Hakone access guide and the sample itineraries

Hakone Tozan Railway are suspended due to the damage by the typhoon on October 13th, 2019. According to the official announcement, it will be open sometimes in fall 2020. Please check the status in Hakone Navi.

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi

Hakone is very popular spot. It is 1.5 hours away from Tokyo by train and bus. Many travelers want to visit there as day trip from Tokyo. Hakone is located on the way to Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya from Tokyo. You may add Hakone between Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya.

I have received many inquiries about the trip plan to Hakone. I would like to show you the various trip plans to Hakone. I hope you will find the trip plan which you need in this post.

How to access to Hakone

First of all, I would like to explain about the access to Hakone. There are several ways to get there. When you choose the way to Hakone, you have to consider which pass you will use. The way of the access to Hakone is varied by the deal.

Access to Hakone-Yumoto from Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Yokohama, Haneda airport

Access route to Hakone-Yumoto from Tokyo and Yokohama area. (Click to view large)

Hakone-Yumoto is located at the base of Hakone. Hakone-Yumoto is also known as one of the biggest hot springs towns in Hakone.

You may get Hakone from many stations in Tokyo area. There are several routes to get Hakone. Before choosing the route, you have to make sure which pass you use or do not intend to use any passes. The route is varied by the pass. I would like to show you the best and most cost efficient way.

Access to Hakone from Tokyo by JR Pass

Tokaido Shinkansen
Shinkansen is as known as Bullet train.

If you have JR pass, you can take Shinkansen from Tokyo or Shinagawa to Odawara. This Shinkansen ride is covered by JR pass.

If you stay in other than Tokyo or Shinagawa stations, you can use JR pass to take JR local train, such as Yamanote line to get these stations. You may find the information about the JR train network in downtown Tokyo in the post below:

In this trip, you may purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station and change the trains at Odawara.

Both Odakyu Railway and JR Odawara stations are located side by side.

JR pass does not help any rides after Odawara. Please see the link below to find more information about Odawara station.

Your trip schedule is the following:

Tokyo or Shinagawa (About 40 minutes by the Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari or Kodama) Odawara

Purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station. Two days pass is 4,000 yen. One day pass is not available. Even if you have one day trip, two days pass is still cheaper than regular fare.

Odawara (15 minutes by Odakyu Railway) Hakone-Yumoto

After arriving at Hakone-Yumoto, follow the sample itinerary of Hakone which I will explain you later in this post.

The last Shinkansen train to Tokyo depart from Odawara at 22:51. Actually there is one more local train from Odawara later than this train which is departing from Odawara at 23:10. So you can stay Hakone-Yumoto until late night. Please see the links below to find Odakyu railway and Shinkansen timetable:

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

Hakone Navi – Transportation guide and the timetable

Access to Hakone from Yokohama by JR Pass

If you have JR pass, the Shinkansen ride is covered as I mentioned above. But the Shinkansen station in Yokohama is Shin-Yokohama. It is about 20 minutes away from Yokohama station by JR local train. If you stay in the bay area of Yokohama, you will spend another 10 minutes to get Yokohama station.

It takes 10 minutes by Yokohama city subway but this subway is not covered by JR pass. And also you spend at least 10 minutes to transfer at Shin-Yokohama from either JR local train or Yokohama city subway. The Shinkansen is not the best way from Yokohama to Odawara even though JR pass covers it. I recommend you to take the limited express Odoriko from Yokohama to Odawara. The limited express Super View Odoriko runs on same route and has nice interior. But this train does not stop at Odawara. The limited express Odoriko is covered by JR pass and you can get Odawara directly. The access to Shin-Yokohama is not required if you take the limited express Odoriko.

In this trip, you purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station. JR pass does not help any rides after Odawara.

Your trip schedule is the following:

Yokohama (About 40 minutes by the limited express Odoriko) Odawara

Purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station. Two days pass is 4,000 yen. One day pass is not available. Even if you have one day trip, two days pass is still cheaper than regular fare.

Odawara (Trip time 15 minutes by Odakyu Railway) Hakone-Yumoto

After arriving at Hakone-Yumoto, follow the sample itinerary of Hakone above.

