Hakone Ropeway and Sightseeing Cruise | Japan Solo Travel 2017

July 30, 2017

I expected the queue for Hakone Ropeway to be congested since it was the peak holiday season in January but it was surprisingly empty and I only had a group of people before me. I was hoping I could get the entire Hakone Ropeway cabin to myself but a group of tourists came after me and I had to share my cabin with them T_T Thankfully, they were well-mannered tourists, allowing me to enjoy the splendour of Mt Fuji in peace.

It was a blessing that I could see Mt Fuji the entire day I was in Hakone.

Hakone Ropeway (Owakudani Station)

Japan, 〒250-0631 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Sengokuhara, 足柄下郡箱根町仙石原1251−1

Operating Hours
9:00am to 5:00pm or
9:00am to 4:15pm (depending on season)
Further information here

Phone Number
+81 460-84-8437

Can you see how elated I was to witness Mt Fuji with my own eyes?!

Ōwakudani, at 1044km, is the highest point of Hakone Ropeway

Specks of snow can be seen on Hakone Ropeway

The journey from Owakudani to Togendai (2 stops) took less than 20 minutes including waiting time. I hopped off Hakone Topeway at Togendai, the final stop, to board Hakone Sightseeing Cruise.

Succumbed to temptation in the cold and got a can of corn soup — the only item I could recognise from the vending machine. The thing is everything in Japan is filled with endless choices. Vending machines, convenience stores, food. Everything. Even if you wanted to buy green tea, you have more than ten different choices of green tea available.

I digressed. The corn soup tasted surprisingly authentic for a premade product and even had corn bits in them. Although I bought the can mainly to warm up my face and nose, hahaha. The cold was brittle I could hardly feel my nose anymore! And there I was wondering why do Japanese wear face masks (other than hygiene reasons).

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, modelled after a pirate ship, operates every 10 to 30 minutes, depending on season and timing. You can find its timetable here. Although I didn't know of Hakone Sightseeing Cruise's timetable beforehand, I was lucky I arrive about 10 minutes before its departure so I didn't have to wait too long. Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, which sails across Lake Ashinoko, stops at Hakonemachi-ko then Motohakone-ko.

If you buy the Hakone Free Pass like I did, you get to board the cruise ship for free!

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise (Togendai)

181 Hakone, Hakone, 250-0521, Japan Phone: +81 460-83-6325

Phone Number
+81 460-83-6325

A couple standing on the lower deck of Hakone Sightseeing Cruise

Travellers are welcomed to stand or sit freely and I initially tucked myself in a comfortable seat on the upper deck, near the windows to warm myself up after being in the bitter coldness for the entire day. Eventually, I wandered out of my seat to explore Hakone Sightseeing Cruise when I was better prepared for the cold.

Thought it was interesting that there's a little house built on a huge mountain.

I wonder if anyone lives there

At a point, the temperature at Hakone dipped below zero. It was my first time expericing winter, and -1°C was the coldest temperature I've ever experienced. It was so cold that my hands felt raw when I slipped them out of my gloves, and it even hurt when my hands brushed against the zip of the jacket I was wearing.

Although shivering, I relished the cold wind brushing against my face and messing with my hair. I knew I'll miss every single second of winter — I do — and I don't know if I'll ever get to experience it again.


Japan Solo Travel (January 2017)

Tokyo Summary and Getting Around Tokyo | Tokyo Imano Hostel Review | Tokyo Pokemon Centre & Shibuya Crossing | Tokyo Lockers and Shinjuku Gyoen Garden | Tokyo Harajuku (Shopping, Food, Daiso) | Tokyo bills Omotesando (Tokyu Plaza)

Hakone One Day Itinerary | Hakone Tozan Railway and Cable Car | Seeing Mt Fuji at Owakudani | Hakone Ropeway and Sightseeing Cruise | Trekking to see Hakone Shrine and Mt Fuji

9 Hours Narita Capsule Hotel Review | Tokyo Narita Airport

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