How to travel between Hakone and Tokyo
By Odakyu Railway
Odakyu Railway operates between Tokyo's Shinjuku Station and Hakone-Yumoto Station. The one way journey by the "Romance Car" limited express takes about 85 minutes and costs 2080 yen. By slower express trains (kyuko), the journey takes about two hours, requires one transfer at Odawara Station, but costs only 1190 yen.
By JR (Japan Railways)
With JR trains you can only get as far as Odawara, from where you will have to use non-JR trains or buses into the Hakone area. The above mentioned Hakone Free Pass is also available for use from Odawara Station.
By JR Tokaido Shinkansen you can access Odawara in about half an hour from Tokyo or Shinagawa Station (about 3500 yen one way, fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, but not covered by the JR East Pass and JR Kanto Area Pass), but note that only Kodama trains and selected Hikari trains stop at Odawara Station.
Alternatively, you can access Odawara from Tokyo in about 70-90 minutes by local or rapid trains on the JR Tokaido Main Line (stopping at Tokyo, Shimbashi and Shinagawa Stations) or the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line (stopping at Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya Stations) for about 1500 yen one way. These trains are covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Pass and JR Kanto Area Pass.
By Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus
Direct highway buses operate every 30 minutes between Tokyo's Shinjuku Station and the Lake Ashi area in Hakone (among other places the buses stop at Togendai and the Hakone Prince Hotel). The one way journey costs about 2000 yen and under good traffic conditions takes about two hours.
The same company also operates less frequent direct buses between Haneda Airport and Hakone, which stop at Yokohama Station along the way. The one way journey costs about 2000 yen and under good traffic conditions takes about 2.5 hours.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
The municipality of Hakone covers a mountainous region with several small towns, among which Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi at the shores of Lake Ashi and the hot spring town of Hakone-Yumoto down in the valley, are the region's main transportation hubs.
An efficient network of buses, trains, cablecars, ropeways and sightseeing boats makes Hakone a great place to be explored by public transportation. The best pass to do so is Odakyu's Hakone Free Pass, which gives you unlimited use of all Odakyu affiliated trains, buses, boats, cablecars and ropeways.
A simplified map of the Hakone bus network: