Tokyo - Hakone / Mount Fuji
Today is a self-guided day.
Make an early start today and leave Tokyo behind to take the 1.5hr journey to Hakone, the gateway to Mt. Fuji and its surrounding national park. This small town is famous for its onsen (natural hot springs), and has natural beauty in abundance to experience authentic Japanese living.
You have the rest of the day to explore all that Fuji Hakone National Park has to offer. Armed with your included Hakone Transport Pass, you can take advantage of the numerous forms of transportation on offer throughout the park. You can ride the Guinness World Record-holder ropeway all the way up Mt. Owakudani, passing over sulfurous fumes, hot springs, and hot rivers in this volcanic area.
You will also have the opportunity to eat one of Hakone’s specialties, the kuro-tamago, an egg hard boiled in the sulphuric hot springs. They say that if you do, it will add seven years to your life!
A majestic replica pirate ship will sweep you across Ashinoko, a lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption 3,000 years ago. The Hakone Tozan “switchback train” zigzags through the mountains, giving amazing views of the surrounding valleys.
Throughout the day, you will have the chance to get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji, but bear in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day for you to see her splendour.
*Due to some seismic activities observed in Mt. Owakudani, a no-entry zone has been implemented since May 6, 2015, affecting the operations of Hakone ropeway. For your safety, we would like to recommend an alternative itinerary:
From Hakone-Yumoto Station, you can take the Hakone Tozan Railway to Hakone Open Air Museum, which features a harmonic balance between nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures on its spacious grounds in combination with beautiful views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Besides the sculptures, it also features various indoor galleries, including a sizable Picasso Collection that displays some paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramic creations of the legendary artist.
Alternatively, you can take the Hakone Tozan bus going to Togendai, from where you can take the sightseeing cruise ship on Lake Ashi. You can choose to get off at Hakone-machi port or at Moto-Hakone port, from where other sightseeing spots can be explored such as the Onshi Hakone Park (10min walk from Hakone-machi port) and the Hakone Shrine (10min walk from Moto-Hakone port).
Tonight you will stay in a ryokan, or traditional Japanese-style accommodation, complete with tatami mats, shoji (rice paper) sliding doors, and onsen (hot springs). In the evening, relax in your yukata, or lightweight kimono, and dine on a sumptuous kaiseki (multi-course) meal.
An onsen after dinner is highly recommended before you bed down on your futon.
Overnight in Hakone
Superior: Yugiriso Ryokan