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How Many Hours to do the Hakone "Circuit"?

How Many Hours to do the Hakone "Circuit"?

Old Sep 24th, 2009, 10:18 PM
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How Many Hours to do the Hakone "Circuit"?

My husband and I will arrive at Narita Airport from Singapore at 6:30 in the morning, and need to be back the next day about 1:00 pm for a 4 pm flight

We are still debating whether to:

1) Stay around Tokyo

2) Head immediately to Hakone, spend the day, then come back to Tokyo or Narita for the night, or

3) Do the circuit in Hakone, and spend the night in Hakone Yumoto or Oodawara, leaving about 9:30 am on friday to get to Narita by 1:00 PM

We are very familiar with travel in Japan, and would book return tickets to be sure we could get back to Narita on time.

The problem is that I know there are lots of places to get off and wander, but I cannot seem to figure out how many hours are needed for the basic - train/cablecar/ropeway/pirate ship/ bus to Odawara - circuit.

Say we arrive in Hakone at 11:30 am. Will we have enough time to do the circuit and have dinner? (To us, eating is always the draw at inns or ryokan.)

Of course, this all assumes we can even get a room in Hakone at this late date, but I need to decide if we want to do this before I start emailing hotels!

Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 12:58 AM
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From Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto: Takes 14-16 minutes. 4 trains/hour.

Connection time at Hakone-Yumoto for the Tozan train: 4-13 minutes. Usually under 10.

Tozan Line from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora: 35-46 minutes.

Connection time at Gora for the cablecar: 3-20 minutes.

Cablecar from Gora to Sounzan: 9 minutes.

Ropeway from Sounzan to Owakudani: 8 minutes.

Ropeway from Owakudani to Togendai: 16 minutes.

Pirate ship from Togendai: Every 40 minutes. Time to Hakonemachi: 30 minutes; to Moto-Hakone: 40 minutes.

Bus from either port to Hakone-Yumoto/Odawara using the faster "C" bus: Every 20-30 minutes. Takes 25 minutes to Hakone-Yumoto. Some buses will continue to Odawara, taking another 12 minutes.

For my trip last month, we didn't leave Hakone-Yumoto until 11:24a. And we walked to/from the Gora Park, skipping one cablecar departure. We didn't spend too much time in Owakudani because of weather, just enough time to buy/eat a peach and the black eggs. Still, we made the 1:50p Pirate Ship and got to Moto-Hakone by 2:30p.

We had tea there, and took the 3:50p "C" bus, and got back to Hakone-Yumoto by 4:13p.

You definitely have enough time to do the loop if you arrive at Hakone-Yumoto by around 11:30a, or even a bit later.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 03:27 AM
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Even if you could do it, would you really want to? Everyone does the Hakone loop ... then again, everyone eats at McDonald's, but that doesn't mean it's an especially wonderful idea.

I'll admit to enjoying other stuff around Hakone more than the loop. Especially wonderful was the outdoor museum just outside of Gora -- a beautiful spot to walk around and enjoy. (I found some good photos at http://www.sushiwong.com/Hakone.htm.)
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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You've got plenty of time to do the Hakone loop

Hope you can get a ryokan. Have you tried the one KimJapan suggested....Lalaca?

http://lalaca.com/English.html

I know its in Gora but only a 25 minute taxi(about $50.00 iirc) ride to Odawara in the morning. I know the Hyatt in Gora has a special where they will pay a one way taxi fare to or from Odawara. I know you want to be near the station but Gora is soooooo much prettier than the industrialized Hakone Y and Odawara.

The fall colors should be happening in the higher elevations of the Hakone area so doing the loop is a great idea and way to see the whole picture that Hakone has to offer. Take the pirate ship to Hakonemachi and walk over to Moto-Hakone. Its only a short walk but you can walk a small part of the way via the Old Tokkaido Road.....awesome. Then catch the bus at Moto Hakone towards Gora or where ever you will be staying.

Get your Hakone Free Pass when you are in Tokyo at an Odakyu Travel desk or any travel agent really.....your hotel may have a TA in the lobby. That will save you the time of having to do so at the Odawara station when you arrive and will save you missing the train to Hakone Yumoto which is naturally in Japan timed with your arriving train.

Aloha!
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 09:58 PM
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The map www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html shows that the Tozan train goes to Odawara. So there would be no need to take Odakyu to H-Y and then Tozan.

I did the circuit clockwise, from H-Y by bus to Moto-Hakone and spent the night. Then the entire loop from M-H returning to M-H after a stop at an onsen at a ryokan in/near Hakone Yumoto (there are several ryokans with onsen on a winding road through the forest west of H-Y station. There is a free shuttle that picks up <u>on</u> the bridge near the station.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 10:50 PM
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The Tozan train currently does not run through to Odawara. All passengers need to transfer at Hakone-Yumoto.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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Other recommended ryokan closer to the station:

http://english.ichinoyu.co.jp/index.html

http://www.senkei.net/eng/index.html

http://www.suimeisou.com/english/index.htm

see you Friday night!

Aloha!
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Thanks everyone! And Peter, do you know how hungry I get looking at the meal pictures for these inns?

Both Senkei and suimeisou look really good, AND have rooms!
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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lcuy, don't forget to let us know what you ate and how it was when you get back from your trip O

Aloha!
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Hi, does the circuit run in winter, i.e. in about two weeks? Is there some other info with links to time tables, etc., apart from what's on japan-guide.com? Thanks.
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 06:11 PM
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http://www.hakonenavi.jp/english/index.html

Does this help? Which schedule in particular?
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 06:20 PM
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Thanks! I'll take a look. I was just thinking that there could be a timetable putting all the connections together, so it's easier to see what's going on.

In any case, after doing some web searches, I find that the circuit does open during winter time, unless the weather is really bad. If it's a bad idea to do this during winter, do please let me know!
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Old Dec 25th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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Hi, I'm taking a look at these two links:

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html
http://www.hakonenavi.jp/english/tra...portation.html

It seems that the Romance Car goes straight from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto, so this avoids a switch in Odawara. Is that right? Is the time saving worth the extra expense?

I'm not sure if the ship runs at this time of the year. If it does run, which stop is preferred -- Moto Hakone-Ko or Hakone Machi?

I'm planning to do this in one day, so are there any must-sees apart from the Sculpture Garden at Gora?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 27th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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The Romance car avoids a switch and goes from Shinjuku station direct to Hakone-Yumoto. The switch in Odawara is no big deal just a two minute walk to the next platform so not worth it to me unless you are staying in Shinjuku or want to ride the nice Romance Cars.

I like to get off the ship at Hakone-Machi and walk to Moto-Hakone usually eating lunch in HK then walking to HM to catch a bus elswhere. By doing that you can walk along a short section of the Old Tokkaido Road and sense what is was like in walking in 18th century Japan. The cedar section is fabulous.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5205.html

Mornings are a good time in winter to do the Ropeway for a view of Mt Fuji. They will close the Ropeway and ships for wintery or windy weather though so good luck to you.

Aloha!
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for the reply! We did the circuit yesterday. We didn't have time for the walk; the only extended stop we made was for the Hakone Open Air / Sculpture Museum.

We used the romance car for the return. The regular trains have subway type bench seating, whereas the romance cars have regular train seating with reserved seats, so they are more comfortable for a 90-minute ride.

Thanks again!
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