【TRAVEL Q&A】From Shinjuku to Hakone Hot Spring via Odakyu “Romancecar” Line!

14.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

Hakone, Kanagawa is one of the most popular “onsen” (hot spring) towns in Japan. The area is popular among both Japanese people and tourists from foreign countries since it is close to Tokyo and has many sightseeing spots such as Ahinoko (lake), Owakudani (valley) and Hakone Chokoku no Mori Museum.

 

There are several ways to go to Hakone but I recommend using the “Odakyu Romancecar” (limited express train) run by Odakyu Dentestu which departs from Tokyo. It takes about an hour and 40 minutes and you can go to Hakone direct. In this article, I will inform you of how to ride on the “Odakyu Romancecar” to go to Hakone.

 

1: How to ride Odakyu Romancecar?

Let’s get tickets first. The tickets you must buy are “Joshaken (normal fare)” and “tokkyuken (limited express surcharge).” The “Joshaken” is an Odakyu Dentetsu limited ticket and the fare differs according to the station that you will get off at. “Tokkyuken” is a ticket you must buy when riding on a limited express train which means you must buy this ticket in addition to the “joshaken.” There are three ways to buy these tickets.

 

1) Making a reservation/purchasing the ticket via the Internet

2) Making a reservation/purchasing the ticket at a ticket counter/ticket vending machine

3) Making a reservation on the telephone.

 

Making a reservation by telephone is not recommendable for those of you from foreign countries since English-speaking staff are not available.

 

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2: How to but a ticket via the Internet?

Using e-Romancecar is recommended when using the Internet to buy a ticket. As a matter of course, you can use a credit card on this web site. You can ride the Romancecar by just by handing out the printed sheet or showing the screen of your smart phone to the staff at the ticket counter. If you are planning to just make a reservation (not paying the fare) on the web site, you must pay the fare by using the ticket vending machine or at the ticket counter before getting on the Romancecar. It is recommended that you buy your ticket beforehand if the date that you are going to Hakone is decided.

 

 

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3: How to buy a ticket/make a reservation via the ticket counter at the station?

The ticket counter is normally open from 6:30 to 21:00. The ticket vending machines can be used any time (except for when the trains are not running) but credit cards cannot be used. You can purchase tickets for up to 8 persons at once using the vending machine. So, those of you who are planning to go to Hakone with a group of more than 9 people you must purchase your tickets at the ticket counter.

 

 

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4: Let’s get on to the Romancecar!

Now let’s learn how to get on a Romancecar. There are several types of Romancecars available – MES (Type 6000), VSE (Type 50000), EXE (Type 30000) and LSE (Type 7000). The fares for all types are the same. You can eat a limited-“bento” (box lunch) if you make a reservation 3 days (AM) before you ride the Romancecar.

 

Why not experience a ride on the “Romancecar” and enjoy the hot springs in Hakone. Wishing you a pleasant trip! MMN will introduce to you many kinds of “Q&As in Japan.”

 

If you have any questions, feel free to send a message to MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON’s FB account!

https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

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    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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    Hakone Yutowa is a new hotel in the town of Gora, Hakone that opened on August 11, 2019. This hotel renovation is aimed at millennials (those in their 20s and earlier 30s) and families, offering various different rooms include your typical hotel-type as well as condos. There are also multiple shared public spaces full of fun and relaxation.

     

    Part of the enjoyment at Hakone Yutowa is getting to walk around the site leisurely finding all the little things it has to offer, from the hot spring with its own hot spring source to a communal room so stylish you can’t help reaching for your camera to snap photos. The hotel aims to offer guests “an experience in remote Hakone you can’t get anywhere else” and it does so by presenting a new style of hotel accommodation.

     

    Hakone Yutowa is about a five-minute stroll along a flat-level path from Gora Station, which is accessed via the Hakone Tozan Railway, meaning it can be accessed easily by those without a car. “Yutowa” is has a combination of meanings: the yu in Japanese means “hot water” which conjures up not only the hot springs but also a warm and welcome stay at the hotel. It is also word play with the word “you.” The to means “and” in Japanese and wa is “circle” like a circle of friends. In other words, at Hokone Yutowa, you’ll be spending a nice time together with someone special.