It is hard to catch Odoriko on the way back. Because the last scheduled Odoriko leave from Odawara before 17:00. There are some more seasonal operation’s Odoriko running after 17:00. You may catch one of those trains. Please find the timetable in the links below:

Hakone Navi – Transportation guide and the timetable

JR East official site – the timetable

If you cannot take any Odoriko, you can catch the ordinary train. These trains are called Tokyo-Ueno line.

This is a sort of commute trains. Do not expect a nice comfort seat. It has a long bench seat. You may have to stand up. This train runs very frequently until 23:00. It depart from Odawara station every 10 to 20 minutes. You do not need to check the timetable. Just go to Odawara station and check the departure information board.

Most of ordinary train have green seat. If you use JR Pass Green, it is covered. The seat is much better than regular seat.

Green seat is quieter, more specious and more comfortable.
Ordinary seat is just for commuters. It is empty in the photo but in most of times, it is busy. You may need to stand up.

Even if you do not use Green pass, you can pay some extra to take this seat. The extra fee is starting from 570 yen. It is varied by the day (weekday or weekend) and the distance.

If you do not want to take the ordinary train, you can take the Shinkansen. But you need to change the trains at Shin-Yokohama station. The trip time may be longer.

Access to Hakone from Tokyo, Shinagawa, Yokohama by JR East Pass or Tokyo Wide Pass

If you use Tokyo Wide Pass or JR East Pass, you can use it to get Odawara as well.

Tokyo Wide Pass is newer version of Kanto Area Pass. Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba are covered by this pass

JR East Pass Niigata and Nagano. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Kanto region, Nagano and Niigata

JR East Pass Tohoku. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Tokyo, surrounding area of Tokyo and Tohoku region

JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the travelers who visit Tokyo and Sapporo by train

These passes are issued by JR East. The Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Odawara belongs to JR Central. It is same JR group but it is technically different company from JR East. That is why these passes do not cover Shinkansen between Tokyo and Odawara. The choice for these passes is same as above which is the limited express Odoriko. You can catch Odoriko at Tokyo, Shinagawa or Yokohama. The schedule is the following:

Tokyo, Shinagawa, Yokohama (About 40 to 60 minutes by the limited express Odoriko) Odawara

Purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station. Two days pass is 4,000 yen. One day pass is not available. Even if you have one day trip, two days pass is still cheaper than regular fare.

Odawara (Trip time 15 minutes by Odakyu Railway) Hakone-Yumoto

After arriving at Hakone-Yumoto, follow the sample itinerary of Hakone above.

On the way back to Tokyo, you can use same way as the chapter above, “Access to Hakone from Yokohama by JR Pass”.

Access to Hakone from Shinjuku by Odakyu Railway

Platform in Hakone-Yumoto station. It is small station. You can find the track where you need to go to easily.

If you do not use JR Pass, JR East Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass or JR-East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can simply start to use Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku. Odakyu Railway connects Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto. If you pay extra on top of Hakone Free Pass to take the limited express train, “Romancecar”, you can get Hakone-Yumoto directly. Transfer at Odawara station is not required. You can find how much limited express surcharge is in the link below:

Odakyu Railway – Romancecar surcharge

The base fare is included in Hakone Free Pass. You just requires the limited express surcharge on top of Hakone Free Pass. If you take Romancecar from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto, the extra cost is 890 yen for one way.

If you want to save your budget, you can take the ordinary train. Odakyu Railway operates a few kinds of the ordinary trains. The Rapid Express is the fastest train in all ordinary trains. You can take this train by Hakone Free Pass without any extra. However you need to change the trains at Odawara station. You cannot get Hakone-Yumoto directly. In Odawara station, you just need to change to the local train to Hakone-Yumoto. You do not need to exit the station because you already have Hakone Free Pass.

The trip time is also different between Romancecar and Rapid train.

By Romancecar
Shinjuku (Trip time 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes) Hakone-Yumoto

By ordinary trains (rapid Express and local train)
Shinjuku (Trip time 1.5 hours) Odawara (Trip time 15 minutes) + the transfer time in Odawara station

The train connection is very smooth at Odawara station. You usually spend around 10 minutes. You do not spend many minutes to transfer at Odawara station. Roughly speaking, the trip time difference between Romancecar and ordinary trains is around 30 minutes.

