Once you've successfully registered for the race, the first thing you'll probably want to do is book your flights!! Here's some useful information about travelling to Japan and getting to the UTMF/STY start line.
Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport are two major international airports in Japan. Most of you will most likely be flying in from one of these airports.
We highly recommend that you arrive into Kawaguchiko by
Wed, April 25 (at least two days before the race) so that you can familiarize yourself with the area, get used to the climate and recover from any jet lag before the race. It'll also be much quicker and easier to complete your racer check-in and mandatory equipment check the day before the race. A racer briefing by Avid will be scheduled on Thursday, April 26.
For UTMF racers we recommend that you stay on Sun, April 29 (the night after the race). From our experience, after running 170km, you'll probably want to take a bath or shower, eat a good meal and get some well deserved rest after the race. (As opposed to spending hours on a bus to get back to Tokyo during the weekend rush hour traffic.)
For the STY racers you may want to spend a night in Kawaguchiko on Sat, April 28 (the night after the race) before heading back to your country. Or it would be a good idea to spend one more day to enjoy the festivities during the UTMF race weekend, cheer the UTMF racers on and participate in the awards ceremony on Sun, April 29.
The post-race Avid BBQ will be scheduled in the evening of Sun, Apr. 28, so both the UTMF and STY racers (and their families
and friends) are more than welcome to join the party!
Kawaguchiko is a popular destination for overseas tourists and there are many convenient transportation options.
FROM NARITA AIRPORT:
Option #1: By Train
Narita - Tokyo Station (Narita Express, 60min. JPY 3020)
Tokyo Station - Ohtsuki Station (JR, 80-100min. JPY 1490 or JPY 2420 for Express)
Ohtsuki Station - Kawaguchiko Station (Fujikyu Railway, 55min. JPY 1140)
Option #2: By Train & Bus
Narita - Shinjuku Station (Narita Express, 80min. JPY3190)
Shinjuku Station - Kawaguchiko Station (Highway Bus, 110min. JPY 1750)
Option #3: By Train & Bus
Narita - Nippori Station (Keisei Skyliner, 40min. JPY2470)
Nippori Station - Shinjuku Station (JR Yamanote, 20min. JPY200)
Shinjuku Station - Kawaguchiko Station (Highway Bus, 110min. JPY1750)
While Option #3 is the least expensive and relatively quick, but the transits might be a little bit stressful especially if you're hauling around large luggage with you!
It is also possible to combine these three options, and depending on your situation, there are many other options available as well.
FROM HANEDA AIRPORT:
If you fly into Haneda Airport, the easiest way to get to Kawaguchiko is to take a highway bus directly from Haneda. (Haneda - Kawaguchiko Station (Highway Bus, 110min. JPY 2470))
If the above bus schedule doesn't work well with your flight schedule, it would be best to take a bus or train into Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station. Once you've made your way to one of these train stations, refer to the above options 1 - 3 to make your way to Kawaguchiko.
Here are some useful train/bus websites to plan your trip - Useful Links
The "Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Shinjuku Basta)" is located only a couple of minutes from the Shinjuku train station.
(Those who found it difficult to get to the old Shinjuku bus terminal previously will greatly appreciate the new terminal's convenient location and its clearly marked signs from the train station!)
From Shinjuku Station, the bus will take approximately 1.5 - 2 hours to Kawaguchiko Station depending on the traffic. Reservations are not necessary and there is relatively frequent service (every 30-45 minutes). This will give you flexibility in case your flight into Narita or Haneda is delayed.
Here are directions with photos to the bus terminal:
(1) Go to Shinjuku station.
(You can get there from the Narita or Haneda airports by either the JR Narita express trains, limousine buses or local trains.)
(2) Exit the train station from either the South Exit or New South Exit. Follow the yellow signs for "Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal". The bus terminal is located above the train station on the 4th floor of the building.
Note: If you take a limousine bus from Narita or Haneda, your bus will arrive directly to this bus terminal.
PURCHASING YOUR BUS TICKET
You can purchase your bus ticket to Kawaguchiko Station at the bus terminal. There are automatic ticket vending machines as well as ticket counters. The bus schedules are displayed in various languages on the screens above the ticket counters.
The bus to Kawaguchiko will be on the screen with "To Chuo Express" displayed on it.
Reservations can be made from the Shinjuku Highway Bus website:
GETTING ON THE BUS
The bus departure will be announced. Your bus should depart for Kawaguchiko from gate B5 (but check your ticket just in case there are changes that day). Hop on the bus and enjoy a comfortable journey to Kawaguchiko. It takes 90-120 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The bus will make a few restroom stops along the way.
FROM KAWAGUCHIKO TO YOUR HOTEL
Avid will be running a shuttle bus service from Kawaguchiko Station to your hotel during the daytime on Wed, April 25. (The shuttle bus schedule will be announced later.)
If you arrive early in the morning or late at night, or on days other than Apr. 25 you can take a taxi from the train station to your hotel (approximately 1000 - 3000 yen).
Getting to Kodomono-kuni will be a little bit trickier because there are very few public transportation and accommodation options available in this area.
In 2018, the start lines of both UTMF and STY are Kodomo-no-kuni so everyone has to be there in time on Fri. April 27.
Avid Adventures private shuttle buses: The easiest way to make it to the race start line is to sign up for an Avid Adventures Accommodation package as it includes a private shuttle bus that will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Kodomono-kuni in time for the start!
For those not signed up for an Avid Package, there is an early morning bus service from Kawaguchiko to Kodomono-kuni provided by a bus company (see the official UTMF race website for schedule and bus fares).
1) By highway bus
Highway buses run from Kawaguchiko Train Station to Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Station.
Just to give you an idea of the times, buses run every 30 minutes to 90 minutes. The earliest bus leaves Kawaguchiko at around 6:00am and the last bus leaves Kawaguchiko Train Station at 19:30 (and arrives into Tokyo at 22:26). For those staying with Avid, we will assist you in making reservations if necessary.
2) By train
You can also return to Tokyo by train from Kawaguchiko Train Station. Trains leave later than the buses but may be a bit more complicated and take more time as you'll have to make several transfers along the way.
In order to be able to see the "big picture", we've marked all the key places on the above Google map. Please click on the red pointers to see the area name and location. (Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Kawaguchiko, Kodomono-kuni, Mt. Fuji)
The temperature in the Kawaguchiko area in April 2017 was 20 degrees celucius (68F) in high and dropped to 10 degrees (50F) at night. Please note that April is much colder than in September. As you will be running up in the mountains, you can expect temperatures to be colder than the average. You'll need to be well-prepared for cold weather running!!
Click here for historical climate data of the Yamanashi area
Click here for other useful links (such as the local tourism offices around the Mt. Fuji area).