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Thread: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

  1. #1
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    Arrow Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Just wondering if there's somebody here who has taken the abovementioned Sunrise Tour? I am planning to get this tour for me and my family on Dec 11 and would like to ask if the trip/cost was all worth it.

    Looking at japanican.com, there are a few options:

    • Mt Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Return By Shinkansen (Adult: 14,000)
    • Mt Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Motorcoach Throughout (Adult: 11,000)
    • Mt Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Round Trip Shinkansen (Adult: 18,000)


    I'm leaning towards the cheapest option which is motor coach to and from. I have a few questions which I hope somebody would be kind enough to answer:

    - How long is the bus trip?
    - Will they pick you up if your hotel is not in the list of hotels they are providing pickup services from? I suppose not but just wanna confirm. I think we may have to walk up to the nearest pick-up hotel location.
    - Is the 2,000 (extra) lunch worth the cost?
    - How cold is it gonna be up there? My main worry actually. Wife has bought some winter wear (long sleeve wool shirts, parka jacket and premium down jacket from Uniqlo) but not sure if it's gonna be sufficient. My impression seems to be that Mt Fuji / Hakone has lots of open spaces so it's probably colder up there.
    - Any nice spot for photography? Tips, feedbacks, suggestions will be appreciated.

    Lest I forget, I intend to bring my EFS 10-22, EF 24-105 (or 24-70) and EF 70-200 f4 lenses along. Should be enough I suppose?

    PS: I actually sent in an inquiry to japanican and am just waiting for reply. But as per above, any feedbacks based on personal experience would be appreciated...

    :Later,

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    Just wondering if there's somebody here who has taken the abovementioned Sunrise Tour? I am planning to get this tour for me and my family on Dec 11 and would like to ask if the trip/cost was all worth it.

    Looking at japanican.com, there are a few options:

    • Mt Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Return By Shinkansen (Adult: 14,000)
    • Mt Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Motorcoach Throughout (Adult: 11,000)
    • Mt Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Round Trip Shinkansen (Adult: 18,000)


    I'm leaning towards the cheapest option which is motor coach to and from. I have a few questions which I hope somebody would be kind enough to answer:

    - How long is the bus trip?
    - Will they pick you up if your hotel is not in the list of hotels they are providing pickup services from? I suppose not but just wanna confirm. I think we may have to walk up to the nearest pick-up hotel location.
    - Is the 2,000 (extra) lunch worth the cost?
    - How cold is it gonna be up there? My main worry actually. Wife has bought some winter wear (long sleeve wool shirts, parka jacket and premium down jacket from Uniqlo) but not sure if it's gonna be sufficient. My impression seems to be that Mt Fuji / Hakone has lots of open spaces so it's probably colder up there.
    - Any nice spot for photography? Tips, feedbacks, suggestions will be appreciated.

    Lest I forget, I intend to bring my EFS 10-22, EF 24-105 (or 24-70) and EF 70-200 f4 lenses along. Should be enough I suppose?

    PS: I actually sent in an inquiry to japanican and am just waiting for reply. But as per above, any feedbacks based on personal experience would be appreciated...

    :Later,

    You can get the Hakone 2 Days Free pass at a much cheaper price. http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html

    Start the round trip from Hakone-Yumoto station -> Lake Ashi -> Owakudani -> Gora -> Yumoto station.

    It will took you about half a day for the round trip and all the transportation from Shinjuku station taking the Odakyu line to Yumoto station, buses in Hakone, ropeway and the cruise are all included and unlimited ride.

    Your camera setup is definitely enough as i only bring my 24-70 along for the trip. Definitely you will use more of the 10-22mm and the 24-105mm at Hakone.
    Last edited by colourfulfaces; 20th November 2009 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    hakone open air museum is not bad if you have the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member yyD70S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Hi Pinoy,

    I took on a similar trip in January 2005.

    Booked the JTB Sunrise Tour (office then was at Ngee Ann City; not sure if it’s there now). Specifically, the tour code then was VJF700: Free Plan – Hakone & Onsen 2 Days. It cost JPY9,900-00 per person (no meals). Meals are expensive in the hotel but otherwise OK.

