LWIF EP41: Hakone: Where you ride in, look at, and soak in a lot of stuff

Hakone is a beautiful mountain region about an hour’s train ride out of Tokyo Station. The great views of Mt. Fuji it offers up, it’s ample hot springs, it’s scenic nature, and it’s close distance make it a popular getaway for those living in Tokyo.

If you’re a transportation buff, then you’ll assuredly enjoy visiting Hakone, as you can experience riding on a:

  • Mountain climbing train
  • Mountain climbing cable car (funicular)
  • Ropeway (gondola)
  • Ship
  • Bus

You can get a Free Pass (which is not free) that lets you travel on all the transportation methods above.

Also, if you’re going to Hakone from Tokyo, you can also travel there by Romance car (which is not really romantic), but they do have some neat trains.



Hakone was once a checkpoint on the Old Tokkaido highway. So, we visited visited Hakone Sekisho, which was put in place in 1619 by the Tokugawa Shogunate as inspection facility for those entering Tokyo. From the Hakone Sekisho website, I quote,

“One of the main roles of sekisho was to control ‘incoming guns and outgoing women’, which means to prevent weapons from being brought into Edo and wives and children of feudal lords from fleeing from Edo. However, Hakone Sekisho did not inspect ‘incoming guns’, and severely inspected ‘outgoing women’.”

There’s so much to explore in Hakone, from the multiple museums, numerous onsen’s (hot springs), nature trails, and of course, shops, that you’ll be hard-pressed to be be bored.

If you’re truly trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, you can get away to some extent, but it’s not like you’re travelling to the inaka (countryside).

17 comments on LWIF EP41: Hakone: Where you ride in, look at, and soak in a lot of stuff

  • Andrew

    So weird watching this when we were there ourselves just a few days ago. We had a great time there. I had my first go at an onsen in hakone. Lucky for me there was no one else there at the time so it was a good practice. The only bit I’m still confused about is where you put the towel you dry yourself with? Do you take it into the bath room area, or do you leave it in the change room and dry in there? I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to walk out into the change room still wet, but there is no where to put your dry towel in the bath area. My girlfriend Emma also says Aiko is so cute.

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      For the large bath towel, you leave it in the basket in the change room. When you’re done in the bathing area, you can use the small towel to wipe off a lot of the water before you get into the changing room.

  • Karla

    My children and I love your fun informative videos. We are planning a trip to Japan in the near future. My children loved the the onsen resort you stayed at. Can you tell us what it’s called?

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Hi Karla,

      Sorry, the onsen is actually private and not open to the public. It’s not that there’s anything special about it, but there’s certain organizations or companies that only have their members use it. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Wirawan

    Hi, I have been watching your videos several times and I really adore it..
    I am planning a trip to hakone from tokyo but I dont really understand how to get there by train..
    Can you please explain to me the the route ?
    Thank you so much! 🙂

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)


      There are a couple links in the article above that you can follow, one is for the Free Pass and the other is for the Romance car. But basically, you can take a single romance car train from Shinjuku station and that’ll take you all the way to Hakone Yumoto station, as seen on the embedded map. Speaking of that map, since it’s a Google one, you can actually click on the directions button on it and it’ll let you know how to get there from any place. Just know that there are many options to get there. We took the romance car option, but there are many ways you could do it.

  • Leonard Miyasato

    Which onsen did you stay at?

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Sorry, that one’s a private one, so it wouldn’t help if I give out the name.

  • Iris

    Can you tell me the name of the onsen you went to, please? Thank you so much!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      Sorry, it’s a private onsen (a relative is a member through a work place), so you wouldn’t be able to stay there. Don’t worry though, there’s lots of great public places (or so I hear).

  • Dicky

    Hi, I really enjoy watching your videos. I am going to Japan in a few weeks with my family and this time we will visit Hakone for the first time. Your video is giving us a good insight on what to expect when we go there. Thank you so much for putting up a video :). By the way, can you tell me the name of the restaurant you visited on the video? The foods look amazing 😀

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I don’t know the name of the restaurant, but if you take the pirate boat, it’s in the new building where you land. It’s on the second floor. Good luck and have a nice trip!

  • Indumati

    This video was very helpful. I am planning a trip to Japan and Hakone is on my bucket list. Can you mention which path you took to travel around Hakone? I really liked the path that you took, but I am utterly stumbled on what transportation to catch from where to get around.

  • Nong

    I really enjoy your vdo you’re kids so adore.
    Where did you get on the mountain climbing train? Which station? Where it start /end ? Thanks for making this useful Vado

  • Nong

    I really enjoy your vdo your kids so adore.
    Where did you get on the mountain climbing train? Which station? Where it start /end ? Thanks for making this useful Vado

  • Cody

    How long did it take you to start from Yumoto and go back to Yumoto? I’m wondering if all the sightseeing (excluding the ryokan) can be done in a day. Thank you for the video.

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