Go to Owakudani from Tokyo by taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station to Odawara Station on the Odakyū Odawara Line, and then change for the Tozan Line to board the Hakone Tozan train to Gora Station. From there, transfer to the Funicular to Souzan Station where you will ride the Hakone Ropeway to reach Owakudani.

Why the couple went to Owakudani in Hakone, Japan?

The couple visited Ōwakudani also called 大涌谷 or “Great Boiling Valley” or “GeoThermal Valley” in Hakone, for a day-trip instead of visiting Mount Fuji directly because they can see 2 volcanoes instead of just 1 Mount Fuji . Ōwakudani is a popular tourist site with scenic view of Mount Fuji and the famous volcanic valley with active sulphur vents. Once there, they rushed to queue up for the local speciality Kuro-tamago 黒卵 lit. “black egg” which is hard-boiled in the hot springs. The eggs has a slightly sulphuric smell and they were excited about consuming those eggs because it is said to increase longevity by seven years. So, if you are travelling to Japan, be sure to follow the below steps carefully to lengthen your youth.

 

Overview of the journey from Shinjuku, Tokyo to Owakudani, Hakone in Japan

Total travelling time: About 2 hour and 30 mins (the scenic view is totally worth it on 4 transport modes)

Total transport cost: 3050 YEN X 2 for the couple

The alternate way to Owakudani Hakone is to take the Romance Car Railway, it’s probably less hassle, however, do expect huge huge crowd and more expensive ticket. Below is a Google Map on the estimated journey and travelling time.

Exact Address if you are travelling by car or tourist bus: Japan, 〒250-0631 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Sengokuhara, 足柄下郡箱根町仙石原1251−1

GPS Coordinate: 35.244139, 139.019927

 

8 detailed steps in the travel plan guide from Shinjuku, Tokyo to Owakudani, Hakone

 

Step 1. Tokyo SHINJUKU Shinkansen to ODAWARA Station

Using Japan Railway JR Passes, reserve Shinkansen seats at Shinjuku Station travelling to Odawara Station on the Odakyū Odawara Line.

Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • Reserve seats the day before too, at any Shinkansen Stations.
  • Get up early and arrive at the station at just after 9.30am (or before 8am)  to avoid the working crowd.
  • Go on a weekday instead of the weekend! Weekend is double triple quadruple crowd size.
  • Ask for the exact direction to board the train as Shinjuku Station is really big and crowded.
  • Ask for the below instruction card to choose your seats, both the sea view and mount fuji views are just as majestic. In any case, you can get up from your seats later and walk to the doors to see the same view.

 

InvestCouple choosing Shinkansen seats with Sea side or Mt Fuji view

Choose your Shinkansen seats

 

This is a 1 hour 40 mins Shinkansen train ride so be sure to buy something to munch on the journey before boarding the train (Yes! you can eat on the train and train station). If you feel hungry along the way, tidbits, bread and drinks are sold on the Shinkansen but it will cost 2 to 3 times more. Lastly, please be punctual as the train will leave on time, not a minute more or less.

Along the way, you will see lots of scenic sites – japanese houses, interesting shops, beach and seaside, forested and rural area, farms and villages. So, don’t waste the expensive tickets, stay awake, enjoy some Japanese sweets and keep your eyes open for those views like the one below.

 

Mount Fuji view on Shinkansen from Tokyo Shinjuku

Mount Fuji view on Shinkansen

 

Step 2. Alight at ODAWARA Station, Look for Hakone Tourist Information/ Tickets Counter

Once you reach Odawara Station, follow the yellow exit signboard, go up the platform and exit the gantry. You will be purchasing tickets from here to travel from Odawara station to Souzan station via Train and Cable Car.

Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • Ask the train operators for directions by showing them the picture below.
Hakone Tourist Information Center

Friendly service at Hakone Tourist Information Center

 

Step 3. Purchase Hakone Tozan Train & Cable Car 1-Day TokoToko Ticket

See the beautiful Hakone Transportation map below to guide your trip. The couple chose the orange color option – Hakone Tozan Train & Cable Car 1-Day TokoToko Ticket because this was where we wanted to go and it is the cheapest! Cost for each ticket is 1,540 Yen

  • The Hakone Tozan Train travels from Odawara Station to Gora Station.
  • The Hakone Tozan Cable Car (Funicular or Cliff railway) travels from Gora Station to Souzan Station.
Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • Do check your ticket, it is red in color as shown below
  • check the weather forecast board to see if you need to purchase an umbrella at the station first.
  • Ask the friendly counter staff for train platform directions and what time to board the train.

