Festival, Japan, Kanto

Fuji Rock Festival: Planning your trip and where to stay

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I attended the Fuji Rock Festival with a small group of friends. It was my first time going to an overseas multi-day music festival, and as expected, the logistics are a bit more complicated than attending the usual music festival at home.

Going to Fuji Rock Festival requires planning in advance. The venue is not easy to get to for foreigners (like myself) and accommodation can be difficult to get. But fear not, if we managed to make it happen – so can you!

Cute mini-Bjork watching Bjork in the iconic swan dress

Since you’ve found this post, I can assume you’re either going to Fuji Rock or thinking about it – Well, I can tell you, it was totally worth it! It’s been a long time since then, but we still think about that summer of 2017 until now.

Anyway, enough fillers – Here is how we made it happen, and what I’ve learned from attending Fuji Rock! I’ve vetted my post for Fuji Rock 2024, and I am pleased to say the information I have here is still up to date.

Alright, let’s get into the deets.

Where is Fuji Rock Festival?

Fuji Rock Festival, despite what the name might have suggested, is not held anywhere near Mount Fuji. It’s held in Yuzawa in Naeba, a mountainous region famous for its ski resorts 2-hour drive away from Tokyo.

Related: Read about my skiing experience in Naeba

How to get to Fuji Rock Festival

Here are a few ways how you can get to Fuji Rock Festival:

1. Fly to Tokyo

If you intend to spend some time in Tokyo before the festival, I highly suggest flying into Haneda Airport instead of Narita Airport. It will save you so much time since Haneda Airport is already in the city vs Narita which is another 1.5 hours away from the city.

Visiting Tokyo before or after Fuji Rock? Check out my Tokyo Travel Guide here!

2. Get to Yuzawa

From Tokyo, you can get to Yuzawa using the following options:

  • By Shinkansen train – The closest station to Fuji Rock is Echigo-Yuzawa station, which can be reached via Shinkansen from Tokyo. From this station, you can catch the shuttle bus straight to the festival ground or to your accommodation area (Check the official website for shuttle bus info)
  • By Bus from Shinjuku – If you are staying in or near Shinjuku, this could be the best option. There is a tour bus that will take you directly to the festival site. Click here for more information
  • Self-driving – Another option is to rent a car and drive to Naeba, which is what we did and it was immensely convenient. It takes about 2-3 hours to drive here from Tokyo and you need an International driving license. Take note that you cannot park at the festival site without purchasing a parking pass with your Fuji Rock ticket!

Fuji Rock Festival Accommodations – Where can I stay when attending Fuji Rock?

Securing accommodation is the bulk of the work in planning for Fuji Rock Festival. Accommodations are going to be expensive and difficult to get, especially if you don’t book far ahead in advance. So start booking NOW!!

1. Camping ($)

The most affordable accommodation in Fuji Rock is to set up a tent and camp. There are campsites right next to the festival site – but you HAVE TO buy a 5,000 yen campsite ticket and bring your own camping equipment. You can have your camping equipment shipped to the festival ground if you don’t want to lug it around. Find more information on camping ticket prices from their official website here.

However, I have to warn you that the weather in Naeba is normally not ideal in the summer. It rains nearly all day and the ground becomes muddy so I really can’t recommend camping unless you know what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll see why in the pictures below.

2. Ski Lodges ($$$$)

If you aren’t keen on camping, your best bet is to book WAY early for a lodge in the area. Naeba, where the festival is held every year, is normally known in the winter for its soft powder and ski slopes so there are plenty of these ski lodges around, but they do get booked up very fast during the Fuji Rock Festival.

3. Accommodations along the shuttle bus route

Throughout the festival, there will be frequent shuttle buses going from Echigo-Yuzawa station to Naeba for 1,000 yen per trip. Most people know that Naeba and Echigo-Yuzawa Station are good areas to stay for the festival, so accommodation in those areas will be snapped up quickly, but you can try your luck anyway.

But what most people don’t know is that the shuttle bus makes three stops between Echigo-Yuzawa and Naeba, at carpark in Kandatsu, Mitsumata, and Tashiro. I think this is intended for those who choose to drive to Fuji Rock. However, those who are staying at Mitsumata and Tashiro can also utilize the shuttle bus for free (even if you aren’t driving a car and parking) so you can stay around this area!

Some useful links to find accommodation:

  • Accommodations in Mitsumata
  • Accommodations in Yuzawa
  • If you can’t find anything through booking.com, then you can also try contacting other lodges in Mitsumata directly – here is a list of them.
  • Shuttle Bus information from the Fuji Rock website – Find a place near these stops!

