I actually do not recommend to visit Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one day. There are many places to see. One way is not obviously enough to visit these places. But some of you have very tight schedule. You cannot choose which one you visit. You may be wondering if you have to visit one of Lake Kawaguchi or Hakone. This sample itinerary may be suitable for you. It is very very tight schedule and you have to give up many places. But you can visit most of highlights at both side of Fuji, Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi. You may be okay to see these places in Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.
This itinerary has been created by timetable in September, 2016. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go.
- 1 Purchase Fuji Hakone Pass
- 2 Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi
- 3 Lake Kawaguchi to Gotemba Premium Outlet
- 4 Gotemba Premium Outlet to Owakudani via Togendai
- 5 Owakudani to Hakone-machi Port via Togendai
- 6 Hakone-machi port to Hakone-Yumoto
- 7 Hakone-Yumoto to Shinjuku
- 8 Can we squeeze Mt. Fuji 5th station in this plan?
Purchase Fuji Hakone Pass
This deal covers both Fuji and Hakone area. It is valid for 3 days. This is one day itinerary but this deal is cheaper than total fares anyway. Please get this pass day before departure day because you will leave Shinjuku in early morning.
If you want to take limited express train “Romancecar” from Hakone to Shinjuku, you may book when you purchase a pass. Limited Express seat fee is extra on top of Fuji Hakone Pass. But this express train takes you to Shinjuku directly from Hakone-Yumoto. Interior is very comfy. It is highly recommended.
Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi
Shinjuku 07:15 (Express bus) 09:00 Kawaguchiko station (Lake Kawaguchi)
This is the earliest bus that runs in all season. When you make a trip in weekend of summer season, you may be able to take earlier one.
After you arrive in Lake Kawaguchi, you have two options.
Option 1, Mt. KachiKachi Ropeway and Lake Kawaguchi Cruise
Kawaguchiko station 09:00 (walk 15 minutes) 09:15 Mt. Kachikachi (Kachikachiyama) Ropeway 10:05 (walk 15 minutes) 10:20 Lake Shore boarding pier 10:30 (Lake cruise) 10:50 (walk 10 minutes) 11:00 Kawaguchiko station
This option plan includes two popular attractions around Lake Kawwaguchi. You can view Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji from the view point by Kachikachiyama Ropeway. This gondola takes you to the observation deck at the mid mountain in 3 minutes.
After enjoy the view from the mountain, you board the ship on Lake Kawaguchi.
These two attractions are not covered by Fuji Hakone Pass. But you can purchase discount combo ticket for gondola and cruise at Mt. Kachikachi Ropeway ticket booth. It is sold at 1,300 yen.
Option 2, Chureito Pagoda
Kawaguchiko station 09:35 (Fuji Kyuko railway local train) 09:49 Shimo-Yoshida 11:07 (Fuji Kyuko railway local train) 11:21 Kawaguchiko station
You may have seen the photo of Chureito Pagoda. This is very famous spot especially in cherry blossom season. You can enjoy the view of cherry blossom, pagoda and Mt. Fuji at same time. It may be the best place to see cherry blossom in Japan.
Chureito is one of the building in the shrine. Official name of this place is Arakura Fuji Sengen shrine. This shrine is only 10 minutes away from Shimo-Yoshida station of Fuji Kyuko Railway. Unfortunately the train does not run very frequently between Kawaguchiko and Shimo-Yoshida. There is no earlier trains to get Shimo-Yoshida.
Lake Kawaguchi to Gotemba Premium Outlet
Kawaguchiko station 11:30 (Fuji Kyuko bus) 13:05 Gotemba Premium Outlet
Gotemba Premium Outlet is very popular spot for shopping spree. Even if you are not interesting in outlet, this is a transfer point of the bus to Hakone. As you probably notice, you cannot have enough time to eat lunch before you get. You can get something to eat before boarding bus at Kawaguchiko station. If you eat in the bus, you can save your time. You have only one hour at Gotemba Premium Outlet. If you want to shop there, eat something in the bus or before you leave Kawaguchiko station. Otherwise you can eat something at Outlet mall.
