Trip Itineraries

Your First Hakone Trip! A One Day Travel Plan With Must-See Spots

Hakone is a sightseeing area where you can enjoy abundant nature and hot springs while being only an hour and a half away from Tokyo. The area is popular with both Japanese and international tourists for its variety in picturesque Japanese landscapes, like Mt. Fuji and the autumn leaves. In this article, we will introduce a one day trip itinerary around must-visit destinations in Hakone such as Owakudani and Lake Ashi. Use the Hakone Freepass to travel around Hakone and receive discounts at the facilities we’ll be introducing!

Duration : 1 day

7:30 AM – From Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto by Romancecar

In this article, we will introduce a travel course using the Hakone Freepass. The pass allows you to travel within Hakone for a great value and also offers discounts at participating facilities (some exclusions may apply). Unless stated otherwise, all methods of transportations can be used for free with this pass. Use the pass to start your Hakone travels the fun and smart way!

Ride the Romancecar to travel from Tokyo to Hakone. The Romancecar is a limited express train that can be used to go from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station (OH51) with just one train. It will take about an hour and a half. All seats are designated so that you can travel in comfort while enjoying the scenery (*1).

Make sure to look out for Mt. Fuji, which can be seen from the windows during clear weather.

*1: If taking the Romancecar with the Hakone Freepass from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station, a separate express fee (1,090 yen) will be required.

9:20 AM – Hakone-Yumoto Station, the Entrance of Hakone

Hakone-Yumoto Station (OH51), the Romancecar’s last stop, is the entrance to Hakone. From here, you can head to sightseeing spots using other transportation methods such as the Hakone Tozan Train or Hakone Tozan Bus.

A convenient luggage storage service (from 800 yen including tax) is also available at the station if you will be staying in the area. If you leave your bags with the service counter inside the station, they will transport it to your accommodation. This allows you to be able to enjoy your sightseeing more freely. Show your Hakone Freepass to receive a 100 yen discount.

9:25 AM – Ride to The Hakone Open Air Museum on the Hakone Tozan Train

First, let’s head to Chokoku-no-Mori Station (OH56) from Hakone-Yumoto Station. Take the Hakone Tozan Train when you want to visit the Hakone Open Air Museum or the Gora area. The train travels up the mountain path from Odawara Station (OH47) at a 14m elevation and ends at the 541m-high Gora Station (OH57).

Due to the route being located on steep slopes, you’ll also be able to enjoy the use of switchbacks (*2).

*2 Switchback: a special way the rail is constructed so that the train continues in a zigzag motion while changing its direction of travel when going up a hill.

10:00 AM – Take a Stroll and See Art at the Hakone Open Air Museum

The Hakone Open Air Museum is Japan’s first outdoor museum where you can appreciate artwork against the backdrop of Hakone’s nature. There are many things to see while exploring the museum! You’ll find the Picasso Pavilion, an exhibit that houses 300 pieces of the artist’s works, the Happiness in Symphonic Sculpture, a piece made of beautiful stained glass and a popular photo spot, outdoor sculpture pieces, and much more!

If you are coming with children, we especially recommend exhibits like the Soap Bubble Castle or Net Forest, where you can experience art while in giant capsules and nets. If you’re feeling tired, you can also take a short break at the footbaths on the grounds.

The entrance fee is 1,600 yen for adults, 1,200 yen for high school and college students, and 800 yen for elementary and junior high school students. By showing your Hakone Freepass, your fee will be discounted to 1,400 yen for adults, 1,100 yen for high school and college students, and 700 yen for elementary and junior high school students (all prices including tax).

11:20 AM – Take the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Owakudani

After admiring the art, head to what is considered one of the highlights of Hakone sightseeing: Owakudani. Here, you can experience the magnificence of a volcano from up-close.

To get there, first, transfer to the Hakone Tozan Cable Car from the Hakone Tozan Train at Gora Station (OH57) and enjoy the climb and the rumblings of the retro cable car.

11:45 AM – Enjoy a View of Mt. Fuji on the Hakone Ropeway

Once you’ve arrived at Sounzan Station (OH62), the last stop on the cable car route, transfer to the Hakone Ropeway. Cars on the ropeway depart every minute.

During the ropeway ride, you will steadily travel up the slope and climb over the mountain summit. Once you pass the mountaintop, you will be greeted by a beautiful mountain range and a gorgeous valley. The magnificent Mt. Fuji is also visible on sunny days! It takes a little under 10 minutes to reach Owakudani Station (OH63), allowing you to have a pleasant journey high up in the sky.

