shinkansen tickets at a machine near the gates or reserve a seat in advance. Unfortunately the Shinkansen does not service Yamanashi. You may access the Shinkansen in either Shizuoka Station via the Minobu Line or in Shinagawa via the Chuo Line with a transfer in Tokyo.
Buses can be a surprisingly efficient way to travel in Yamanashi. Finding information on routes and times can be difficult, so please feel free to add to this page if you have more information.
The Fujikyuu Group (富士急行) is who runs local bus service throughout Yamanashi. Please visit their website (Japanese only) for destinations and timetables.
Enzan <-> Daibosatsu
There is a bus that runs between Enzan Station and the trailhead of Mt. Daibosatsu. The fare is a flat 300 yen, no matter where you get on or off the bus. The trip from the station to the trailhead lasts roughly 30 minutes. Click here for the schedule (Japanese).
Highway & Overnight Buses
You can book highway buses online through this website (Japanese) or in your local convenience store. You can go to many destinations throughout Japan. Buses leave from many different regions of Yamanashi, including Minobu, Minami Alps, Fujiyoshida, Kofu, and Ichinomiya.
Willer is one company that operates highway and overnight buses all through Honshu. This can be a very affordable way to travel long distances conveniently. You can reserve seats on their website. (English)
You also may use Kintetsu Bus to book.
Purchasing Express Bus Tickets
If you would like to book online you need have to have a good handle of the Japanese language and in most cases a credit card. If you would like to purchase your tickets at your local convenience store take a look at the guides below.