Hakone Round Course with Gotemba Premium Outlet Day Trip from Tokyo

Onshihakone Park
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The first thing that comes to my mind about Japan is Mt. Fuji. It is the country’s icon for me growing up. Visiting Japan would somehow be incomplete for me without at least seeing Mt. Fuji.

We allotted our second day in Japan for our Hakone Round Course and visit to Gotemba Premium Outlet day trip with high hopes of being able to see Mt. Fuji.

Mt Fuji on clear skies
Mt Fuji on clear skies

We would have bought the famous JR pass to go around but thorough research showed me that it doesn’t cover all the places we intend to visit. So I searched and opted for other passes which proved to be way cheaper and more useful for our itinerary: the 72-hour Tokyo Metro Pass which covered all the places we went to around Tokyo and the Hakone Pass which covered all the rides we needed to and around Hakone and back to Tokyo.

Hakone Pass Map
Hakone Pass Map from japan-guide.com

 

Hostel East57, Asakusabashi Station to Shinjuku Station

We woke up very early because traveling from Tokyo to the Hakone area where we hoped to see Mt. Fuji takes around two hours. 

Ride the train from Asakusabashi Station (A16) to Higashi-Nihombashi station (A15). Transfer to the Shinjuku line / Yellowgreen line / Bakuro Yokoyama Station (S09) for Shinjuku Station (S01). Travel time: 20 minutes, 9 stops, Fare: None on Tokyo Pass, otherwise JPY400 ~ Php200.

 

Shinjuku to Hakone Area, Odawara Station

Transfer to the Odakyu Line at Shinjuku station to board the train to Odawara station. Travel time: 90 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY880~Php440.

It was hard to fall asleep when there are good views and good looks around but I still had a good catch up with dear elusive sleep before we alighted at Odawara station. 

Hakone Pass
My Hakone Pass

 

Let’s begin our Hakone Round Course!

  1. Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station by Train

Transfer to the Hakone Tozan line to ride the train from Odawara station to Hakone-Yumoto station. Travel time: 15 minutes, Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY310 ~ Php155.

Odawara Station

Just arrived at Hakone-Yumoto station. On our way to the bus stop downstairs for Motohakone-ko.

 

  1. Hakone-Yumoto Station to Motohakone-ko by Bus

Exit Hakone-Yumoto station and take Hakone Tozan Bus H to alight at Motohakone-ko. Travel time: 32 minutes, Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY960 ~ Php480

We bought water at a Ministop convenience store outside the Motohakone-ko boarding area for the Pirate Cruise Ship to energize us as we start our walk to Hakonemachi-ko. 

Gora Park
At Gora Park

 

  1. Motohakone-ko to Hakonemachi-ko by Walking 

Start walking under the canopy of trees and visit the Onshi Hakone park on the way as you walk to Hakonemachi-ko, another boarding point for the Pirate Cruise ship. Walking time: 20 to 30 minutes, Free admission on Onshi Hakone Park.

Motohakone-ko to Hakonemachi-ko
Enjoying the trees as we walk from Motohakone-ko to Hakonemachi-ko

Alternatively, you can board the Hakone Pirate Cruise Ship or continue to ride Hakone Tozan Bus H from Motohakone-ko to Hakonemachi-ko. 

Onshihakone Park
At Onshihakone Park. You’ll enjoy the trees and this park along your walk from Motohakone-ko to Hakonemachi-ko.

I personally recommend walking this relatively short distance if you are fit for it and make a quick stop at Onshi-Hakone park. Nothing can quite beat walking in close contact with trees and nature. 

 

  1. Hakonemachi-ko to Togendai-ko by Hakone Pirate Cruise Ship

Board the Pirate Cruise Ship from Hakonemachi-ko to Togendai-ko for a good and relaxing view of Lake Ashinoko and Mt. Fuji if the weather is in your favor. Travel time: 35 minutes, Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY1000 ~ Php500.

Pirate Cruise Ship Hakone
We boarded this Pirate Cruise Ship from Hakonemachi-ko to Togendai-ko along Lake Ashinoko.

We really hoped to see Mt. Fuji while cruising on the lake but it was too shy and only hid behind the clouds. 

Hakone Pirate Cruise Ship
Sailing aboard the Hakone Pirate Cruise Ship using our Hakone Pass

 

  1. Togendai to Sounzan by Hakone Ropeway

We then boarded the Hakone Ropeway from Togendai to Sounzan with a necessary stop and transfer at Owakudani. It was a scenic ride as we passed over Owakudani Valley where just a few feet below us was the steaming active and sulfuric land. Travel time: 30 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY1480 ~ Php740 

Owakudani Valley
Owakudani Valley was steaming as we passed over it.

 

  1. Sounzan to Gora by Hakone Cable Car

From Sounzan, we boarded the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Gora where we decided to rest for a while, eat lunch, and visit Gora Park. Travel time: 10 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY420 ~ Php210

Hakone Cable Car
A scenic ride on the Hakone Cable Car. I was just returning the Hakone Map and Guide that I tried to familiarize while my friend, Jade, was just taking pictures. Haha Thank you for the pictures, Jade!

