Among the four 5th Stations on Mount Fuji, the Subashiri 5th Station on the eastern side of the mountain is the second easiest to access by public transportation from Tokyo after the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Buses serve the station daily during the climbing season from mid July until mid September, and run on weekends and national holidays from May through October.
Like the Gotemba 5th Station, the Subashiri 5th Station is far less developed than the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, consisting of only a parking lot, toilets and two small shops and restaurants. Coin lockers are not available. The 5th Station is reached by a winding road through Mount Fuji's forests, which gets closed to private vehicles during the peak of the the climbing season (July 10 to September 10, 2016) when there are shuttle buses to Gotemba Station. The road also gets closed during winter, usually from late November to late April.
The first section of the Subashiri Trail is below the treeline and leads through forest. The trail is not as crowded as other routes up the mountain until it joins up with the Yoshida Trail around the 8th Station. The ascent from the Subashiri 5th Station takes about five to eight hours and the descent about three to five hours. Note that with an altitude of 1950 meters above sea level, the Subashiri 5th Station is a few hundred meters lower than the Fuji Subaru Line and Fujinomiya 5th Stations.
Besides the trail to the summit of Mount Fuji, the Subashiri 5th Station offers an alternate, much shorter hiking trail to a small peak called Kofuji ("Little Fuji"). Kofuji is a 1979 meter high secondary peak that formed on the side of Mount Fuji sometime before recorded history. It can be reached in a 20 minute walk from the 5th Station along a nature trail through the forest.
By bus from Gotemba Station
Buses operate between Gotemba Station and the Subashiri 5th Station daily during the climbing season and on weekends and holidays during the off-season from mid May through October. The one way ride take about 60 minutes and cost 1540 yen. Round trip tickets are available for 2060 yen.
Bus Timetable (climbing season)
Bus Timetable (off-season)
How to get from Tokyo to Gotemba
Take the JR Tokaido Line from Tokyo to Kozu (75 minutes, frequent departures) and change to the JR Gotemba Line to Gotemba (50 minutes, 1-2 trains per hour). The entire journey costs 1940 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
Alternatively, take the Odakyu Odawara Line from Shinjuku to Shin-Matsuda Station (80 minutes, 780 yen by express train, frequent departures), walk to JR Matsuda Station and take the JR Gotemba Line to Gotemba (30 minutes, 500 yen, 1-2 trains per hour). The Japan Rail Pass is valid on trains between Matsuda and Gotemba, but not between Shinjuku and Shin-Matsuda.
Additionally, there are a few Asagiri limited express trains, which operate directly between Shinjuku and Gotemba Station. The one way trip takes about 100 minutes and costs around 2800 yen. Japan Rail Pass holders will have to pay a supplement for this train as it partially runs on non-JR tracks.
How to get from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya to Gotemba
Take a Hikari train along the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Mishima Station and backtrack one stop to Numazu Station along the JR Tokaido Main Line. There change to the JR Gotemba Line to Gotemba Station. The trip is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Note that only one out of four Hikari trains stops at Mishima Station.
By bus from Shin-Matsuda Station
Additionally, 4-6 buses per day run from Shin-Matsuda Station (80 minutes, 780 yen from Shinjuku by Odakyu Railways) to the Subashiri 5th Station during the climbing season only. The one way trip takes about 90 minutes and costs 2060 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 3100 yen.