The accommodation is very different. The Rapid Express is a sort of commute trains. You may need to stand up.

Interior of ordinary train. Train may be more crowded when you are on board.

Romancecar offers nice comfortable seat. All seats are reserved.

Interior of Romancecar

Romancecar is the best way to get Hakone in my opinion.

Access to Hakone from Tokyo, Yokohama and Haneda airport by Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus

If you do not use any passes, the express bus is your choice too. This bus takes you to many places in Hakone directly. Please see the link below to find the information:

Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus

Especially if you arrive in Haneda and access to Hakone right after the arrival, this express bus is most convenient way. You can get Hakone-Yumoto directly.

Most routes of this express bus is NOT covered by Hakone Free Pass. Hakone Free Pass covers only the route in Hakone, such as Gotemba to Togendai segment.

Hakone Free Pass is sold at many places in Hakone, such as Hakone-Yumoto station, Hakone Tozan Bus Togendai info booth, Motohakone info both.

How to add Hakone between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto/Nagoya

The gateway to Odawara is located between Tokyo and Nagoya. You can drop by Hakone on the way or the way back. You also can access to Hakone from Mishima too. I would like to show several ways to get Hakone between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto/Nagoya.

Tokyo to/from Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka with stop at Odawara or Mishima by JR pass

As I wrote above, you can access to Odawara by the Tokaido Shinkansen. The Tokaido Shinkansen connects Tokyo, Odawara, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka. It is quite easy to squeeze. You can access to Hakone from Mishima. Please see the route map below:

Mishima or Odawara is the gateway to Hakone. (Click to view large)

Mishima is two stations closer to Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka than Odawara. If you intend to stay overnight around Lake Ashi, Mishima is more convenient than Odawara. You can get Hakone Free Pass at Mishima station too. Tokai Bus connects Mishima, Motohakone and Hakonemachi. Tokai Bus is fully covered by Hakone Free Pass too. You can find the information about Mishima station in the post below:

You can find some “Hikari” which is the faster train on Shinkansen line to stop at Odawara. You may get Odawara or Mishima from Kyoto or Shin-Osaka by this Hikari directly. Hikari is covered by JR pass fully. You take this type of Hikari from Tokyo or Shinagawa. But trip time is not much different by the slowest Shinkansen train “Kodama”.

Please see the link below to find the Shinkansen timetable in the link below:

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

Yokohama to/from Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka with stop at Odawara or Mishima by JR Pass

Ordinary train may be faster than Shinkansen route to Yokohama. (Click to view large)

As I mentioned above, the trains on the ordinary line, like the limited express Odoriko, Tokyo-Ueno line are faster and more convenient in most of cases. You can take Shinkansen between Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka and Mishima or Odawara. But I recommend you take the limited express Odoriko or Tokyo-Ueno line. Of course, if you want, you can take the Shinkansen between Odawara and Shin-Yokohama, and then take Yokohama line local or rapid train from Shin-Yokohama to Yokohama.

Tokyo to/from Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka with stop at Odawara or Mishima by regular ticket

If you do not use JR pass, you can take any trains. Odakyu Railway is most convenient if you stay in west side of downtown, such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro. You can take Odakyu railway between Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto.

Odakyu Railway Romancecar offers direct service between Tokyo and Hakone-Yumoto. (Click to view large)

You may take Shinkansen anyway between Odawara (or Mishima) and Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka. You need the following tickets and deal:

Odakyu Railway base fare ticket for Shinjuku to/from Odawara (and Romancecar surcharge if you want to take Romancecar)
Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure)
JR base fare ticket and Shinkansen seat fee ticket for Odawara (or Mishima) to/from Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka

All fares and train timetables can be found at Hyperdia:

If you stay in east side of downtown Tokyo, such as Ueno, Tokyo, Shinagawa, you may take same route as JR pass. You can take the Shinkansen from Tokyo or Shinagawa to Odawara. In this case, you can use same base fare ticket for Tokyo to Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka. You can make a stopover at Odawara. But you need Shinkansen seat fee ticket for each segment, Tokyo to Odawara and Odawara to Nagoya, Kyoto or Shin-Osaka. You can find more information in the link below:

Access to Hakone from Lake Kawaguchi or Lake Yamanaka

You may visit Hakone after/before visiting Lake Kawaguchi or Lake Yamanaka area. You can combine Hakone and these places in one trip. Please see the link below how you can access between these places in the link below:

You have completed to learn about the access to Hakone. Now I would like to show you the sample itinerary.

