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Japan Hakone-Fuji Free Pass Itinerary 3 Days 2 Night

Hakone-Fuji free pass 
Part of our Japan 6 Days 6 Nights includes Hakone-Fuji Free and Easy Tour. We purchase our pass at Shinjuku Odaikyu Office and strongly advisable to purchase the pass in advance. There is high chance of tickets being sold out. In addition, one has to select the timing for return ticket (Kawaguchiko to Shinjuku). You can check out the time schedule for Shinjuku to Hakone and timetable for Kawaguchiko to Shinjuku below.  
Tokyo to Hakone by Bus or Romance car 
Travelling by bus is a cheaper alternative compare to taking Romance Car. However, travelling by Romance Car is faster. Travel by bus takes 2h 30 min and Romance Car takes 1h 25 minutes. Also one will have to transfer at Gotemba before reaching Hakone. Romance car have direct route to Hakone. Although romance car comes with “ Scenic View”, both H & I thought that there was not much view to look out for. Nonetheless, we chose the lateral option because time was not on our side and we had to check in back at the Ryokan before 7pm. Plus, Romance car is more comfortable for my parents.
Tip: Bring your own lunch bento/food onboard the train because it is the worse meal I had in Japan.

Luggage service at Hakone-Yumoto Station 
We were amazed by the service Japanese provides. Before our trip, we were still thinking if we should check in to the hotel before setting off for sight seeing in Hakone. Thankfully there are luggage services available in Hakone station. Price for one luggage is between 700 – 1000. Free pass holders are entitled to 100 yen off the service. 

Accommodation
We stayed in Ryokan instead of Hotel because we wanted to immerse ourselves into the Japanese Culture (or try to be like one!). Perks of staying in Ryokan allow us to have unlimited access to Osen! We top it off with a half-board package (include dinner).

A stay in a Ryokan does not come cheap. A basic one ryokan such as Mount View Hakone cost around 30,000 yen compared to Wakakusa no Yado Maruei Ryokan, a middle class Ryokan which cost around 50,000 yen per night.

Mount View Hakone gave a rustic feeling while we were there. Although there are signs of age, it is still pretty cozy. Also, it is one of the cheapest Ryokan we could find during hanami season. The downside? It does not comes with a shower bath room and amenities seems pretty old too.

Unlike Mount View Hakone, the ryokan we stay in Kawaguchiko is very refreshing. Although! Wakakusa no Yado Maruei Ryokan is a little more expensive, it is worth every cent. You get the entire Fuji View during Osen. Plus, the room is very comfortable. We will be back for the view and the service! Tip: There are free shuttle service from bus station to the ryokan too!

Transportation in Hakone
There are many local bus going around Hakone, bringing you from attractions to attraction. The major ones have more bus frequency and they end late in the evening. However do note that if you want to visit places like Bank Miyagino, you have to go in the morning. Frequency of buses that goes to that area are one hour apart in the evening.

Google map was our best friend and second was the very helpful Japanese we met. With Hakone-Fuji pass in hand, you have access to unlimited rides. Do note not to misplace the ticket. I almost lost mine and had to pay 390 yen for 3 stops!

Transportation in Kawaguchiko
Unlike Hakone, not all bus transportation are free. Thankfully the ones we visit such as Kachi-kachi ropeway and Arakurayama Sengen Park are free. Also, there are many officers or traffic controller in Kawaguchiko station in Kawaguchiko Bus Terminal giving direction advice! This makes travelling so much easier! Thumbs up for Japanese Service!

Day 1- Hakone 

Although Hakone is very accessible to visit from attractions to attractions, it is difficult to complete the entire route in one day. Instead of going by the recommended itinerary, we went the opposite direction to avoid crowd. You can refer the map here.

From Hakone-Yumoto, we start off the trail by taking Hakone-Tozan (Red Bus) towards Hakone-Machi direction and alight at Motohakone-ko. From there, we took a stroll from Lake Ashi and walk pass Hakone Stone Pave. I love the forest-view along Hakone Stone Pave as well as the calming effect that place gave.

Then, we walk over to Hakone Checkpoint before boarding the cruise at Hakone-Machi Port. The Cruise ride is approximately 30 minutes and stop at Hakone Jin-Ja Shrine (which I  thought it will be nice to visit! The symbolic gate!) Unfortunately, time was not on our side. We alight at Togendai before taking ropeway up in the mid air for another scenic view. One can see Mt Fuji on good days. If not, it will be like taking cable car from Mt Faber in Singapore to Sentosa.

