Hike Old Tokaido Highway Through Hakone & Mt Fuji Areas
For 4 centuries Old Tokaido Highway has linked Japan's modern capital of Tokyo with the ancient capital of Kyoto. In olden times most travelers of Tokaido were on foot - horses or palanquins being a luxury for the elite class only. A section of the Old Tokaido close to Tokyo known as Hakone Hachiri has recently been declared a Japan Heritage Area. In Japanese, Hachi means 8 and ri is a unit of length equivalent to about 4kms. So Hakone Hachiri refers to the 32km stretch of Old Tokaido between Odawara and Mishima (a setting in James Clavell's epic novel "Shogun"), via Hakone. Our day requires about 10km of actual walking. We hike the forest-clad parts of the Tokaido that have been preserved, and use modern public transport to skip over the less interesting parts that are now covered by a modern road. Enjoy stunning views of Mt Fuji on clear days, although please note that Japan's weather only allows this about 30% of the time.
Catch Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo/Shinagawa/Shinyokohama, get off at Odawara Station where I will meet you. We catch the local train to Hakone Yumoto, then bus up to Amazake Chaya teahouse, one of the few remaining of hundreds of teahouses that adorned Old Tokaido. After some heart-warming amasake (non-alcoholic) we follow the stone-paved Tokaido on foot through the forest down to the shore of Lake Ashinoko in Moto-Hakone. Lunch by the Lake. We stroll the kilometre-long Cedar Avenue, lined both sides with towering 400 year-old cedar, then through Hakone Checkpoint. From here we bus to rejoin Old Tokaido for another 4km forest hike downhill to Yamanaka Castle Ruins, Mount Fuji photo opportunity (weather permitting). We then bus to Mishima, and stroll along Genbe River World Heritage Water Area to Mishima Station. Catch Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama #644 Mishima/Tokyo 1721/1816.
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Rail or Bus Station (Odawara), Suggested by Guide: Meet me at the Bullet Train (Shinkansen) ticket wicket at Odawara Station at 0835
Duration: 9 hours
Bullet train rides Tokyo-Odawara and Mishima-Tokyo pre and post our tour are an extra 1 hour 20 minutes in total.
Catch Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) Kodama #637 from Tokyo Station ETD 0756 to Odawara Station to start our tour. We will walk approx. 10km total in the day. We will catch local trains/buses to skip over parts of Old Tokaido that have been covered by a modern road. After our tour concludes at Mishima Station catch Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama #664 back to Tokyo, 1721/1816.
- Guiding Services
Estimated Local Cash Needed
8000 JPY - JPY 8,000 Per person on the tour once we leave Odawara: public transport, lunch, traditional Japanese morning tea at Amazake Chaya. This doesn't include Transfers from/to your hotel to/from Tokyo Station, bullet train tickets Tokyo-Odawara to start the tour and Mishima-Tokyo after the tour Approx. JPY10,000 per person (although these can be covered with a valid Japan Rail Pass). Doesn't apply of course to folks staying in Hakone and starting/finishing the tour at their hotel there.
- Personal Expenses
- Public Transportation Tickets
- Food, Drinks, Snacks
Japanese Law prohibits guides from driving, so many of my tours use our excellent public transport system, often including Japan's iconic bullet train zooming along the base of Mt Fuji (visible weather permitting). My tours are low carbon.
A Recent Review of this tour
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We had a great experience with Tony on this walking tour. All communication was clear and his follow up was excellent. He is a wealth of information and willing to share it. Our walk was a bit more like a hike but that is just what we were wanted after a week in Kyoto a hike along an ancient road was a great escape. Tony was well informed and connected with several spots along the way, one being a rest stop that has been in the same family for the past 13 generations. I highly recommend this experience.