To help you better visualize the area you will be dealing with, here is a map of the general Fuji Rock and ski resort area. I have also marked the shuttle bus route and the stops it makes along the way.

Map of Fuji Rock Area
Map of Fuji Rock Area

For Fuji Rock 2017, I managed to book the LAST room for 4 people at a Charlie Brown lodge in Mitsumata in March of that year. That’s a solid four months before the festival so you can see how far ahead we planned for this. I am not going to lie, it was really expensive too – there were four of us sharing one room, and we each paid ¥24,100 (SGD300 / USD220) for 3 nights from Friday – Sunday.

For that price, the lodge was VERY basic. All four of us slept Japanese-style on a futon (rollable mattress) on the floor and shared the two communal shower rooms downstairs with the rest of the lodge. The bathroom-sharing situation got annoying on Saturday night (the most popular day). Everyone got back to the lodge at the same time and there was a wait for the shower. One person using the ladies’ shower room even occupied it for over an hour, causing some of us to shower after midnight -_-!

The lodge also does not have amenities like towels and toothbrushes so you have to bring your own. But, this is still a step up from sleeping in a tent on damp soil…

Breakfast at Lodge Charlie Brown in Mitsumata

4. I STILL can’t find accommodations! What do I do?

Another idea is to find accommodations close to Naeba area, and then rent a car and drive to Echigo. You will need to park at Echigo and board the shuttle bus from there. Do NOT drive to the Fuji Rock Festival site itself, since parking at the site requires a dedicated parking pass which you have to secure ahead of time. Also, make sure you have an international driving license, or else you cannot rent a car in Japan.

Aside from that, your best bet is camping, which I have elaborated on before.

Fuji Rock Festival Stage Map

This map is for the festival ground of Fuji Rock in 2017, but it seems to be the same setup every year. Check their official website here for the latest map.

Fuji Rock Stage Map

In a nutshell, Fuji Rock is divided into four main areas – Red Marquee, Green Stage, White Stage, and Field of Heaven. There are other smaller areas too, but most of the main acts would play in one of these stages.

In terms of accessibility, Red Marquee and Green Stage are pretty easy to get to from the entrance. White Stage is a bit further in, and Field of Heaven is probably the hardest to get to since you need to go through the boardwalk which can get congested.

Red Marquee usually hosts up-and-coming acts, while Green and White would host the main acts. Field of Heaven hosts local and chill-out acts and is my favorite part of the festival ground.

We got rained on all day but still smiling!

Fuji Rock Festival Packing List

To be fully ready, for Fuji Rock Festival you have to be ready for wet weather. So, you should bring these items:

  • A pair of rubber rain boots. Because it will get muddy! I will elaborate more on these rubber boots below.
  • Raincoat. Choose one that is sturdy and made of a water-proof material (NOT water-resistant) that you can use over and over again. Ideally, it should also have a hood because if your festival experience is anything like mine, it rained the entire weekend, and umbrellas are not allowed inside the festival ground.
  • A water bottle. Fuji Rock is a plastic-free zone! You can get free water by bringing your own water bottle.
  • Backpack waterproof cover. If you are carrying a backpack, bring something to cover your backpack from the rain. Otherwise, make sure you place all your electronics inside a waterproof bag.
  • Toilet paper / wet tissue for the toilet. They usually have this but it’s good to be prepared.
  • Picnic mat or Foldable chair if you plan to sit. Otherwise, there are not many places you can sit on during the festival!

What you can expect from Fuji Rock Festival

1. Expect to walk, and expect to walk a lot!

There is no other way for you to shuffle between stages except by walking on foot. And, the stages are quite far apart! So you’ll be walking a lot during your time here. Expect 30-45 minutes of walking time to get to the White Stage and Field of Heaven from the main entrance.

Also, you MUST wear proper shoes! And by that, I meant shoes that are meant for walking in the rain and mud. I will elaborate more on my next point-

2. Be prepared for rain. And lots of mud.

Bring rain/rubber boots and a plastic poncho but don’t bring umbrellas as they are not allowed inside the festival ground. We didn’t prepare for boots, but we managed to get a few rubber pairs for $10-20 at a store in Yuzawa last minute.

