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.

I updated the information in the link below. Your can find the sample itinerary to Hakone.

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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 trip time are the following:

  • Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto — 2,080 yen (basic fare 1,190 yen + limited express surcharge 890 yen) / 1 hour 25 minutes to 40 minutes

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.


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.

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

  1. Hi guys!

    I intend to purchase at 3-day Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station.

    I have a few questions:

    1. From Odawara, I will take the Hakone Tozan Railway to Hakone Yumoto station since its free and i DO NOT have to buy a ticket since the Hakone Free Pass includes FREE RIDE along the Hakone Tozan Railway, am I correct?

    2. For going home from Hakone Yumoto, I intend to head to Shinjuku. So if I want to take the Limited Romance Car from Hakone Yumoto, is there a machine at Hakone Yumoto station that I can purchase the ticket? Should I purchase a regular fare ticket + reserved ticket? Can I buy the regular ticket at machine at Hakone Yumoto station since i dont have a suica card?

    3. From Hakone Yumoto station, do i need to exit gate and head to ticket machine to purchase the regular + reserved ticket for Romance Car at another platform? If im not allowed to buy the regular ticket, can i just pay to the train conductor at romance car or pay at shinjuku ticket counter?


    1. Hi Elle,

      1. Yes, correct.

      2,3. You can buy Romancecar ticket at the vending machine in the platform. And you can purchase a base fare ticket for Odawara to Shinjuku in the train to the conductor. If you cannot see the conductor, you can pay at Shinjuku station.

      You also can buy Romancecar ticket when you purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara in advance. Because in the worst case, Romancecar will be booked out when you try to buy a ticket at the vending machine in Hakone Yumoto station just before taking Romancecar.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thanks for your reply.

        1. Since you mentioned that I can buy the base fare ticket from the train conductor or when i reached shinjuku station, does that mean that i am not able to purchase a base fare ticket from hakone yumoto station itself?

        2. Also, if i choose to buy base fare ticket when i reach shinjuku station, do i go to the counter and let them know that i need to purchase the ticket before i can exit the gate? since i do not have any base fare ticket i cannot exit the gate at shinjuku station

        3. lastly, for going back home i will be taking tozan railway from kowakidani station and alight hakone yumoto station. since i want to use the limited romance car, do i need to “exit” or “transfer” to go to the romance car platform? is it far? any idea how minutes walk?


        1. Hi Elle,

          1. You can buy a base fare ticket for Odawara to Shinjuku. But you have to exit Hakone Yumoto station. You can buy Romancecar ticket only at the platform.

          2. You can let the station staff know at the ticket gate. They will show you how to do.

          3. It’s same platform. You don’t need exit and transfer. You just need to change trains. It takes less than one minute. But if you intend to buy Romancecar ticket at the platform. You will spend another 5 minutes. I recommend you to buy Romancecar ticket and base fare ticket in advance when you buy Hakone Free Pass at Odawara. It’s much easier.


          Takeshi /

          1. hi appreciate the prompt reply.

            last few clarifications,

            1. you mentioned that we can buy the base ticket in advance, maybe i’m wrong but i read somewhere that you can only purchase the base fare ticket on the day of the departure and not in advance on the ticket machine? if we could buy 3 days in advance in Odawara for base fare ticket for Hakone Yumoto to Shinjuku destination that will be great.

            2. Last night my friend realised we could actually make an online reservation for Romance Car, so she went ahead to book it. However, she used a VIRTUAL CREDIT CARD, meaning there’s no physical card but only card details on iphone application. We read that we need to show the romance car train conductor of our reservation confirmation copy and a credit card however she does not have a physical copy of the card, but she can show the details from the application. Do you think the train conductor will reject our reservation since we can’t produce a physical credit card?


            1. Hi Elle,

              If you purchase a Romancecar ticket and a base fare ticket at same time, you can buy both in advance. But you have already purchased a Romancecar ticket. You have to pay on board or at Shinjuku station.

              Actually I have no idea about a virtual credit card. But I don’t think you can show your credit card on board. As long as you can purchase a ticket online, it will be charged to her credit card. In my understanding, the deal had been done at the time of booking. She has to show the confirmation only.


              Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi-san,

    My husband and I are planning a tour to Mt. Fuji this November 18/19, we need your help please.

    1) Is it better to do a day tour or do it by ourselves?

    2) We want to visit –
    a) Gotemba
    b) Oshino Hakkai
    c) Lake Kawaguchi
    d) Maple Corridor Autumn Festival

    We can’t find a tour that will go to all the places above. What we can only find is either Lake Kawaguchi OR Maple Corridor, not both.

    3) If we are to do it by ourselves, can you help with which passes to buy and train/bus to ride.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rosy san,

      I have never joined a tour in Japan before. So I cannot compare the tour and own trip. But you cannot find the tour which include the place where you want to visit. I think your choice is only making a trip by yourself.

      There is no deals to cover whole part of the trip. You have to purchase a regular ticket and a local deal in Lake Kawaguchi area.

      Tokyo (Shinjuku) – Kawaguchiko, express bus by regular ticket

      Take a sightseeing bus around Kawaguchiko area and Oshino Hakkai.

