How to access Hakone from Tokyo. Compare Japan Railway and Odakyu lines

Odakyu Railway's limited express train by 50000 series, Vault Super Express.
Odakyu Railway’s limited express train by 50000 series, Vault Super Express.

Most of travellers who stay in Tokyo think about visiting Hakone (箱根). It is only a few hours away from Tokyo. It is well known as one of the most popular hot springs resort in Japan. And also it is very close to the highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji. But Hakone is not connected with Tokyo by Japan Railway. That means Japan Rail Pass cover limited part of your trip to Hakone. Odakyu Electric Railway (小田急電鉄) that is one of the major private railway companies in Tokyo and Highway bus are more convenient way to get there. Though Japan Rail Pass cover limited part of travel, some of you still think about using Japan Rail Pass as much as you can and try to minimize the extra cost.

In this post, I show you the regular fare to Hakone by Odakyu Electric Railways and the extra cost in case of using Japan Rail Pass. And also I would like to share the information about the discounted pass to Hakone.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

To Hakone by Japan Rail Pass


View How to get Hakone in a larger map

As you see the map above, you can go to Odawara (小田原) by Japan Railway. Shinkansen is the best way to get there from Tokyo. Odawara can be accessed from Tokyo, Shinagawa (品川) and Shin-Yokohama (新横浜) by Tokaido Shinkansen. But Shin-Yokohama station is away from downtown Yokohama. You can take limited express train Odoriko / Super View Odoriko from Yokohama. Even rapid train from Tokyo or Shinjuku can take you to Odawara. The time required to Odawara is the following:

  • Tokyo to Odawara by Tokaido Shinkansen “Kodama” (こだま) — 35 to 40 minutes
    *If you take Shinkansen from Shinagawa, the time required is 8 minutes shorter.
  • Yokohama to Odawara by limited express “Odoriko” (踊り子) — about 40 minutes.
    *If you depart from Yokohama, Odoriko is faster than Shinkansen because Shin-Yokokohama station on Shinkansen is 4 stations away from Yokohama station.

Hakone Tozan Railway is Japan’s only genuine mountain railway. ©Japan Convention Services, Inc./© JNTO

Now you need to take Hakone Tozan Railway (箱根登山鉄道) from Odawara to Hakone. Any Japan Railway’s trains go to Odawara beyond. You should expect minimum 15 minutes to change the trains at Odawara. The fare and the time required from Odawara are the following:

  • Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto (箱根湯本) — 300 yen / 14 minutes
    *When you go to further than Hakone-Yumoto, you need to change the train. There are no trains going through Hakone-Yumoto because the truck gauge is different. The time required for the following section do not include the time to change the train at Hakone-Yumoto. Usually you can catch the train within 5 minutes there. Hakone-Yumoto is a small station. A few minutes is enough to change the train.
  • Odawara to Miyanoshita (宮ノ下) — 560 yen / 39 minutes
  • Odawara to Kowakidani (小湧谷) — 600 yen / 44 minutes
  • Odawara to Chokoku no Mori (彫刻の森) — 650 yen / 47 minutes
  • Odawara to Gora (強羅) — 650 yen / 50 minutes

So if you take Japan Railway and Hakone Tozan Railway, the total expected time required is the following:
Tokyo/Yokohama to Hakone-Yumoto — about 1 hour 10 minutes / Need to transfer the trains once.
Tokyo/Yokhama to Gora — about about 1 hour and 40 minutes / Need to transfer the trains twice.

Interior of Odakyu Romancecar 50000 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Odakyu Electric Railway

Odakyu is more popular than Japan Railway to Hakone. Because Odakyu’s limited express train that is called “Romancecar” (ロマンスカー) is operated directly to Hakone-Yumoto from Shinjuku (新宿). This train has very nice accommodation. It is same level as Japan Railway’s limited express train.

The terminal station, Shinjuku may be more convenient than Tokyo station for some of you. Of course you don’t need to change the train at Odawara. And also some of Romancecar on weekend goes through Tokyo Metro Subway Chiyoda line (東京メトロ千代田線) to Kitasenju (北千住). You can catch the train directly to Hakone from Omotesando (表参道=near Shibuya), Kasumigaseki (霞ヶ関=near National Diet Building), Otemachi (大手町=close to JR Tokyo station) and Kitasenju. The fare and the time required are the following:

  • Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto — 2020 yen (basic fare 1150 yen + limited express surcharge 870 yen) / 1 hour 25 minutes to 40 minutes
  • Kitasenju to Hakone-Yumoto — 2400 yen (basic fare 1330 yen + limited express surcharge 1070 yen) / 2 hours and 15 minutes

    Otemachi/Kasumigaseki to Hakone-Yumoto — 2360 yen (basic fare 1290 yen + limited express surcharge 1070 yen) / 2 hours and 5 minutes

    Omotesando to Hakone-Yumoto — 2330 yen (basic fare 1260 yen + limited express surcharge 1070 yen) / 2 ours

You can get a timetable and other details at Odakyu Electric Railway website.