We made fun of him for the unfashionable poncho but… jokes on us as he ended up being the driest

Some tips on picking out rain boots:

If you do decide to get a rubber pair of boots like my red one, I suggest getting some bandaids as well. The rim of the rubber part ended up rubbing against my shins each time I took a step and by the end of day 3, it had caused skin abrasions that took weeks to heal… You could prevent this by pasting band-aids on where your skin touches the rim of the boots!

Also, you should either get one that has a drawstring covering (see the blue boots in the picture below) or get the rain boots cover which is sold separately in stores in Japan so that rainwater will not get into your boots. My boots (the red one) were totally open and I had to empty them off periodically as it was filled with rainwater by the end of the day.

Fuji Rock
These $10 Boots were really paying themselves off

3. Bring snacks and water bottles, or be prepared to queue

I actually found the food and drinks option and the festival to be quite diverse and priced sensibly – dishes and snacks range from 500-1600 yen. There are also food stalls around each stage so you are never short of options.

However, the queue can get quite long during peak meal time so it’s a good idea to stock some onigiri and other snacks in case you get super hungry. When I went, Zojirushi was giving away free hot/cold tea for those who brought their own proper reusable water bottle (NOT those plastic one-time-use water bottles you buy at convenience stores).

This lamb chop was so good…
My handy water bottle!
Super pleased with the curry rice bowl… except one of us

4. Bring your own toilet paper or wet tissue for the bathroom

As with every music festival, the toilet situation did get pretty gross by the end of each day. I actually think the Fuji Rock organizer did a great job preparing enough toilets and ensuring the line moves fast considering the sheer number of festival-goers, but sometimes they might run out of toilet paper so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Boardwalk to Field of Heaven
Whimsical entrance to the Field of Heaven
Field of Heaven was my favorite part of the festival… can you tell?

5. Be mindful of time!

In true Japanese fashion, all of the shows start right on time and right on the dot. You want to be early to get a good spot especially if it’s a popular act. When planning your schedule, keep in mind the time it takes to walk between stages since they are far apart from each other and the path is quite narrow.

Fuji Rock has historically been attended by 100,000 – 150,000 festival goers, so during peak festival time (aka Saturday), it can take up to 30-45 minutes to get from one stage to another due to human traffic. Also, once you get off the shuttle bus at the Naeba Prince Hotel parking lot, it will still take you another 20 minutes or so to walk to the entrance of the festival.

6. Conserve your energy and use them smartly

The main acts would play late into the night, so it’s very likely you won’t get back to your accommodation until well after midnight. We were on our feet for 9+ hours every day. My back was killing me by the end of it all… So, whenever you can sit down, sit down and conserve your energy.

Which, brings me to my next point!!

7. Bring something to sit on!

Be it a foldable picnic chair, a plastic picnic mat, or even just a plastic bag. Make sure they are waterproof since the ground would be wet. There is some seating area throughout the festival ground but they are very limited and not close to any of the stages.

LCD Soundsystem. I was on the 9th straight hour of standing at this point.

8. Do take time to explore the festival ground!

In between acts, there are so many things you can do at Fuji Rock! You can take the gondola up the hill for a beautiful view (1,500 yen round trip) or explore the smaller stages for unexpected acts.

We came across this guy who was making udon to the beat of the music while chanting “Udon is rock! Udon is rock!” followed by a crowd dancing and chanting the same sentence. Oh, Japan… I love you.

Udon is rock

We also went on a little side quest trying to find an onsen. Long story short, we saw a sign that says “onsen” while walking between stages. Curious creatures as we are, we decided to follow the sign into the woods. The ground was soft due to the non-stop rain and I was ankle-deep in the mud at some points. We had to turn back because we saw no signs of the onsen after 10 minutes and did not want to miss Bonobo, but it was still a fun walk!

Side quest to find an onsen

9. Embrace the green life

I really have to hand it to the Fuji Rock organizer for being mindful of the environment. There were plenty of recycling points on the festival ground, and attendees are instructed to separate their food trash (referred to in Japan as “burn-ables”, aka items that can be incinerated) from plastic and paper. We also noticed food was served using environmentally friendly materials, no plastics!

One of the many recycling points

10. Don’t forget about the last shuttle bus time!

To make it on time for the last shuttle, you pretty much have to rush out after the last act. On Saturday night you can also expect to queue up a bit for the last bus since it’s peak time. But don’t worry – the queue moves very fast and efficiently.

11. And of course, last but not least… expect to have a smashing good time! ^_^

Despite the rain and the crazy logistics we went through to attend this festival. It was SO worth it in the end. We thoroughly enjoyed my time at Fuji Rock, watching Lorde, Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz, Bonobo – just to name a few…

Fuji Rock 2017… over and out!

