For those who want to explore the scenic Hakone region, the Hakone Free Pass is the perfect option. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Hakone Free Pass and all that it has to offer.
What is the Hakone Free Pass?
The Hakone Free Pass is a special ticket that offers unlimited use of various transportation options in and around the Hakone area, such as cable cars, ropeways, buses, trains, and even a pirate ship!
It is designed for tourists and visitors who want to explore the scenic beauty of Hakone, a popular hot spring resort destination located near Mount Fuji in Japan.
With the Hakone Free Pass, visitors can save money and enjoy unlimited, convenient transportation while visiting the area’s many attractions such as the famous Hakone Open-Air Museum, Lake Ashi, and the Hakone Tozan Train.
The pass is available for purchase for a specific number of days, and it offers a cost-effective and convenient way to experience all that the Hakone area has to offer.
The pass is available for purchase at most major train stations in the Tokyo area and can be used for travel to and from Hakone. The pass is also available for purchase in the Hakone area at the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center, Odawara Station, and other locations.
How much does the Hakone Free Pass cost?
The cost of the Hakone Free Pass varies depending on the duration of the pass and where you purchase it. The pass is available in 2-day, 3-day, and 4-day options, with prices ranging from 4,000 yen to 6,000 yen (approximately $36 to $55 USD) for adults. Children’s tickets are also available at a reduced rate.
While the Hakone Free Pass may seem expensive at first glance, it can actually save you a significant amount of money if you plan on exploring the Hakone region extensively. Without the pass, transportation costs can quickly add up, especially if you plan on visiting multiple attractions in one day.
What does the Hakone Free Pass include?
The Hakone Free Pass includes unlimited travel on eight different modes of transportation within the Hakone region, including:
- Hakone Tozan Line: This mountain railway runs from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Hakone Tozan Cable Car: This cable car takes passengers from Gora to Sounzan, offering even more breathtaking views.
- Hakone Ropeway: This aerial cableway offers panoramic views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi.
- Hakone Sightseeing Cruise: This cruise takes passengers across Lake Ashi on a replica pirate ship, offering beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and lake.
- Hakone Tozan Bus: This bus provides transportation throughout the Hakone region, making it easy to get to all the popular attractions.
- Odakyu Bus (within Hakone): This bus is a convenient way to get around the Hakone area.
- Hakone Tozan Train (between Gora and Kowakidani): This train runs between Gora and Kowakidani and is a great way to explore the surrounding countryside.
In addition to transportation, the Hakone Free Pass also includes discounts on admission to various attractions in the Hakone region, including museums, hot springs, and amusement parks.
How to use the Hakone Free Pass?
Using the Hakone Free Pass is easy. Simply present the pass at the ticket gate when boarding any of the included transportation options. There is no need to purchase individual tickets for each mode of transportation.
The pass is valid for consecutive days and begins on the day of first use. For example, if you purchase a 2-day pass and first use it on Monday, the pass will be valid for Monday and Tuesday.
It is important to note that the pass does not include transportation to or from Hakone. If you are traveling from Tokyo, you will need to purchase a separate ticket to Odawara Station, the gateway to the Hakone region. From there, you can begin using the Hakone Free Pass for unlimited travel within the region.
Where to go with the Hakone Free Pass?
The Hakone region is a popular tourist destination, known for its hot springs, scenic views, and outdoor activities. With the Hakone Free Pass, you can easily explore all that the region has to offer. Here are some of the top attractions to visit with the pass:
Lake Ashi: This scenic lake is one of the most popular attractions in the region, offering beautiful views of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding mountains. You can take a Hakone Sightseeing Cruise across the lake or enjoy a walk along the shore.
Hakone Shrine: This Shinto shrine is located on the shores of Lake Ashi and is known for its picturesque torii gate that stands in the water. The shrine is dedicated to the goddess of the mountain and is a popular spot for photos.
Owakudani: This volcanic valley is known for its hot springs and sulfur vents, offering a unique landscape to explore. You can take the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani and enjoy views of Mt. Fuji along the way.
