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Best Day Trip To Hakone From Tokyo: The Ultimate Guide

A day trip to Hakone from Tokyo is among the top day trip options done by both locals and international travellers. 

Thanks to the town’s proximity and transportation advancement in Japan, Hakone is easily reachable by public transportation from Tokyo. 

These make Hakone an ideal location to wind down and have a short getaway from the bustling metropolis.    

Besides, Hakone is known for many stunning attractions too. 

From numerous natural hot springs to scenic walking trails and fascinating art museums, you are bound to have a pleasant time in this lovely mountainous town.  

So to make your travel planning easier, I have written a detailed article on wonderful things to do in Hakone, how to get there, utilising Hakone Free Pass, must-try local food, useful travel tips, and others. 

Let’s dive right in!

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links and I may get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you. 

What Is There To Do In Hakone For A Day Trip

  1. Visit Hakone Shrine
  2. Have An Instagrammable Shot At Hakone Cedar Avenue
  3. Explore Hakone Checkpoint
  4. Enjoy Scenic View of Lake Ashi At Onshi Hakone Park
  5. Get On The Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
  6. Admire Mount Fuji View On The Hakone Ropeway
  7. Enjoy Eating Black Eggs At Owakudani
  8. Experience The Zen Vibe At Choanji Temple
  9. Visit Hakone Open-Air Museum
  10. Admire The Stunning Artwork At Pola Museum of Art
  11. Explore Lalique Museum
  12. Create Your Own Arts At Gora Park
  13. Shop At Gotemba Premium Outlets 
  14. Have A Stroll Along Mishima Skywalk
  15. Visit Odawara Castle
  16. Get Souvenirs At Hakone-Yumoto Shotengai
  17. Have A Dip At Local Onsen

Here are the shortcuts to the links of useful resources for your Hakone trip:

Unmissable Things To Do At Hakone

1. Visit Hakone Shrine

The first stop to visit during your day trip Tokyo to Hakone is Hakone Shrine. 

Located at the base of Mount Hakone, this beautiful shrine has a history dating back to more than 1200 years ago. 

Hakone Shrine is highly visited by the travellers to pray for overall better luck or a safe trip.   

One of the main highlights of the Hakone Shrine is its bright red torii gate standing tall in Lake Ashi. 

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With the total package of Instagrammable spot criteria consisting of  the torii gate, blue lake water, and tranquil mountains as the backdrop, many visitors storm to this highlight first upon reaching the shrine ground. 

The main shrine entrance also makes a great photo spot with tall cedar trees in the background.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of things to admire in the Hakone Shrine. 

These include the shrine’s traditional architecture and nicely-preserved artefacts in its treasure museum. 

Address: 80-1, Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, 250-0522

Visiting Hours: Always open

Entrance Fee: Free

How To Get To Hakone Shrine

Take bus line H of Hakone Tozan Bus from Hakone-Yumoto Station to reach Moto-Hakone boat pier. This bus journey will take about 35 minutes. Then walk for 5 minutes from the boat pier to reach Hakone Shrine. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

2. Have An Instagrammable Shot At Hakone Cedar Avenue

Hakone Cedar Avenue is a beautifully-preserved spot that will leave you in awe. 

This 500-metre long avenue was part of the bustling path (Tokaido highway) used by foot-walking travellers back in the Edo Period linking Kyoto to Tokyo. 

Travel tip: These tall cedar trees are believed to have been planted in 1618 and thus they are at least 400 years old!

You can wander around this avenue for free and admire its tranquillity while reminiscing about its important transportation role several centuries ago. 

And before you leave, make sure to spend some time taking several Instagrammable shots at Hakone Cedar Avenue. 

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Address: Kanagawa, Ashigarashimo, Hakone

Visiting Hours: Always open

Entrance Fee: Free

How To Get To Hakone Cedar Avenue

From Hakone-Yumoto Station, take the Hakone Tozan Bus (Line H) to Hakone Port. Alight at Hakone-Shishomae. This takes about 35 minutes. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

3. Explore Hakone Checkpoint

If you walk down south of Hakone Cedar Avenue, there lies Hakone Checkpoint

During the Edo Period, Hakone was the main checkpoint for travellers travelling between Kyoto and Tokyo.  