 

Hakone Transportation Map

Travelling around Hakone with different transportation and fees

Weather board for Hakone

Weather board for Hakone

Hakonee Tozan Railway and CableCar Red Ticket

Hakonee Tozan Railway and CableCar Red Ticket. This ticket also entitles you to some discounts around Hakone area e.g. Hot Springs.

 

Step 4. Board Train ODAWARA Station to HAKONE YUMOTO Station

Go to the Odawara Station platform to board the Hakone Tozan train that is going towards the direction of Gora/ Souzan, see signboard below. The Hakone Tozan line consists of 2 sections:

  1. The lower section from Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station
  2. The upper section from Hakone-Yumoto Station to Gora Station

Hence, that is why you need to take note and alight at Hakone-Yumoto and transfer train for the upper section.

Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • Once the train starts moving, listen well and get ready to alight at Hakone Yumoto Station to transfer.

 

 

 

Step 5. Alight at HAKONE YUMOTO STATION, transfer to upper section train towards Gora Station

This is the super most important step and most tourists will missed out if they are not alert! Get off the train at Hakone Yumoto Station. Keep walking forward towards the direction of the train head, and continue walking forward until you reach another railway segment – this is the upper section of Hakone Tozan Line.

Yes, you need to transfer to another similar looking train to continue the journey forward to Gora Station.

Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • If you forgot to alight, do not worry as the train will just go back to Odawara Station and come back to this Hakone-Yumoto Station again but you will waste some good time.
  • The journey from Hakone Yumoto to Gora Station will take quite a while. Munch more tidbits and keep your eyes open
  • InvestCouple recommend to visit during the Cherry Blossom season and you will be rewarded to some of the most scenic view in Japan – clear sky, pink floras, mountains, clear streams and friendly villagers along the way.
  • Take the first cabin to watch how the train operator switch direction. Imagine a Y-shaped route and you will get the idea.

Once you reached Gora Station, you will be 541 metres above sea level.

 

 

Step 6. Alight at GORA Station, transfer to Hakone Tozan Cable Car towards SOUZAN Station

Upon alighting at Gora Station, ask and look for directions to transfer to Hakone Tozan Cable Car.

Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • This part of the journey is most crowded, so prepare to stand in the Cable Car.
  • Luckily the journey is not long and the Cable Car is very modern and air-conditioned.

 

Hakone Tozan CableCar Signboard

Hakone Tozan CableCar Signboard

 

 

Step 7. Alight at Souzan Station, Purchase Ropeway tickets to Owakudani Station

It wouldn’t be long before you reached Souzan Station. Alight at this station to purchase tickets for the Hakone Ropeway car as shown below to get to Owakudani Hakone. Cost of each ticket: 1,510 Yen

Quicker, less hassle, more fun travel tips
  • InvestCouple used the self-service ticket vending machine as there were clear English, Chinese translation to buy the tickets.
  • Approach the station counter staff for help to purchase the tickets if unsure.
  • After purchasing the ticket, move forward right away to proceed boarding the Hakone Ropeway.
  • The interesting part here is that the station staffs will give you a free wet towel, seems like asking you to be mindful of breathing in the sulfuric air around the volcanic valley.
Direction to buy the Hakone Ropeway tickets

Directions to buy the Hakone Ropeway tickets. Black color row is 1 way trip prices. Brown color row is 2 way trip prices. Start from Souzan to Owakudani on a 1 way trip is 840 YEN, 2 way round trip is 1510 YEN.

 

Buying the Hakone Ropeway tickets from self-help vending machine

Buying the Hakone Ropeway tickets from self-help vending machine

 

Hakone Ropeway tickets in orange

Hakone Ropeway tickets in orange

 

Step 8. Board Ropeway, Alight at Owakudani Station (next station)

Finally, get ready your cameras again to be treated to the spectacular view of Mount Fuji along the way and don’t forget to alight at Owakudani Station!

 

To go back to Tokyo from Owakudani Hakone, ride the Hakone Ropeway to Souzan Station and then change to board the Funicular to Gora Station. From there, board the Hakone Tozan Train to Odawara Station and transfer to the Shinkansen to reach Tokyo.

If you have followed our 8 steps guide, you can just retrace back and reuse all the boarding passess.

 

Boarding area for Hakone Ropeway Car to Owakudani Hakone

Boarding area for Hakone Ropeway Car to Owakudani Hakone

Inside Hakone Ropeway Car

Inside Hakone Ropeway Car

 

Hakon Ropeway view of Mount Fuji

Hakon Ropeway view of Mount Fuji

 

Owakudani Hakone, Volcanic Valley

Owakudani Hakone, Volcanic Valley

 

Satellite view of the entire location in Owakudani Hakone!

(Even the map shows there is smoke coming out from the volcanic valley.)

 

This article is also available at https://wp.me/p8Ptzq-9pU , and was first published on InvestCouple.com