HOME Tokyo and Surroundings Kanagawa Hakone / Odawara Worth It: Making the Most of the 'Hakone Free Pass' in Japan’s Hot Springs Haven
Worth It: Making the Most of the 'Hakone Free Pass' in Japan’s Hot Springs Haven

Worth It: Making the Most of the 'Hakone Free Pass' in Japan’s Hot Springs Haven

Date published: 29 January 2020
Last updated: 19 October 2023

With the Hakone Free Pass, tourists can explore the Hakone area seamlessly, thanks to its validity for two days and unlimited rides.

Table of Contents
  1. What is the Hakone Free Pass?
  2. Planning Your Journey: Hakone Free Pass Itinerary

Located just 90 minutes from Tokyo, Hakone is famous for its hot springs, museums, and other attractions.

Moreover, with eight different transportation systems, including the Hakone Pirate Ship, the Hakone Tozan Bus, the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, and the Hakone Ropeway, visitors can get around the Hakone area with ease.

In this guide, we will help you plan the best sightseeing route in Hakone using the Hakone Free Pass so that you can make the most out of your stay in the area.

What is the Hakone Free Pass?

Get a deal wherever you see the Hakone Freepass logo
Get a deal wherever you see the Hakone Freepass logo

The Hakone Free Pass is an all-in-one transportation ticket that provides access to various modes of transportation in Hakone.

The pass includes the Hakone Tozan Train, the Hakone Tozan Bus (designated sections), the sightseeing tour bus of Hakone Tozan Bus, the Odakyu Hakone Express Bus (designated sections), the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, the Hakone Ropeway, and the Tokai Bus (designated sections). Additionally, the pass offers a discount on the Hakone Pirate Ship.

The pass allows you to travel freely on any vehicle marked with the pass logo. You can also receive discounts and special offers at over 70 stores and facilities in Hakone that display the same logo.

The Hakone Free Pass is valid for two or three consecutive days and includes a round-trip discount for the Odakyu Line, departing from Shinjuku. The cost of a two-day pass for adults is 6,100 yen, and for children, it is 1,100 yen. For those who want to extend their trip, there's a three-day pass available for 6,500 yen for adults and 1,350 yen for children departing from Shinjuku Station.

Please note that some transportation services in the Hakone area may be suspended due to typhoons or other unforeseen events. For the latest updates, please check the official website at https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/hakone/.

Sample attractions offering Hakone Free Pass discounts

Planning Your Journey: Hakone Free Pass Itinerary

Day 1: Let’s start at Hakone Yumoto Station

Hakone Cafe
Hakone Cafe

To begin your Hakone visit, we recommend starting at Hakone Yumoto Station. This is the gateway to Hakone and a perfect spot to relax after arriving. You can visit the Hakone Café, located within the station, and enjoy baked goods and other products prepared by the hotel chef of the Odakyu Group. The café also offers many varieties of drinks.

While at the café, you can enjoy a view of the Romancecar coming and going from the seating area. Additionally, there is a large model of the Hakone Tozan train on display. It is a great place to relax and start your visit to the area.

If you hold the Hakone Free Pass, you are eligible for a 30 yen discount on both hot and cold coffee and tea.

  • Hakone Cafe
    • Address 707 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
    • Phone Number 0460-85-8617
    • ・ Open: 10 AM - 5 PM (10 AM - 7 PM on Weekends and Holidays)
      ・ Opening hours may change depending on the season. Please check in advance.
      ・ Closed: Always open (Irregular maintenance days)

Relax with a soothing hot springs soak at Hakone Yuryo

Hakone Yuryo hot springs
Hakone Yuryo hot springs

If you're looking to experience the hot springs of Hakone Yumoto, we highly recommend visiting "Hakone Yuryo," which is just a 3-minute ride away from the station on a free shuttle bus.

Here, you can immerse yourself in the relaxing waters of Satoyama Onsen, surrounded by lush greenery. The large bath offers a variety of hot springs, ranging from indoor to outdoor ones, including the most extensive private spa in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, with 19 rooms.

You can also grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, but if you happen to be back around Hakone-Yumoto Station at dinner time, we suggest dining at "Irorisaryo Hachiri."