      Regular fare for local bus from Oshino Hakkai to Gotemba

      Regular fare for Gotemba to Tokyo


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi,
    I will be getting the 7 days JR pass as i will be traveling between Osaka and Tokyo by shinkansen. I would also like to visit Hakone for 1 day trip from Tokyo, Shinjuku. Is it worth if i buy a Hakone pass?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      In other post, you left a comment and it said you will take Sunrise between Tokyo and Osaka. But here, you will plan to take Shinkansen. Which one is your plan?

      If you will take Sunrise, you have to book a seat after you arrive in Japan. There is no ways to book it online or before you arrive in Japan. After you exchange JR Pass, you can go for booking. But it may be booked out when you try to book. Sunrise is very popular train. It is no surprised if it’s booked out. If you keep this plan, it is a kind of gamble. If it’s booked out, you have to take Shinkansen to get Tokyo from Osaka after sightseeing in Kyoto. Shinkansen is covered but you have to find a hotel to stay. It is same thing for Tokyo to Himeji.

      If you don’t want to avoid a gamble, you have two ways. First, just take Shinkansen and book a hotel in Tokyo and Osaka as you think here. You can take the last Shinkansen to maximize the time to stay in Kyoto and Osaka.

      In this case, you can use JR pass.

      Second, take overnight bus between Tokyo and Osaka if you want overnight transfer.

      In this case, JR pass is not your choice. You need a pass at each cities, such as subway pass.

      Hakone Free Pass is required for even day trip. But if you use JR pass, you can get Odawara by Shinkansen and save your cost. JR pass covers Tokyo to/from Odawara.


      Takeshi /,

  4. Hi Takeshi San,
    Can you please recommend what pass should I buy if I’m travelling from Nagoya – Hakone (2days) – Shinjuku?

    Thanks and regards,
    Siew chee

  5. Is hakone worth the visit in 1st week of March? How’s the wintery climate/weather around that time of year? Will we be able to enjoy the rides and activities even if it’s still winter time? Thanks!

  6. Konnichiwa
    I am a residence of Japan with 1 year student visa.Can I visit Hakone By Greater Tokyo Pass 3 day=7200 yen.
    (2)If yes,Can I travel Following Non JR railway unlimited time 3 days For other Destination Beside Tokyo.
    Odakyu Railway,
    Keio Railway,
    Keisei Railway,
    Keikyu Railway,
    Sagami Railway ,
    Seibu Railway ,
    Tokyu Railway ,
    Tobu Railway,
    Tokyo Metro subway
    Toei subway,
    Yokohama Minatomirai Railway ,
    Yokohama subway and
    Local Bus in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama prefecture.
    Your comments are Highly appreciated.

  7. Hi
    Can we go from Tokyo to Hakone and there to Kyoto and back to Tokyo?
    is this doable?
    arrive Narita early morning (get JR Pass) and explore Tokyo day 1
    explore Tokyo day 2
    use Hakone free pass and get to Hakone explore and stay overnight – day 3
    Use Hakone free pass and JR Pass and go to Kyoto – day 4 (afternoon and explore Kyoto in the evening)
    explore Kyoto – day 5
    back to Tokyo for evening flight in Haneda – day 6 – use JR Pass

      1. Thank you. I will do a 1 day trip in Hanoke as you ahve suggested and stay over night near Hakone-Yumoto or Mishima. Whcih one would you suggest for overnight stay and good connection to get to Kyoto by Shinkassen the next day?
        Thanks a lot for your time and helpful tips.

        1. Hi Soma,

          Mishima is more accessible. But Hakone-Yumoto is not bad. Hakone-Yumoto is a few stations away from Odawara. You can catch Shinkansen from Odawara too. Hakone-Yumoto is one of the best Onsen town. As a place to stay, Hakone-Yumoto is more attractive than Mishima in my opinion.


          Takeshi /

  8. Hi I am planning to go Tokyo in May.what kind of passes can I purchase
    Day1- reach Haneda Aiport and stay at Tokyo
    Day2- Tokyo
    Day3 &4 Staying at Disneyland hotel
    Day5-6- to Hakone
    Day7-8 at Tokyo
    Day9 to Narita Airport

    1. Hi Ching Ching,

      You may use Haneda access + Tokyo subway ticket combo deal. Please see the link below:

      You can choose 2 days subway pass combo and use it for day 7 and 8. You may add one day subway pass only on day 2.

      You don’t need to have subway pass for day 3 and 4.

      Hakone Free Pass is your choice for day 5 and 6.

      Please see the link below for access to Narita.


      Takeshi /

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be in Tokyo for 5 days in January and I intend to make a day trip to Hakone. Just wonder whether it is worthwhile getting the JR Pass for travelling from Narita airport to my hotel at Higashi Shinjury, day trip to Hakone, Tokyo city travelling and from Tokyo to Haneda airport on the last day. Does the JR Pass covers these rides and Shinkansen from Shinjuku to Odawara?

  10. Hello Takeshi-San.
    I will be traveling from odawara to Kyoto and then Kyoto to Tokyo. Should I get a JR rail pass or just purchase separate tickets? Can I still buy a pass once I am in Japan as long as I meet the other criteria? I would like to take fast trains. Thank you.

    1. Hi Kurt san,

      Total regular fares are slightly cheaper than JR pass 7 days price. But the difference is only 2000 yen. If you intend to make other trips, JR pass may be cheaper. JR Pass cannot be purchased in Japan. You must purchase it before you leave your country.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi, the JR pass can now be purchased at major train stations in Japan (I did so myself). However, it was approximately 10% more expensive than if purchased back home.

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