To restore its former condition and offer a chance to visitors to learn more about pre-modern Japanese checkpoints, Hakone Checkpoint was reconstructed in 2007. 

The technique and tools from the Edo Period were used during the reconstruction process so that the buildings’ authenticity is still retained at the highest possible level. 

You can expect to see tall gates, fences, housing quarters for soldiers and staff, prison, and a lookout tower within the Hakone Checkpoint. 

You can also learn more about Hakone Checkpoint history at Hakone Sekisho Shiryokan during your day trip to Hakone from Tokyo.. 

This small museum located next to the checkpoint has a collection of old exhibits for visitors to admire. 

Address: 1 Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0521, Japan

Visiting Hours: 9 am-5 pm (Until 4.30 pm from December to February)

Entrance Fee: US$5 (500 yen) or US$4 (400 yen) with Hakone Free Pass

How To Get To Hakone Checkpoint

You can reach Hakone Checkpoint at the other end of Hakone Cedar Avenue. 

Alternatively, you can take a 40-minutes Hakone Tozan Bus ride (Line H) from Hakone-Yumoto Station to the Hakone-machi bus stop. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

4. Enjoy Scenic View of Lake Ashi At Onshi Hakone Park

Onshi Hakone Park is where the former Japanese imperial palace was located. 

Built in 1886, most buildings within the palace ground were destroyed by the major earthquakes in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Nevertheless, you can still find a small part of the imperial palace standing tall in Onshi Hakone Park. 

This last remaining palace building is known as the Lakeside Observation Building

Documents about Hakone Palace history and construction are kept and exhibited here for visitors to learn more. 

And once you are on its balcony of the second storey, you get to admire the scenic view of Lake Ashi with Mount Fuji as the backdrop. 

This beautiful park also has several walking trails for visitors to wander around enjoying the scenery of pretty flowers and trimmed plants. 

Onshi Hakone Park is best visited during spring and autumn too. 

The park attracts a large tourist crowd to enjoy cherry blossoms and autumn foliage when the respective season commences. 

Address: 171 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo, Kanagawa, 250-0522, Japan

Visiting Hours: Always open

Entrance Fee: Free

How To Get To Onshi Hakone Park

From Hakone Yumoto Station, take the Hakone Tozan bus (Line H) and alight at the Onshi-koen-mae bus stop. This takes about 45 minutes. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

5. Get On The Pirate-Shaped Hakone Sightseeing Cruise

An iconic symbol of Hakone, Lake Ashi was formed 3000 years ago after Mount Hakone’s volcano eruption.

Apart from visiting Onshi Hakone Park to enjoy the lake scenery, visitors typically sign up for Hakone sightseeing cruises where they can admire Lake Ashi views as they are transported across to Togendai Station. 

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While you are on the cruise, you also have a chance to have a glimpse of the Hakone Shrine’s torii gate with Mount Fuji as the backdrop from afar. 

The view is spectacularly stunning, especially on clear days where the majestic mountain is not blocked by the clouds. 

Travel tip: It is not easy to have a clear view of Mount Fuji. The visibility of Mount Fuji is at its best during cold seasons either in the early morning or late afternoon. 

There are two companies in Hakone offering such sightseeing cruises to travellers; Hakone Sightseeing Boats and Izu Hakone Sightseeing Boats.

The more popular option is the cruise trips offered by Hakone Sightseeing Boats. That’s because Hakone Free Pass holders can board for free!

Boarding Address: 6-40 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0522, Japan

Cruise Price: Free for Hakone Free Pass holders or US$10 (1050 yen)

Cruise Duration: 30 minutes

Operating Hours: 10 am-5 pm (Might change depending on the weather and season)

How To Get To Moto-Hakone Pier

To board the Hakone sightseeing cruise, make your way to Moto-Hakone pier. 

