On our 2nd day in Japan we decided to venture out from Tokyo to Hakone where we hear we could see great views of Mount Fuji. We purchased our Romancecar train tickets (don’t ask me why it’s named that way haha. I have no idea) the day before. If you plan to take this train, do purchase earlier as it’s by reservation only. You can purchase the tickets at the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center within Shinjuku Station. There’s some tourist brochures set up around the area and useful maps and guides you can pick up for free. We also purchased our Hakone Freepass there. It’s basically a ticket that allows you to travel on any mode of transport within Hakone and discounts to museums, restaurants and etc. They only have 2 days and 3 days passes. Although we were only going for one day, I think the 2 day pass was still worth it for the convenience. We paid 5140 Yen for the Hakone 2 day freepass + (890 Yen surcharge to travel there via Romancecar each way). So that’s a total of 6920 Yen all together.
From Shinjuku station it was about 1.5 hour train ride to Hakone-Yumoto station. From there we switched over to the Hakone Tozan Train which climbs further up the mountain. This train is pretty unique as it goes up in a zig-zag motion up the mountain. From one station it will go towards the left side. Then when it reaches the next station, it will switch direction to the opposite direction. Which is pretty smart because if it goes in one single direction, it would be far too steep to climb. 40mins later we reached Gora where we hopped over to the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Sounzan which was a short 10 min ride up a rather steep incline.
From Sounzan we then headed to the Hakone Ropeway which is a 15min ride further up the mountain to Owakudani. You could venture out from here. But as you can see in the picture above, it was raining all day and it was very misty. So we skipped that.
We stopped by for some souvenir shopping instead. Those cat motifs are so adorable! I couldn’t resist and bought 2 of them along with some other gifts for the people back home. Once we were done, we continued on to another ropeway ride but this time down the mountain to Togendai where the sightseeing ships are.
The weather was very chilly with all the rain and so we had lunch at the cafeteria to warm up. The Udon set was so comforting in this weather and tasted so good! We also had a great view overlooking the ships and the bonus was the fact that they have free wifi too!
Then onto the ship we go~ We were on the red one and cruised over Lake Ashi for a 30min ride.
We were supposed to see Mount Fuji from here, but sadly it was just raining the whole day and so much mist gathered around making it not visible on that day. Imagine the glorious views if it were a clear day. Oh well at least we made it here I guess.
We docked at Moto-Hakone and decided to head out to the nearby park which was a 10min walk in the rain with just our raincoats. Despite the rain, it was still a marvellous view and we had the whole place to ourselves.
We then headed back to Moto-Hakone where you could see this big Torii gate. Again, since it was still raining we didn’t explore further down that road and decided to head back as it was getting dark (it gets dark super early like by 5pm). So we took the bus from here back to Hakone-Yumoto station which was a 40min ride and finally another 1.5 hours ride back to Shinjuku via Romancecar train.
Thus that concludes our 2nd day in Japan. I’ll try and upload the Hakone map and guides we collected later.