We have less than a day in Hakone and we are trying to figure out how to make the most of our time there.
Will be arriving into Tokyo (Narita airport) around 5pm, and then making our way into Hakone. We leave Hakone the next afternoon or early evening bound for Kyoto.
We will be buying a JR visitors pass and are thinking of activating it at Narita ariport. We are wondering whether it would be good to get the Hakone Free Pass as well? Or should we rethink our train plans…?
Activities planned for Hakone are - Ropeway and Lake Ashi.
If it’s your first time in Japan, I would suggest arriving at Narita at 5pm and going straight to Hakone might be slightly ambitious. Not saying it’s impossible, but negotiating the complexities of the Japanese transport system after a long flight to Narita is not something I’d recommend!
However, if you want to use the JR pass, you would take the Narita Express to Shinagawa and then catch the Shinkansen to Odawara. At Odawara Station, you can purchase Hakone Free Passes for 4,000yen per person. From Odawarra, you would take the Odakyu Line to Hakone Yumoto station. Hakone is quite spread out, but there are buses running that connect all the hotels - or you can splash out a few thousand yen on a taxi. To get out, you take the reverse route back to Odawara Station the next day.
Assuming you’re well organized and catch the Narita Express at about 5:45pm, you would probably get to your hotel by about 9:30pm. Otherwise, after 10:30pm is likely.
I also looked for some buses that go direct from Narita Airport to Hakone, but couldn’t find any. Accessing Hakone from central Tokyo tends to be easier.
Thanks Greg. Do you think it is worth going to Hakone then for less than a
day? Say we aren’t lucky and arrive after 10.30pm and will leave the next
day at say 4pm. Is that enough time to do anything?
Hi Melina, I think your arrival day will be a write-off anyway. Whether it’s 9:30pm or 10:30pm, Hakone is basically closed in the evening! Most hotels have an on premises restaurant and an onsen bath. You might miss the restaurant, but you can still have a soak. If you head off early, I’m sure you can see some of the sights - there’s enough in Hakone to occupy a few days if you want. Although it’s not really a uniquely Japanese experience, the Pola Museum of Art has an amazing collection with art by Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Van Gogh etc. The Open Air Art Museum has an amazing setting as well.
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