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Inspirational Day Trips From Tokyo: Getting the Most Out of Hakone, Hot Spring Area

Inspirational Day Trips From Tokyo: Getting the Most Out of Hakone, Hot Spring Area

Date published: 29 January 2020
Last updated: 7 October 2020

The Hakone area is a trendy tourist spot that's right near Tokyo. There are many spots where you can marvel at nature, or enjoy hot springs, like in Gora, or by Lake Ashi. One of such places is Hakone Yumoto, located about 90 minutes from Tokyo.

To get around the Hakone Area, you can use eight different systems of transportation, including the Hakone Pirate Ship, the Hakone Tozan Bus, the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, and the Hakone Ropeway. If you’re planning to move a lot, you can use the “Hakone Free Pass,” which allows for unlimited rides.

Here we will talk about the best sightseeing route in Hakone, using the Free Pass, valid for two days. We will introduce you to several spots, where you will be able to enjoy all the charms of Hakone, like its hot springs, museums, and entertainment.

Table of Contents
  1. What is the Hakone Free Pass?
  2. Let’s start at Hakone Yumoto Station!
  3. Enjoy a touch of art, immersed in nature
  4. Enjoy Lake Ashi while visiting historic sites and reinvigorating spots
  5. Heal the fatigue from your trip with an onsen hot spring - and enjoy the shopping
  6. Recommended Hotels and Ryokan Around Hakone

What is the Hakone Free Pass?

What is the Hakone Free Pass?

The “Hakone Free 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 Orange Shuttle (designated sections), as well as a discount for the Hakone Pirate Ship.

You can ride freely on any vehicle marked with the above logo. Also, you can receive discounts and special offers in stores and facilities where the same logo is displayed, only by showing your pass (there’s a total of about 70 of these places in Hakone)

The Hakone Free Pass, which is valid for two days, and also includes a round-trip discount for the Odakyu Line (Departing from Odawara), is 5,700 yen for adults, and 1,500 yen for children, for those departing from Shinjuku Station.

There is also one valid for three days for 6,100yen for adults and 1,750 yen for children departing from Shinjuku Station. The more you ride, the more you save!

Please note that some sections of the Hakone Area may have interrupted transportation. Please confirm detailed traffic information from the following links.

Let’s start at Hakone Yumoto Station!

Let’s start at Hakone Yumoto Station!

The journey begins at Hakone Yumoto station, the gateway to Hakone. If you want to take a break after arriving, we recommend the Hakone Café at the station.

Here you can enjoy over 40 different kinds of baked goods, as well as other products prepared by the Odakyu Group's hotel chef, and many kinds of drinks. From the seating area, you can see the Romance Car coming and going, and a large model of the Hakone Tozan train on display. Why not start your visit to Hakone by relaxing here?

If you have the Hakone Free Pass, coffee and tea (both hot and cold) will be discounted from 410 yen to 380 yen.

  • Hakone Cafe
    • Address 707 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
    • Phone Number 0460-85-8617
    • Open: 08:00am-07:00pm
      Opening hours may change depending on the season. Please check in advance
      Closed: always open (maintenance on different days)

If you want to enjoy hot springs in Hakone Yumoto, we recommend “Hakone Yuryo,” about 3 minutes away from the station, via a free shuttle bus. You can have a relaxing time at the Satoyama Onsen, surrounded by lush nature. The large bath has a variety of hot springs, ranging from open-air, to indoor ones, including the most extensive private spa in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area with 19 rooms.

You can also dine at the restaurant. If you come back around Hakone-Yumoto Station at dinner time, we recommend you eat at “Irorisaryo Hachiri.”

The public bath is 1,500 yen for adults (junior high school students and older), and 750 yen for children (elementary school students). The private open-air bath starts at 4,300yen/hour. If you present the Hakone Free Pass, you can enjoy the large bath for 200 yen off for adults, and 100 yen off for children, and the private open-air bath with a discount of 300 yen/hour.

  • Hakone Yuryo
    • Address Hakone Yuryo 4 Tonosawa, Hakone city, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
    • Phone Number 0460-85-8411
    • Open: (Weekdays) 10:00am-09:00pm (admission until 08:00pm); (Saturday and Holidays) 10:00am-10:00pm (admission until 09:00pm)

      Restaurant “Irorisaryo Hachiri” (weekdays) 11:00am-09:00pm (Last Order 08:00pm); (Saturday and Holidays) 11:00am-10:00pm (Last Order 09:00pm)

      Closed: always open (irregular maintenance days)

Enjoy a touch of art, immersed in nature

Enjoy a touch of art, immersed in nature

After enjoying the hot springs in Hakone Yumoto, head to Gora Station by bus (Hakone Tozan Railway is operating a substitute bus because of a long-term suspension due to typhoon no.19). From there, change to the sightseeing tour bus, and head to the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone Forest. Based on the concept of “Hakone's coexistence of nature and art,” the museum rises at only 8 meters above ground, and the structure was built with great consideration for the landscape and the nature of Hakone.

