Due to lack of planning time, I broke my own rule and booked this tour. I should have just spent the extra time and planned it myself. The trip was not an unmitigated disaster. Here are the good things: the bus was clean and the driver was very good; the tour included a ticket that covered local bus, train, cable car and lake cruises in Hakone. The bad side: Why would any agency choose to BUS people out of Tokyo!? The traffic was dreadful and we lost half a day (the sunny half). Our "guide" then decided to stop for lunch before continuing to Fuji -- which was a bad mistake because by the time we got there it was socked in with mist. We saw nothing and only had 15 minutes on the mountain - the reason for the trip (after 4 hours on the bus). The hotel we were booked at was adequate (and the room larger than typical) but not to our taste: fusty, old fashioned, the food (not included) way overpriced even for Japan. The saving grace was those free transport passes: took the bus to the "little train" which went to Gora, then cable cars over the top to FINALLY see Fuji, then the cruise on the lake for another view -- that all worked out okay. The transport tickets also got us on the little train to the station where we caught our Shinkansen back to Tokyo. But we could have done that without the bus tour! (By the way, the "guide" had recommended the bus to the train station, which would have been a disaster for anyone with luggage. The local train was the way to go).
Thao P USA
The trip was nice but not worth staying in Hakone in the rain. Mount Fuji was no where to be seen in the fog.
I was quite disappointed with the food provided and that we didn't have any guide or food with us on the 2nd day.
Anna choi lin C Australia
The accommodation was not so great! The breakfast should be included in the tour.
Simone R Australia
The tour itself was pretty good, and the tour guide was full of information. Our accommodation that night was really disappointing. After requesting a non-smoking room, the room we went into stunk so badly and when I went to ask to change rooms they said they didn’t have any non-smoking rooms at all. It was also dirty, the hotel service was terrible, and even though we requested a double they didn’t even make the two singles into a double bed. The restaurants run by the hotel are expensive and not good, and there is limited food in the town. I know this is not the tours fault but I was really upset for the amount I paid for the whole package. When we went to leave the next day and tried to use our Hakone free pass which is included in the tour, we couldn't even use it on the bus that goes to the train station and had to pay 15 each for it... a bit annoying when you are on a "tour". I had booked and discovered the rest of our Japan holiday by myself with great success and I won't be using tours again. PS. Mt Fuji is beautiful though!
YEW HON W Singapore
After viewing Mt Fuji, there's no place to enjoy a decent dinner. We are literally trapped in Hakone resort and the restaurants closed too early. It's the same the next morning; difficult to find breakfast. Also no one suggested that we take the cruise ship to Moto Hakone. Check out time is too early for us to try to enjoy the resort.
Lisa Ann A USA
It was just ok. The weather was rainy and windy, and the cloud cover was thick. We weren't able to see Mt. Fuji at all during our stay in Hakone. We stayed at the Hakone Prince Hotel. I would not recommend it to others. The hotel was old and the room smelled like stale cigarrettes, even though I had requested a non-smoking room. The scenery of Hakone was nice and a good change from the busy Tokyo city. It's a good vacation destination.
Angie K USA
The tour was well organized and very informative. Our guide was knowledgeable of the area and offered great suggestions for activities. The only downside was the hotel and overnight stay. While the view was fabulous, the hotel itself was run down. It felt very Motel 6ish, with worn furnishings and 80's appliances. Also, additional information for the free day should have been available, such as a bus schedule that allowed the Hakone free pass. Considering the cost of the tour, I had higher expectations for these two things. This tour is highly recommended to the traveler who wants a quick introduction to the area and is on a time limit. If the hotel was of higher quality for the money and more information was provided for the free day, this tour could be stellar.
Amber G USA
Don't go on a cloudy day. The tour was a lot of bus riding, and not a lot of seeing anything. The second day is on your own, they give you a bunch of maps and a suggested route. Getting to the train station was a hassle at the end of the second day.
KOH H Singapore
Everything is in a rush! From boarding the bus to resort, after which it's our own time. Not bad for the lunch though. Seems like it was only half a day to Mt Fuji, so not really considered a tour as we ventured the other 1.5 days ourselves. Good thing was we had a free pass to ride almost all transport.
