Hakone (箱根) must be one of the premier getaways for residents of Tokyo, as well as a Japan bucket list mainstay for travellers to this part of the world. Rightly so. Hakone has much to offer. Too much maybe. The visitor here is spoilt for choice; onsen, lake-based activities, bonkers outdoor art installations, Mt. Fuji views, history, Spartan marathon races, storied hotels, and hard-boiled eggs that come out black (the shells of eggs sold at Owakudani). This and plenty more.
In attempting to answer the question; How much does it cost from Tokyo to Hakone?, it would perhaps be best to focus on the two main gateways from the capital to the Hakone area, Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station. Arriving at Hakone, the main access point for the complex network of buses, trains, boats and ropeways that somehow circumnavigate the region would be Hakone-yumoto. All prices below are in Japanese yen.
To Hakone from Tokyo Station
There is a Shinkansen option …
Shinkansen Kodama/Hikari (changing to Odakyu Ltd. Exp. Hakone at Odawara) ~ 1 hrs
|With Shinkansen unreserved seat (3,730)||With Shinkansen reserved seat (4,050)||With Shinkansen green seat (5,010)|
Slightly cheaper to change to the Hakone Tozan Railway at Odawara ...
Local option ...
JR Tokaido Line (Rapid Acty) (via Odawara) - 1,800 (~ 1 hrs 40 mins)
Bus option ...
Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus: Tokyo Station to Hakone-togendai - 2,160 (~ 2 hrs)
To Hakone from Shinjuku
Train options ...
Odakyu Limited Express 'Romancecar' (reserved seat required) - 2,080 (~ 1 hrs 30 mins, direct)
Odakyu Odawara Line Rapid Exp. (via Odawara) - 1,190 (1 hrs 40 mins)
Bus option ...
Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus: Shinjuku Bus Terminal (via Gotemba, stops at Togendai (boats for Lake Ashi)) - Hakone-togendai - 2,010 (~ 2 hrs 10 mins)
To Hakone by car
If driving from Tokyo to Hakone expect to be paying around 3,000 yen in highway fees. Journey times around 1 hrs 30 mins if you know where you're going.
Subcompact rent-a-cars (the cheapest and smallest ones) rent for around 6,000 - 7,000 yen for up to 6 hrs. A full 24 hrs might be around 8,000 yen, plus 7,000 yen for each subsequent day.
Getting around Hakone
The Bible doesn't have enough pages to cover all the possible journey combinations and their costs for travel around this part of the world. As we said earlier there are trains, cable cars, buses, boats, and funicular trains (the ones that go up steep slops, directly).
The best way to make a whole trip from Tokyo to Hakone (and around) simple would be to go with the storied Hakone Freepass from Odakyu. The pass covers one round trip between Shinkuku Station and Odawara/Hakone-yumoto (need to pay a surcharge to use the 'Romancecar'), and the following 8 transport options in the Hakone region ...
|Hakone Tozan Train|
|Hakone Tozan Cable Car|
|Hakone Sightseeing Cruise|
|Hakone Tozan Bus|
|Odakyu Highway Bus (designated areas)|
|Numazu Tozan Tokai Bus|
|Hakone Bus/ KANKO SHISETSU-MEGURI|
So this is really a pass that makes sense. The problem is, it is only valid for two or three days ...
|From||2 days||3 days|
... not much use for the day-tripper or the long stayer.
If you're planning to make a weekend of it and take in plenty of the sights, the Hakone Freepass looks like a good option. Take a look at the breakdown these individual journey costs from travel within Hakone. (All journeys one-way)
|Odawara||Hakonemachi||~ 1 hrs||1,180|
|Odawara||Hakone-yumoto||~ 18 mins||370|
|Hakone-yumoto||Hakonemachi||~ 40 mins||960|
|Hakone-yumoto||Chokoku-no-mori (Hakone Open Air Museum)||~ 20 mins / 1 transit||690|
|Hakone-yumoto||Miyanoshita Onsen (for Fujiya Hotel)||~ 10 mins||410|
|Hakone-yumoto||Gora||~ 16 mins||660|
|Hakone-yumoto||Togendai (for boats on the Lake Ashi)||~ 40 mins|
|Hakone-yumoto||Chokoku-no-mori (Hakone Open Air Museum)||37 mins||400|
|Hakone-yumoto||Miyanoshita (for Fujiya Hotel)||26 mins||270|
Cable car ...
Cruise (Lake Ashi) ...
Of course, for those heading to Hakone to kick back and, well, do very little, perhaps the best bet would be to pay for journeys separately. In terms of getting to the region from Tokyo though, taking the train seems to be the best option. It's faster, even using local trains, and isn't subject to the traffic concerns that face the bus user. Driving looks to be expensive, and if you're interested in taking in most of Hakone's classic sights, perhaps isn't practical; you'll have to look for places to park and ditch the car to then jump on public transport in order to get to those places on the 'to do' list. As we said earlier. anyone making a weekend of it would do well to go with the Hakone Freepass by the looks of things. Even if you're not going to be that active, it's going to streamline things and give you the freedom to change your plans (within the area).
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