JAPAN | The Hakone Round Course, a Single Day Hakone Free Pass Tour | Lakad Pilipinas

Hakone Free Pass Round Course Day Tour

We were standing on the deck of a pirate ship, cruising across the serene waters of Lake Ashi when it started to drizzle. It’s been raining on and off, but as this particular shower ended, a full rainbow suddenly radiated on the horizon. I was reminded of the tale of going to a rainbow’s end to find a pot of gold.

Hakone Free Pass Round Course Day Tour
AUTUMN IN HAKONE

After scoring cheap flights via Cebu Pacific to Tokyo, it was decided that on our second day in Tokyo, we would go straight to Hakone to have a look see of Mount Fuji. It was still raining in the city and the forecast for Hakone, which was two hours away by train, was more of the same. Still, we persisted, hoping against hope that the weather would favor us.

Hakone Free Pass Round Course Day Tour
LAKE ASHI IN HAKONE

As with our Unlimited Tokyo Subway Pass, we booked our tour via Klook. We were originally gunning for the Classic Mount Fuji Tour, but it was sold out for our date of choice. Looking for an alternative was easy enough from our phone’s Klook app. The Hakone Free Pass tour was the closest thing to seeing Mount Fuji, so we went for that instead.

Hakone Free Pass Round Course Day Tour
THE HAKONE ROPEWAY IS ALSO INCLUDED IN THE PASS

The Hakone Free Pass Tour is actually not a tour per se. It’s literally an unlimited pass you can use for eight different types of transportation going to and within Hakone including cable cars, ropeways, and pirate cruise ships! You can get a two-day pass (PHP2,283.00), which we did, or a three-day pass (PHP2,505.00) for just a few hundred pesos more. It’s perfect for those who want to travel slow and actually stay in Hakone. But since we have a limited time in Japan, we did one of the usual Hakone Pass routes, the Hakone Round Course, in a single day.

Hakone Free Pass Two Days
WAITING FOR OUR TRAIN AT SHINJUKU STATION

Our day started on a drizzly morning in Tokyo. From Wired Hotel Asakusa, we went straight to Shinjuku Station via subway where we redeemed our Klook voucher for an actual Hakone Free Pass. We ate at the station while waiting for the train.

Tokyo to Hakone Train
SPELL T.I.R.E.D.

I was trying to keep awake for the scenery while on the two-hour ride but we were just too doggone tired. We slept most of the way like we haven’t slept for years. The next thing we know, we’re already at Odawara Station near Odawara Castle—which we should’ve visited, by the way.

Hakone Free Pass Odawara Station
FIRST STOP, ODAWARA STATION IN HAKONE

We transferred to another train, our first in Hakone, through the Hakone Tozan Railway. It wound through a wooded valley, passing hot springs through its route.

Hakone Free Pass Tozan Cable Car
THE TOZAN CABLE CAR

We then proceeded to the Tozan Cable Car in Hakone-Yumoto Station. It was a Friday and there were quite a lot of tourists at the time so we had to queue for our turn. The cable car isn’t really the cable car we had in mind, looking more like a tram that goes up the steep slopes of Hakone.

Hakone Free Pass Tozan Cable Car
JAMPACKED! IT WAS FREE SEATING AND I WASN’T ABLE TO GET ONE

This is the only mountain railway in Japan and it passes through six stations on a leisurely pace with elevations ranging 200 to 541 meters above sea level.

Hakone Free Pass Tozan Cable Car View
BIG WINDOWS FOR THE SCENIC VIEW

We went during the start of autumn and some of the foliage we passed through the scenic ride has started to transform from lush greens to golden colors. My friends were able to secure a seat, slow that I was, I was left standing throughout the forty-minute ride until Gora Station.

Hakone Free Pass Tozan View
MISTY HAKONE

The air felt nippy as we alighted from the train. We took a quick break, going out of the station and taking a peek at the panorama from a parking lot near the road, before resuming our sightseeing tour on the Hakone Ropeway.

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Ropeway
TAKING THE HAKONE ROPEWAY

Now, the Hakone Ropeway is what we had in mind when we read cable car on the itinerary. Each gondola, suspended in mid-air by two steel cables, can seat about eighteen passengers. This time, I was able to pick a good seat right beside the window!

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Ropeway
FORGET ABOUT SEEING MOUNT FUJI

This is where we can actually see Mount Fuji, but our twenty four-minute ride was riddled with fog. Mount Fuji was shy, it was nowhere to be seen, but riding above the treetops surrounded by mist was, nonetheless, thrilling and magical.

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Ropeway
THIS MIGHT NOT BE FOR PEOPLE WITH FEAR OF HEIGHTS

On the last part of the ride, the landscape changed from verdant greens to an out-of-this-world landscape of dry terraces of sulfuric fields with steam rising from its volcanic vents. A platform at the station provides a better view but we went rushing towards the pirate-like ship we saw from the station.

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
LAKE ASHI FROM THE STATION

The Hakone Sightseeing Cruise was our last ride around Hakone before going back to the Tozan Bus that would bring us to Odawara Station that goes back to Tokyo. And, indeed, our ride looks like a full-blown pirate ship!

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
OUR RIDE ACROSS THE LAKE!

It docks at the Togendai Port and cruises across Lake Ashi to Hakone-machi. On a relaxed pace, our wooden vessel glided across the calm waters of the lake for half an hour. It was quite charming, with slopes and gradients of greens surrounding the waters. I can just imagine how breathtaking it would be as full autumn takes over.

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
PIRATE-SHIPPING OUR WAY THROUGH LAKE ASHI

Before we docked, I spotted the historical Hakone Shrine—a red torii standing right on the waters of the lake—the gateway to the 17th-century temple along its hallowed grounds.

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
VERY RELAXING ATMOSPHERE

Again, we hunted for Mount Fuji, but the cloud cover was just too thick. We were a bit disappointed as our boat cruised, minutes away from the Hakone-machi dock, but just then, a full rainbow suddenly appeared on the lake—vivid as a dream across the drab gray sky. It was a stunner.

One of its ends touched down right across the Hakone Shrine. A pot of gold, I thought to myself.

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
A RAINBOW SPLASHED ITS WAY ACROSS THE LAKE

Hakone Free Pass Hakone Sightseeing Cruise Hakone Shrine
WHERE DO RAINBOWS END?

Our Hakone tour might be incomplete due to the absence of Mount Fuji, but even with the weather we experienced, it was still quite magical.

So, where do rainbows end? Apparently on a red torii standing on a lake somewhere in Hakone.


CEBU PACIFIC AIR AND KLOOK MADE THIS TRIP POSSIBLE. VIEWS & OPINIONS ALL MINE.
FLY TO TOKYO VIA CEBU PACIFIC FOR AS LOW AS PHP6,000++ ROUNDTRIP
BOOK ONLINE FOR DISCOUNTED TOURS IN TOKYO

 

Hakone Free Pass Tour, Hakone Round Course
Ticket Pick Up Location: Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center, 1st floor,
               Odakyu Railway Shinjuku Station West ExitShinjuku Station
Opening hours: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Klook Voucher Rates: 2-Day Pass - PHP2,283.00 | 3-Day Pass - PHP2,505.00






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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