Hakone is one of the most popular tourist destinations among both domestic and international travelers in Japan and is very nearby Tokyo. You can decide to take a day trip out to Hakone, but for those who want to enjoy staying in a Japanese resort up in the mountain and experience hot springs, it is a good idea to spend a weekend in Hakone. In this article, I introduce travel tips for how to maximize your time in Hakone during the limited time you may have in Japan.
Take your adventure out to Hakonemost popular destinations from Tokyo because it is only two hours away, yet provides a relaxing getaway.
If you travel by train, you first want to travel to Odawara City. Several trains stop in Odawara, including Shinkansen, the bullet train, so even if you are not traveling from Tokyo, it is easy to get there. Once you arrive at Odawara, you take the Hakone Tozan Line to travel to Hakoneyumoto where you can decide to transfer to a different train or a bus to get to Hakone. If you happen to get motion sickness easily by car, traveling by car or bus from Hakoneyumoto can be quite tough since Hakone is known for its winding roads going up and down the mountains. If you are one of those people, I suggest you to transfer to a train.
A relaxing day at Hakone’s hot springsHakone Kowakien Yunessun where you can wear your swimsuit and enjoy themed hot springs with your friends, family, and partner.
Enjoy outdoor adventure and art in beautiful Hakone natureHakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone Chokoku No Mori Bijyutsukan in Japanese, is a popular museum, which is out in beautiful Hakone mountainous nature.
The museum was opened in 1969 and exhibits 120 modern and contemporary works of art in the spacious open-air museum, which is 70,000 square meters. As the temperature rises in spring, it would be a perfect place to get out and appreciate art in Hakone’s beautiful nature. There are cafes and restaurants in the museum, so you can satisfy your eyes and stomach at the same location. If you are traveling with children, this is also a great place for children to run around.
Use the Hakone Free Pass for easy and convenient transportationIf you are not traveling with a rental car, but you are planning to visit various locations in Hakone and are spending at least two days, getting a “Hakone Free Pass” is a good idea. If you purchase this pass at Odawara Station, it is 4,000 JPY (35.50 USD) for adults and 1,000 JPY (8.90 USD) for children. This pass allows for unlimited accessibility to 8 various forms of public transportation, including a cable car and a ropeway in Hakone, which makes visiting and playing in Hakone more convenient and easy for travelers.
With the Hakone Free Pass, it also provides discounts at 500 locations around Hakone, so unless you are spending only a day, it makes total sense to get this pass. The Hakone Free Pass can be purchased at other stations as well, so if you happen to travel from Shinjyuku, the regular costs is around 6,530 JPY (58.12 USD), but with the pass, you pay 5,140 JPY (45.75USD) for adults.
Venture out of Tokyo into beautiful Hakone
If you have little extra time to explore outside of Tokyo, Hakone is one of the highly recommended places to visit on your adventure in Japan. Of course, if your adventure in Japan is all about going out in the neon lights in Tokyo, maybe this is not your cup of tea, but if you are little tired of busy Tokyo city life, venture out for a day or two to explore what Hakone has to offer. Japan is a country on a volcanic island, where there is ample supply of great hot springs, so you have to experience hot springs at least once and Hakone is a great place for your first hot spring experience.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.