Take a 50-minute Tozan Bus (Line H) from Odawara to Moto-Hakone via Hakone-Yumoto. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

6. Admire Mount Fuji View On The Hakone Ropeway

Riding on the Hakone Ropeway is another unmissable thing to do when visiting Hakone for a day. 

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This cable-car-like system has 4 stations; Togendai, Owakudani, Ubako, and Souzan

If you are getting on at Togendai Station, it takes about 25 minutes to reach the last station. 

Hakone Ropeway offers visitors another breathtaking angle to admire Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi, and the surrounding lush green mountains at higher altitudes. 

Address: 164 Moto-Hakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-prefecture

Ticket Price: Free for Hakone Free Pass or US$7 one-way (740 yen) 

Operating Hours: 9 am-5 pm (February to November) and 9 am-4.15 pm (December to January)

How To Get On Hakone Ropeway

You need to get to Togendai Station first. This station is located adjacent to the pier of the Hakone sightseeing cruise across Lake Ashi. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

7. Enjoy Eating Black Eggs At Owakudani

Of course you can’t miss out on Owakudani from your day trip Hakone from Tokyo itinerary! 

This sulphuric valley was created about 3000 years ago due to a volcanic eruption. 

Thanks to this phenomenon, Owakudani offers a chance to visitors to experience the picturesque natural hot springs view and sulphurous fumes environment first-hand. 

Eating black eggs in Owakudani is also one of the top things to do in this volcanic area. 

These oddly coloured eggs are sold by the shop near Owakudani Station where the eggs are boiled in hot spring’s sulphuric water. 

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With a taste like a typical hard-boiled egg, this unique delicacy is rumoured to extend one’s lifespan by 7 years!

Address: 1251 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-prefecture

Visiting Hours: 9 am-5 pm (February to November) and 9 am-4.15 pm (December to January)

How To Get To Owakudani

The nearest station to Owakudani is Owakudani Station. Take the Hakone Ropeway from Togendai Station before alighting at the next stop (16 minutes). 

You can also board the Hakone Ropeway from Souzan Station (8 minutes) if you are exploring the Hakone Loop in an anti-clockwise direction.  

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

8. Experience The Zen Vibe At Choanji Temple

You can find beautifully-preserved temples in almost every part of Japan, and that includes Hakone too. 

Though Choanji Temple is not as easily accessible as other highlights, this Buddhist temple makes a great stop for a short break from the bustling city life and to experience the zen vibes.

Built in 1365, you can find several scenic walking trails around Choanji Temple grounds. 

Travel tip: The autumn foliage scenery in Choanji Temple is absolutely spectacular and attracts large visitor crowds during the season in November.  

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You can also expect to see over 200 Rakan (Buddhist disciples) statues with varying interesting expressions decorating the temple grounds.   

Most visitors spend some time wandering around and searching for similar facial expressions on the statues to theirs for fun before moving on to the next highlight.  

Address: 82 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan

Visiting Hours: Always open

Entrance Fee: Free

How To Get To Choanji Temple

You can take Hakone Tozan Bus from Togendai and alight at the Sengoku bus stop. This takes 15 minutes. Then walk about 2 minutes before reaching the temple. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

9. Visit Hakone Open-Air Museum

A day trip from Tokyo to Hakone will not be complete with a visit to Hakone Open-Air Museum

This unique museum houses different types of indoor and outdoor art installations and sculptures. 

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You can also find an exhibition hall dedicated to showing the artwork, sculptures, and ceramic works created by the renowned artist, Picasso

Another beautiful sculpture-like tower that is worth admiring in the Hakone Open-Air Museum is the Symphonic Sculpture

Visitors can walk up the spiral staircase of this symbolic sculpture to the viewing platform to enjoy the park scenery as well as the surrounding mountainous hills views. 