We skip Owakudani Valley because it is close. Then, we took a bus and Hakone Tozan to Hakone Yumato Station. I love the Sakura view there. Plus we found one restaurant nearby selling really good Tempura Soba! To end the day, we took a bus from Hakone-Yumato Station back to Mt View Hakone Ryokan.

Day 2 Hakone - Kawaguchiko
Next morning, we visited Bank Miyagino for more sakura! We were very fortunate to witness full bloom and they were super gorgeous! Then, we took a bus to Gotemba Station for lunch before heading to Kawaguchiko. Go check out the restaurant nearby and go for their lunch set meal! They are good and very affordable! Time table from Gotemba Station to Kawaguchiko below 

On our way to Kawaguchiko, H suggested us to alight at Yamanako as it was still early for dinner. & that place is stunning! One can take the lake boat to tour around but we decide to hang out and wait for the next bus. Lesser crowd makes everything nicer too! We had the entire lake to ourselves.

Upon arrival, we head over to the tourist center and called the Ryokan for free shuttle service. With Mt Fuji staring at us, it is difficult not to get excited! Settled our dinner in Wakakusa no Yado Maruei Ryokan and end the day!

Day 3-Kawaguchiko-Shinjuku
Set off the day around 10am cause we cant bear to leave the Ryokan. First stop was kachi-kachi ropeway. I honestly think it was a bad choice, considering it is the top attraction in Kawaguchiko. There are nothing to see when the weather is bad. Plus there is a long queue and cost 800 yen for return. Totally wasted our entire morning there. Next we made our way to Arakurayama Sengen Park and wish that I had visited there in the morning. We didn’t manage to walk up the top but the view below is already gorgeous! H promised to bring me back next time! Head back to Kawaguchiko station and took our bus back to Shinjuku.

Overall, I think there are more sight to visit in Kawaguchiko than Hakone. Although a lot of attraction depends on the weather, I enjoyed myself more in Kawaguchiko than Hakone. Both have its own beauty but my heart was capatured by the onsen view in Wakakusa no Yado Maruei Ryokan.

I hope this helps!

14 comments

  1. How did you get to wakakusa no yado from Hakone?

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    2. Hello! sorry i delete the previous reply as i misread the Ryokan location. We purchase the hakone 3d2n pass. from Hakone. First, we took a local bus to Gotemba Station. From there we transfer to a direct bus to Kawaguchiko station. As shown above - the bus time table picture is the schedule and station the bus will stop. From Kawaguchiko station, we approach the Reception/visitor center and they will help to make arrangement for free shuttle service that wakakusa no yado provides. You can check with the ticket officer to see if there is any change of time/station. Hope it helps!

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  2. when did u visited japan? i saw u wearing a rain boots, do u think i should bring mine along when i m traveling on June, since May and June is the plum rain season?

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    1. Hi! The rain season in japan is at the beginning of June to mid July. So bringing your rain boots will definitely help! However do rmb to extra pair in case it did not rain. Weather can get a bit humid in summer. I went in Apr and brought it for fun. haha . Do check out here for weather guide http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html

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  3. Hi, do u think with 3D2N (Fuji-Hakone) with 1 night each spot is sufficient? Just wondering if it will be rush to visit all the places at both Hakone & Kawaguchiko. Is this the pass you purchased @ 8000yen round trip ticket? https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_014.html

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  4. Hi Elanie

    The pass allows you to visit the main attractions in both places. If you prefer to see more things and visit more places, then the pass is the one. However, I feel that it was abit rush for me. If I am going back, I will stay in kawaguchiko for 2 nights because there are several attraction that I didn't manage to go. Yes the link you shared is the pass I bought. I top up extra for the train

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    1. TQ for your prompt response and useful information.

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  5. Hi, I am going to Hakone-Kawaguchiko in end of Nov 18. Planned to take romance car from shinjuku to hakone-yumoto and head to Gora where we will place our lugguage there 1st before going to take ropeway, cable car, cruise and end location will be Moto-hakone before we take a bus back to Gora station. Then 2nd day, we will check out of the ryokan after breakfast and take a bus to Gotemba premium outlet to shop and have lunch. Then we will head to kawaguchiko station by bus and check in to Konansou. Then sighseeing abit, we will have dinner and and onsen in the ryokan. Checkout on the 3rd day and continue to explore kawaguchiko before taking a highway bus to shinjuku.
    Do you think the itinerary is workable? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

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  6. Hello Jean!

