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Hakone or Chureito Pagoda from Tokyo 2019/12/25 11:43
We will be travelling on March 7 and spending 5 nights in Tokyo first and would like to combine 2 day trips from there. Thinking of Nikko and either Hakone or Arakurayama Sengen Park.

My husband is a photographer and would like to photograph Mt Fuji (we are aware this is not guaranteed due cloud cover). I was not sure whether to travel to Hakone or Chureito Pagoda. I understand that tranfers do not run frequently to get to the Pagoda and it is recommended to arrive early because of crowds as well as a better view of Mt Fuji however this is difficult coming from Tokyo.

Alternatively, we thought Hakone would be nice. As we will be in Japan for 16 days we have purchased a 14 day JR Rail pass and only activating it on the 3rd day after we arrive as we will be travelling further south later in the trip. If we travel to Hakone using the JR Rail pass, do you recommend to take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Odawara (we are staying close to Hamamatsucho Station) and then use the Hakone Free Pass for the rest of the day? Or should we purchase the Hakone Pass and travel from Shinjuku the day before we activate the JR Rail pass ? Is it possible to purchase the pass from Odawara only and where can this be bought?

Appreciate your suggestions. Many thanks
by izy001  

Re: Hakone or Chureito Pagoda from Tokyo 2019/12/25 22:21
If you compare Kawaguchi-ko (Lake Kawaguchi) area and Hakone, then the view of Mt. Fuji (weather permitting) is definitely better from Kawaguchi-ko (Lake Kawaguchi) area, which includes Chureito Pagoda, compared to Hakone.

From Hakone, (again weather permitting) you can see Mt. Fuji from the ropeway, very briefly on the cruise ship, and if you take the ropeway (not covered by Hakone Free Pass) to the top of Komagatake.

While I must admit I have not been to Chureito Pagoda near Lake Kawaguchi, the view from the northern shore of the Lake Kawaguchi was fabulous, and it was not bad at all from the cruise ship on the lake and on the panoramic ropeway. But itfs also up to what else you want to do in that area, because in Hakone, there are nature trails, museums, gardens to stroll around as well.

If you are getting a 14-day Japan Rail Pass because it makes sense considering your overall itinerary, then I would use it to get there; also seeing where you are staying, getting to Tokyo or Shinagawa station and taking JR Shinkansen would be easier. Then in Odawara you can buy the gwithin Hakone onlyh version of the Hakone Free Pass from the Odakyu station.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Hakone or Chureito Pagoda from Tokyo 2019/12/25 23:33
As AK said, the view from the north side of Kawaguchiko is excellent. I recommend Oishi Park because you can approach the water and get amazing photos of Fujisan.

Chureito Pagoda is definitely worth stopping at on a clear day. The view is iconic.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Hakone or Chureito Pagoda from Tokyo 2019/12/26 17:53
Thank you AK and Sal for your feedback. I think we would prefer to travel to Kawaguchi-ko. I also heard that Oishi Park is wonderful.

How would be the quickest way to get there given we are staying near Hamamatsucho Station? I saw there is a bus from Akihabara - Akihabara-Lake Kawaguchi at 7.15am which can get us to the lake by 9.20am or the 7.45 bus from Shinjuku.

I know we have the JR Rail pass so could we take use with the Fuji Express Train to Otsuki and then buy the section of Otsuki – Mount Fuji / Fujikyu Highland / Kawaguchiko. This section is only about 600 yen I think. The only downfall is that the first train is at 8.30 and arrives at 10.22 and I'm afraid that Mount Fuji may be covered in cloud by then.

Please correct me if I am wrong. Your suggestions?

Many thanks
by izy001 rate this post as useful

Re: Hakone or Chureito Pagoda from Tokyo 2019/12/26 22:09
If getting there early is your aim (you actually never know when Mt. Fuji may be visible, though), there seem to be a bus that leaves Shinjuku bus terminal at 6:45, that gets you to Kawaguchi-ko around 8:30. (Youfd want to leave Hamamatsucho by 6:15 or so.)

Or via trains, you could go: Hamamatsucho – Tokyo, then take Chuo Line Special Rapid to Takao station, then take an ordinary Chuo Main Line through Otsuki to Kawaguchi-ko. Yes, you pay a bit of extra for the Fujikyu portion at the end. If you leave Hamamatsucho around 6:15, that gets you to Kawaguchi-ko station around 9:25. I havenft been able to check for the exact dates, though.

I donft know how early you want to start?
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Hakone or Chureito Pagoda from Tokyo 2019/12/27 09:29
Thank you very much for the information. I think I have enough now to work out which form of transport to take and we will check the upcoming weather when we arrive to decide exactly which day would be best to travel there and then book the bus beforehand if needed.

I appreciate your advice.
by izy001 rate this post as useful

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