Address: 1121 Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-prefecture  250-0493

Visiting Hours: 9 am-5 pm

Entrance Fee: US$13 (1400 yen) for Hakone Pass Holder or US$14 (1600 yen)

How To Get To Hakone Open-Air Museum

You can walk from Gora for 15 minutes to reach the museum. 

Alternatively, take Hakone Tozan Railway from Hakone-Yumoto to Chokoku No Mori Station (30-minute ride). Hakone Open-Air Museum is just next to this station. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

10. Admire The Stunning Artwork At Pola Museum of Art

Another museum in Hakone that you can include in your Hakone day trip is the Pola Museum of Art

This simplistic museum was opened by the famous cosmetic company, The Pola Group, to showcase the world-famous art exhibits collected by the former group owner, Suzuki Tsuneshi. 

These famous art exhibits include Monet’s, Picasso’s, and Renoir’s. 

Apart from these, you can also enjoy the lovely modern and contemporary sculptures, paintings, and ceramics works of Japanese and European artists in the Pola Museum of Art. 

Some of the art sculptures can be admired along its outdoor nature trail.  

Travel tip: The lush beech trees planted in front of the museum entrance are at least 300 years old. 

Address: 1285 Kozukayama, Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, 250-0631 Japan

Visiting Hours: 9 am-5 pm

Entrance Fee: US$14 (1600 yen) for Hakone Free Pass holder or US$16 (1800 yen)

How To Get To Pola Museum of Art

Take a 15-minute Hakone Tozan Bus ride  from Gora Station and alight at Pola Bijutsukan bus stop. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

11. Explore Lalique Museum

If you can’t get enough of visiting museums, you can add Lalique Museum to your to-visit list.  

This intriguing museum displays over 1500 glass objects and jewellery created by a famous French craftsman, René Lalique.

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You can expect to find a French cuisine restaurant and a small garden within the museum grounds. 

Visitors can also opt for a high tea session in the stunning Orient Express wagon for the luxurious ambience. 

Address: 186-1 Sengokuhara, Hakonemachi,AshigaraShimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan

Visiting Hours: 9 am-4 pm

Entrance Fee: US$14 (1500 yen)

How To Get To Lalique Museum

From Hakone-Yumoto Station, take a 30-minute Hakone Tozan Bus ride towards Togendai and alight at Sengoku Annai-jo Mae. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

12. Create Your Own Arts At Gora Park

If you are inspired by the numerous art exhibits in the art museums of Hakone, you can easily create yours in Gora Park

This beautiful French-styled park is home to two lovely greenhouses, a fountain, a restaurant, a teahouse, and the Crafthouse.  

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The Crafthouse offers several craft classes to visitors who are keen to learn new craft skills

Some available craft workshops include glassblowing, pottery, and dried flower arrangement. 

Even if these hands-on workshops are not your cup of tea, you can still have a stroll around Gora Park and enjoy its enchanting scenery. 

Address: 1300 Gora, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0408, Japan

Visiting Hours: 9 am-5 pm

Entrance Fee: Free for Hakone Free Pass Holder or US$5 (550 yen)

Workshop Fee: US$9 to US$44 (1000 yen to 5000 yen)

How To Get To Gora Park

You can walk from Gora Station to Gora Park within 5 minutes.  

13. Shop At Gotemba Premium Outlets

Want to have a shopping spree during your Tokyo to Hakone day trip? Make sure to head over to Gotemba Premium Outlets

This popular mall houses many designer brands stores, restaurants, a hotel, a Ferris wheel, and a public onsen. 

Over here, you can get cheaper priced luxury goods with a great view of Mount Fuji at the back.  

Address: 1312, Fukasawa Gotemba-Shi, Shizuoka, 412-0023, Japan

Operating Hours: 10 am-7 pm (March to November) or until 8 pm (December to February)

How To Get To Gotemba Premium Outlets

Take the Hakone Tozan bus (Lines L, M, or S)  from Gora Station to Gotemba Premium Outlets. It takes about 45 minutes to reach there. 