Highway Bus

There are many Highway bus lines to Hakone. Japan Rail Pass do not cover any bus service to Hakone. But you can go to Hakone from Shinjuku, Haneda airport and Yokohama directly. Especially if you want to go to Togendai (桃源台) and Lake Ashi (芦ノ湖) area, these bus services take you there directly. If you take the trains, either Japan Railway and Odakyu, you need to transfer at Hakone-Yumoto and Gora. The fare and the time required are the following:

  • Shinjuku station to Hakone-Togendai — 1950 yen / 2 hours 20 to 30 minutes
  • Haneda airport to Hakone-Togendai — 2200 yen / 2 hours and 40 to 50 minutes
  • Yokohama station to Hakone-Togendai — 1900 yen / 2 hours and 5 minutes
  • Haneda airport to Hakone-Yumoto — 1900 yen / 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Yokohama station to Hakone-Yumoto — 1500 yen / 1 hours and 25 minutes

You can get the details at Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus PDF brochure (English/Chinese/Korean).

Discounted ticket

Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Hakone Freepass (箱根フリーパス)

If you take Odakyu train and stay in Hakone-Yumoto or Gora area, Hakone Freepass is very convenient. It includes round trip to Hakone by Odakyu train (limited express surcharge is not included), unlimited ride on Hakone Tozan Railway, bus service, cable car, ropeway and many more. If you depart from Shinjuku, the price is 5000 yen for 2 days and 5500 yen for 3 days. Please see the details here.

Day Pass Toko Toko ticket (とことこ切符)

This is a basic day pass. It gives you unlimited ride on Hakone Tozan Railway and Hakone Tozan Cablecar. You can go to Gora and Sounzan. But you need to pay when you go to Lake Ashi area.

Conclusion

In my opinion, using Hakone Freepass by Odakyu from Shinjuku is the best option. Even if you will use Japan Rail Pass, you need to think about not only the fare for Hakone Tozan Railway and also other transportation, such as cablecar, ropeway, bus, lake cruise. You will spend several thousand yen very quickly. I think 5000 yen for 2 days unlimited ride in Hakone is a great value.

438 thoughts on “How to access Hakone from Tokyo. Compare Japan Railway and Odakyu lines”

  1. 1) Start from Shinjuku to Hakone Yumoto station by Romance car

    2) From Hakone Yumoto station to Togendai Station – by what transport ?

    3) From Togendai Station to Moto Hakone Port by sightseeing cruise

    4) From Moto Hakone Port to Gotemba Outlet Shopping – by what transport ?

    5) From Gotemba Outlet Shopping to Shinjuku – by what transport ?

    Better to get 1 day Hakone Pass for all the above ?

  2. I arrive by cruise ship 15/4/17 dock 7am to 11 pm same day.
    I am thinking of bullet train to Kyoto or train to see Mt Fuji,
    And a tour of Tokyo, do you think this is feasible thank you.
    I have been looking at your comments to the queries sent in
    and I think it is the best travel info I have seen, congratulations.

  3. HELLO,
    thanks a lot for answering , ill go with jr and follow your infos , I might by the hakone pass if it covers everything,
    ill inquire where to leave our luggage maybe at the station. and will see the way to Osaka
    ghada thanks

  4. Hello,, im travelling with my daughter to japan and we will like to see hakone on our day drip before osaka, do you think as we are on budget, the odakyu way is the best as you think, we want to buy only the toko toko day pass to save. Can we see the mount fuji clearly? And can we continue to osaka with our jr pass and how do we catch the jr? Is there a place we can put our luggages?
    All these questions make me worry pls help us.
    Thank you
    Ghada

    1. Hi Ghada,

      If you want to see Mt. Fuji clearly, you need to take Hakone ropeway to get Owakudani. That means you need to have Hakone Free Pass. Toko toko day pass is not enough.
      You have JR pass and you don’t need to take Odakyu from Tokyo to Odawara. You can take Shinkansen to get Odawara and then use Hakone Free Pass from Odawara. And you can catch Shinkansen to Osaka at Odawara too. Please see the links below to find more info:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html
      http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/

      2 days pass is fine for even day trip.

      You can leave your luggage at Odawara station:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/odawara-station-guide-how-to-transfer-to-the-train-to-hakone.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi
    May i ask where can i buy the reserved ticket for the highway bus from yokohama station to hakone? I cant find from then pdf file and link.

    If i am buying the hakone free pass, how do i reserve a seat in highway bus?

    Thank you for your advice.

