Hello again everyone!
In the end of July, Japan's biggest music festival, Fuji Rock Festival, was held again here in SnowCountry at the Naeba Ski Resort. According to a ranking of 250 worldwide music festivals by Festival Insights, Fuji Rock is the third-best music festival in the world, and is the only Asia-based festival even ranked among the Top 50. Fuji Rock is a big deal, and it is held here in the heart of Snow Country.
In 2018. the Fuji Rock Festival will be held July 27-29, so I want to give you some tips so you can make your trip to Fuji Rock the best one possible.
1. PLAN EARLY
The best advice I can give you for anything related to Fuji Rock is to plan early. In 2017, approximately 125,000 visitors attended Fuji Rock, so this place is very busy and crowded during the Festival. If you wait until the last few weeks before the festival is going to be held to start making plans, you will be left with just the last few hotel rooms, less-convenient train times, and perhaps no Fuji Rock Buses from around Japan to the festival.
I recommend you start thinking about your trip to Fuji Rock approximately 6 months in advance and contact us as early as you can to start making bookings. Many hotels inform us of their rates for Fuji Rock by March or April. We can help you plan your transportation even before the hotel rates have been established.
2. PRE-BOOK YOUR TRANSPORTATIONVery closely related to #1 is my recommendation to pre-book your transportation. This is very important if you want an easy ride to the festival.
ShuttlesFuji Rock Festival runs plenty of special shuttles from all around Japan straight to the festival and back at the end. Shuttles leave from a variety of locations around Tokyo. In 2017, those locations included Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station, and more. If you are traveling in Osaka or Kyoto, Fuji Rock offers buses from there as well. Be sure to let us know where you're traveling, and we will let you know where the nearest bus is.
In 2017, the shuttle buses sold out approximately one month before the Festival was held.
Shinkansen (Bullet Trains)Reserved seats on bullet trains also sell out before the festival starts. The most popular times end up being sold out about a week or two in advance, but some of the less convenient times (early morning and late in the evening) run out of tickets closer to the festival.
Also, you can ride the shinkansen without a reserved seat, but during Fuji Rock Festival, you will need to be prepared to stand the whole ride. The unreserved seats are limited in number, but you will be able to stand in the unreserved train cars.
If you find yourself with more time than yen, you could also ride local trains from wherever you are in Japan to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. You cannot reserve seats on these local trains, but the ride to Yuzawa from Tokyo is beautiful on the local trains. So if you have the time this might be a great option for you.
3. COME TO THE PRE-FESTIVAL NIGHT
On the Thursday preceding the festival, Fuji Rock holds a one-night zen-ya-sai, which means pre-festival night. This night is low-key introduction to the atmosphere and excitement of Fuji Rock, opening with traditional Japanese dancing, fireworks, and a free concert. If you come one day early to the festival, you also don't have to miss anything on the first full day of the festival, since you will have already traveled, checked in (or set up your tent), and gotten a full night's sleep.
4. TRY CAMPING
If you're having trouble finding accommodations within your budget, why not try camping at Fuji Rock? The campgrounds are adjacent to the festival site, so you will be closer to the festival than you would be at any hotel.
Do be aware that the end of July is part of the rainy season in Japan, but it doesn't rain every year at the festival. We rent camping gear on our main page, so you can be sure you'll stay dry with our inspected and clean equipment.
5. PLAN YOUR DAYS AT THE FESTIVAL
So many bands play at Fuji Rock Festival, that it might seem a bit overwhelming, or you may not know where to go when. The organizers release a concert schedule about a month before the festival begins. I recommend you look closely at that schedule and plan where you will go and what you will do so you don't miss a show you are looking forward to!
6. USE OUR FUJI ROCK MAP
We have put together a map for all things related to Fuji Rock Festival. As you put together your plans to attend Fuji Rock, please look closely at this map and choose times and locations for your buses or trains, and look at the locations of your accommodations and the various stages.