Hakone Free Pass: Covered

14. Have A Stroll Along Mishima Skywalk

Mishima Skywalk is perhaps a lesser-shared place on the internet when it comes to the Tokyo to Hakone day trip itinerary. 

Nevertheless, this suspension bridge has much to offer to visitors. 

Also the country’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, Mishima Skywalk is a great place to admire the picturesque view of Mount Fuji and Suruga Bay surrounded by lush greenery that extends to as far as the eyes can see. 

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Travel tip: The best time to enjoy the beautiful scenery at Mishima Skywalk is early morning or during sunset. 

Another thrilling way to admire the scenery is to sign up for its Long Zip Slide (glide for 300 metres suspended in the air) or other fun climbing activities.  

You can also find a cafe serving food made from local produce located near the stunning bridge. 

Some of the popular dishes to try are Mishima Curry and Mishima Croquette. 

Address: 313 Sasahara Shinden, Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Visiting Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (Depending on the weather conditions)

Entrance Fee: Adult US$9 (1000 yen)/ Free to US$5 (500 yen) for child

How To Get To Mishima Skywalk

From JR Mishima Station, take the Tokai Orange Shuttle Bus to Motohakone Port and stop at Mishima Skywalk station. This takes about 20 minutes. 

15. Visit Odawara Castle

If you are a fan of Japanese Castle, you will be glad to know that this lively town is home to Odawara Castle

With a history dating back to the 15th century, the current castle was reconstructed several times over the years due to wars and natural disasters.  

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Nevertheless, the traditional castle architecture with a nostalgic vibe is still retained. The castle keep was rebuilt based on the Edo Period’s models. 

You can see the old samurai artefacts such as swords at the Samurai Museum located within Odawara Castle grounds. 

The castle also houses a Ninja Museum where visitors can join the ninja obstacle course and learn a thing or two about ninja culture. 

Odawara Castle is a great spot for hanami (cherry blossoms) watching among the locals in spring. 

So make sure not to miss out on Odawara Castle during your day trip in Hakone!

Address: Jonai, Odawara, Kanagawa 250-0014, Japan

Visiting Hours: 9 am – 5 pm

Entrance Fee: US$5 (510 yen)

How To Get To Odawara Castle 

Take a 10-minute walk from Odawara Station through Ohoribata Street to Odawara Castle.

16. Get Souvenirs At Hakone-Yumoto Shotengai

In Hakone, the best place to get some cheap souvenirs during Hakone day trips is at Hakone Yumoto Shotengai.

Travel tip: Shotengai refers to the covered shopping arcade.

At Hakone Yumoto Shotengai, you can find many everyday items, souvenirs, Japanese snacks, restaurants, and cafes sold and operated by local vendors. 

Some of the popular Hakone souvenirs to get are kamaboko (fish products) and Yosegi zaiku, a type of local woodcraft. 

Address: Shiroishi-shimo, Yumoto, Hakone Town, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa

Operating Hours: Varies depending on stores (Typically from 8.45 am to 5.30 pm) 

How To Get To Hakone-Yumoto Shotengai

Hakone-Yumoto Shotengai is a few minute-walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station. 

17. Have A Dip At Local Onsen

If you are planning to overnight at Hakone, make sure to go for a dip at the local onsen before calling it a day. 

Some of the onsens are infused with a variety of interesting items, such as red wine, green tea, Japanese sake, and so much more. 

Here are some of the recommended onsens to get to in Hakone: 

This relaxing session comes in handy to wind down and rest after exploring this beautiful town during the day. 

Travel tip: Make sure to check out the onsen’s policy on visitors’ tattoos before heading over. Some onsens deny entry to any inked visitor. 

And that’s the wrap! I hope you will have a blast on your day trip to Hakone.

Getting From Tokyo To Hakone

There are several ways to get from Tokyo to Hakone, depending on whether you have the JR pass with you. 