Hakone day trip from Hakone-Yumoto to Hakone-Yumoto

Owakudani is one of most popular spots in Hakone.

I would like to show you the sample itinerary which departs from Hakone-Yumoto. You may add this sample itinerary on your way to Hakone which I have already explained above.

Hakone Free Pass

Hakone Free Pass covers whole part of trip in Hakone. You should have this pass for sightseeing in Hakone. You can purchase Hakone Free Pass at most of stations on Odakyu Railway, such as Shinjuku, Odawara, Hakone-Yumoto. And also you can get this pass at most of information center in Hakone, such as Togendai, Motohakone. Please refer the link below to find the detailed information about Hakone Free Pass.

Hakone Free Pass official site

The minimum duration of Hakone Free Pass is 2 days. However you can get the worth of it by day trip easily if you visit whole part of Hakone.

You can purchase Hakone Free Pass at the various places, such as Shinjuku, Odawara, Hakone-Yumoto, Togendai.

Basic sample itinerary from Hakone-Yumoto to Hakone-Yumoto

Hakone-Yumoto is one of the biggest town in Hakone. This place is also the gateway to the core of Hakone. You start your trip in Hakone from Hakone-Yumoto if you start your trip from Tokyo or Yokohama.

Basic itinerary route (Click to view large)

Hakone-Yumoto (36 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Chokoku no Mori

Visit Hakone Open-Air Museum (1 to 1.5 hours)

Chokoku no Mori (2 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Gora (10 minutes by Hakone Tozan Cable Car) Sounzan (Trip time 8 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Owakudani

Walking in Owakudani (1 hour)

Owakudani (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Togendai

Lunch time at Togendai (1.5 hour)

Togendai port (30 minutes by Hakone Sightseeing Cruise) Motohakone port (10 minutes walk) Hakone Shrine

Visit Hakone Shrine and walk around the shore of Lake Ashi (1 hour)

Hakone Shrine (10 minutes walk) Hakone-Jinjamae bus stop (40 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Hakone-Yumoto

Total trip time of Hakone-Yumoto to Hakone-Yumoto is around 8 hours. You may shrink the trip time. The last train departure time is varied by your access from Tokyo. But most of trains run until late. I will tell you later but you can eat dinner at Hakone-Yumoto. You also have time to take Onsen bath at Hakone-Yumoto too even if you spend 8 hours for sightseeing.

You can take the reverse route, visiting Hakone shrine first. It is less crowded. However when the weather is good, Mt. Fuji show up just in front of you when you are on Hakone Ropeway. It is very dramatic and you will be amazed.

Sample itinerary including Gotemba Outlet from Hakone-Yumoto to Hakone-Yumoto

The above itinerary does not include Gotemba Outlet. If you want to shop at Gotemba Outlet, you have to give up some places. You may remove Hakone Open-Air Museum to make some extra time.

Gotemba outlet is added. You do not ride Hakone Cable Car and Hakone Ropeway between Sounzan and Owakudani. (Click to view large)

Hakone-Yumoto (38 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Gora (1 hour 10 minutes) Gotemba Outlet

Shop at Gotemba Outlet (2 hours)

Gotemba Outlet (36 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Sengoku-Annaijo (13 minutes by Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus) Togendai

Lunch time at Togendai (1.5 hour)

Togendai (Trip time 16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Owakudani

Walking in Owakudani (1 hour)

Owakudani (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Togendai / Togendai port (30 minutes by Hakone Sightseeing Cruise) Motohakone port (10 minutes walk) Hakone Shrine

Visit Hakone Shrine and walk around the shore of Lake Ashi (1 hour)

Hakone Shrine (10 minutes walk) Hakone-Jinjamae bus stop (40 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Hakone-Yumoto

This plan is around 10.5 to 11 hours total trip time. It is much longer than the first base plan but it is still feasible. If you want to have lots of time to eat and take Onsen at the of the trip in Hakone-Yumoto, you may remove Hakone-Shrine too.