Gora Park is just a 5-minute walk and stroll from Gora station.

Gora Park
Strolling around Gora Park. Free admission.

 

  1. Gora to Gotemba Premium Outlet by Bus

We then queued at Bus Stop 3 outside Gora station before the scheduled departure of Bus Route M which goes directly to Gotemba Premium Outlet.

Ask around to be sure you are boarding the right bus to your intended destination. Travel time: 45 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY990 ~ Php495. Bus schedule: Hourly.

Gora Park
Somewhere in the Hakone Area.

We visited the Gotemba Premium Outlet for two main reasons. First, to have a good view of Mt Fuji. Second, to buy a good pair of shoes at a very good (synonym: low) price.

Gotemba Mt Fuji
Gotemba Premium Outlet with Mt Fuji view (Photo from premiumoutlets.co.jp)

We walked around the Gotemba outlet in the afternoon and even lingered in this exact area for a while to meet Mt. Fuji but he never showed up. Ouch!

 

  1. Gotemba Premium Outlet to Gora by Bus

We had no choice but to leave without ever seeing Mt. Fuji throughout the day. We queued for the hourly bus back to Gora station late in the afternoon. Travel time: 45 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY990 ~ Php495. 

Gora lunch
My lunch at a quaint Japanese restaurant in Gora.

Tips on Bus Trips:

Bus trips around the Hakone area include steep roads with sharp turns so either be very active to overcome or learn how to sleep easily to disregard however it will affect you. 

Make sure to check the last bus trips from your pick up points and be at the bus stop the latest on the second to the last trip just in case the queue gets too long.

Hakone Round Course
Lake Ashinoko at Motohakone-ko. Still without Mt. Fuji.

 

  1. Gora Station to Shinjuku Station, Tokyo by Train
  1. Take the Hakonetozan Line train from Gora Station to Hakone Yumoto Station. 
  1. Transfer to the Hakonetozan Line train at Hakone Yumoto Station to Odawara Station. 
  1. Transfer to the Odakyu Line at Odawara station to board the train to Shinjuku station. (Travel time: 2 hours 32 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass, otherwise JPY1550~Php775.)

We did the recommended Hakone round course to maximize our pass which included unlimited rides. 

We rode the trains, buses, railway, Pirate Cruise ship, cable car, and ropeway. We ended our day at Gotemba Premium Outlet before going back to Tokyo. 

Onshi-Hakone Park
I would have gone swimming on this area of the Onshi-Hakone Park if it was allowed. 🙂

All of these were covered by our Hakone pass. We only spent cash for our food and the things we bought at the Gotemba Premium Outlet.

We never saw Mt Fuji, not even at least its silhouette behind the clouds or its snow cap. This day wasn’t the day that we were supposed to see Mt. Fuji. Maybe we have to go back someday.

Hakone Area
So long, Hakone Area! Next stop, Disneysea! 🙂

Or maybe I have to climb Mt. Fuji someday to appreciate and experience its beauty and grandeur.

I may not have seen Mt. Fuji on this trip but I will be basking on many things Disney at Tokyo Disneysea the next day! 🙂

Tokyo-Osaka-Nara-Kyoto Itinerary: Day 2 of 6
On Conversion: JPY1000 ~ Php500
On Time Zone: GMT + 9 (Japan Time is 1 hour advanced compared to Philippine Time, e.g. 7 am in JP is 6 am in PH)
Day 2Hakone Round Course with Gotemba Premium Outlet
6:00 AMMake your way to Shinjuku for Hakone
 Ride the train from Asakusabashi Station (A16) to Higashi-Nihombashi station (A15). Transfer to the Shinjuku line / Yellowgreen line / Bakuro Yokoyama Station (S09) for Shinjuku Station (S01). Travel time: 20 minutes, 9 stops, Fare: None on Tokyo Pass
6:30 AMTransfer to the Odakyu Line at Shinjuku station to board the train to Odawara station. Travel time: 90 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass
 Hakone Round Course / Mount Fuji using Hakone Pass at ~PHP2,500 each in Klook
8:30 AMArrive in Odawara Station. Grab breakfast (JPY1000 ~ PHP500). Begin the Hakone Round Course!
9:00 AM1. Odawara Station to Hakone Yumoto Station by Train
 
Transfer to the Hakone Tozan line to ride the train from Odawara station to Hakone-Yumoto station. Travel time: 15 minutes, Fare: None on Hakone Pass
9:30 AM2. Hakone-Yumoto Station to Motohakone-ko by Bus
 
Exit Hakone-Yumoto station and take Hakone Tozan Bus H to alight at Motohakone-ko. Travel time: 32 minutes, Fare: None on Hakone Pass
10:15 AM3. Motohakone-ko to Hakonemachi-ko by Walking
 