Regardless of which method you pick, the typical sequence is that you will have to travel from Tokyo to Odawara before getting to Hakone-Yumoto Station to kick start the Hakone Loop circuit. 

With JR Pass

If you have already activated your JR pass, you can board the JR train from Tokyo Station to Odawara. This will only take about 35 to 40 minutes. 

Upon reaching Odawara Station, you can get the Hakone Free Pass ticket for US$44 (5000 yen). 

From there, you can board the Hakone Tozan Train to Hakone-Yumoto Station. 

Note: This ticket does not include the round trip between Shinjuku and Odawara. 

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Planning to visit to several Japanese cities during your vacation? JR Pass is the most convenient, fast, and wallet-friendly way to do so.

Without JR Pass

Though utilising the JR Pass to get from Tokyo to Odawara is easier and time-saving, you can still get there without one. 

Here are some other alternatives for day trip Hakone from Tokyo travel and respective tickets to get:

  1. Buy a Hakone Free Pass for US$54 (6100 yen) that includes a round trip from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station to Odawara Station on the Odakyu Line. The duration is about 1.5 hours. 

Note: The train on this line is the typical commuter train so it can be crowded at times with limited seats.

  1. If you want to travel comfortably and at a shorter time, you can consider getting on the Romancecar train

The train will stop directly at Hakone-Yumoto Station and the whole journey takes about 75 minutes. 

This Romancecar seat will cost an additional US$10 (1100 yen) one-way on top of the Hakone Free Pass ticket. 

Note: You will need to make a reservation online for a Romancecar seat or get it at Shinjuku Station at Odakyu Railway.

For easy comparison, check out this pricing table on different travel methods from Tokyo to Hakone: 

Travel TypeAdultChild
Tokyo to Odawara + Hakone Free Pass (With JR Pass)US$44 (5000 yen)US$11 (1250 yen)
Shinjuku Station to Odawara Station Roundtrip + Hakone Free Pass (Without JR Pass) US$54 (6100 yen)US$14 (1500 yen)
Romancecar + Hakone Free Pass (Without JR Pass) US$64 (1110 yen+6100 yen= 7210 yen)US$18(555 yen+1500 yen=2055 yen)

Note: The Hakone Free Pass pricing listed here is for a 2-Day pass only. The figure shown is a rough estimate only.

Getting Around Hakone

Hakone Free Pass

Hakone Free Pass is a great way to explore around Hakone at a discounted price, especially for budget travellers. 

This travel pass allows visitors to take unlimited rides on the 5 main transportation modes (buses, trains, ropeways, boats, and cable cars) in Hakone. 

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So instead of queuing to purchase different transportation tickets, you can just show the Hakone Free Pass to the drivers before alighting. 

This makes travelling around Hakone so convenient and saves lots of time too!  

About 50 attractions in Hakone can also be entered for free or at a discounted price for Hakone Free Pass holders. 

Travel tip: You can always look for the sticker pasted on the buildings’ doors if they are the participants of this program. 

Types Of Hakone Free Pass

There are 2 types of Hakone Free Pass to choose from; 2-Day and 3-Day. 

There is no day trip Hakone Free Pass ticket available, so your best bet will be the 2-Day pass.  

Where To Buy Hakone Free Pass

Unlike a train ticket, Hakone Free Pass is not easily obtainable from the typical ticketing machines in every train station. 

You can only get the Hakone Free Pass at Odakyu Sightseeing Centres at:

  • Shinjuku Station
  • Odawara Station
  • Hakone-Yumoto Station

Or the stations on the Odakyu Lines. 

However, the queue at these counters can be long at times especially on weekends and peak seasons and ultimately greatly affects your Hakone arrival time. 

To skip the queue, you can buy the Hakone Free Pass conveniently online at Klook. The online ticket price is also way cheaper than those at the ticketing counter. 

Save time and money? That is so totally for me and I hope that is for you too! 