    The price included a round trip Shinkansen from Shinjuku Station (forgotten specifically East or West station) to Odawara (sort of a base town enroute to Hakone). Overnight (up) at Hakone was Hakone Price Hotel.

    The price does not include the transportation from Odawara up to Hakone. For that, I purchased a 1-day Hakone Free Pass from Odawara station (link page as recommended by fellow member colourfaces).

    Now, this is what makes the trip from Odawara to Hakone special. It’s the different mode of transportation (train, ropeway, pirate ship) enroute which I am sure you are already aware and looking forward to. Note that you could stop enroute from Odawara to Hakone at the various stations and explore (Yumoto, Miyanoshita, Gora, Sounzan, Owakudani, Kojiri-Togendai, Hakone, etc).

    If my memory and photo album serves me correctly; it’ll take you…

    12min: Odawara to Yumoto (traditional train)
    25min: Yumoto to MiyanoShita (another form of train)
    15min: MiyanoShita to Gora (another form of train)
    9min: Gora to Souzan (cable car ~ but is actually some sort of train ~ like going up Penang Hill if you know what I mean)
    10min: Souzan to Owakudani (ropeway ~ now this IS cable car)
    18min: Owakudani to Kojiri-Togendai (ropeway)
    30min: Kojiri-Togendai to Hakone (a cruise ship to your final destination)

    * If the weather is clear (no fog), look out for Mt. Fuji when taking the ropeway transport. I have forgotten if it’s between Souzan-Owakudani or Owakudani-K-T. Do check when you are at the ropeway station.

    * The following day, do the reverse and see visit whatever places you missed out due to whatever reasons (weather perhaps)

    * Note that my final destination (Hakone proper) may not be your final destination depending on your place of stay.

    Start off early from Tokyo (Shinjuku). Although you can only check in around 3-4:00pm, the sights enroute is already a handful for a weekend. I have forgotten how long the bullet train ride was from Shinjuku to Odawara but it should not be more tahn 1-hr. No pick-up service from hotel to station for me package.

    Not to be missed in Hakone are:

    (a) Owakudani (Great Boiling Valley) ~ esp. in winter
    (b) Venetian Glass Museum (entrance fee applicable)
    (c) And of course, onsen at your chosen Ryokan or Hotel

    Not sure of December weather though. When I was there in January 2005, it snowed. No long-john needed but some sort of woolen clothing plus a neck-scarf (for the pirate ship cruise in Lake Ashimoko as it is very windy) is recommended.

    To summarise, the most enjoyable thing about the trip to Hakone was (and is) taking the various form of transport from Odawara station to Hakone itself. I cannot emphasize enough.

    Have an enjoyable family holiday!

    Best regards,

    yewyuee

    P.S. one day not enough for Hakone
    P.S. winter is the best time in Hakone
    P.S. if you could only make do with one lens, your 24-105mm f4 more than suffice
    Last edited by yyD70S; 20th November 2009 at 10:17 PM. Reason: P.S.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    yyD70S and colourfulfaces, thank you very much for your inputs. I'm seriously considering a DIY approach coz one of my concerns with the JTB Sunrise Tour is that it cannot be postponed to another day should the weather not be cooperative.

    I would like to stay a night in hakone but unfortunately, all our accommodations have already been arranged and paid for.

    :Later,

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by colourfulfaces View Post
    You can get the Hakone 2 Days Free pass at a much cheaper price. http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html

    Start the round trip from Hakone-Yumoto station -> Lake Ashi -> Owakudani -> Gora -> Yumoto station.

    It will took you about half a day for the round trip and all the transportation from Shinjuku station taking the Odakyu line to Yumoto station, buses in Hakone, ropeway and the cruise are all included and unlimited ride.

    Your camera setup is definitely enough as i only bring my 24-70 along for the trip. Definitely you will use more of the 10-22mm and the 24-105mm at Hakone.
    I second this option. Did it this year in June. It allows for your flexibility and the pass allows you unlimited travels on the Tozan bus services, pirate ship and cable-car rides in Hakone. Great for those people that wants to do Hakone on their own time and pace. Just one piece of advice. The pirate ship stops services around 4-5pm so it would be advisable to do the clockwise loop if you are doing Hakone in 1 day.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    yyD70S and colourfulfaces, thank you very much for your inputs. I'm seriously considering a DIY approach coz one of my concerns with the JTB Sunrise Tour is that it cannot be postponed to another day should the weather not be cooperative.