Hakone Open-Air Museum: This outdoor museum features over 100 sculptures and works of art, set against a backdrop of beautiful gardens and views of the surrounding mountains.
Hakone Gora Park: This park is known for its beautiful flowers and foliage, including a rose garden and a Japanese garden. You can also take a ride on the park’s vintage carousel.
Yunessun: This hot spring theme park offers a variety of unique hot spring experiences, including a wine bath and a coffee bath. It’s a great way to relax and rejuvenate after a day of exploring.
Is the Hakone Free Pass worth it?
Whether the Hakone Free Pass is worth it depends on your travel plans and itinerary. If you plan to explore the region and visit multiple attractions, the pass can be of great value, as it offers unlimited travel on multiple modes of transportation and discounts on admission to various attractions.
However, if you only plan to visit one or two attractions and do not plan to use the pass for transportation, it may not be worth the investment.
It’s also important to consider the time of year and the crowds. The Hakone region is especially busy during peak travel seasons, such as cherry blossom season and Golden Week. During these times, transportation and attractions can be crowded and lines may be long.
If you plan to travel during peak season, the Hakone Free Pass can be a great way to avoid crowds and save time by skipping the ticket lines.
In conclusion, the Hakone Free Pass can be a great value for those who plan to explore the region and visit multiple attractions. However, it’s important to consider your travel plans and itinerary to determine whether it’s worth the investment for your specific trip.
Does JR Pass cover Hakone’s free pass?
No, the Japan Rail Pass does not cover the same areas as the Hakone Free Pass. The JR Pass is a nationwide rail pass that covers transportation on all Japan Railways (JR) trains, buses, and ferries. It does not cover transportation on other railway companies or local transportation within specific regions, such as the Hakone region.
If you plan to visit the Hakone region and use the Hakone Free Pass, you will need to purchase it separately from the JR Pass.
However, if you plan to use the JR Pass for transportation to and from the Hakone region, you can use it to cover the cost of the limited express trains operated by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen line from Tokyo to Odawara Station, which is the gateway to the Hakone region.
We also recommend taking the wonderful Odakyu RomanceCar Train from Shinjuku station for some great views.
How Long Do You Need In Hakone?
The amount of time you need in Hakone depends on your travel style, interests, and itinerary. Generally speaking, most travelers spend one to two days exploring the region, although some may choose to spend more time if they want to do additional activities or take things at a more leisurely pace.
Here are some factors to consider when planning how long to spend in Hakone:
Activities: The Hakone region offers a wide variety of activities, including hiking, hot springs, art museums, and scenic views of Mt. Fuji. Depending on your interests, you may want to spend more or less time in the region to fully experience the activities you are most interested in.
Transportation: The Hakone Free Pass offers unlimited travel on eight different modes of transportation within the region, but it can still take time to get from one attraction to another. If you plan to visit several different areas of the region, you may want to budget additional time for transportation.
Accommodation: If you plan to stay overnight in Hakone, you will need to budget at least one night for your stay. Some travelers choose to stay in traditional Japanese inns, known as ryokans, which offer hot springs, traditional meals, and a unique cultural experience.
Weather: The weather in Hakone can vary depending on the season. Spring and autumn are popular times to visit for the mild temperatures and beautiful foliage, while summer can be hot and humid. Winter can be cold and snowy, but it can also offer stunning views of Mt. Fuji covered in snow.
In general, one to two days is enough time to explore the Hakone region and experience its most popular attractions. However, if you have more time and are interested in additional activities, you can easily spend more time in the region to fully experience all that it has to offer.
The Hakone Free Pass is an excellent option for those who want to explore the Hakone region and all of its attractions. With unlimited travel on eight different modes of transportation and discounts on admission to various attractions, the pass offers excellent value for the price.
Whether you’re interested in scenic views, hot springs, or outdoor activities, the Hakone Free Pass makes it easy to experience all that the region has to offer.