One day bullet train trip from Tokyo


For most people one unmissable Japanese experience has to be a ride on the Shinkansen otherwise known as the bullet train.

We decided to take a trip to the Hakone area of Japan which is a beautiful mountainous region en-route to Osaka. This region is also home to Mount Fuji so we were hoping to get an awesome view… We understood that Fuji is usually only visible for around 25% of the time, the best visibility is in February and also in the morning but as we had chosen a beautiful day with blue sky we were still hopeful… (and we caught a glimpse of Fuji from the ferris wheel at sunset in Yokohama a couple of days before)…


This trip took some working out so for anyone interested in a similar day trip this may make it easier…

After unsuccessfully attempting to book tickets online we popped into the main Tokyo station ticket office and brought our Shinkansen tickets the day before paying a small amount extra for reserved seats.

Bullet train at Tokyo main station
Chris, Laura and James on the bullet train

We arrived at Odawara station and brought a ‘Hakone Freepass’ for 4000 yen (£25) per person. This will cover you for 2 days (if you are here longer) and enables you to take journeys on participating boats, buses, trains, the cable and ropeway walk.

Bridge at Hakone


Using the above map and an accompanying transport timetable we made our way in a big ‘circle’ around Hakone starting with a train from Odawara to Hakone, then the public bus to Lake Ashi where we disembarked at Moto-Hakone stop…




We boarded the above boat and sailed across Lake Ashi hoping for a glimpse of Mount Fuji…


Harbour at Moto-Hakone
Lake Ashi


We arrived at the other side and boarded the first section of the ‘ropeway’ (which we could usually call a cable car)… We had to disembark at the first ropeway station as the remainder is currently closed due to volcanic ash. Disappointingly we didn’t see Mount Fuji…

Hakone Ropeway

As the rest of the ropeway was closed we were taken by bus to the cable car (which we may think of as a tram), before boarding the scenic railway and then another train back to Odawara where we got the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

The Hakone cable car

While we had a great day out and a fantastic ride on the bullet train, the sky wasn’t clear enough and unfortunately we didn’t see Mount Fuji.


On the way back to Tokyo the bullet train reached speeds of 175 miles per hour…





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