Tokyo to Hakone One Day Itinerary | Japan Solo Travel 2017

July 14, 2017

Despite everyone's insistence on spending more than a day in Hakone — even the passes were two or three day bus passes — I decided to do just a one day trip to the outskirts of Tokyo, Hakone due to the lack of time. If I were to return, I'd definitely stay in Hakone for a longer period of time, and travel to Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) so I could witness Mt Fuji up close but time wasn't on my side back then and a day trip to Hakone from Tokyo was my best choice.

I initially planned to set out early in the morning to catch the earliest train to Hakone but I was too worn out by then (my 5th day in Japan), so I snoozed for an hour before finally making my way to Shinjuku to collect my Hakone Free Pass.

As I bought my Hakone Free Pass (2 Days option) online, I had to redeem the pass at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center, Shinjuku Station. There were literally no signs at all around Shinjuku Station and most Tokyo citizens avoided me like the plague the moment I opened my mouth to speak in either English or Chinese T__T Some even shooed me away! Fortunately, I met a kind, elderly man who was willing to help although he was just as confused as I was. After wandering around like a lost child, I finally found a sign leading to Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center.

Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center

Japan, 〒160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishishinjuku, 1 Chome−26−13
(1st floor — Ground Floor)

Nearest Metro Station
Shinjuku Station (West Exit)

Telephone Number

Following my misadventures in Tokyo (and basically around Japan), I queued at the wrong spot and wasted 10 minutes of my time. Of course, that wouldn't be the end to my bad luck — after I moved to the correct queue, literally as I reached the counter to redeem my Hakone Free Pass, a station master came and spoke frantically to the guy in the counter in Japanese.

Apparently there had been an accident five minutes earlier and all romancecars to Hakone had stopped operating so we had to take an alternative route using the JR-EAST train O_O What a pity, as I was actually looking forward to boarding the romancecar, shaped like Japan's famed Shinkansen, to Hakone. The romancecar would have gotten us to Hakone quicker too!

After a bit of confusion, the receptionist allowed me to redeem my Hakone Free Pass and tried his best to explain the route to me to Hakone. I obviously wasn't prepared for this and, knowing how complicated Tokyo metro platforms are, I felt a bit lost.

Thankfully, I bumped into a middle-aged couple from United Kingdom who spoke English, and the trio of us got lost together in Shinjuku's subway. Lolol. I guess getting lost together doesn't feel as scary as being lost on my own — at least I didn't feel so lonely and there was no language barrier between the three of us.

After a bit of stumbling around, we finally found the train to Odawara Station. The husband insisted that I sat down because there were only two seats available despite my refusal because I didn't need the seat as much as him. I was immersely grateful for their affectionation upon learning that I was travelling solo T_T

According to Odakyu's Hakone travel guide, Odawara is the starting point for a scenic route in Hakone to experience all different kinds of transports Hakone as to offer: Hakone Tozan Train, Hakone Tozan Cable Car, Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, Hakone Tozan Bus and Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus.

After consulting several websites, this was the itinerary I put together to explore Hakone. Eventually, I could only complete half my itinerary since I only spent one day in Hakone.

Nonetheless, if you are spending two days in Hakone, which I'd highly recommend, this is my Hakone itinerary.
  • Hakone Tozan Railway from Odawara to Gora (transfer at Hakone-Yumoto)
  • Hakone Tozan Cablecar from Gora to Sounzan
  • Hakone Ropeway from Sounzan to Togendai
  • Hakone Sightseeing Cruise from Togendai to Moto-Hakone
  • Walk from Moto-Hakone to Hakone Shrine
  • Walk back to Moto-Hakone
  • Hakone Sightseeing Cruise from Moto-Hakone to Togendai
  • Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus (Shinjuku-Hakone Line) from Togendai to Gotemba Station (Bus comes every 30 mins)
  • Shuttle bus from Gotemba Station to Gotemba Premium Outlets (Last bus: 7:40pm)
  • Shop at Gotemba Premium Outlets (where you can admire Mt Fuji while shopping)
  • Shuttle bus from Gotemba Premium Outlets to Gotemba Station
  • Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus from Gotemba Station to Shinjuku (Last bus: 8:05pm and 8:35pm)
All transport would be free with the purchase of your Hakone Free Pass.


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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