Is The Hakone Freepass Worth it For a Day Trip? A Complete Guide

Are you planning a day trip to Hakone and wondering if the Hakone Freepass is worth it? I made this complete guide to answer that question and provide you with all the essential information you need to make the best decision.

The Hakone Freepass is worth it for a day trip if you plan on using several means of transportation within Hakone. This convenient ticket can also include a roundtrip ticket from Shinjuku, saving you at least around 1,000 yen per person when doing the famous Hakone Loop.

In this guide, I will explain the details of the Hakone Free Pass, exploring its benefits, coverage, and limitations. With all this information, you will be able to determine if the Hakone Free Pass is the right choice for your day trip.

What is the Hakone Freepass?

Hakone 2-Day Freepass
© Ana Costa

The Hakone Freepass is a special ticket that gives you unlimited travel on designated transportation within the Hakone area. It covers various modes of transportation, including trains, buses, cable cars, ropeways, and even some boats.

You can choose between a Freepass that includes a roundtrip to Shinjuku Station on the Odakyu Line or a Freepass that can only be used in the Hakone Area between Odawara Station and Gotemba Premium Outlets. Each one can be used for 2 or 3 consecutive days.

As you can see in the picture above, the Hakone Freepas is just a paper ticket with the validity printed on it that you present when using the designated means of transportation in the Hakone Area. You can also get the digital pass and scan the QR code or present the ticket screen on your smartphone to the staff.

How Long is The Hakone Freepass Valid?

The validity period of the Hakone Freepass depends on the type of pass you purchase. You can decide between 2-day or 3-day pass. If you pick a 2-day pass, it will be valid for 2 consecutive days, which means that if you start using it on Saturday, it will be valid for Saturday and Sunday. The 3-day pass follows the same rules, and it’s valid for 3 consecutive days.

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The validity period doesn’t take into account the time when you started using your pass, so I recommend you start using it as soon as possible on the first day to make the most out of your pass. A person who activates the pass at 3 PM on Saturday will have the same expiration date as a person who activates the pass at 8 AM on Saturday.

How Much Does The Hakone Freepass Cost?

The Hakone Freepass price varies according to the number of days and the departure station. The price is significantly lower for children between 6 and 11 years old.

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The table below shows you all the available prices for the Hakone Freepass:

Departure Station2-Day Adult2-Day Children3-Day Adult3-Day Children
Shinjuku6,100 yen1,100 yen6,500 yen1,350 yen
Odawara5,000 yen1,000 yen5,400 yen1,250 yen
Prices from March 2024

As prices can change without notice, make sure you check the current price on the official website before buying.

Where Can You Use The Hakone Freepass?

Hakone Freepass Ticket Information
Hakone Freepass Ticket Information
© Ana Costa

The Hakone Freepass can be used on most transportation in the Hakone Area, between Odawara station and Gotemba Premium Outlets. It can also be used on the Odakyu Line between Shinjuku Station and Odawara Station when bought with roundtrip from Shinjuku.

To help you prepare your itinerary, here’s a list of the included transportation networks:

  • Hakone Tozan Train
  • Hakone Tozan Cable Car
  • Hakone Ropeway
  • Hakone Sightseeing Cruise (Pirate Ship)
  • Hakone Tozan Bus — Lines T, G, K, H, R, L, TG, S, and M (on designated areas)
  • Odakyu Highway Bus — Line W (on designated areas)
  • Tokai Bus — Line N (on designated areas)

You can check the official website to see the latest changes and available area. There’s also the Hakone pamphlet that you can download from Odakyu website, which gives the essential information about this pass.

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Does The Hakone Freepass Cover Romance Car?

The Hakone Freepass does not cover the famous Romance Car, which is a premium express train service operated by Odakyu Railway. Travelers wishing to use the Romance Car will need to purchase a limited express ticket in addition to the pass for this service.

Although the Hakone Freepass does not cover the Romance Car, it’s still of great value for all travelers visiting the Hakone area.

The Romance Car tickets can be bought at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Centers, ticket vending machines on train stations in Odakyu Lines or online from Odakyu website if you want to try it.

Please notice that the Romance Car is a reserved train with limited availability, so you should book it in advance to secure your seats.

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How to Buy The Hakone Freepass?

You can buy the Hakone Freepass at different locations within the Hakone area, including major train stations on the Odakyu Lines like Odawara Station and Hakone-Yumoto Station, as well as bus terminals and tourist information centers. However, I recommend buying the pass in advance when you know your itinerary because it can save you a lot of money. On one of my trips to Hakone, I only bought the pass at Gora Station, which was fine. However, I could have saved an extra 1,120 yen per person on the bus ticket from Gotemba to Gora if I had bought it in advance.

Here’s a list of the most common places to buy the Hakone Freepass:

  • Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center (Shinjuku Station West Exit) : Open every day from 08:00 to 16:00
  • Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center (Shinjuku Station South Exit) : Open every day from 08:00 to 19:00
  • Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center (Odawara Station) : Open every day from 08:30 to 16:30
  • Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center (Hakone-Yumoto Station) : Open every day from 08:00 to 19:00 (on weekends and holidays), 09:00 to 19:00 (on weekdays)
  • Gora Station
  • Online from Odakyu website (only possible to buy from your smartphone)
  • Online from Klook (very useful to keep all your tickets in one place and when your credit card payment fails on a Japanese website)
  • Ticket vending machines on train stations in Odakyu Lines
  • Other places in the Hakone area

Does the Hakone Freepass Offer Other Benefits?

With the Hakone Freepass, you can also get special offers and discounts at several tourist spots in the Hakone area, like the Hakone Open Air Museum, the Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun hot spring or the Hakone Shrine Treasure Museum.

The list of all the facilities that offer discounts using the Hakone Freepass is available on Hakone’s website if you want to take a look at all the advantages you can get for your Hakone trip.

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