Two hours away from Tokyo city, the Swiss-built Hakone Ropeway cable car opened to the public in 1959. It travels the 2.5 miles (4 km round-trip journey) from Togendai to Sounzan in 30 minutes with chances to stop along the way at Ubako and Owakudani stations. The cable car passes over the hot spring sulfur fields at Owakudani, where clouds of the volcanic gas can often be seen erupting from a crater in the ground. Visitors can find their own way to Hakone or join a guided tour that visits the area along with other major sites in the region.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors must buy a ticket to ride the ropeway.
- Purchase a Hakone Free Pass for easy access to all the different public transport options in the area.
- The Hakone Ropeway is wheelchair accessible.
- Over 2 million people ride the cable car each year.
- The best views of Mt. Fuji are at the Owakudani stop.
How to Get There
Visitors can get on the ropeway at Togendai station in Hakone. Hakone is 50 miles (82 km) southwest of Tokyo and is accessible by car. Regular train services run to Hakone from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station, and there are also guided tours with transport provided.
When to Get There
Hakone Ropeway is open all year round. In bad weather, the ropeway might close to ensure the safety of visitors. The ropeway can get especially busy during holidays and summer weekends.
Explore Lake Ashi One of the highlights of the Hakone region, Lake Ashi is a famous destination of natural beauty in Japan—and considered a holy place by the Japanese. From boat trips on the lake to a visit to see the holy Hakone Shinto shrine or a trip to one of the many ryokans (Japanese hot springs), there’s a lot to see here.
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