Cynthia T Singapore
It was over an hour trip from the hotel pick-up to tour bus at the station. The ride itself was comfortable. The guide was friendly and generally competent, although he gave a wrong instruction during the cable car ride, and lost 13 of the tour group in the process. By a stroke of luck, the group we were in was not lost only because the cable car warden insisted we had to get out of the carriage at one point. Lunch was very poor and forgettable as the food appeared to have been cooked hours before and were stale and cold. The tour during the day was enjoyable although very rushed and we hardly had any time to do much else, understandably perhaps. Accommodation at Hakone was comfortable, although the hotel staff at the reception were not the most friendliest we have seen. One lady was in fact impatient and rude. Otherwise, we had a good time at the onsen and enjoyed our walk at the hotel's garden, which was beautiful. The tour guide gave us no clue as to what to do with the free Hakone pass the next day, so we were very much left to fend for ourselves. In the end, we decided on visiting the glass museum, which turned out to be the correct choice. Overall, it was a pleasant trip, and Hakone is beautiful and well worth the trip.
Alex L Singapore
Day one of the trip was great. Pick up was well organized, we got to see Mt Fuji, and the tour guide was good! However, I'd strongly suggest skipping the two day tour and just do the one day tour instead. At the end of the first day, we were literally dumped in our hotel. We were pretty much left to fend for ourselves. There's nothing much to do there at night, so we ended up eating an overpriced dinner and went to bed at 8:00 p.m. For the second day, it was supposed to be "explore Hakone on your own" with the Hakone free pass. Note that the pass is hardly free, it's just a discounted pass which allows you to visit some places of interest in Hakone, which unfortunately were not very interesting at all. Plus, getting around was going to be a hassle. The worst part is that we were automatically booked on the 6:00 p.m. bullet train back to Tokyo, which meant that we were going to be stuck in Hakone for almost the entire day. So, in spite of what our tour guide told us, that our tickets were not valid for any earlier train service, we just made our way to the train station early the next day and somehow found our own way back to Tokyo!
I highly recommend going on the one day tour to Mt Fuji and then returning back to Tokyo. The hotel, Hakone Hotel Kowaki-en, was moldy and disgusting with pricing only appropriate for a five star hotel. Additionally, to be very clear, there is no staff to assist you on the second day on the long trip from Hakone to Odawara and then Odawara to Tokyo. This tour is not for nervous travelers or those who prefer not to share their hotel room with black mold.
I don't recommend it as the Hakone Hotel Kowaki-En is not up to my expectation. Air conditioning is not functioning well and we were informed to open the window for ventilation which caused mosquitoes entering our hotel room.Besides,no hotel drop off provided although stated in tour details.
The reason I wouldn't recommend this tour is because the hotel rooms were horrid, had a bad smell and no AC. The next day we didn't do much because we had to lug our bags around and then we had to catch a bus for an hour while standing because it was packed all the way to the train. WE WERE ON OUR OWN!
Most of the trip, 6 out of 8 hours, was spent on the bus. The bus had no toilet and the seats were small. The tour guide was most concerned about moving to the next stop on the tour and had very little to say about the sights. All the stops were abbreviated. We had no more than 30 minutes at ant stop. It was so bad I decided to quit the tour and travel on my own. It was the worst tour I have ever been on.
This trip was overprice for what it was:
- bus with a guide who talked like a CD player during the whole journey.
- 3 stops of 10 to 25 minutes each, and that's all, we basically where in a bus the whole day.
- the hotel does not worse that price, it's an old hotel, full of group tour, pretty far from the Lake, and with no restaurant around to make sure that you will eat the expensive and average taste hotel food.
we were alone, that was the best part, Hakone is very nice to visit, calm and beautiful, we recommend!
Our trip to Mount Fuji was an unmitigated disaster. Because the weather was cloudy and rainy, we never saw Mount Fuji, so the tour was endless hours stuck on a bus driving winding mountain roads, making everyone noxious. Check the weather in advance and cancel if visibility will likely be impaired.
The trip was from 7.55am to 4.30pm, practically 8 1/2 hours, only not a 2-day tour. We were without a tour guide on the 2nd day return. You dumped us at the hotel after the 8 1/2 hours tour, especially when we are totally strangers in the city and had to take 3 different buses and 2 different trains to return without our guide. Besides that, my husband had hard time walking after his foot surgery. But your guide Harry was an excellent tour guide. If this was to cut down your expenses, we could have easily paid extra money. I will not repeat such inconsiderate tour program again nor recommend to our friends.
Arlene M USA
There is no assistance in the return trip which is very arduous. Lugging a suitcase even a small one on to at least 3 different buses before getting to the train station. Also I do NOT recommend the hotel in Hakone, a very old property that is seedy. The cable car station is very old and has had no upkeep. The steel girders are covered in rust.