Fuji Rock: Getting there

No-sweat ways to get to Fuji Rock Festival `10

Fuji Rock: Getting there

Photo by Uchutaishi☆Star

This year’s Fuji Rock Festival 2010 breaks open from Friday July 30 to Sunday August 1 at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture. Read on to find out how to get to this event, which features more than 200 artists across 10 stages.

Via public transport

First of all, you need to know that the Naeba Ski Resort venue is located deep in the mountains; the closest station is Echigo-yuzawa Station. There is a free shuttle bus service running to Fuji Rock from this station for those who already have tickets. Shuttle buses take around 40 minutes and run from 6am until 1-2am. They depart approximately every 15 minutes and departures are synchronized with the performance schedule. At busy times there may be as long as a one hour wait, so be sure to allow enough time.

From Tokyo

There are no buses running from Tokyo to JR Echigo-yuzawa Station which leaves the train as the only public transport option.

  1. From the airport to Tokyo Station
    The trip from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station takes about one hour by the Narita Express (trains leave every 30 minutes). From Haneda Airport take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsu-cho then change to the JR Yamanote line; Tokyo Station is three stops away. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.

  2. From Tokyo Station to Echigo-yuzawa Station It takes about 80 minutes on the Jyoetsu Shinkansen Line from Tokyo Station to Echigo-yuzawa Station. (Trains leave from Tokyo Station between 6.08am and 9.40pm)

One way fare (including express surcharge):
From Tokyo station: approx ¥6,500
From Narita Airport: approx ¥10,000
From Haneda Airport: approx ¥7,000

There is also the option to take a local train from Ueno, in the north of Tokyo, however it’s a trip that requires two transfers along the way – making it at least four hours. It is, however, about half the price (¥3,000) and pleasant watching the scenery go by, but with trains on some sections of the trip departing only five times in a day, this route is not recommended unless you are a train fan or can read the train schedule well enough to plan the trip down to the minute.

From Kansai Airport

By plane
The easiest option is to take a domestic flight from Kansai Airport to Haneda Airport. It takes about 75 minutes and costs ¥22,000 (flights depart every one to two hours).

By train
・It takes about one hour to Shin-Osaka Station on JR limited express Haruka train (departing every 30 minutes). Change at Shin-Osaka Station to the Tokaido Shinkansen Nozomi train, and from there it takes around 2.5 hours to Tokyo (trains depart every 10 minutes). The trip costs around ¥20,000 including an express train surcharge.

・Alternatively, head into Osaka from Kansai Airport (approximately one hour) and take the overnight train, which runs along the Sea of Japan. The Kitaguni express train departs Osaka at 11.27pm and arrives at Naoetsu at 5.56am. Change trains here to arrive Echigo-yuzawa Station just after 7am.

One way fares including express surcharge: 9,500 yen (reserved seating)
B berth: ¥6,000 extra
A berth: ¥10,000 extra

From Kansai Airport, head into Osaka (approx one hour) then take a bus from Osaka Station, Tennoji Station, Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) to Tokyo Station (approximately 8-9 hours). There are many buses departing between 9 and 11pm. A one-way fare is ¥8,900.

Rental car

Cars can be rented from Narita, Haneda and Kansai airports. The major car rental companies are Nippon Rentacar, Orix Rentacar, Nissan Rentacar, Toyota Rentacar and Mazda Rentacar. The standard price (including insurance) for a one day rental of a car seating five people is about ¥13,000. Japanese ‘eco cars’ such as Insight and Prius cost about ¥12,000 for one day (including insurance). The price of petrol does vary, however; it’s roughly ¥130 per litre.

Driving from Tokyo

The regular route is to take the Shuto Expressway Route 5, then the Tokyo Gaikan Expressway and Kanetsu Expressway. It is about 200 km and 2.5 hours from Tokyo to the Yuzawa Interchange, which is the closest turn off to Fuji Rock. Tolls cost approximately ¥5,000 for regular vehicles. Be aware that that road heading to Tokyo can get very congested from Sunday afternoon into the night. The tunnel just before the Yuzawa Interchange is 11 km, which is the longest automobile tunnel in Japan.

Driving from Kansai Airport

This is a long drive covering about 700 kilometres. There are three main ways to get there.

Pacific Ocean route: Meishin Expressway to the Tomei Expressway, then the Shuto Expressway to the Kanetsu Expressway
Mountain route: Meishin Expressway, to the Chuo Expressway, then the Kenou Expressway, to the Kanetsu Expressway
Sea of Japan route: Meishin Expressway, to the Hokuriku Expressway, then the Kanetsu Expressway

Whichever way you go, the expressways tend to get congested in urban areas; be sure to depart for your destination with plenty of time to spare. Also be aware that there may be traffic jams near the Fuji Rock venue due to people looking for somewhere to park their car. A good option could be to head towards Echigo-yuzawa Station from the Kanestu Interchange, park the car around there, and then hop on the free shuttle bus service.
If you have a car, ease away the threat of road rage and long hours behind the wheel by stopping in for some relaxation at a hot spring in Gunma Prefecture as you head back to Tokyo on Route 17.

Fuji Rock Festival '10

Date: Fri July 30-Sun Aug 1
Time: 9am gates open, 11am start, 11pm end
Location: Naeba Ski Resort (Yuzawamachi, Niigata)
Performers: Muse, Roxy Music, Massive Attack, Them Crooked Vultures, John Fogerty, Atoms For Peace and about 200 more artists
Tickets: 3day ¥39,800, 1day ¥16,800, car park pass ¥3,000 per day (sold for 2 or more persons), campsite tickets ¥3,000 (valid for festival period)
*Car park ticket pass and campsite ticket are not sold separately from entrance tickets.
Website: www.smash-uk.com/frf10/ (English)

JTB UK tour information
Special Package for Fuji Rock Festival '10
Website: www.accessjapan.co.uk/tours/2010-fujirockES04.html

By Shiro Nishizawa
Translated by E. Kavanagh
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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