    I would like to stay a night in hakone but unfortunately, all our accommodations have already been arranged and paid for.

    :Later,
    I was there earlier this month. A trip to Hakone is a must.

    Some of the attractions are in the link below. I only had time to do the round trip but I understand from my friends that some of the other attractions are worth a visit. In particular, the Hakone Museum of Art and the Hakone Glass no Mori

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

    Also, the round trip in Hakone is highly recommended to soak in most of the sights there.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

    I would definitely go DIY as the route is easy to follow. More importantly, you get to pace your own holiday too.

    The Hakone free pass is also highly recommended if you are doing the round trip. The convenience is priceless. The place can get really crowded and as you can see from the links, there are several modes of interesting rides within Hakone. Trust me, you would want to avoid jostling with the crowd to figure out where, how and which tickets to buy for every ride. With the pass, just head straght for the ride's queue and flash the pass.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    You can book this tour with Viator.com, among the cheapest, though it is still run by Sunrise Tour. The long list of tourists' reviews there should help to answer some of your queries.

    http://www.viator.com/Tokyo/d334-ttd

    Some love it, some don't, as usual. Most said you got to be lucky to see Mt Fuji as it is often blocked by clouds. Can only see it early in the morning and on a clear day. Colder months have higher chance to see the mountains from what i understand. Taking the tour also means you only spent a very short time up there, i remembered reading abt 30 mins at Mt Fuji before the guide rush you off. The travelling on bus/train is very long to and fro. Don't take their lunch from what l read.

    So it's up to you to decide. As for hotel, you need to go to the nearest pick up hotels in their list.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kookk View Post
    I was there earlier this month. A trip to Hakone is a must.

    Some of the attractions are in the link below. I only had time to do the round trip but I understand from my friends that some of the other attractions are worth a visit. In particular, the Hakone Museum of Art and the Hakone Glass no Mori

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

    Also, the round trip in Hakone is highly recommended to soak in most of the sights there.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

    I would definitely go DIY as the route is easy to follow. More importantly, you get to pace your own holiday too.

    The Hakone free pass is also highly recommended if you are doing the round trip. The convenience is priceless. The place can get really crowded and as you can see from the links, there are several modes of interesting rides within Hakone. Trust me, you would want to avoid jostling with the crowd to figure out where, how and which tickets to buy for every ride. With the pass, just head straght for the ride's queue and flash the pass.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html
    For the round trip, how much time is needed?
    Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200mm | Nikon 50mm F1.4 | SB-800
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    I signed up for this day tour in Oct. DIY trip there is definitely better if you have time to plan, the advice from the other here will be good reference material.

    - How long is the bus trip?

    about 2hrs to Mt Fuji (1 toilet stop at Mt Fuji Visitor centre), about 3hrs back to Tokyo. Traffic on the highway is clearer on public holidays for the trip to Mt Fuji.

    - Will they pick you up if your hotel is not in the list of hotels they are providing pickup services from? I suppose not but just wanna confirm. I think we may have to walk up to the nearest pick-up hotel location.

    No. the Sunrise / Hato bus terminal is meeting place at World Trade Centre (JR Hammamatsu-cho Stn). they only wait 10mins max for latecomers.

    - Is the 2,000 (extra) lunch worth the cost?

    No. pack your own lunch if you can, the food is decent but you can get better for 2,000

    - How cold is it gonna be up there? My main worry actually. Wife has bought some winter wear (long sleeve wool shirts, parka jacket and premium down jacket from Uniqlo) but not sure if it's gonna be sufficient. My impression seems to be that Mt Fuji / Hakone has lots of open spaces so it's probably colder up there.

    The Mt Fuji itinerary has 2 stops on the way up. 3rd stn for photo opp (10mins) and on 5th stn for site-seeing, 30mins. the temp difference at the 5th station due to altitude is about 10 degrees lower than ground level. (tokyo was averaging 20 degrees when i was there, Mt Fuji 5th stn was 9 degrees).

