I bought a Hakone Freepass at Shinjuku Station because it would also include transportation from Tokyo. By paying just a little more you can get a reserved seat on the comfortable and luxurious Odakyu Romance Car. Seats on the Romance Car are reserved and you can get your tickets from a machine or talk with the bilingual staff at the Odakyu Travel offices. The train ride was about an hour through out of the city, through the suburbs and countryside, to the mountains of Hakone. It was nice to get to see what typical Japanese life might look like.
The Hakone mountains come into view as you approach the city of Odawara, with a view of Mt. Fuji in the background. The final stop is Hakone Yumoto station so there is no need to worry about missing your stop. Hakone Yumoto Station is at the base of the Hakone mountains and surrounded by cute shops selling street foods, souvenirs, and wonderful stuff to just peruse. There are many options for accomodation in the area and many of them are centered around this station. In the station is also the Hakone Tozan Mountain train, our next ride through the beautiful mountain views and up to the mountain village of Gora.
The mountain train is surprisingly one of the highlights of the trip. The mountain train slowly winds up the mountain giving you views of the valley and surrounding mountains. Anyone with some time should get off at one of the 6 stops along the way, each stop being another moutain village with a different atmosphere and things to see and do. Gora was a great midway point to enjoy some lunch or pass some time at one of the cafes.
Continue a visit to Hakone with the next part of the story