    1. Hi Cheng,

      You can use one of my sample itineraries.
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/sample-itinerary-of-tokyo-hakone-kyoto-and-osaka-classic-route-in-7-days.html

      You can squeeze Yokohama before Hakone. You can take either train or bus to get Hakone. Hakone Free Pass is highly recommended anyway.
      You can reserve your seat over the phone. Online is not available and phone number of Odakyu sightseeing service center can be found in the link below:
      http://www.odakyu-hakonehighway.co.jp/common/pdf/english.pdf

      In my sample, Kyoto is next destination after Hakone but you can change to Osaka. You don’t need to use one base fare ticket to KIX if you intend to take limousine bus.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Dear Takeshi,
            Can you help me? I am planning to either a) buy a 2 week JR pass from Tokyo to cover my trip Tokyo-Odawara-Minokamo-Osaka-(separate day trips to Kyoto, Nara, Himeji)-Onomichi-Tokyo OR
            b) Hakone Freepass from Tokyo to Hakone then a single ticket Odawara-Minokamo where we will stay for 4 days with friends. Then buy a one week JR Pass from Minokamo-Osaka-(separate day trips to Kyoto, Nara, Himeji)-Onomichi-Tokyo.
            Which do you think offers best value for money?

          2. Hi Sally,

            Plan b is cheaper. But you don’t have any plans to use JR pass when you are in Tokyo and in Minokamo? If you have any chances to use the pass when you are in these cities, JR Pass 14 days may be cheaper.

            And also do you need any ride between Tokyo and airport, Haneda or Narita? If you leave from Narita and can include Tokyo to Narita or versa, you may use JR pass for this trip too. It costs 3000 yen if you take Narita Express.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Dear Takeshi

    Need your advices please. My family of 4 will be traveling to tokyo in early June 2017. Staying in shibuya area.

    In Tokyo places of visit include
    – train from narita to shibuya
    – Ikebukuro
    – asakusa
    – harajuku
    – tsukiji outer market
    – odaiba
    – kawasaki for doraemon museum

    Next head to Yokohama for 1 night stay
    – cup noodle museum
    – ramen museum
    – sea paradise

    Next to Hakone for 1 night stay
    – should i take a highway bus or train from yokohama to hakone yumoto?
    – will take the rail train, cable car and ropeline and outlet, will you recommend to buy a hakone freepass?

    Lastly take a train via hakone yumoto station to osaka universal studio for 2 nights before taking a limousine bus to airport or train?

    I am confused by the many types of transportations and dont know which one should i buy. Reading some forum saying I should not buy JR pass as i am not taking 2 ways bullet train.

    Really appreciate your advices which passes should i be getting based on my trip plan above. Thank you!

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be travelling to Tokyo mid Feb and will be staying for 5 days.
    I have some questions regarding the various JR passes, hope you can help me out.

    1.) I will be staying near Omori station. I would like to ask whether the JR Tokyo 1-day ticket and JR Tokyo metropolitan pass covers Omori station? I was looking at the pass coverage map and Omori station is not named inside, though I see the coverage till Kamata station.

    2.) I am also planning to purchase the Tokyo wide pass for the last 3 days of stay so that it covers the Shinkansen train tickets to Karuizawa and also the Narita Express ticket to airport on my last day. However, I am also planning to visit Hakone for a day trip but the Tokyo wide pass does not cover the Tokaido line. If I were to get the Tokyo wide pass, Is there any way I can get to Odawara station where I can purchase the Hakone free pass (4000Y). What will be the best (Not too expensive) way for me to get to Hakone using the Tokyo wide pass? If not, any other alternative?

    May thanks and have a great day ahead
    Wei

    1. Hi Wei,

      1. Omori is covered by both passes. The coverage maps do not show all stations. Omori is in coverage area.

      2. Tokyo Wide Pass covers Tokaido line. It does not cover only Shinkansen. So you can take Tokaido line local train, rapid train, Limited Express Odoriko/Super View Odoriko by this pass.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html#Tokyo_Wide_Pass

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi, my wife and I are planning to visit Japan the last week of April. We were planning to do 5 days Tokyo, Hakone and Nikko. What do you recommend we don want to spend to much time in trains as we want to tae in as much as we can of the country in 5 days. What do you recommend and the number of stay days.

    1. Hi Eddie,

      Hakone and Nikko are different direction. There is no shorten routes available. You have to take trains Tokyo-Hakone-Tokyo, and Tokyo-Nikko-Tokyo anyway.

      Odakyu railway Romancecar is the best choice to get Hakone. There are several ways to get Nikko. Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/how-to-access-to-nikko-from-tokyo-there-are-three-ways-from-tokyo-shinjuku-and-asakusa.html

      There are many travelers to visit these places as day trip. I recommend to stay one night each. But it depends on how much you want to spend your time in Tokyo.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Dear Takeshi
    My wife and I have just returned back home in Canada after spending a week in Japan during which we travelled using the Japan Railway Pass and we also visited Hakone and Went on the cable car, ropeway and took the cruise as per your advise.
    We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
    Our high points were seeing Mt Fuji , paying homage at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and visiting shrines, temples and Japanese gardens
    Thank you for all the advice you gave us
    Syed

  10. I want go to tokyo for 5 days
    my itin
    1 day gala yuzawa
    1 day tokyo disney sea
    2 day tokyo (shinjuku, harajuku, shibuya, asakusa)
    What is the best trasportaion pass should i take?
    are there still snow in gala yuzawa?

    Thank you Takeshi

    Lela

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