If you’re staying in the Tokyo area and would like to take a break from the city or just fancy an adventure, then consider adding Hakone to your list of places to visit! Have a look at this Hakone itinerary and discover the most efficient and cost-effective way to travel around Hakone.

Hakone, located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, is a famous place to visit in Japan for its amazing hot springs, scenic views, and natural beauty. Hakone is one of the most popular locations for both Japanese and foreign travellers.

Hakone Itinerary Secret Weapon: Hakone Freepass

The Hakone Freepass is a money-saving pass that allows for unlimited rides within the Hakone area. This means you can take all the designated transport options to visit all the sites without worrying about tallying up a huge cost at the end of the trip!

In addition to covering different transportation options, the Hakone Freepass offers various discounts at shops, attractions, and other locations during your trip. Depending on the pace you want to travel at, you can choose between a 2-day pass and a 3-day pass.

Departure Point2 days3 days
From ShinjukuAdult: 6,100 yen, Child: 1,100 yenAdult: 6,500 yen, Child: 1,350 yen
From OdawaraAdult: 5,000 yen, Child: 1,000 yenAdult: 5,400 yen, Child: 1,250 yen
Hakone Free Pass Pricing 2024

Here are the things included in your Hakone Freepass:

Round Trip Ticket

  • A discounted round-trip ticket on the Odakyu Lines is included. This is between either Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station or Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station.

Transportation Lines Covered by Hakone Freepass:

  • Hakone Tozan Train
  • Hakone Tozan Cable Car
  • Hakone Ropeway
  • Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
  • Hakone Tozan Bus (designated areas)
  • Odakyu Highway Bus (designated areas)
  • Tokai Bus (designated areas)
  • Hakone Tozan Bus (Tourist Attraction Sightseeing Bus)

Special Offers and Discounts:

  • Hakone Yuryo
  • Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun
  • The Hakone Open Air Museum
  • Hakone-jinja Shrine (Treasure Museum)
  • Hakone Gora Park
  • Owakudani-eki Shokudo
  • Mishima Skywalk

For more information about the Hakone Freepass, visit their official website.

Hakone Itinerary

From Shinjuku Station to Hakone Yumoto Station

Hakone Itinerary Shinjuku – Odawara
Credits: 江戸村のとくぞう

If you are based in central Tokyo, an easy way to get to Hakone-Yumoto Station is to depart from Shinjuku Station. You can use the Hakone Freepass all the way from Shinjuku. Shinjuku Station provides easy access to the Odakyu Line, where you can take the Rapid-express train or the Romancecar to Hakone-Yumoto Station. Here are a couple of options:

  • Romancecar (2,460 yen) goes directly from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station and takes roughly 1.5 hours.
  • Take the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku to Odawara, then change to Hakone-Yumoto Station. Depending on the train, it takes roughly 2 hours and costs around 1,260 yen.

From Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station

Hakone Itinerary Arrive at Hakone-Yumoto Station
Credits: Kounoichi

Besides getting the Hakone Freepass and departing from Shinjuku, you can also get the pass from Odawara Station. After reaching Odawara Station, take the Hakone Tozan Line to Hakone-Yumoto.

From this point onwards, your Hakone Freepass can be used for all transport during your journey. This will be the starting point for your adventure.

Take the Hakone Tozan Train to Gora

Hakone Itinerary Take Hakone Tozan Train to Gora
Credits: SuicasmoCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The first leg of the journey, from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora, involves traversing the mountainside on one of Japan’s few mountain railways.

On this route, you can enjoy the scenery of the mountains and feel the increased altitude as the train climbs steep slopes. The train uses a switchback method, zigzagging up the slopes. This happens three times over the route.

The Hakone Tozan Railway is also known as the ‘Hydrangea train’ as in mid-June, the hydrangeas bloom and can be seen throughout the journey.

Optional: The Hakone Open-Air Museum

Hakone Itinerary Optional_ The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Credits: SuicasmoCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here is an optional visit to the Hakone Open-Air Museum! Opened in 1969, it is Japan’s first open-air sculpture museum.