Admission to the public bath is 1,600 yen for adults (junior high school students and older), which increases to 1,900 yen on weekends and holidays, and 900 yen for children (elementary school students). The private open-air bath starts at 9,400 yen per hour.

If you present your Hakone Free Pass, you can enjoy a discount of 200 yen off the price for adults and 100 yen off for children at the large bath. You can also get a discount of 300 yen per hour at the private open-air bath.

  • Hakone Yuryo
    • Address Hakone Yuryo 4 Tonosawa, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
    • Phone Number 0460-85-8411
    • ・ Open: (Weekdays) 10 AM - 8 PM (admission until 7 PM); (Saturday and Holidays) 10 AM - 9 PM (admission until 8 PM)
      ・ Restaurant "Irorisaryo Hachiri" (Weekdays) 11 AM - 8 PM (Last Order 7 PM); (Saturday and Holidays) 11 AM - 9 PM (Last Order 8 PM)
      ・ Closed: Always open (Irregular maintenance days)

Pola Museum of Art: Enjoy a touch of art, immersed in nature

Pola Museum of Art
Pola Museum of Art

After taking a dip in the hot springs in Hakone Yumoto, hop on a bus to Gora Station. From there, you can hop on the sightseeing tour bus that'll take you to the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone Forest.

The museum is all about blending art and nature, and its unique design is only 8 meters above ground, so you'll feel like you're really immersed in the natural surroundings of Hakone.

The collection is impressive and includes over 9,500 items ranging from western paintings by artists like Monet, Renoir and Picasso, to Japanese paintings, prints, Asian ceramics, glass art, and even ancient makeup tools from both the West and the East. After a leisurely stroll through the museum, you can take a walk in the beautiful Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

And if you're feeling peckish, the museum features a restaurant that serves authentic European cuisine and a café that's perfect for sipping on a drink while surrounded by nature. Plus, you don't even need to enter the museum to check out the shop on the 1st floor, where you can find French herbs, honey, imported confectionery, and small products from Hakone.

The admission fee is 1,800 yen for adults, 1,600 yen for seniors, and 1,300 yen for university and high school students. If you have a Hakone Free Pass, you can receive a discount of 200 yen (Adults, university and high school students), and elementary school and junior high school students can get in for free.

Stroll around enchanting exhibits at the Venetian Glass Museum

Venetian Glass Museum
Venetian Glass Museum

The Hakone Venetian Glass Museum is a must-visit attraction in Hakone, Japan. As the country's first museum dedicated to Venetian glass, it houses an impressive collection of over 100 elegant glass compositions crafted between the 15th and 19th centuries. Additionally, visitors can enjoy viewing contemporary glass sculptures and seasonal exhibits such as crystal-glass sakura, pampas grass, and Christmas trees.

The museum's garden, which overlooks Owakudani 'Hell Valley', features a crystal glass arch known as the "Light Corridor." It sparkles in seven colors when struck by sunlight, creating a breathtaking sight. Moreover, visitors interested in creating their own glass masterpieces can take part in a glass experience workshop.

The museum also boasts a restaurant where you can enjoy live music performed on instruments such as the piano, violin, and harp. These performances occur six times a day. Additionally, a shop on-site sells thousands of accessories and Venetian glass creations. Admission for adults is 1,800 yen, while college and high school students pay 1,300 yen. Junior high and elementary school students are charged 600 yen. With the Hakone Free Pass, visitors can enjoy a discount of 100 yen.

Grab lunch at Hakone Highland Hotel

Hakone Highland Hotel
Hakone Highland Hotel

If you are looking for a place to have lunch near the Pola Museum of Art and the Glass Museum, we highly recommend the Hakone Highland Hotel. This artistic resort hotel is situated just a few steps away from the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum. The hotel was originally a baron's villa, and the garden is beautiful throughout the year!

The hotel offers various choices for course meals that change depending on the season, or you can opt to order a la carte. Additionally, if you have the Hakone Free Pass, you can avail of a 10% discount on the hotel lounge use, except on a few days.

Day 2: Enjoy Lake Ashi while visiting historic sites and reinvigorating spots

Hakone Shrine
Hakone Shrine

Day 2 starts with a visit to a spot filled with rejuvenating energy: Hakone Shrine. To reach there, take the Hakone Tozan Bus from Hakone Yumoto Station and get off at Hakone Shrine Entrance.