Some of you are looking for overnight stay in Hakone. I would like to show you 2 days sample itinerary too.

Extend to two days trip in Hakone

I showed day trip itinerary. But if you can stay overnight in Hakone, your trip is much slower and easier to manage. And also you can visit many more places in Hakone. In my sample itinerary, I combine these above two day trip itinerary and add some more spots.

Day 1 schedule (left) / Day 2 schedule (right) (Click to view large)

Day 1

Hakone-Yumoto (38 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Gora (10 minutes by Hakone Tozan Cable Car) Sounzan (Trip time 8 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Owakudani

Walking in Owakudani (1 hour)

Owakudani (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Togendai

Lunch time at Togendai (1.5 hour)

Togendai port (35 minutes by Hakone Sightseeing Cruise) Hakonemachi port (5 minutes by walk) Hakone Check Point

Visit Hakone Sekisho (Hakone Check Point) (30 minutes)

Hakone Check Point (10 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Hakone-Jinja-Iriguchi bus stop (10 minutes walk) Hakone Shrine

Visit Hakone Shrine and walk around the shore of Lake Ashi (1 hour)

Hakone Shrine (10 minutes walk) Hakone-Jinja-Iriguchi bus stop (40 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Hakone-Yumoto

Day 2

Hakone-Yumoto (36 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Chokoku no Mori

Visit Hakone Open-Air Museum (1 to 1.5 hours)

Chokoku no Mori (2 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Gora

Visit Gora Park (30 minutes)

Gora (20 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Hakone Glass no Mori

Visit Hakone Glass no Mori Museum (1 to 1.5 hours)

Hakone Glass no Mori (50 minutes) Gotemba Outlet

Shop and Lunch at Gotemba Outlet (As much as you want)

Gotemba Outlet (1 hour 20 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus) Gora (38 minutes by Hakone Tozan Railway) Hakone-Yumoto
*Some express bus services are available between Outlet and Hakone-Yumoto. If you can catch it, it takes one hour and no change train/bus at Gora.

This is just a sample. You can arrange whatever you want. Of course you can switch day 1 and 2.

You can stay overnight anywhere in Hakone. But Hakone-Yumoto is most recommended. You can leave your luggage until you leave Hakone on day 2. Hakone-Yumoto is connected with Shinjuku by Odakyu Railway Romancecar. It is a few stations away from Odawara. It is most convenient place in Hakone.

I hope this post will help you to build your trip plan to Hakone.

75 thoughts on “Hakone access guide and the sample itineraries”

  1. Dear Takeshi san
    I am thinking of visiting Himeji castle and Miyajima island in the same day.
    Taking train from Kyoto to HImeji at the morning, arriving to Himeji at about 8:35. To spent about 2.5 hours in Himeji and then to continue to Miyajima island, arriving to MIYAJIMAGUCHI at 14:13. Train from MIYAJIMAGUCHI (19:12) to Kyoto (21:36).
    Does it make sense to visit both places in one day? If it’s too hard, what site would you recommend mostly?
    Thank you very much.
    Igal

  2. KonnichiwaTakeshi San,
    Wow you are a genius to come out with such an amazing website! It is the Mother of all travel sites for Japan! I wish every country has such a detailed and informative travel website like yours. Love, love your simple and clear visuals!
    Hubby and I are travelling to Tokyo on 4. 4.2020
    We will have 2 full days Tokyo, 1 N Hakone, 3 N Kyoto 3 full days in Osaka
    Day 1 arrival Tokyo late at Haneda
    Overnight Nihonbashi
    Day 2 catch cherry blossom – Meguro, Shinjuku Gyeon, Chidorigfuchi, Ueno park, Sensoji Temple
    Day 3 Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park Shibuya crossing
    Day 4 am Tsukiji Market outer market
    pm Depart for Hakone
    Overnight Hakone
    Day 5 am Onsen in Ryokan
    pm Hakone Circuit
    Day 6 East Kyoto
    Kiyomizudera Temple
    Kamo River promenade, Philosopher’s Path, Fushimi Inari .
     Heian Shrine, 
    Bamboo Grove
    Day 7 East Kyoto
    Arashimaya
    Depart for Osaka in the evening
    ON Namba
    Day 8 Nara
    Day 9 Miyajima optional
    Day 10 Himeiji optional
    Shirasagi for yakiniku waygu
    Day 11 Depart Kansai Airport.