After you have bought the Hakone Free Pass online, you can visit the Odakyu Sightseeing Centre to collect the ticket up to 7 days in advance. It is that convenient.  

Get your Hakone Free Pass online at Klook at a cheaper price and queue-free!

Hakone Loop

Hakone Loop refers to the Hakone travel circuit where visitors can follow easily and visit most of the major highlights within 1 day. 

There are 5 different transportation modes involved to make this day trip Hakone Loop a success one:

  • train, 
  • bus, 
  • boat, 
  • ropeway, 
  • and cable car. 

This loop is typically done in an anti-clockwise direction where both the starting and ending point is  Hakone-Yumoto Station.  

Travel tip: Most visitors visit the attractions in the anti-clockwise direction and hence it can get touristy. 

Below is the typical order of transportation used based on the anti-clockwise direction of Hakone Loop: 

  1. Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto Station and to Gora (Hakone Tozan Train)
  2. Gora to Sounzan (Hakone Tozan Cable Car)
  3. Sounzan to Owakudani and to Togendai (Hakone Ropeway)
  4. Togendai to Hakone-machi or Moto-hakone (Hakone Boat across Lake Ashi)
  5. Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara (Hakone Tozan Bus)
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Nevertheless, you can choose to run the Hakone Loop in the clockwise direction or start from any point in Hakone. 

And regardless of which route you take, you can expect to complete the round course within 8 hours and head back to Tokyo directly after the day trip Tokyo to Hakone concludes. 

But if you have extra time and spend the night in Hakone, the best way to end the day is by pampering yourself for an onsen session!

Note: This article follows the clockwise direction of Hakone Loop. 

Additional Places To Go In Hakone

Pampas Grass Field

Pampas Grass Field covers the base of Mount Hakone for more than a hundred metres long. 

Most visitors visit this beautiful grass field during autumn when the pampas grass turns a whitish golden colour offering stunning scenery.

Nevertheless, Pampas Grass Field is picturesque at any time of the year. 

The field changes colour according to the season which is charming in its own way; bright green in early summer to yellowish-green in late summer and brown in winter. 

There is a clear walking path for visitors to stroll along admiring the vast grass field from the entrance point to the other end. 

So if you are looking for ample photo opportunities on your day trip to Hakone from Tokyo, make sure to head over to Pampas Grass Field!

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Travel tip: It is recommended to stay on the path and not to stray into the field for your safety.  

Address: Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan

Visiting Hours: Always open

Entrance Fee: Free

How To Get To Pampas Grass Field

You can take Hakone Tozan Bus from Togendai Station and alight at the Sengoku Kogen bus stop. The duration is about 5 minutes. 

Hakone Travel Pass: Covered

How Many Days Do You Need In Hakone

You can explore Hakone and visit all the main attractions by following the Hakone Loop circuit within a day

But if you prefer to explore this lovely onsen town at your own pace or plan for a long hike, it is recommended to stay in Hakone for at least 2 days. 

Where To Stay In Hakone

Depending on your budget, here are some recommended places to stay in Hakone if you decide to stay for the night: 

Travel tip: Fancy staying in a ryokan and enjoying the privacy soaking in your own onsen without sharing the bath with strangers? Oh yes I’m talking to you, anti-nudists!

Check out my detailed article on the best ryokan with private onsen in Hakone to book for your upcoming vacation!

What To Eat In Hakone

Here are Hakone’s specialities that you should not miss during your Hakone day trip: 

1. Kuro-Tamago (Black eggs)

This unique delicacy is a must-get snack when you are at Owakudani

Kuro-tamago is prepared by boiling the eggs in Owakudani’s hot spring at 2 varying temperatures and durations. 

The black colour of the shells is owed to the chemical reaction between the minerals and water. 

Kuro-tamago tastes just like a typical boiled egg and legend has it that consumption of an egg can help to extend one’s lifespan by 7 years!

2. Kamaboko

Kamaboko is made of fresh fish paste and is usually eaten as snacks or with soup. 