The collection, a total of 9,500 items, includes a wide range of western paintings, such as Monet, Renoir, and Picasso, as well as Japanese paintings, prints, Asian ceramics, glass art, and ancient makeup tools from the West and the East. Besides, you can enjoy a walk in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

Here you will also find a restaurant that serves authentic European cuisine and a café where you can enjoy your drinks surrounded by abundant nature. You can even access the museum's shop on the 1st floor (where you can find French herbs, honey, imported confectionery, small products from Hakone) without entering the museum itself.

Admission is 1,800 yen for adults, and 1,300 yen for university and high school students. With the Hakone Free Pass, you receive a discount of 200 yen.

The Hakone Glass Museum is a must-visit spot in Hakone. This is Japan’s first museum specializing in Venetian glass. Here you will find over 100 of the most elegant Venetian glass compositions from the 15th to the 19th centuries, as well as glass sculptures from contemporary artists.

In the garden overlooking Owakudani, the crystal glass arch “Light Corridor,” shimmers of seven colors when hit by sunlight. The museum also displays exhibits to match the season, like crystal-glass sakura, pampas grass, and Christmas trees.

A glass experience workshop teaches you how to create your own original works. There is even a restaurant where you can enjoy live Italian music performed by Italian singers six times a day and a shop that sells thousands of accessories and Venetian glass creations.

Admission is 1,500 yen for adults, 1,100 yen for college and high school students, and 600 yen for junior high and elementary school students. With the Hakone Free Pass you will receive a discount of 100 yen.

If you want to have lunch around the Pola Museum of Art and the Glass Museum, we recommend the Hakone Highland Hotel. The artistic resort hotel “Shinoki Hakone Highland Hotel” is located just off the Hakone Tozan Bus. The hotel used to be a baron's villa, and the garden is wonderful in all seasons!

You can choose your favorite course meal from a variety of choices which change depending on the season, or enjoy your lunch a la carte.

The Hakone Free Pass grants a 10% discount (except on a few days). Enjoy dishes of vegetables, seafood, or meat, carefully cooked in a wood oven.

Enjoy Lake Ashi while visiting historic sites and reinvigorating spots

Enjoy Lake Ashi while visiting historic sites and reinvigorating spots

Hakone Shrine is a trendy “power spot” (reinvigorating place) that you should not miss during your trip to Hakone. From Hakone Yumoto station, take the Hakone Tozan Bus and get off at Hakone Shrine Entrance. If you visit early in the morning, you can start your day with a refreshing experience, so we recommend visiting at the beginning of the second day.

Hakone Shrine was erected for a god of good luck, the fulfillment of wishes, and safety for travelers. More than 2 million people visit it annually. The complex includes many shrines, vermilion torii gates, and treasure halls with many displays.

Admission to Hakone Shrine Treasure Hall is 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children. With the Hakone Free Pass, you receive a discount of 100 yen.

After the Hakone Shrine, the second-day plan is to enjoy the Lake Ashi area. Stop by Hakone Sekisho while strolling along the shores of Lake Ashi.

The Hakone Sekisho/Hakone Sekisho Museum has been faithfully restored and opened to the public. It used to be an inspection and a checkpoint stop. Not only the façade, but also the walls, furnishing, and weapons have been restored or reproduced to match what they looked like at that time.

Life-size dolls of officials are in the hall, making you feel like you have stepped back in time to the Edo period. Admission is 500 yen for adults and 250 for children, but with the Hakone Free Pass, you will get a 100-yen discount.

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 just 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 (Togendai Campus)
    • Phone Number 0460-84-8887
    • Open: 10:00am-04:00pm (taking orders from 11:00am to 03:30pm)
      Closed: irregular holidays

Heal the fatigue from your trip with an onsen hot spring - and enjoy the shopping

Heal the fatigue from your trip with an onsen hot spring - and enjoy the shopping

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.

While in the city of Hakone, also enjoy shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets. This is a huge mall located about 60 minutes away from Hakone Yumoto Station via Hakone Tozan Bus, and 35-45 minutes by bus from Gora Station.

There are about 210 popular shops in this massive complex. You can shop or famous brands, both national and international, for great prices. There is a wide variety of stores, ranging from high-fashion to outdoor clothing, sports, as well as food, drinks, and more for you to fully enjoy your shopping!

At Gotemba Premium Outlets, you can receive exclusive coupons by showing the Hakone Free Pass. It’s a great way to end your trip, buy souvenirs, and enjoy good food.

  • Gotemba Premium Outlets
    • Address 1312 Fukasawa, Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture
    • Open: (March to November) 10:00am-08:00pm, (December to February) 10:00am-07:00pm
      Changes may apply during Golden Week or New Year's holiday
      Closed: once a year, the third Thursday of February

Recommended Hotels and Ryokan Around Hakone

The following ryokan and hotels are in excellent locations for this Hakone itinerary.

  • Hakone Kyuan
    • Address Ninotaira1297- 248, Hakone, Kanagawa, 250-0407
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Naka-Gora Station (Hakone Tozan Cable Car)

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*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.

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