BY NICOLE YONG
Less than two hours away from Tokyo by Shinkansen, Hakone is a popular weekend and day trip destination for locals and tourists alike.
Hakone Free Pass
Despite its name, the Hakone Free Pass is not actually free, and must be purchased from the Odakyu main station in Shinjuku or other Odakyu stations. Those not driving can buy this pass for a round trip on the train. The also includes unlimited use for Odakyu-affliated buses, trains, boats, cable cars, and ropeways in Hakone. With a top up in fares, you can upgrade to the Romance Car Train carriage which is more comfortable and has meal cart and drink services. Alternatively, you may pop by a departmental store to “dabao” a yummy bento to bring on board the train. The pass is valid for two days.
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Visit this outdoor art museum that is set against the lush greenery of Hakone. This attraction is family-friendly, and safe for young children to get up and explore. The huge sculptural pieces displayed is a refreshing change from the usual 2D art works we normally see in art museums. There is a Picasso pavilion displaying many works from different periods in Picasso’s life—and interesting display not only for Picasso fans, but also for the general public seeking a glimpse into Picasso’s life. There is truly a lot to see and do, so don’t be stingy with your time. We recommend you budget for a little extra time so you don’t need to rush through the exhibits.
- Adults: JPY1,600
- University and high school students: JPY1,200
- Middle and elementary school students: JPY800
Popularly known as the “Great Boiling Valley”, Owakudani is accessible via the Hakone Ropeway. This is a volcanic valley in its rawest and truest form. Stepping out from the ropeway station, one is immediately greeted by an overwhelming smell of sulphur that fills the entire valley. Take this chance to try the famous black eggs of the valley; legend has it that eating one egg adds seven years to your life—that’s not a bad deal!
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