Explore Old Tokaido Highway Through Hakone & Mt Fuji Areas
For four 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 4km of actual walking over flat terrain. Enjoy stunning views of Mt Fuji on clear days, although please note that Japan's weather only permits this about 30% of the time.
Catch Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama #637 from Tokyo/Shinagawa/Shinyokohama, departing Tokyo 0756, get off at Odawara Station 0830 where I will meet you at the ticket wicket. We walk to nearby Odawara Castle, scene of the epic final battle of Japan's Warring States Period in 1590. Then 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 bus down to the shore of Lake Ashinoko in Moto-Hakone. Lunch at café near the lake. After lunch we stroll around the lakefront to enjoy Hakone Shrine with its famous red gate over the water, and then stroll the kilometre-long Cedar Avenue, lined both sides with towering 400 year-old Cedar, then through Hakone Checkpoint. From here we bus to Mishima (more Fuji views en route, weather permitting of course), and stroll along Genbe River World Heritage Water Area to Mishima Station, Kodama #664 back to Tokyo ETD 1721.
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 catch local trains/buses to skip over parts of Old Tokaido that have been covered by a modern road. Walk some heritage parts, about 4km total walking for the day over easy terrain. After our tour concludes at Mishima Station catch Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama #664 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 (although these can be covered with a valid Japan Rail Pass). Approx. JPY10,000 per person. 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.