HAKONE DAY TRIP: EXPLORE THE FAMOUS ONSEN DESTINATION NEAR TOKYO

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0341.JPG

Hakone Day Trip from Tokyo is probably one of the most common weekend activity among the Japanese people. And not only among the Japanese people but also among the foreigners this onsen destination is a famous one. 

Using the Hakone Free Pass by the Odakyu line, it is a highly recommended travel itinerary for the travel lovers who look for an easy and convenient travel option from Tokyo. Basically, a One Day trip to Hakone is good for exploring most of its main area, but if you want to explore more deeply and experience more activities then I will recommend you to go there for two days. 

And this blog, I am going to write about the details of the Hakone tour with a two-day Hakone itinerary divided by each day. So, if you go for a two-day or three-day you can just make your plan according to the time you’ve. Besides, you can also take Hakone Enoshima Kamakura three-days Free pass as well. The detailed cost and itinerary for the Hakone tour will be described in the whole article. 

Anyway, let’s dive into our Hakone Day trip from Tokyo. 

How to Go To Hakone from Tokyo

The access to Hakone is super easy and if you have got an Odakyu Railway free pass then it is also super cheap. The trip starts at Shinjuku Station and finishes at Hakone Yumoto Station.

However, it usually costs around 1100 yen (10 US Dollars) for one way trip from Shinjuku Station to Hakone Yumoto Station. But Odakyu Line offers 2-day or 3-day Hakone Passes that include the free round trip ticket and also unlimited train journey inside the Hakone Area for the designated date. The pass costs around 5700 yen for 2-day and  6100 yen for 3-day.

** The seat for the train will not be fixed for free passes, but if you pay extra 1,100 yen for Hakone Romance Car then you will get a one-way trip ticket with a reserved seat.

** Note that if you’ve free pass, then you will get a discount in lots of places inside the area and also some rides like Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Pirate Ship will be completely free for you. 

The trip from Shinjuku to Hakone Yumoto Station usually takes 2-hour for normal lines and around 75 minutes for Hakone Romance Car.

Top Attractions & Activities 

Hakone is a small place with a wide variety of attractions and activities. This place is mostly famous for its onsen area and there are also lots of things to do here. Let’s check one by one. 

Hakone Tozan Cable Car

According to Wikipedia, The Hakone Tozan Cable Car, officially the Cable Line, is a funicular railway in the town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by Hakone Tozan Railway. 

It starts from Hakone Yumoto Station & you can go to Gora Station by Hakone Tozan Railway & you don’t need to pay since if you have got the free pass. But if there are strong wind or typhoon alert, this line stops its operation. However, you can also go by bus which will also be covered by your Hakone Free Pass.  

Hakone Picasso Museum

Hakone Open-Air Museum

Hakone Open-Air Museum which is also known as the Picasso Museum is less than 10 minutes walk from Gora Station. The museum started in 1969 and most famous for its collection of artworks. The museum is open from 09:00 to 17:00 and the entry fee is 1600 yen, but if you’ve Odakyu Free Pass, then you’ll get a 200 yen discount. The main attractions of the place are:  

  • Artwork by Picasso, Henry Moore, Taro Okamoto, Yasuo Mizui, Churyo Sato, and many others. 
  • Free Foot Spa zone. (100 Yen for rental towel) 
  • A sky tower to watch the whole museum area. 
  • 3d Virtual Game Center. 
  • And definitely the whole museum area. 

There are also few food courts. But the cost is a little high. 

Hakone Gora Park

Hakone Gora Park

If you walk around 10 minutes from the Hakone Open Air Museum or Gora Station you can reach to Gora Park (強羅公園, Gōra Kōen). The must-see things are: 

  • Western Style Botanical Garden
  • The Central Fountain
  • Hakone Craft House

The entry fee for the Gora Park is 550 yen, but it is free of cost for the free pass holders. There is also a souvenir shop at the point of entrance. If you want to take some souvenirs for your family, friends or colleagues, then this is a good place to buy within a reasonable price. 

Yunessun Onsen

Yunessun Theme Park & Onsen 

There are lots of Onsen places in Hakone. Even Hakone is also famous as a famous Onsen Place. Here most of the Japanese people book Hakone ryokan which contains a private onsen with it. But ryokan in Hakone is a little expensive. 

That’s why my suggestion is looking for just an onsen place to have onsen experience. And here the Yunessun Onsen & Theme park comes into the scene. It is theme-based onsen having onsen of different themes. For example,

  • Sake Onsen
  • Coffee Onsen 
  • Special Theme Park
  • & Definitely Real Naked Onsen 

The cost for both Swimsuit & Naked Onsen is 3500 yen. But if you buy it from Shinjuku during your ticket booking, you’ll get it at 2200 yen. Besides, the ticket of Shinjuku station also includes a swimsuit for dressed area & rental towels. But if you don’t book the ticket usually you need to pay extra for that. 