We still think about our time at Fuji Rock every now and then. I hope you will have an amazing time too!

Exploring Japan after the festival?

If you are exploring other parts of Japan after the festival, be sure to check out my other Japan posts! Here are a few that might be useful for you:

And that’s all for me for now!!

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Filed under: Festival, Japan, Kanto

Written by Melissa

Hi there! 👋🏻 I'm the "Girl" in Girl Eat World. I love eating, traveling and sharing my travel experiences in this blog. During the day, I work as a designer in tech. More about me →


  1. Carlin Noelle says

    Hi. We are first time Fuji Rock Festival goers and have bought tickets for 2023 – a 3 day ticket, campsite and direct bus transfer from Shinjuku to festival from Ganban website. Your post didn’t mention anything regarding the direct bus from Shinjuku to festival site. I wonder if this is a new option or has it been there before? If you have any information regarding this transportation option, please do share (pickup point, total travel time, experience, access to pyramid camping, etc.) Thanks.

    • That’s an interesting method to get there!! We got the 2 week JR pass and were planning to hit the bullet train up and then take the festival shuttle. Is there a link for the shinjuku bus?? We’d be interested as that’s where we will be coming from.

      • Melissa says

        There is a link for it at the official Fuji Rock website https://en.fujirockfestival.com/access/ but I don’t know much about this option as I have never taken it before. If you have JR though, I would use that and then take the shuttle bus instead. The bus is not cheap.

  2. Sean says

    Worth pointing out that the year you went the weather was atrocious (I know I was there!). Normally you get afternoon showers (which can be heavy for 10 to 15 minutes) but not too much else. 2017 it rained constantly. 2011 it didn’t rain a single drop. So don’t be put off camping too much by the 2017 experience. Just buy a Quecha waterproof tent cos as we all know there’s nothing worse than stumbling back to your tent at 1 am to discover a tent full of water. Of course if it doesn’t rain it’s very hot and you’ll wake up at 7 am sweating. But the river water is three degrees Celius so that’ll help.

  3. Alyssa Boyett says


    My name is Alyssa and I’m thirty eight years old. I’m from Henderson, Kentucky USA and I was born in Sandpoint, Idaho USA. My parents and I have been thinking about Fuji Rock in Niigata, Japan. If we fly on either American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines or even All Nippon Airways from Los Angeles to either Tokyo-Narita or even Tokyo-Haneda. We can spend some time in Tokyo and take a bullet train to Niigata right before the festival starts.

    • Melissa says

      Hi Alyssa, I don’t think foreigners are allowed to enter Japan at the moment. You should check on that first.

  4. Joo says

    Hi Melissa,
    So the Mitsumata and Tashiro parking area you’re talking about are run private right?
    Are they free? or do you know how much it costs per day?
    Thanks in advance!

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  6. Ali says

    Do you know how often the shuttle bus runs?
    I have to get back to Echigo Station by 5:51pm….
    If it takes 20min to walk to the shuttle bus, then a 40min drive on the shuttle bus, plus a long 1 hour line…….. I’m thinking I should leave the festival around 3pm? >.< or sooner?…

    • Melissa Hie says

      Hey Ali,
      I can’t remember how often it runs but I remember they are quite on time. You should keep an eye on this page: http://fujirock-eng.com and perhaps ask for help when you are actually there. I think 3pm should be a good time to leave though!

  7. Talitha Agrati says

    Hi melissa !! I’m going to this year Fujirock. I wanna ask you question. Do u know the earliest and the latest shuttle bus from the campsite to Tokyo ? Or shuttle bus to shinkansen station. Thankyou so much !!


    Hi Melissa! thank you so much for all this relevant and useful information. I unexcpectedly got a free ticket for Friday and Saturday nights andf as you said all the affordable accommodation is already booked out.My question is: are there people who bring there tents and just put them up at the closest area of the festival?? I really don t want to miss out this chance because of lack of accommodation so maybe running the risk of putting up a tent somewhere might be quite adventurous! please let me know what you know?think. Cheers!

    • Melissa Hie says

      Hey Monica, there is a designated place for camping. You have to buy a ticket to get in but it’s pretty cheap (3000 yen if i remember correctly). Definitely you won’t be pitching a tent somewhere random! I heard the concern when camping would be finding a good place to pitch your tent within the camping site. Also Fuji Rock is known to rain and get very muddy.

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