It's advisable to visit the shrine early in the morning to start your day with a refreshing experience. We recommend going there at the beginning of your second day.

The shrine is dedicated to a god of good luck, wish fulfillment, and safe travels. It attracts over 2 million visitors every year. The complex has several shrines, vermilion torii gates, and treasure halls with various displays.

Adults will need to pay an admission fee of 500 yen to enter the Hakone Shrine Treasure Hall, while children will have to pay 300 yen. If you have a Hakone Free Pass, you can get a discount of 100 yen.

Stop by the Hakone Sekisho Museum

Hakone Sekisho Museum
Hakone Sekisho Museum

While strolling along the shores of Lake Ashi, make sure to visit the Hakone Sekisho checkpoint.

The Hakone Sekisho Museum has been carefully restored and is now open to the public. It used to be an inspection and checkpoint stop during the Edo period. The façade, walls, furnishings, and weapons have all been restored or reproduced to match their original appearance. The hall features life-size dolls of officials, giving visitors a realistic glimpse into life during the Edo period.

Admission is 500 yen for adults and 250 for children, but with the Hakone Free Pass, visitors can get a 100-yen discount.

Togendai View Restaurant
Togendai View Restaurant

Our recommendation for lunch in the Lake Ashi area is Togendai View Restaurant. Take the Hakone Pirate Ship from Hakone-machi Port to Togendai Port, using the Hakone Free Pass. The Pirate Ship sailing of Lake Ashi is exciting even to look at, but it’s even better when you board it.

At Togendai View Restaurant, you can enjoy a meal while admiring the pirate ship from a great location with a panoramic view of the lake. There are plenty of dishes prepared with local specialties, like “Fuwaru Omurice” (with salad) for 1,120 yen (tax not included), and “Pork Loin cutlet Curry” (with salad) for 1,210 yen (tax not included).

With the Hakone Free Pass, you will receive a 5% discount on food and beverages. It’s a recommended restaurant to enjoy great food and sights at the same time.

  • Togendai View Restaurant
    • Address 164 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
    • Phone Number 0460-84-8887
    • ・ Open: 10 AM - 4 PM (taking orders from 11 AM to 3:30 PM)
      ・ Closed: Irregular holidays

Relax in a unique onsen hot spring at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

One of the most popular hot spring facilities in Hakone is Hakone Kowakien Yunessun. From the Lake Ashi area, take the mountain climbing bus from Hakone-machi Port or Motohakone Port and get off at “Yunessan Mae.”

There is also an area where you can wear swimwear, as well as authentic hot spings, open-air baths, and cypress baths. You will be able to enjoy over 20 types of hot springs and spas, including some with very hot water, or unique ones like a coffee bath or a wine bath, or more traditional Japanese ones.

With the Hakone Free Pass, you can get to the spa for 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children.

Enjoy some retail therapy at Gotemba Premium Outlets

Enjoy shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets
Enjoy shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets

While visiting the city of Hakone, you should also take time to go shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets. This vast shopping complex is situated about 60 minutes away from Hakone Yumoto Station via Hakone Tozan Bus and 35-45 minutes by bus from Gora Station.

The mall comprises of approximately 210 popular shops, where you can shop for renowned brands both national and international at great prices. The stores range from high-fashion to outdoor clothing, sports gear, food, drinks, and much more, allowing you to enjoy a complete shopping experience.

At Gotemba Premium Outlets, you can benefit from exclusive coupons by presenting the Hakone Free Pass. This is a fantastic way to conclude your visit, purchase souvenirs, and indulge in some delicious food.

  • Gotemba Premium Outlets
    • Address 1312 Fukasawa, Gotemba City, Shizuoka
    • ・ Open: (March to November) 10 AM - 8 PM, (December to February) 10 AM - 7 PM
      - Changes may apply during Golden Week or New Year's holiday
      ・ Closed: Once a year, on the third Thursday of February

Overall, the Hakone Free Pass is an excellent option for travelers looking to explore the natural and cultural wonders of Hakone. With its combination of convenience, affordability, and access to various attractions, it's no wonder why it's a popular choice among visitors to Japan.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

Share this article.

Limited time offer: 10% discount coupons available now!