3 Day Trip from Tokyo to Kyoto via Hakone | japan-guide.com

3 Day Trip from Tokyo to Kyoto via Hakone | japan-guide.com

Japan is an amazing place for tourists to
explore, with interesting destinations at seemingly every turn that offer a vast range
of experiences to suit all tastes. Nowhere in the country is this more true than
in the vicinity of the tourist meccas of Tokyo and Kyoto, where one can enjoy the most bustling
of urban streets and pristine nature in quick succession, thanks in part to the country’s
convenient and reliable transport networks. With this in mind, I decided to make a three
day trip between Tokyo and Kyoto, experiencing magical rural scenes while doing so, namely
in the scenic Hakone area and the spiritual Kurama and Kibune area, which lie a stone’s
throw from the respective big cities. These areas are all top destinations that
promise to give visitors to Japan an unforgettable experience, and so this was naturally a trip
I couldn’t wait to embark on. I’m Sam Evans for japan-guide.com and over
the next three days I’ll be making a trip through three of Japan’s premier hot spots. Here’s the plan:
After starting our trip in central Tokyo, we’ll first head to Hakone and experience
some of this famous area’s nature and culture. On day 2, we’ll explore more of Hakone
and then take the shinkansen across the country to Kyoto and experience some of the city’s
historical charms. Our final day will begin with a hike in Kyoto’s
northern mountains, before we finish our trip by heading back into the city and exploring
more of what the ancient capital has to offer. So follow along, as we take a three day trip
from Tokyo to Kyoto via Hakone. Day 1 We’ll begin our journey in bustling Shinjuku,
where we’ll head to an observation deck for impressive views of the city. We’ll then take the Odakyu Railway from
Shinjuku Station to Hakone Yumoto, a famous hot spring town at the entrance to Hakone,
where we’ll explore and take in the area’s atmosphere and beauty. Following this we head deeper into Hakone
and take in some beautiful art at the Hakone Open Air Museum, before checking into our
nearby hotel for the night. So behind me you can see the Tokyo Metropolitan
Government Building, also known as “Tocho”. Now, we’re going to head inside and go up
to one of the building’s observation decks. Now, the observation decks in this building
are among my favorites because not only do you get great views of the city, but it’s
free. So let’s go and do it. Having had a taste of the big city it’s
now time to move on, so we head to Shinjuku Station where we’ll buy a rail pass that
will serve us well on this leg of trip, and then take the 90 minute ride on the Limited
Express Romancecar to Hakone Yumoto. We’ve arrived at Hakone Yumoto at the entrance
to Hakone. Now this is the most famous hot spring spot
in the area. As well as this absolutely stunning scenery
that you can see, there’s a bustling little main street that you can see and I can’t
wait to check out. So let’s go see what’s on offer. After exploring Hakone Yumoto, it’s onward
to the Hakone Open Air Museum via a ride on the Hakone Tozan Railway This is the Hakone Open Air Museum and it’s
well known for its numerous large and interesting art installations dotted around the grounds but I think this place’s biggest charm is the interplay between the art and the breathtaking
scenery that surrounds us here. It’s just quite impressive. Following the fun at the museum, it’s now
time to make our way to the Hakone Yutowa Hotel where we’ll be spending the night. Day 2 Today we start by taking a cable car and ropeway
to the northern shores of Lake Ashinoko where we’ll board a scenic boat cruise. and upon
disembarking at the other side of the lake, we’ll take a picturesque stroll through
a forest and along the water. We then say goodbye to Hakone and board a
bus to Mishima Skywalk a unique scenic spot just south of Lake Ashinoko. Following this it’s on to Mishima Station,
from where a shinkansen will whisk us all the way to Kyoto where we’ll explore some interesting historical sights. We’ve just boarded one of the iconic pirate
ship sightseeing cruises that takes passengers from Togendai to the other side of Lake Ashinoko
and this is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery of the rolling hills on the shores
of the lake. To end our time in Hakone, we’ll make a
brief stop in Motohakone, a picturesque town on the southern edge of the lake, known for
its quaint atmosphere and a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji on a clear day. From Motohakone we’ve taken a bus to Mishima
Skyway. Now, this 400 meter long suspension bridge
traverses over a deep valley and when the weather is good you can get great views of
Mt. Fuji. From the skywalk we’re now going to take
a bus to Mishima Station where we’ll take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Kyoto From the station we have come to Gion, one
of the premier historical entertainment districts in all of Japan. Now, apart from the abundance of well preserved
buildings, the atmosphere here is just magical. So let’s explore. Now it’s time to get to our lodgings for
the night, but not before making a quick stop at the nearby Kansai Tourist Information Center
in Kyoto Tower to buy a Keihan discount pass that we’ll to save money on our route tomorrow. What a day. We’ve arrived at our hotel, The Thousand
Kyoto, where the service and the surroundings are equally exceptional might I add. We’re about to begin the first course
of a traditional Japanese course meal so kanpai! Day 3 Our third and final day will begin by heading
up to Kyoto’s verdant northern mountains, hiking from Kurama via a mystical mountain
temple to Kibune. Upon arriving in Kibune, we’ll take in the
area’s revered shrine and then sit down for a memorable dining experience on the river. Following this we head back into central Kyoto
and make our way to Kiyomizudera Temple before bringing our trip to an end. After checkout, we’ll take the Kyoto Station
Loop Bus to Shichijo Station and then the Keihan Railway to Demachi Yanagi, where we’ll
transfer to the Eizan railway all the way to its terminus at Kurama. We’ve arrived. We’re at the main buildings of Kuramadera,
which is the main attraction on the mountain. And this place is absolutely incredible. The views that are afforded of the surrounding
mountains are stunning and the temple is also known as a spiritual power spot. We’ve just sat down to a kawadoko. Now kawadoko is something that the restaurants
do at this time of year from June to September. Basically they put out platforms directly
above the Kibunegawa this river that flows underneath us. We’re about to enjoy a kaiseki course meal here. It’s relaxing, the atmosphere is incredible
and also being just above the river’s surface makes it significantly cooler. So that’s always a plus this time of year. So, itadakimasu. Satisfied from all that great food, we now
make our way back into central Kyoto to make one last stop at the iconic Kiyomizudera Temple. Known among other things for it’s balcony
that provides inspiring views of Kyoto’s cityscape, Kiyomizudera is one of the most
popular religious sites in the whole country and was not something I wanted to miss in Kyoto. And after making our way back to Kyoto Station, it’s unfortunately time for our trip to come to an end. Thanks for joining me. I hope this video has
been enjoyable and even inspire some ideas, should you be planning a trip in Japan. For more information about our itinerary or
to watch another video, click the links on the screen now, or head over to japan-guide.com,
your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide, first hand from Japan. Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe
and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan. Happy travels.