    Yes, i think it is workable if you set off early in the morning. The round trip DIY tour at Hakone takes around 4-6 hours depending on your pace. However, i would suggest the first thing when you arrive at the station is to check the last bus timing to Gora Station. Sometimes the bus comes every 1 hr and end pretty early.

    Second day looks good to me! On your last day, remember to book your return bus ticket time slot when you purchase the ticket for Hakone-Kawaguchiko. I would suggest to book an evening bus return ride back to Tokyo so that you have more time to explore kawaguchiko in case you missed out some attractions on 2nd day.

    Have a great trip ahead

    Cheers,
    Jo

    Cheers!
    Joanne

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  7. Hi Joanne, thanks for taking your time to reply to me.

    Am still quite lost in organizing the trip and transport. Will try to look through the websites. ��

    Actually, I will be buying the 3 days Fuji Hakone pass. Understand that romance car is not part of the pass so on that part, I have to pay additinal to the pass. Can I understand does this pass covers most of the transport in Hakone, gotemba and kawaguchiko? How can I identify?

    Also, do you have any recommendation or must visit place in kawaguchiko you would recommend? Am thinking of taking the ropeway in kawaguchiko too. Recommended?

    On the last day, you mentioned that I should book for the evening bus return trip to Tokyo when i purchase Hakone-kawaguchiko transport. May I know how to book? Sorry for the many questions. ☺️

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    1. Hi Jean,

      Yes, the pass covers most of the transportation required in Hakone. if you planning to do the Hakone tozan railway , sight seeing trip on lake ashinoko and etc, it is covered. We didn't pay for any transportation during our trip in Hakone. Do not worry about this part. When you purchase your ticket in Shinjuku, the staff will share the details of the route with you. You can check out the website https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_014.html on the free area.

      From Gotemba to Kawaguchiko, it is covered by the shuttle bus. You can refer to bus timetable (2nd image of bus time table) i shared above for station they stop as a reference. Not sure if there is any changes on time schedule.

      The transportation is not covered fully in Kawaguchiko. It only covers several route such as the use of Fujikyu buses between Gotemba and the Fuji Five Lake region and between Gotemba, Gotemba 5th Station, Yeti and Grinpa. The roykan we stayed in provides shuttle services from Kawaguchiko station so we didn't have to worry about it. I remembered paying one bus ride with our card while in Kawaguchiko. So be sure to have some money in the metro card (Pasmo). I''m sure they accept cash too.

      I didn't really like the kachi kachi ropeway experience (not covered in the pass) because its very crowded and we weren't too lucky with the weather. I love Arakurayama Sengen Park! It was really beautiful during sakura season. I think you will have to check the website for places to visit during different season. I didn't have much time to explore Kawaguchiko because our return bus ride was at 3pm and we decide to revisit Kawaguchiko and had spend more time at the ryokan in the morning.

      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6900.html#section_spot_list

      You can choose your return trip when you purchase the ticket ( the first timetable i shared above - Fuji area to shinjuku). If the bus timetable is still the same, the last bus left at 2004h. Make sure you are 10-15 minutes before the departure time because Japanese are very particular about time .

      Lastly, do not lose the ticket! Haha. I almost lost mine halfway in Hakone :P

      No worries, i wish i had written more about this in the past. Feel free to ask! I will be glad to help! Lastly, don't worry too much about the trip! Enjoy and have fun! (:

      Cheers,
      Jo

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  8. Hi,

    Understand this might be a bit long after your trip. But would appreciate greatly for the help! :)
    I would be purchasing the 3D Fuji Hakone Free Pass, first stopping at Hakone before travelling to Kawaguchiko.
    I understand that you first took a local bus to the Gotemba Station before the direct bus to Kawaguchiko station.
    Did you carry your luggage up these buses and were they allowed too? Were there any difficulties or problems faced dealing with luggage on these buses?
    Thank you so much! :)

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    1. Hello Magdalene!

      I think we had to “stand” in the local bus before reaching gotemba station while we had luggage with us. Afterwards, we are able to store our luggage at the luggage compartment on the direct bus from gotemba station to kawaguchiko station!

      Also, we had to drag our bags and walk along the road while we find places for lunch! That was not an issue for us because we were only adults and my parent were still fit ( early 50s and 60s)

      Overall i think it’s not that bad. Try to keep max 1 person 1 luggage and reduce small bags! i would think the bus experience is Definitely better than carrying the luggage and transiting at different train station in Tokyo! The stairs in tokyo train stations are a killer! Either it is located right at the end of the exit or it don’t have a elevator at the exit we wanted to go to!

      Hope it helps! 🙂

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