Trip Itineraries

Avoid The Crowds in Hakone! A Reverse Course With Lake Ashi’s Nature and a Hot Spring Amusement Park

This is a one-day trip where you can experience the history of Hakone Checkpoint, the nature of Onshi Hakone Park, and relax at Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun. This route goes in the reverse direction of the popular Hakone-Yumoto to Gora and Owakudani course. As a result, it’s less crowded and easy to move about, filled with interesting, little-known spots. We suggest using the Hakone Freepass on this trip. This allows you to travel around Hakone for a reasonable cost, and receive discounts at different facilities in the area!

Duration : 8 hours

9:40 AM – Hakone Checkpoint – Take the Hakone Tozan Bus from Hakone-Yumoto Station

Today we’ll be introducing a sightseeing course that allows you to take advantage of the Hakone Freepass. By using this pass, you can travel within the Hakone area economically, and also receive discounts at certain attractions (some places are excluded).

As long as you have the pass, you can utilize it for transportation free of charge (unless otherwise mentioned).

Let’s begin our Hakone excursion by boarding a bus and enjoying our trip the smart way!

The Hakone Tozan Bus is convenient for sightseeing because you don’t have to worry about getting lost or looking for a parking space.

Also, buses come often at regular intervals. For example, buses going to Lake Ashi’s Motohakone and Togendai areas, run four to seven times per hour during the daytime.

Hakone-Yumoto Station

First, let’s get on a Hakone Tozan Bus (H or R Route) at Hakone-Yumoto, and get off at Hakone Checkpoint (Hakone Sekisho)(154), one of the stops at Lake Ashi.

10:20 AM – Go Back in Time at the Historic Hakone Checkpoint (Sekisho)

Checkpoints, or sekisho, were facilities built during the Edo period (1603-1868) to control traffic moving through the area, and to keep out suspicious individuals.

Hakone Checkpoint monitored people traveling along the Tokaido, a route linking Edo (Tokyo’s former name) with Kyoto.

At one time there were more than fifty checkpoints throughout Japan, but all were abolished in 1869 by the new government. However, excavation and research was carried out on the site of Hakone Checkpoint, and in 2007 it was restored to its original form.

Looking at the historical, majestic buildings with their interesting furnishings will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Edo period.

Admission is 500 yen for adults and 250 yen for children under twelve years of age. When you present your Hakone Freepass, it’s 400 yen for adults and 150 yen for children (all prices including tax). On Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays, admission is free for elementary school and junior high school students.

11:15 AM – Onshi Hakone Park – See Lake Ashi’s Splendid Scenery

After just a 10 minutes’ walk from Hakone Checkpoint, we will arrive at Onshi Hakone Park. The park spreads out around the former site of Hakone Rikyu Palace, the imperial family’s country villa. The spectacular views of Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji are popular with visitors who come sightseeing.

Many people enjoy a leisurely walk here, admiring the different flowers and the changing foliage of the trees during each season. It is easy to lose track of time here.

We recommend taking photos at either Lakeside Panorama Hall, near the middle of the park, or Benten-no-hana Observatory.

Both face directly towards Mt. Fuji, with the spacious Lake Ashi in the foreground. You can take a picture with this breathtaking scenery in the background.

Make sure to take the time to visit on a sunny day.

10 minutes on foot

12:00 PM – Refresh Yourself at Cedar Avenue (Kyukaido Suginamiki)

Cedar Avenue, located just 5 minutes from Onshi Hakone Park’s entrance, is a cedar tree-lined path that extends for about 500 meters.

More than 400 impressive cedar trees, some almost 400 years in age, line this route that goes in the direction of Motohakone. Some are gigantic cedars with a trunk circumference of four meters!

It is said that the line of cedar trees protected travelers from the intense summer heat and the ice-cold winter winds as they passed along this route in olden times.

You can nearly feel the presence of those travelers while soaking up the ambiance amidst the crisp and fresh air.

Getting to Old Tokaido Road Cedar Avenue takes about 10 minutes on foot one way, and to Motohakone-ko (OH67) requires 15 minutes. We will continue along this cedar-lined route until we get to Motohakone-ko.

15 minutes on foot

12:40 PM – Go Across Lake Ashi Aboard a Hakone Sightseeing Cruise

From Motohakone-ko (OH67) we’ll board the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, which was modeled after a European-style vessel. This ship crosses Lake Ashi in about 35 minutes, allowing its riders to enjoy a brisk, refreshing wind.

You can board the ship using the Hakone Freepass.

1:10 PM – Togendai View Restaurant – Try Their Popular Rice Omelette

After the Hakone Pirate Ship arrives at Togendai (OH65), we will go to Togendai View Restaurant, located in the terminal building.

The restaurant has a beautiful view of Lake Ashi, which you can gaze out at as you enjoy a tasty meal.

The most popular menu item is the Fluffy Rice Omelette that comes with a salad (1,200 yen including tax). This is an exquisite dish with melt-in-your-mouth eggs covered in a demi-glace sauce.

After your meal, you can browse the souvenir corner and look for something special to remember your Hakone visit by.

2:10 PM – Take the Ropeway to Owakudani

After lunch, we’ll leave Togendai (OH65) and make our way to Hakone Ropeway. It’ll take us about 16 minutes to arrive there.

We can also use our Hakone Freepass to ride the ropeway.

On the ride you can take in the dynamic scenery while leaving Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji, and heading towards Owakudani Station (OH63).

2:30 PM – Owakudani – One of Hakone’s Famous Sights

Owakudani is a valley located at the highest elevation on the ropeway route. This is one of the most popular destinations within the Hakone area.

As a result of volcanic activity, white smoke rises from the desolate landscape, which was once described as a kind of hell. It is awe-inspiring to look at.

4:00 PM – Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun – Enjoy This Amusement Hot Spring

From Owakudani Station (OH63) the Hakone Ropeway will take us to Sounzan Station (OH62). From here we’ll take the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Gora Station (OH57), then transfer to the Hakone Tozan Train and go to Kowakidani (OH55).

The end of this day trip concludes with a natural hot spring (onsen). Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun is a facility that can be described as a hot spring theme park.

It’s an amusement-filled onsen where you can have fun inside and outside while wearing your bathing suit.

A popular attraction is the outdoor water slide. The warm water lets children and adults enjoy the slide even during the winter months.

The inside of the facility has many fun hot springs, including the Doctor Fish foot bath and the wine bath.

Whether it’s the outside or indoor area, you can enter the baths with your swimsuit on, so we highly recommend this for visitors who feel self conscious about disrobing in public.

Inside there’s also Mori no Yu, a Japanese-style hot spring enclosed by nature.

The main attraction here is the rotenburo (outdoor bath) that’s surrounded by the Hakone mountains. At night the bath becomes illuminated, allowing you to relax and wash away your travel fatigue.

Please note that Mori no Yu is a Japanese hot spring and you cannot enter while wearing your bathing suit.

Next, we will ride the Hakone Tozan Bus (H Route) back to Hakone-Yumoto (OH 51) and bring our journey to a close.

Relax and Explore Hakone by Taking the Reverse Route

This reverse route travel plan is comparatively less crowded than other routes, and is ideal for travelers who want to explore and enjoy Hakone at a more relaxed pace.

We hope you enjoy a leisurely trip filled with the great outdoors in Hakone!

*Restaurant menus, admission fees and other information are all 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.