    I would appreciate your view on:
    A) JR Pass
    1) Whther JR 7 day pass is feasible if I do Miyajima and Himeiji.
    ( Miyajima and Himeji is not confirmed. I don’t mind skipping them if there are more interesting plans)

    2) If yes which day should I activate the JR for which part of my journey to fully utilise the 7 day pass?

    3) If I get the JR, I would like to get the Ordinary Pass. If so can I reserve seats ONLINE in advance instead of upon arrival?
    If I cannot reserve in advance online, I would like to buy the Green pass (as i fear that in view that it is Sakura I might not be able to reserve ordinary seats in time)

    B) Hakone
    I will be getting the Hakone Free Pass preferably starting from Shinjuku -Yamato ( Romance Car)

    I made a mistake of having 1 day less in Tokyo especially considering i want to catch Sakura viewing, hence I would like to leave for Hakone in the afternoon on my Day 4
    In other words I want to spend Day 5 in Hakone and leave for Osaka as late as possible
    I would like to follow your I day itinery from Hakone Yumoto to Hakone Yumoto.
    In other words I want to break up this 1 day itinery into 2 parts between day 4 and Day 5

    4) Do I do follow your 1 day itinery exactly or do I do it in reverse? Which way is better if there is a chance of sighting Fuji san?

    5) What time train is advisable to take from Tokyo if i want to follow half your itinery in Hakone on Day 4

    6) What time is the last train to leave for Kyoto?

    7) what pass is advisable to buy in Tokyo Kyoto and Osaka based the places I want to visit in these 3 cities?
    Appreciate if you can help me out. Thanks a million!
    Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita!!

    1. Konnnichiha Chian san,

      If you go to Miyajima and Himeji, JR pass is recommnede. In other words, you cannot get the worth of 7-day JR pass without these trips.

      You may start using on day 4 or day 5. But there are lots of deals available for Osaka ato Kansai. So day 4 is better.

      In this case, you can take the Shinkansen to get Odawara. You don’t need to take Odakyu from Shinjuku because JR pass covers Tokyo to Odawara by the Shinkansen. And you may buy Hakone Free Pass there. But if you really want to take Romance car, you may start using JR Pass on day 5. It’s up to you.

      Unfortunately there is no ways to book online now. JR has announced that they will launch new website and we can book online there. It’s coming in this spring. But they haven’t mentioned the exact date yet. You may be able to use it but I’m not sure now. When I find the date, I will share on this website, my facebook page and twitter.

      It doesn’t matter which way to visit in Hakone. If you take a reverse route, it’s not much different. In my opinon, you don’t separte the sightseeing for day 4 and 5. You can leave Tokyo in late afternoon. And you can walk in Hakone Yumoto. If you go somewhere in Hakone, for example going to Gora or Motohakone, you have to take same route to go back to Hakone Yumoto. And you will take same route on next day. It’s wasting time. You may relax after you arrive in Hakone on day 4 and focus on sightseeing on day 5. You still can get Kyoto after 20:00 departure at Odawara. You can find the timetable in the link below:
      https://global.jr-central.co.jp/en/info/timetable/_pdf/westbound_1120.pdf

      You may use WELCOME! Tokyo Subway Ticket from Haneda:
      https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/airport_bus/index.html

