Japan Travel – Hakone (Part 4)By
Tags: Black eggs, Hakone free pass, Hakone open air museum, Hakone ropeway, Hakone sightseeing cruise, Hakone tozan cable car, Hakone-yumoto station, Hell valley, Japan Travel, Owakudani valley
Since we plan to stay in Hakone for one night, we have decided to purchase the 2 days Hakone free pass for Yen 5,000/pax. With this Hakone pass, we have unlimited use of the 7 modes of transportation in Hakone.
We can only check into the Japanese ryokan only after 3 p.m. and dinner is served around 6 p.m. Taking these into consideration, we will have about 3-4 hours to explore Hakone using the Hakone free pass.
Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto Station
As we do not intend to top up for the Odakyu romance car, we will take a limited express train from Shinjuku to Odawara. From Odawara station, we spend another 15 minutes to arrive at Hakone- Yumoto station by Hakone Tozan line.
There are also many onsen located at Hakone-Yumoto stations.
Gora Station – Use Hakone Tozan Train
The transportation from Hakone-Yumoto station to Gora station is Hakone Tozan Train. This is Japan’s mountain railway covering 8.9 km distance between Hakone-Yumoto Station and Gora Station. The full ride takes 40 minutes. Along the way, you can enjoy the scenary.
Gora station is where our Japanese ryokan is located. Although check in timing is 3 p.m., we will request the ryokan to take care of our luggage first while we explore the area.
We are considering to drop by Chokoku-no-mori station, which is one stop before Gora station. This is the stop where the famous Hakone open museum sites.You can find amazing sculptures, paintings and etc.
Sounzan Station – Use Hakone Tozan Cable Car
Hakone Tozan Cable Car rises 211 meters between Gora station and Sounzan station. It covers 1.2 km and you can reach Sounzan station in approximately 10 minutes. This looks like the tram at Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.
Hakone Tozan Cable Car has four stations, for visitors to Gora Park, the Hakone Museum of Art, Hakone Sounzan Museum and also for people staying at Japanese inns and private recreation facilities. As we only have 3 hours to explore the area, we probably skip the museums.
Togendai Station – Use Hakone Ropeway
Once we reach Sounzan Station, we can take Hakone ropeway to Togendai Station. This is a 30 minutes trip overseeing the shores of Lake Ashi. During clear days, you may also catch views of majestic Mount Fuji.
Along the way, we will make a stop at Owakudani station.
This stop is famous for the volcanic “Jigokudani”. The volcano at Owakudani is no longer active. However,much steam plus a strong sulphur smell still comes out from the volcano. As such, people refer this place as the “Hell Valley”.
On the middle of the volcano, there is a tourist center which sells tourists souvenirs and “black eggs”. These eggs are cooked with the hot steam from the volcano. There is also a legend saying that if you eat one egg, your life is prolong for 7 years.
You guess it right! I am definitely going to buy the eggs to try. Really curious how does black egg taste?
Lake Ashi Sightseeing Cruise
When we reach Togendai station, we are ready to cruise Lake Ashi using the Hakone Sightseeing cruise. These pirate ships links Togendai with Motohakone-ko and Hakone-machi.
On fine weather, one can view Mount Fuji on the cruise. There are also art museums, hot springs (onsen), historical sites and other attractions along the lake shore.
The cruise (return trip) will take us 70 minutes.
Along the cruise, we will keep our eyes open to spot the striking red gate of the Hakone shrine. It is actually a short walk from the waterfront where the pirate ships take off from.
After the cruise, we plan to return back to our Japanese ryokan to enjoy a good dinner and onsen. According to above plan, we will spend around 4 hours before we get back to our ryokan at around 5 p.m.
Bringing you more insights to our up and coming Japan itinerary.