Start walking under the canopy of trees and visit the Onshi Hakone park through a good walk to Hakonemachi-ko where you can board the Pirate Cruise ship. Walking time: 20 to 30 minutes, Free admission on Onshi Hakone Park.
11:00 AM4. Hakonemachi-ko to Togendai-ko by Hakone Pirate Cruise Ship
 
Board the Pirate Cruise Ship from Hakonemachi-ko to Togendai-ko for a good and relaxing view of Lake Ashinoko and Mt Fuji if the weather is in your favor. Travel time: 35 minutes, Fare: None on Hakone Pass
11:45 AM5. Togendai to Sounzan by Hakone Ropeway
 
Board the Hakone Ropeway from Togendai to Sounzan with a necessary stop and transfer at Owakudani.Enjoy Owakudani Valley. Travel time: 30 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass
12:30 PM6. Sounzan to Gora by Hakone Cable Car
 
From Sounzan, we boarded the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Gora where we decided to rest for a while, eat lunch, and visit Gora Park. Travel time: 10 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass
12:45 PMLunch (JPY1000 ~ PHP500). Walk to Gora Park from Gora station (5 minutes) and stroll around. 
1:45 PMTake direct bus to Gotemba Premium Outlet from Gora. Confirm last trip schedule back to Gora.
 7. Gora to Gotemba Premium Outlet by Bus
 
Queue at Bus Stop 3 outside Gora station before the scheduled departure of Bus Route M which goes directly to Gotemba Premium Outlet. Ask around to be sure you are boarding the right bus to your intended destination. Travel time: 45 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass
2:30 PMEnjoy Gotemba Premium Outlet. Gotemba Goals: Good low-priced shoes and Mt Fuji!
4:30 PM8. Gotemba Premium Outlet to Gora by Bus
 
Queue for the hourly bus back to Gora station. Travel time: 45 minutes. Fare: None on Hakone Pass
5:30 PM9. Gora Station to Shinjuku Station, Tokyo by Train
 
1. Take the Hakonetozan Line train from Gora Station to Hakone Yumoto Station.
 
2. Transfer to the Hakonetozan Line train at Hakone Yumoto Station to Odawara Station.
 
3. Transfer to the Odakyu Line at Odawara station to board the train to Shinjuku station.
 
Travel time: 2 hours 32 minutes.
Fare: None on Hakone Pass
8:15 PMArrive in Shinjuku. Return Hakone Pass at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center at Shinjuku Station.
 Dinner. (JPY1000~PHP500)
  
 Estimated Expenses each: PHP4000.00 

 

Japan Trip Notes

We stayed for 6 days on a very tight budget.

Use Google to know which train to board at a real-time schedule by specifying your specific departure train station and your arrival train station on the search box, e.g. “Narita Airport station to Oshiage station” or “Kansai Airport station to Nankai Namba station”.

Use Google / Google Maps to navigate around by specifying your specific location and your desired destination on the search box, e.g. “Asakusabashi station to Hostel East57”, “Nankai Namba station to Fuku Yado Nagomi”, or “Hankyu Arashiyama station to Arashiyama Bamboo Groves”.

We already paid for our air fare, accommodation, admission tickets, and passes months before this trip with complete list below. Click each highlighted item to book or know the details.

 

Accommodation

3 nights in Tokyo at Hostel East57 Asaskusabahi

2 nights in Osaka at Fuku Yado – Fuku Hostel

 

Pocket Wifi

Unlimited 4G Wifi for 6 Days (Narita Airport Pick up, Kansai Airport Drop off)

 

Passes and Tickets

Tokyo Subway Pass

Hakone Pass

Tokyo Disneysea Admission Ticket

Universal Studios Japan Admission Ticket

 

Reloadable Smart Card 

Suica Card or Pasmo Card (Can be used across Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto)

 

Plane Tickets

Manila to Tokyo via Cebu Pacific

Tokyo to Osaka and Osaka to Manila via Jetstar

  • We only had to bring cash for our meals and fare around the Osaka-Nara-Kyoto region and very few parts in the East which were not covered by our passes. 
  • We had to stick to our budget as we only had so much. 
  • Our passes and loaded smart cards made us ride the trains and buses conveniently.
  • A pocket wifi is a necessity, it’s your life-saver as you go around Japan. 
  • You get to explore more of Japan if you get lost. 🙂

It was also quite fun despite being pretty time consuming trying to find out how to flush when you visit their toilet for the first time. 

Japan Toilet
You can play false flushing sounds to overlap some unwanted sounds that you make. 😉

I read and tried to understand all  these characters and drawings around 3 times (and experimented how they work) before giving up and looking elsewhere to find out how to flush. First-timer problems!

Japan Toilet
Flushing is as simple as hovering your hand on the sensor not on your seat but on the wall beside you or behind you. What a good laugh! 🙂
Japan Toilet
Seat cleaners are even available!
Travel Tips from a Frugal Traveler

8 Travel Tips from A Frugal Traveler

Keep these travel tips in mind to help you make the most of your travels.


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