12:55 PM – Great Nature and Regional Cuisine at Owakudani

Owakudani is a volcanic valley that formed about 3000 years ago. It is now a famous sightseeing spot and allows visitors to enjoy its continuous volcanic activity from a close distance. Many of the hot springs in Hakone receive their spring water from Owakudani. You will feel the power of nature seeing the smoke that billows up from the volcano’s surface.

Taste the Famous Curry

First, let’s eat the specialty curry at Owakudani-eki Shokudo. The Deluxe Owakudani Curry (1,250 yen including tax), a black-brown color inspired by the smoky grounds of the volcano, is flavorful with a Japanese-style dashi stock seasoned with spices. It is recommended you enjoy it by mixing the hot spring egg into the curry.

1 minute on foot

Eat the Famous Black Egg

Kurotamago, or black eggs, are another local specialty that can only be found here. They are a must-try snack! The egg is steamed after being carefully boiled in the heat of the spring waters, which gives it its characteristic pure-black shell. It is said that eating one of these eggs will prolong your life by seven years. Kurotamago house sells five for 500 yen including tax.

Inside the same facility

Learn About the Owakudani Volcano at Hakone GeoMuseum

Hakone GeoMuseum, located right next to Owakudani Station, is a museum split into two areas: a free information zone and the Geo Hall (100 yen including tax). Here, you can enjoy various exhibitions on the structure of volcanoes, the history of Hakone, and other highlights of Owakudani.

2:20 PM – Cross Lake Ashi on the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise!

After visiting Owakudani, head to Lake Ashi, which has a superb view of Mt. Fuji. Here, you can enjoy the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise!

Take the Hakone Ropeway from Owakudani to Togendai Station (OH65), then board the cruise at Togendai Port. With an interior inspired by European battleships, this is a cruise with a great view of Mt. Fuji reflected on the clear lake surface and the beautiful nature surrounding Lake Ashi.

The cruise anchors at either Hakonemachi-ko (OH66) or Motohakone-ko (OH67). This time, we stopped at Motohakone-ko (OH67) which is where Hakone-jinja shrine is.

3:40 PM – A Visit to the Historic Hakone-jinja shrine

Hakone-jinja shrine, built on the bank of Lake Ashi and a 10 minutes’ walk from Motohakone-ko, is a shrine with over 1260 years of history. Since ancient times, those crossing the Hakone-ji (*3) and Tokaido (*4) would come to the shrine to pray for safe journeys. It is said that the shrine is effective in bringing luck for competitions and economic fortune. How about making a prayer here yourself?

*3 Hakone-ji: the road that starts in Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture and goes across the mountains of Hakone. It ends at Mishima in Shizuoka.
*4 Tokaido: the road that connected Tokyo and Kyoto. It was a road once frequently traveled by people.

Take a stunning picture at the Torii Gates of Peace, built right on the lake. Your photo will include the gorgeous scenery of the lake beyond the red torii with the Hakone mountains in the background.

To return back, take the Hakone Tozan Bus (K, R, H routes) to Hakone-Yumoto Station (OH51). It will take about 40 minutes from Motohakone to Hakone-Yumoto (*5).

*5: Please note that the evening bus route is often late due to the congestion of the roads.

5:00 PM – Gift Shopping at Hakone Tozan Meisan-ten Yumoto shop

Lastly, if you’ll be purchasing Hakone souvenirs, then make a visit to Hakone Tozan Meisan-ten Yumoto shop in Hakone-Yumoto Station. The market is open until 21:00, making it perfect for taking your time shopping after your day of fun.

Make sure to look for limited edition merchandise. Some products include the Hakone Tozan Train Sable Biscuits (540 yen for a box of 10 including tax), filled with maple cookies in a box shaped like the Hakone Tozan Train, and the Hakone Tozan Train Bento (1,080 yen including tax). It’s also recommended to purchase a bento box to eat on the way home in the Romancecar.

The Best Way to Travel Around Hakone!

In this article, we introduced a travel course that includes must-visit sightseeing spots in Hakone. By taking advantage of the Hakone Ropeway and Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, you can efficiently visit several spots in a day. Please refer to this article when visiting Hakone!

*Please note that various data, such as restaurant menus or prices, are subject to change.

About Discount Passes

Use discount passes when traveling in Hakone!
For example, with the Hakone Freepass, you can ride most transportation for free.
You will also receive deals on admission for art museums and other locations.
Find out how you can save money during your Hakone trip.