    Hakone isn't as high but the wind was really strong, especially on Lake Ashi.

    - Any nice spot for photography? Tips, feedbacks, suggestions will be appreciated.

    If you are on the sunrise day tour, there will be the usual tourist photo spots. depending on how experienced the tour guide is, they can estimate the cloud movement when approaching Mt Fuji and tell you when is the best time to shoot. our guide, Tadashi-san made a illegal stop between 3rd and 4th stations so we could catch the view of the summit as clouds were approaching. true enough, when we reach 5th, it was completely covered in clouds.

    i used 2 lenses for my entire tokyo trip, ZD12-60 and ZD50-200. the 24-105 should suffice.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne900 View Post
    For the round trip, how much time is needed?
    I will dedicate at least half a day.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    I'll be there on the 13th Dec for a one day round trip tour. Intend to buy the 5000 yen day pass from Odakyu Department Store on arrival on 8th December.
    Sony RX100M3 + Canon GX 7....I have gone to the Small Side

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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kookk View Post
    Also, the round trip in Hakone is highly recommended to soak in most of the sights there.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html
    Thanks. Decided to do this instead.

    2 more days! Can't wait.

    :Later,

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    Thanks. Decided to do this instead.

    2 more days! Can't wait.

    :Later,
    No worries! Hope you will enjoy as much as I did.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lomographer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    and gotemba is there too, another plus point to go there

    we usually drive there cos the shuttle gives us very little time incase we overstretch at gotemba
    Pentax K-x

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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kookk View Post
    No worries! Hope you will enjoy as much as I did.
    Thanks. I have a belated question... if I were to take the 07.28am romance car to Hakone-Yumoto (ETA at about ~09am), do you think the Hakone Round Course will be done/completed by around 19.30 hrs? Given that I'll be travelling with my wife and daughter, the walk is expected to be quite leisurely... so wanna have an idea roughly how long would be required to do the round course.

    Lastly, any tips to take note of? Thanks in advance.

    :Later,

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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomographer View Post
    and gotemba is there too, another plus point to go there

    we usually drive there cos the shuttle gives us very little time incase we overstretch at gotemba
    I had a look at the gotemba webby and it seems they close rather early at 19.00 hrs.

    Knowing my wife, she'd probably want to check it out (coz there's a Coach outlet there, it seems). Which means to say that if she insists, we may have to head off to Gotemba by 17.00 hrs. Hmm.. I haven't read much yet, but is it easy to take a transpo from Gotemba to Shinjuku (where we are staying)?

    :Later,

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    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilfane View Post
    The pirate ship stops services around 4-5pm so it would be advisable to do the clockwise loop if you are doing Hakone in 1 day.
    Glad I revisited and re-read the posts in this thread. Thanks a lot for this valuable information!

    :Later,

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    Thanks. I have a belated question... if I were to take the 07.28am romance car to Hakone-Yumoto (ETA at about ~09am), do you think the Hakone Round Course will be done/completed by around 19.30 hrs? Given that I'll be travelling with my wife and daughter, the walk is expected to be quite leisurely... so wanna have an idea roughly how long would be required to do the round course.

    Lastly, any tips to take note of? Thanks in advance.

    :Later,
    With some sightseeing time, I guess you should be done by mid afternoon or so.

    It can get really crowded, so try not to go with too much baggage. If any of your travelling members is easily prone to motion sickness, you might want to take care of the bus ride. The roads can get quite twisty.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Mt. Fuji / Hakone 1 Day Tour (Sunrise Tour)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    I had a look at the gotemba webby and it seems they close rather early at 19.00 hrs.

    Knowing my wife, she'd probably want to check it out (coz there's a Coach outlet there, it seems). Which means to say that if she insists, we may have to head off to Gotemba by 17.00 hrs. Hmm.. I haven't read much yet, but is it easy to take a transpo from Gotemba to Shinjuku (where we are staying)?

    :Later,
    If you want to slowly see the shops, cater at least half a day there. From Gotemba, there are direct buses to Shinjuku station. If I recall correctly, it is approximately SGD 20+ per head for one trip. You can make reservations at the information counter at Gotemba Outlets.

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