      In Osaka and Kyoto, you can use JR pass to visit many places but you may need to add city bus pass:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-use-japan-rail-pass-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-use-japan-rail-pass-in-downtown-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      At the end, if you start using JR pass on day 4, you can pick your deal for Osaka to KIX in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-access-from-kansai-airport-to-downtown-osaka-kyoto-and-kobe.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Konnichiwa Takeshi San!
        Thank you so much for your prompt reply and also your invaluable advice.
        We are making some changes to our itinerary.
        1) Plan to drop Miyajima to replace with Koyasan after reading about your visit to Koyasan.
        2) Haneda Airport – We are buying the Welcome ticket which include 72 hour Subway ticket as per your advice
        3) Will do Hakone circuit on Day 5. (Thank you for telling me not to break up to 2 half days!)
        4) Day 8 – Undecided about whether to spend one more day in Kyoto or Osaka. If choose Kyoto, I will push Day 7 itinerary to Day 8 and explore West Kyoto from Osaka. This means we will drop Himeij and Kobe

        Hence our itinerary will change to this.
        Day 1 -4 April
        Arrival 2230 on 4.4.20 Haneda airport. Buy Welcome Card
        ON Accommodation in Nihombashi – Hamacho station

        Day 2
        Catch cherry blossom – Meguro, Shinjuku Gyeon, Chidorigfuchi,

        Day 3
        Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park Shibuya crossing

        Day 4
        am Tsukiji Market outer market, Sensoji Temple (if time permits)
        pm Depart for Hakone Onsen in Ryokan
        ON Hakone

        Day 5
        am- pm Hakone Circuit
        Take last train to Kyoto in the evening

        Day 6 East Kyoto
        Kiyomizudera Temple, Heian Shrine,
        Kamo River promenade, Philosopher’s Path,
        Fushimi Inari

        Day 7 West Kyoto
        am Arashiyama
        Bamboo grove
        Last train to Osaka in the late evening
        ON Namba

        Day 8 Himeji ?Kobe ??
        Shirasagi for yakiniku waygu
        If drop will go visit Kyoto again

        Day 9 Nara

        Day 10 Koyasan

        Day 11
        am Dontobori,
        pm Namba area
        ETD 2230 Depart Kansai Airport.

        May I seek your advice on:
        1) Since I drop Miyajima, is JR pass still recommended just for Himeiji and Kobe?
        2) If I also drop Himeiji Castle and Kobe, since JR pass is not recommended, will this affect your previous recommended passes in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka? If yes could you advise which are my best options.
        3) If I don’t buy JR Pass, with only my Welcome subway card, do I buy single ticket for the Train lines in Tokyo? Or should we buy any other train pass to the main attractions in Tokyo? (We stay near Hamacho station)
        3) We have Suica cards which I need to top up, since we arrive late at Haneda, where else is the best place to top up my Suica immediately?
        4) If I drop Himeji and Kobe, since JR is not recommended, my plans for the 3 long distances is as follows:
        Tokyo – Haneda – Shinkanzen from Shinagawa or Romance Car from Shinjuku?
        Haneda – Kyoto – Hikari train
        Kyoto – Osaka – Subway Midosuji Line to Namba Station.
        Are these the best?
        5) May I know whether there are lockers for rent in Japan train stations.
        Appreciate heaps for helping me out in my many queries.
        Have a good day!
        Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita!

        1. Hi Chian san,

          1. JR Pass is not recommended. The trip to Miyajima is required to get the worth. Himeji and Kobe are too closed to get the worth of it.

          2,3,4. Basically you can follow my sample itinerary in the link below. You may find which deal you need:
          https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7to9-days/sample-itinerary-of-tokyo-hakone-kyoto-and-osaka-classic-route-in-7-days.html

          Kansai area pass is the best option for Himeji and Kobe.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-use-jr-west-kansai-area-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

          Koyasan World Heritage Ticket is recommended for Koyasan:
          https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/koyasan.html

          5. Most stations have lockers. But sometimes the lockers are full and cannot find unoccupied one. If you really want to use it, try to get it in early morning.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    Great website and it’s very detailed and informative, love the visual representation it always helps for people learning Japan rail system.

    I’m staying in Hakone in March for 4 days, and travelling with 2 young kids. Hoping you can assist me with a few questions.

