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Travel Tips For Your Adventure Out Of Tokyo To Hakone

Published Mar 24, 2016

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.

Top 3 activities to book in hakone

Take your adventure out to Hakone


Hakone is located on the west side of Kanagawa Prefecture, which is known for its rich volcanic mountains providing an ample supply of hot springs. For both Japanese and international visitors, it is one of the most 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.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakone and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakone

A relaxing day at Hakone’s hot springs

Yunessun 030

The majority of people who travel to Hakone have one thing in mind. It is to enjoy hot springs, which is the most popular activity in Hakone. If you are staying at a hotel or a Japanese style hotel, a ryokan, in Hakone, you will be guaranteed to have a nice hot spring in the hotel. If you are lucky, you may have a private bath in your room as well. For those of you who are not traveling to Hakone to stay the night, you can still enjoy hot springs. There are some hotels that open hot springs to the public. This is perfect for those who are only spending a day in Hakone. Each hotel has different hours and prices, so you need to check in advance, but even you do not stay at a hotel, this way you can enjoy what Hakone has to offer. If you are really into hot springs, you can for sure attempt hot spring hopping, but you want to make sure to stay warm because Hakone can get pretty chilly at this time of the year (early spring). Furthermore, if you are new to the Japanese bathing system and are not comfortable being naked in front of a stranger, you can always go to Hakone Kowakien Yunessun where you can wear your swimsuit and enjoy themed hot springs with your friends, family, and partner.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakone and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakone

Enjoy outdoor adventure and art in beautiful Hakone nature


When you are traveling to Hakone, you can decide to detox at hot springs all day, but if you are more active and want to experience the outdoors, it is a great idea to visit a unique open-air museum. Hakone 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.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakone and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakone

Use the Hakone Free Pass for easy and convenient transportation

If 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.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakone and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakone

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.

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Sayaha Aida has been traveling internationally since the early age of 15. She has lived internationally in Japan, England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States (Miami and San Francisco)...Read more

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