You can find many variations and colours of kamaboko in Hakone, where white and pink coloured are the most common ones. 

Travel tip: These two colours are associated with good luck. 

The best place to try and buy kamaboko is at Hakone-Yumoto Shotengai. Some vendors offer free samples to travellers so that they can try and buy as souvenirs for people back home. 

3. Wakasagi (Pond smelt)

Wakasagi is found in Hakone’s Lake Ashi and it is a popular delicacy among the locals. 

In Hakone, the most common method to cook wakasagi is by deep-frying and soft boiling. 

This simple fish dish is best paired with white rice and sweet soy sauce. 

You can indulge in wakasagi at the restaurants near Lake Ashi after the cruise and continue admiring the scenic lake view while eating. 

Unique Tips When Visiting Hakone

Here are some helpful tips to know for a better travel experience to Hakone day trip from Tokyo: 

1. Visit Hakone On Weekdays Or Off-Season

Hakone is highly visited by the Tokyo urbanites on weekends for a short getaway from the bustling metropolitan. 

So the best time to visit Hakone without massive crowds is on weekdays or during off season. 

2. Get To Hakone Early From Tokyo

Depending on which transportation mode you take to get to Hakone from Tokyo, it is always advisable to leave for this beautiful onsen resort early in the morning. 

This is especially for Hakone day trip travellers who want to visit every major highlight of Hakone before the last train for Tokyo leaves.

Therefore, it is recommended to reach Hakone within 8.30 am to 9.30 am so that you can check out the places at your pace without rushing around too much. 

3. Visit Hakone Shrine Early Morning Or Late Afternoon

Hakone Shrine is one of the main tourist attractions in Hakone thanks to its floating torii gate facing Lake Ashi. 

If you are not a big fan of queuing for photoshoots, you can visit the shrine either in the early morning or late afternoon to skip the crowd. 

Travel tip: You may need to wait in line for an hour just to take pictures of the torii gate with dazzling Lake Ashi and lush green mountains as the backdrop.  

4. Wear Mask At Owakudani

Owakudani is an active volcano valley that emits sulphuric fumes constantly. 

day trip from tokyo to hakone
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The acidic fumes might be too strong for some visitors so it is best to bring along a mask to cover your nose before visiting this picturesque valley.  

5. Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes

Though you can easily get from one place to the other via the various transportation modes in Hakone, there is still some walking involved. 

Hence, make sure you are in your comfortable walking shoes so that you have a pleasant and memorable day trip Hakone from Tokyo.

FAQ: Day Trip To Hakone From Tokyo

1. How long is the train ride from Tokyo to Hakone?

You can conveniently reach Hakone from Tokyo by train within 1.5 to 2 hours. 

And hence, Hakone is typically popular among the urbanites for a short, relaxing getaway during the weekends.

2. Can you do a day trip to Hakone from Tokyo?

This is what this detailed article is about—a day trip from Tokyo to Hakone!

You can leave the metropolitan city in the early morning by train for a thrilling Hakone day trip. 

Once you reach Hakone, you can expect to spend around 6 to 8 hours visiting its main attraction before boarding the last train back to Tokyo. 

day trip hakone from tokyo
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3. Should I stay overnight in Hakone?

A big yes for that—especially if you want to explore Hakone at a slower pace. You can end your first day in Hakone by having a relaxing dip in the onsen at night. 

The next morning you can still visit other beautiful Hakone highlights before going back to Tokyo. 

Day Trip To Hakone From Tokyo: Conclusion

So there you go—the many fun-filled things to do for a day trip to Hakone from Tokyo that you will not be disappointed with!

Generally, it is easy to get to the major highlights around Hakone thanks to its variety of public transportation systems. And you will never go wrong with a Hakone Free Pass. 

Are there any other things to do in Hakone that I did not include in this article? Please share them with me—I would really love to hear from you.

Or if you are planning a Tokyo Hakone day trip, make sure to save this article for future easy reference and not to forget to share it with your travel buddies!

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