Surrounded by greenery, the museum’s 70,000-square-metre garden exhibits approximately 120 works by famous Japanese and foreign artists, including Henry Moore. The Picasso Pavilion at the far end of the museum displays 319 pieces of Picasso’s collection, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. There are also hands-on artworks, such as the Net Forest, for visitors with young children. The “Symphony of Happiness Sculpture,” featuring brightly coloured stained glass and a spiral staircase in the centre, is very popular on social media.

The museum also has a café and restaurant, making it a great place to stop by between tours. Definitely worth a visit if you would like to take a relaxed stroll through nature and capture some incredible photos.

Take Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Owakudani

Hakone Itinerary Take Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Owakudani

After arriving at Gora, the next point of transport is the Hakone Tozan Cable Car. The cable car connects Gora to Sounzan, climbing an altitude of 209 metres and covering a distance of 1.2 kilometres in around 10 minutes. It is the most convenient way to travel up from Gora, including four stops on the way.


Owakudani was formed about 3,000 years ago at the site of the eruptive crater of Mount Kamiyama, a Hakone volcano. Visitors with respiratory or heart problems should exercise caution when visiting.

The famous gourmet food here is “Kuro-tamago (black eggs),” which is said to prolong your life by seven years if you eat one. The black-shelled boiled eggs made from the heat of the hot springs are also famous as souvenirs.

Take the Hakone Ropeway to Togendai Lake

Hakone Itinerary Take Hakone Ropeway to Togendai Lake
Credits: GFDL

One of the most breathtaking moments of this Hakone itinerary is the Hakone Ropeway. It is the world’s second-longest cable car, transporting up to 13 people at a time. The ropeway offers a full view of Owakudani, Hakone’s most famous spot.

You will travel through the mountains, passing over sulphur steam produced by the volcano. On a clear day, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.

Take the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise Across Lake Ashi

Hakone Itinerary Take Hakone Sightseeing cruise across Lake Ashi
Credits: Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

As part of the Hakone Freepass, you will now need to cross Lake Ashi by boarding a pirate ship! Over approximately 25-40 minutes, you will cruise across the lake from Togendai-ko to Hakone-machi-ko.

The sightseeing on this ship is truly spectacular, with views of the lake-top torii gate at Hakone-jinja Shrine with Mt. Fuji in the background. For an additional charge, you can access the special room on the ship, which is great if you want to avoid crowds and get a view from the front of the ship.

Hakone Shrine

Hakone Itinerary Hakone Shrine
Credits: Aimaimyi

You may have seen Hakone-jinja Shrine while travelling on the lake, but now it’s time to stop by and get a closer look. Visit Hakone-jinja Shrine, an incredible landmark that dates back to the year 757. It is famous for its history of worshippers visiting to pray for safe travels.

Additionally, it is known for military commanders devotedly worshipping the shrine. Many monthly and seasonal festivals are held here.

Take the Hakone Tozan Bus Back to Hakone-Yumoto Station

Hakone Itinerary Take Hakone Tozan Bus back to Hakone-Yumoto Station
Credits: エターナル克己

Now comes the final stretch of this incredible journey. Take the Hakone Tozan Bus back to Hakone-Yumoto Station. The Hakone Tozan Bus, also known as the ‘Sightseeing Bus,’ operates over a large area of Hakone and connects to many hotels and ryokans.

If you want to wind down after your journey around Hakone, stop at one of the popular onsens, such as Tenzan Onsen or Hakone Yuryo right before you reach Hakone-Yumoto Station.

Experience the Best of Hakone

An amazing adventure through the mountainous region of Hakone awaits, with a wealth of experiences that will leave you in awe. From the serene beauty of traditional shrines and rejuvenating hot springs to breathtaking views of the majestic Mount Fuji, Hakone truly has something for everyone.

The journey itself is an adventure, with some of the most unique and interesting forms of transport available, all designed to maximize your sightseeing opportunities. The Hakone Freepass makes it easy and cost-efficient to explore this incredible region, allowing you to hop on and off various modes of transportation with ease.

Whether you’re soaking in the natural hot springs, taking a leisurely cruise on Lake Ashi, or riding the scenic Hakone Tozan Railway, every moment in Hakone promises to be unforgettable. So pack your bags, grab your Freepass, and get ready to discover the wonders of Hakone in a way that is both affordable and truly spectacular!