About the author


  1. Great video. I was planning to go straight to Kyoto from Tokyo but might have to add Hakone now. Is there anything you would recommend booking in advance for this trip?

  2. Haha, i was just talking to a friend about a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto but we want to walk the whole historic Tokaido by foot.

  3. I have been blessed with two whole food nods😭. Sam does such a good job and your guy's camera shots are so aesthetic. Really love the videos, wouldn't mind them being just a bit longer though. It always goes by to fast. Thank you for the videos.

  4. I've planned about 80% of my next trip to Japan through your videos. You constantly capture beauty that I fell in love with while I was there. Always informative, always impressed

  5. We spent 3 days in Kyoto. And it wasn’t enough. Would have loved to stay a week and explore more. Loved loved Kyoto!

  6. The ammount of sighing while watching this video is off the charts! I've been on a similar trip to all of these places and i definitely recommend it

  7. hello guys! im Korean, in 1910s Japan taked Korea and they killed a lot of Koreans, a lot of Koreans have to work, Koreans have to use japanese and japanese name and they have to go at japan school So, they cant learn korean,
    students and adults hold Korean flag and they said "Long live independence!" So, Japan killed these Koreans with guns and they destroyed Gyeong-bok gung the best palace in Korea and Japanese tried to catch Koreans and test how long they could survive without one organ and they do weird and creepy tests to Koreans Finally,in 1945s Korea is free. im not mean to japan and this channel im just want you to know these facts

  8. Wished I had time for Kyoto last week! I did hakone by shinkasen but did not make it down to Kyoto….😢 Next time for sure 🙏🇯🇵💙

  9. I have been using the site for many years to plan my trip to Japan and never knew there was a face behind it.
    I always thought it was curated automatically by some sort of robot but today I finally saw a face behind the site.

    Thank you for providing me with very useful information about Japan for all these years.
    Really appreciate it!

    Since the Kizomizudera is still under construction, I can tell you took the video not long ago haha

  10. For the Tokyo Met-Building: Go in the evening when it's dark (check the opening times).
    On clear days, the view is insanely awesome.

  11. Nice, not long enough the videos. It is really nice to see your documentary. Im flying over this Dec 31st to January 11th. Always passing GION in Kyoto. Thanks for the info.

  12. I think I was there when you filmed this.. around early to mid June ? Absolutely loved japan. Hakone is a must do town… the onsens are amazing. Tokyo and Kyoto are great to visit. Love the people love the culture … but what I love the most …is the “way of life”…. wish i was Japanese!!!

  13. As always, great video! Takes me back to Japan. However, believe me when I say 1-2 days in Hakone is not enough. I fell in love with the place, and will be back for sure.

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