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New Tourist Spot in Hakone: Sounzan Station Now Features Observation Deck, Footbaths, and More!

New Tourist Spot in Hakone: Sounzan Station Now Features Observation Deck, Footbaths, and More!

Date published: 9 July 2020
Last updated: 23 October 2020

On July 9, 2020, the Odakyu Hakone Group finished its complete renovation of Sounzan Station, a key transfer point for the Hakone Tozan Cable Car and Hakone Ropeway. Both facilities have started operations.

Aside from being the first cable cars in Japan installed with automatic platform gates, the facility also promotes universally designed escalators and multifunctional toilets. A new spot called Cu-mo Hakone also opened on the second floor of the station building, fully equipped with an observation deck, footbaths, shops and lounges, plus a four-meter giant white mailbox that can also be used for sending mail overseas.

Here, we'll feature the changes at Sounzan Station, commonly used by tourists for sightseeing in Hakone! We will also share what we have seen in the station using a ton of pictures!

Table of Contents
  1. Automatic platform gates, multifunctional toilets, nursing rooms, first aid rooms, and so much more!
  2. Giant mailbox, footbaths, observation deck, exclusive souvenirs: Find them all in Cu-mo Hakone
  3. Toward the revival of the Hakone Golden Route

Automatic platform gates, multifunctional toilets, nursing rooms, first aid rooms, and so much more!

Automatic platform gates, multifunctional toilets, nursing rooms, first aid rooms, and so much more!
This is the new building of Sounzan Station. It has a total floor area of about 4,300 square meters and a height of about 17 meters.

The station consists of 1 basement floor and 2 aboveground floors. The basement floor serves as the boarding area of the Hakone Tozan Cable Cars while the first floor houses hallways and shops, as well as the ticket gates for the Hakone Ropeway and Hakone Tozan Cable Cars. The second floor serves as the boarding area for the Hakone Ropeway and also houses Cu-mo Hakone (observation deck, footbaths, shops, etc.).

First Floor

Many people use the Sounzan Station because it is an interchange station, so the boarding and alighting routes are separated from the entrance.

Ticket gate for the Hakone Tozan Cable Car
Separate boarding and alighting routes

To make the facility wheelchair-friendly, 3 elevators from the first basement floor to the second floor were added. Four new escalators were also installed to facilitate the flow of people.

At the boarding platform of the Hakone Tozan Cable Car Sounzan Station on the first basement floor, the first automatic platform gate (3-bar type) installed for cable cars (steel cable lines) was added to aid passenger safety.

When opening, this mechanism raises the 3 bars
Only the boarding area near the elevator has a horizontal design to help wheelchairs pass through

Two new multifunctional toilets were built for the station building. There is also a first-aid room and a nursing room on the first floor. Minor renovations are also being performed, such as adding a washroom in the men's toilet.

First aid room
Nursing room
The nursing room also has a hot water supply for making milk, and a trashcan for diapers.

Measures are also in place to protect the facility from cinders in case of volcanic activity around the Owakudani area. The first floor can now be used as a temporary evacuation site that can accommodate about 300 people.

Coin-operated lockers and vending machines are also installed on the ground floor

Giant mailbox, footbaths, observation deck, exclusive souvenirs: Find them all in Cu-mo Hakone

On the second floor, a new spot called Cu-mo Hakone will open in the area leading toward the Hakone Ropeway platform. It is divided into three areas: (1) the shopping area called "Cu-mo Shop", (2) the observation deck & footbath area, and (3) the lounge area.

The first thing that you will see once you go up the second floor is the lounge area. The shopping area, Cu-mo Shop, is on the left, and the observation and footbath area is at the back.

At Cu-mo Shop, you can buy a special postcard and stamp and mail it through a unique four-meter white mailbox (for good luck). The shop also sells sweets and drinks jointly developed with JTB Publishing's Rurubu Kitchen. They also sell exclusive souvenirs in collaboration with famous brands,

This is the Cu-mo Shop. Business hours are from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. Food and drinks are available from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.
This is the giant white mailbox. Using the original design postcard (image below) and stamp sold at the shop, you can mail the scenery of Owakudani to your loved ones. An extra charge of 10 yen will be added for overseas mail.
Original-design postcard (200 yen with stamp)

There are many products with illustrations of the Hakone Tozan Train and Hakone Ropeway, so we recommend that you buy one for yourself and a few as Hakone souvenirs for others.

Sounzan Station original product Hakone Ropeway Colored Pencils (collaboration with Sakura Color Products Corporation) 1500 yen
Original flavored popcorn and various sweets
Food and drinks corner
The Cu-mo Shop also sells a custard cream-filled Kumopan (or cloud bread) (left) at 250 yen per piece and New Bell smoothie at 750 yen (right)
Sounzan Premium Coffee: Hot 450 yen, Iced 460 yen

The Cu-mo Shop has signage reminding people to disinfect their hands with alcohol and to observe social distancing at the cash register. This is part of the shop's initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Aside from this, the shop also has self-checkouts and various contactless payment methods such as transportation electronic money or QR codes.

Self-checkout

As the name suggests, the observation and footbath area features an observation deck and a free footbath. From the deck, you can see the panoramic view of Hakone Gairinzan and the streets of Gora. During sunny days, you may even catch a glimpse of the Sagami Bay. You can also enjoy the free footbath, which uses water from Gora Onsen hot spring.

Footbath and counter table in the observation deck
Observation deck: Open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Footbath: Available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
View from the observation deck (Sagami Bay can be seen on the far right)
View from the observation deck (Daimonji-yaki festival and cable car)

In the indoor lounge area, you will find benches made of solid wood from Kanagawa Prefecture, and cute cushions reminiscent of clouds.

Lounge area
Slightly flexible cushions

There is also a charging station with 8 USB ports in front of the area (close to the elevator) for travelers.

The charging station is powered by a battery, so it can be used even during a power outage.

Toward the revival of the Hakone Golden Route

The Hakone Tozan Railway Yumoto Station had been out of service from a long time due to damages brought by Typhoon Hagibis in October 2019. The operations between the Yumoto Station and the Gora Station resumed on July 23. With this, we expect the revival of the sightseeing route called the Hakone Golden Course, which was completed in 1960 when the Hakone Ropeway opened.

The reopened Sounzan Station is considered important for the Hakone Golden Course and is a spot used by many tourists visiting Hakone. In the future, it seems that aside from transfers, this place will also allow people to experience Hakone's extraordinary lifestyle through the footbaths and shops in Cu-mo Hakone.

*All prices include tax
* Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the station may change business hours or temporarily close.

  • Sounzan Station
    早雲山駅
    • Address Gora, Hakone Town, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture
    • Observation terrace usage time: 9: 00-17: 00
      Footbath usage time: 9: 00-16: 00
      cu-mo shop business hours: 9: 00-17: 30 (food & drink 10: 00-16: 30)
      * Open at 11:00 on the first day only

*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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