By the way, there is no bus departure until 14:00. You cannot proceed even if you want to go early.
Gotemba Premium Outlet to Owakudani via Togendai
Gotemba Premium Outlet 14:00 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 14:22 Sengoku 14:35 (Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus) 14:48 Togendai (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Owakudani
There are lots of routes of the bus in Hakone. It is sometimes very hard to find the best route. You can check the route and schedule in the link below.
Owakudani cannot be missed in Hakone. This is an active volcanic area. You can experience lots of steam and bubbling hot springs along the short trail. Boiled egg that is cooked in this hot water is very famous food at Owakudani. You may try to eat this local food.
You can access there by gondola from Togendai where is located at the shore of Lake Ashi. Hakone Ropeway is operated until 16:00 so far. You have to leave Owakudani around 15:40. Your actual time to stay in Owakudani is approximately 30 minutes. Most of you spend usually 20 minutes to walk the trail. The operation time may be extended to 17:00 in next summer.
Owakudani to Hakone-machi Port via Togendai
Owakudani 15:30-40 (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) 16:00 Togendai 16:20 (Hakone Sightseeing Cruise) 17:00
You will take the sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashi that is most famous lake in Hakone. You will enjoy one way trip from Togendai to Hakone-machi.
Hakone Checkpoint historical site is one of famous spots in Hakone and that is located near Hakone-machi port. But it is open until 17:00 (16:30 in winter time). You have to enter 30 minutes before closing. If you want to visit there, you have to give up Owakudani.
If you travel there between December and February, cruise ship leave at 16:10.
Hakone-machi port to Hakone-Yumoto
Hakone-machi 17:38 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 18:00 Hakone-Yumoto
There are many more bus services available to Hakone-Yumoto. You can find some more route at Hakone Tozan Bus route finder.
Hakone-Yumoto is the biggest Onsen town in Hakone. You can take just an Onsen bath without overnight stay. I have two recommended Onsen facilities. I put the links but these are unfortunately in Japanese. These two Onsen facilities are located within 5 minutes from Hakone-Yumoto station by walk.
It is located just behind Hakone-Yumoto station. It is open until 22:00. You can eat some light meals and drinks there too.
Yajikita no Yu
It is located in Hakone-Yumoto ryokan area. It is open until 21:00. This facility does not have a dining.
Hakone-Yumoto to Shinjuku
Hakone-Yumoto (Odakyu Railway 1.5 hours by Romancecar without transit, 2 hours with transit at Odawara) Shinjuku
Odakyu railway train runs until late night. I recommend you to take Odakyu Railway’s limited express train, “Romancecar”. It connects Hakone-Yumoto and Shinjuku directly and it offers very comfy accommodation. You have to pay extra 890 yen for seat fee but it is worth paying. Please see the timetable of Romancecar in the link below:
If you do not want to pay any extra, you can take local train to Odawara from Hakone-Yumoto. And you can take a regular commute train to Shinjuku.
Can we squeeze Mt. Fuji 5th station in this plan?
Actually I tried to put this but I could not make it. The earliest schedule to 5th station is the following:
Kawaguchiko station 09:50 (Fuji Hiking Bus) 10:45 5th station 11:40 (Fuji Hiking Bus) 12:25 Kawaguchiko station
There is the bus to Gotemba Outlet at 12:30 from Kawaguchiko station. But it is only 5 minutes transit time. Even if you get on 12:30 bus, it is one hour behind the original schedule. You cannot make Owakudani as a result.
If you are okay to give up Owakudani, you can add this place. You will see 5th station, Gotemba Outlet, Lake Ashi cruise and Hakone-Yumoto only. But if you miss 12:30 bus at Kawaguchiko station, you have to give up Lake Ashi cruise too. Please keep it in your mind if you try this 5th station plan. But I do not recommend because it is too risky.
Hope this itinerary gives you some idea to make your trip plan!