    My trip will be as follow:
    Shin-Urayasu > Gora > Shinjuku

    I’m thinking of using luggage service to Hakone, and catching Shinkansen from Tokyo then Hakone local train/bus to Gora. Reason for this is, Hakone Pass only for 2 or 3 days, I prefer to use this on the way back to Shinjuku.
    Since there is bus replacement from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora, is it worth catching a taxi?
    The following day I’ll purchase 3 day Hakone Pass from Gora station and one way ticket to Shinjuku, is this possible, or is there a 4 day Hakone Pass?

    Here’s my itinerary, if you could kindly check for me:
    Day 1
    Tokyo > Hakone
    Leaving Tokyo and arriving at Gora station, then check-in to the hotel, I would assume by the time we reach the hotel it will be late afternoon. Our hotel is 7 mins away from the station, most likely we’ll be wondering around the hotel or relaxing at the hotel onsen.

    Day 2
    If possible I’d like to buy the 3 day Hakone Pass and one way ticket to Shinjuku from Gora station.
    Open Air Museum and lunch there
    For half day worth, which of these can we fit in (as I’m not sure with the bus schedules)
    Gotemba or Amazake Teahouse or Odawara Castle or Hakone-en garden

    Day 3
    Gora > Ashi shrine > Hakone Sekisho > Sightseeing Cruise > Ropeway > Gora

    Day 4
    Nothing plan yet, but we’ll be packing up and getting ready to leave for Shinjuku.

    I appreciate for your time and effort to review this and help with my questions.

    Cheers,

    1. Hi Micheal,

      You can use Hakone Free Pass 3-day for day 2 to 4 as you are thinking. You will move to Gora and hang around there. You don’t need a pass on day 1

      I have never taken a taxi in Hakone before. So I cannot same anything about it. And also I haven’t been Hakone since the typhoon hit there in last October. I don’t know how busy the substitute bus is now. Anyway you can find some info about the taxi in the link below:
      https://www.hakonetozan-hire.co.jp/eng/index.html

      You can find all timetables in Hakone in the link below:
      https://www.hakonenavi.jp/e_catalog/english/book/html5.html#page=1

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi, we are travelling to Japan from Oct 6th till 13th –

    Reaching Tokyo airport on 6th afternoon and planning to go to Kyoto same day
    stay in Kyoto for 3 days till 9th , one day of it to go to hiroshima
    and then one day in Hakone – reaching hakone 9th evening and stay till 10th evening to cover Fuji
    and the leave on 10th evening to Tokyo and stay till 13th,

    Do you recommend JR PASS? if so for all locations, is Hakone worth the trip? And for Jr pass is green pass good you think for our trip?

    Please let me know, really appreciate your suggestions.

    1. Hi Rajesh,

      JR pass is highly recommended. You can use 7-day JR pass for the first 7 days of your trip. You may add the fare to get the airport on the last day.

      Hakone is very nice hot spring resort. I love Hakone and worth visiting. I also like Green pass. It makes your trip be much more comfortable.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi thanks for the response, so got the JRPASS and Green one too, can I travel in regular car with Green if in time crunch and couldnt reserve, also can I get on green cab without reservations if I have the pass? And how to make sure if green car and jr pass is valid on certain lines?

        And does 7 day pass start per hr period like 7 days from when I exchange based on time on that day or just even if I exchange that evening its considered full day?

        And lastly do you think one day is good to travel to hakone from Kyoto and visit Fuji and spend time in resort near ashi lake?

        thanks again –
        rajesh

        1. Hi Rajesh,

          Of course you can get an ordinary seat in case that Green seat is full. You must book a seat before taking Green seat. All seats are reserved. You cannot take a seat in Green car without reservation. You can show your JR pass at the ticket window which is called “Midori no Madoguchi” in most of JR stations and get your seat ticket. Of course you don’t need to pay. It’s covered by JR Pass fully.

          Most of trains have green car. But if you want to make sure, please see my train guides. I cover most trains:
          https://jprail.com/trains

          The validity is midnight to midnight. It doesn’t matter when you start using it. If you start using JR Pass at 23:00, you have to spend one day for just one hour. Please see JR Pass post in the link below. I wrote everything you need to know in this post:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

          It is not impossible to visit Hakone in one day. I have shown some sample in the post above. As long as you feel okay with it, that is fine.
          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

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