The Romancecar is a limited express train service operated by the Odakyu Electric Railway Company in Japan. The train service runs from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station to various destinations in the Hakone region, including Hakone-Yumoto and Gora.
The train is often used in combination with the Hakone Free Pass for comfortable and hassle-free travel from Tokyo to Hakone and around the Hokone area.
Known for its luxurious interior and comfortable seating, the Romancecar offers a unique and stylish way to travel to one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations.
History of the Romancecar
The Romancecar was first launched in 1951, as part of the Odakyu Electric Railway Company’s efforts to attract more tourists to the Hakone region.
At the time, most trains in Japan were plain and functional, with few amenities. The Romancecar was designed to be different, with a focus on luxury and comfort.
The train was named “Romancecar” to evoke a sense of glamour and sophistication and to appeal to tourists looking for a special and unique travel experience. The name was inspired by the European “Rapide” express trains, which were known for their speed and luxury.
Over the years, the Romancecar has become a popular tourist attraction in its own right, with visitors flocking to experience the luxurious seating, panoramic windows, and special features like onboard snacks and audio guides.
Enjoy Some Onboard Snacks
Another special feature of the Romancecar is its onboard snack service. Passengers can purchase snacks and drinks from a cart that moves through the train, offering a convenient and tasty way to enjoy the journey.
How To Catch The Romance Car To Hakone
Catching the Romancecar to Hakone is a straightforward process, but it’s important to plan ahead to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to catch the Romancecar to Hakone:
Step 1: Purchase Your Ticket
The first step is to purchase your Romancecar ticket. You can do this online, at a ticket office, or at a vending machine at Shinjuku Station. If you plan to travel during peak periods, it’s best to purchase your ticket in advance to avoid long lines and sold-out trains.
There are several different types of Romancecar tickets available, including reserved and unreserved seating. The reserved seats are more expensive but offer a guaranteed seat, while unreserved seats are cheaper but may require you to stand if the train is crowded.
Step 2: Arrive at Shinjuku Station
The Romancecar departs from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, so you’ll need to make your way there to catch your train. Shinjuku Station is one of the busiest train stations in the world, so it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to navigate the crowds and find your platform.
Step 3: Find Your Platform
Once you arrive at Shinjuku Station, look for signs pointing to the Romancecar platform. The Romancecar typically departs from Platform 13 or 14, but be sure to double-check the information board to confirm your platform number.
Step 4: Board the Train
When your train arrives, wait for the doors to open and board the train. If you have a reserved seat, look for the car and seat number indicated on your ticket. If you have an unreserved seat, find an empty seat and take it.
Step 5: Enjoy the Journey
Once you’re on board the Romancecar, sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. The train will take you through Tokyo’s urban landscape before entering the scenic countryside of the Hakone region.
During the journey, you’ll have access to the onboard snack service, so feel free to purchase drinks and snacks to enjoy on the train.
Step 6: Arrive at Your Destination
After a comfortable and scenic journey, the Romancecar will arrive at your destination in the Hakone region, typically Hakone-Yumoto or Gora. Be sure to gather your belongings and exit the train promptly.
Overall, catching the Romancecar to Hakone is a convenient and stylish way to travel, offering comfortable seating, panoramic views, and onboard amenities. By following these steps, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable journey to one of Japan’s most beautiful regions.
Is the romance car fully covered by the JR Rail Pass?
No, the Romancecar is not fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. While the JR Pass can be used to travel on the Odakyu Line, which operates the Romancecar, it only covers the base fare for regular trains and does not cover any additional fees for limited express trains like the Romancecar.
Passengers with a JR Pass who wish to ride the Romancecar must pay an additional fee for the limited express portion of their journey.
This fee varies depending on the type of Romancecar train and the seating class selected, with reserved seating being more expensive than unreserved seating.
Note that the Japan Rail Pass can only be used on the Odakyu Line’s regular trains, not on the limited express Romancecar trains. Therefore, passengers with a JR Pass must purchase a separate ticket for the Romancecar limited express portion of their journey.
Design and Features Of the Romancecar
The Romancecar trains are designed with comfort and luxury in mind, offering spacious and comfortable seating, large panoramic windows, and air conditioning. The trains have both reserved and unreserved seating options, with the reserved seats being more expensive but also more spacious and comfortable.
The seats on the Romancecar are wider than those on most other trains in Japan, and they are designed to recline further, allowing passengers to relax and enjoy the scenery as they travel. The trains also offer footrests and adjustable armrests, adding to the comfort level.
One of the most notable features of the Romancecar is its panoramic windows, which offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside and mountains. The windows are large and curved, providing a wide and unobstructed view of the scenery as the train travels through the Hakone region.
Types of Romancecar Trains
There are several different types of Romancecar trains, each with its own unique design and features. Some of the most popular include:
70000 series GSE
The GSE with its iconic orange paint job is the most luxurious and expensive of the Romancecar trains, offering first-class seating and additional amenities like personal attendants and complimentary snacks and drinks.
6000 MSE (Limited Express Multi-SEat)
The MSE has a unique seating arrangement with two rows of seats facing each other, designed to facilitate conversation and social interaction among passengers. The seats are arranged in pairs, with each pair having a small table in between.
30000 series EXE
The VSE offers panoramic views of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding countryside, making it a popular option for tourists looking to take in the natural beauty of the region. The train has large panoramic windows that provide a clear view of the mountain and other scenic spots.
Overall, the Romancecar is a unique and stylish way to travel to the Hakone region, offering a comfortable and luxurious option for those looking to experience the best of Japanese railway travel. With its spacious seating, panoramic views, and special features, the Romancecar is a must-try for anyone visiting the region.