*** From Gora Station, there are free shuttle buses to Yunessun that run from 08:00 to 12:15 & then again 14:15 to 18:00. And for the Hakone free pass users, there is a direct bus from Yunessun Onsen to Odawara for free. 

Hakone Shrine Peace Tori

Hakone Shrine 

This is a nice and peaceful place on the shore of Lake Ashi near Moto-Hakone station. Using your Odakyu free pass, Moto-Hakone is around 45-minute from Odawara Station or 20-minutes from Gora Station. There you’ll see the Lake Ashi & after 5-10 minutes of walk, you can find the entrance of the Hakone Shrine. 

The point of attractions are: 

  • Hakone Shrine Peace Tori
  • The Architecture of Hakone Shrine
  • The Nature of the Place and nearby. 

Although the place is always open, I will recommend you to visit the place before 09:00 since the place becomes crowded after that. However, don’t forget to clean yourself before entering the shrine. 

Mishima Skywalk Tokyo

Mishima SkyWalk

Mishima Skywalk is the longest suspension bridge in Japan. This place is opened in 2015. That’s why in 2020, most of the people are still unaware of this simply awesome destination. You can take a bus from MotoHakone-Ko which is the same station for Hakone Pirate Ship & Hakone Shrine. Bus service is completely free for the pass users and it will take around 30 minutes to reach Mishima SkyWalk. 

The entry fee is 1100 for free pass users, but when you pass the bridge some people will ask for taking free photos. And after that, they will give you a white and black photo for free & ask you to give 1300 yen for the colored copy. If you reject it, it is completely okay. So, if you feel 1300 yen is too much for a single photo, then just leave it. 

There are some souvenir shops and also food courts. I will recommend you to buy Mishima special souvenirs from that place. But for food, it’s better taking with you. Because foods are delicious but super expensive.

Lake Ashi Pirate Ship

Hakone Togendai Pirate Ship 

This is a 30-minute cruise journey from Motohakone Station to Togendai Station. It needs a ticket of 1050 yen, but if you’ve Hakone Free Pass, then again you don’t have to pay a single penny for it. From the ship, you can enjoy the beauty of Lake Ashi. 

You can start your journey from 3-points: MotoHakone-ko, HakoneMachi-Ko, Togendai-ko. Since Togendai-ko is the Hakone Ropeway station, so if you experience the ropeway first, then start your journey from there. But if you visit Hakone Shrine First, then start your journey from Motohakone-ko & go directly to Togendai station & take to the ropeway.

Owakudani Ropeway

Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani Station

Again using Hakone Free Pass, you can get a 24-minute ropeway trip from Togendai Station to Sounzan Station via Hakone Owakudani Station. You’ve to get down Owakudani station to see the live volcanic valley. In this place everyone comes particularly for the following two attractions: 

  • Visiting Volcanic Valley

    This is the best part of my point of view because to watch such a sulfur mountain definitely anyone has to travel a lot. But here only a few hours from Tokyo, it is completely unimaginable that kind of valley really exists. And Lake Ashi is also created for the explosion of volcanic plates. 

  • Eating Sulphur Boiled Black Egg

     There is a saying that if you eat the black egg of Owakudani, your lifespan will increase for 7 more years.  You’ve spent 500 yen for a package of the black egg. Each packet contains 5 black eggs. And if you ask about the taste, for me the taste seemed not different from a normal boiled egg. But definitely, it’s delicious. In fact, the boiled egg is delicious. And by the way, the fun part is that still, the reason behind this black color remained unexplored.

Owakudani Science Museum

Owakudani Science Museum 

This is on the ground floor of the building where you’ll buy the black eggs. The entry fee is only 100 yen, and it contains the scientific material related to the place: like stones, sulfur, etc. Besides, there is a miniature model of how onsen water is produced from the volcanic shell. So, if you have got a kid they will definitely enjoy it. 

However, this is more or less the main attractions of Hakone. If you go for a Hakone day trip, then maybe these are all the things you can do within a short time. But if you’ve time you can also visit Odawara castle which is around 30-minutes from Hakone Yumoto Station. Besides, Odawara is also famous for its fresh fish. So, don’t forget to taste Fresh fish items of Odawara. 

Tips & Cautions

  • First of all, the place is so cold, especially in Owakudani. So, don’t forget to take enough warm clothes if you go in winter. 
  • In Mishima Skywalk, they will ask you to take free photos and after that, they will also try to give you a 1300 yen version of that photo. It is completely okay to refuse it. So, don’t feel shy. 
  • Everywhere even in a restaurant try to ask if you’ve any discount for Hakone Free Pass because it is really helpful. 
  • The vending machine products are more expensive in many areas. So, try to carry your water or other drinks. 

Conclusion

If you are planning your Hakone Day trip from Tokyo, then I will recommend to add Enoshima & Kamakura with your travel itinerary and take a 3-day Hakone-Enoshima-Kamakura pass by only 7000 yen. And if you have got that 3-day pass, then you’ll feel like a GodFather within that whole big area because you’ll have access to almost all the transports inside that place. So, enjoy Tokyo & Happy Traveling.