     

    The hotel is split into three buildings: the East Wing, West Wing, and Condominium Wing. Each offers “a new style of travel accommodation.”

     

    New Style ①

    Spa Lounge Nakaniwa and Lively Lounge are two public spaces in the hotel that anyone is free to use at their leisure. Nakaniwa is home to a footbath at the outdoor wooden deck which makes use of the hotel’s natural spring source, as well as an open-air fire. Lively Lounge houses around 700 books which guests can pick from before finding a little spot to sit down and relax.

     

    New Style ②

    There are two types of rooms: Hotel and Condominium. The Condominium rooms are the first hotel rooms of their kind to be offered in the Gora area. These fancy rooms have their own hot spring bath with a beautiful view. The water in the bath flows directly from the hot spring source.

     

    New Style ③

    The all-inclusive plan includes breakfast and dinner as well as free drinks and free use of the communal spaces. Guests do not need to worry about any extra fees as everything is included. There are also other baths available in the hotel including one that makes use of colourful lights.

     

    If you’re looking for a hotel with freedom in Japan then take your family, friends or loved one to Hakone Yutowa.

  • Pop Team Epic Pop-Up Shop Makes its Way to Shinjuku This Month

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    The Pop Team Epic pop-up shop is set to take to make a return this month. It will open on the sixth floor of Shinjuku Marui Annex and run from August 23 to September 16.

     

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    The shop’s main visual was drawn by series creator Bkub Okawa. Its design will feature on many exclusive pieces of merchandise at the shop.

    Fans of the series have lots to look forward to at the shop, with plenty of cute and hilarious decorations of Popuko and Pipimi and plenty of photo opportunities. Those who spend over ¥3,000 (tax included) at the shop will even receive an original sticker. Only one will be given per person.

     

    More details about the event can be found over at the official Twitter page.

  • Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly

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    XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA. 

     

    These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels. 

    As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.

     

    *Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline. 

     

    To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ¥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD). 

     

    To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ¥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:

    #旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク

    Four winners will be selected.

     

    Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea. 

  • 4 Must-Visit Fireworks Festivals in Kyoto This Summer

    10.August.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto―also known as the “old capital” and said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. In its 1,200 year history, this ancient city has given rise to much of what can be considered quintessential Japanese culture. Fireworks are a monumental feat of summer in Japan with countless festivals up and down the country dedicated to them, and Kyoto is no exception.

     

    If you’re in Kyoto this summer then you mustn’t miss these 4 fireworks festivals.

     

    Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival – A Magnificent Arsenal of 8,000 Beauties

    This long-running event is held every year to pray for world peace. Its spectacular display features a lineup of fireworks specially selected by the Japan Fireworks Artist Association which aims to evolve the tradition of firework culture. Expect to see the night sky illuminated with a rainbow of colours from the festival’s launch of 8,000 fireworks, including the Starmine which shoots a cloud of bright stars into the overhead abyss, as well as some original fireworks crafted for the festival such as the “Kamemaru Hanabi.”

     

    ▼Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival (Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival)

    Date: August 11, 2019

    Time: From 19:30
    Location: Hozubashi Bridge
    Official Website: http://kameoka-hanabi.jp/

     

    Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival – The Spectacular Starmine

    Held by the riverbed of the Katsura River, the fireworks festival in Nantan makes use of the opposite shore from the viewing point which makes the fireworks look like they are raining down from the sky like a waterfall. The finale of this festival welcomes the behemoth of all Starmine fireworks which rips across the night sky in a blazing spread. The festival is also held as part of the Bon Festival and so lanterns are let loose down the Ōi River, creating a sight of subtle grace and beauty.

     

    ▼Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival

    Date: August 14, 2019

    Time: From 19:30

    Location: Katsura River
    Official Website: http://www.yagi-hanabi.com/

     

    Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival – Floating Lanterns & Fireworks For 400 Years

    Held in the city of Miyazu, this festival combines fireworks with floating lanterns and shoryobune―boats adorned with tanzaku paper slips that are sent out to light the way for the deceased as part of the Bon Festival.  Floating lanterns on the water (known as toronagashi in Japanese) in Miyazu began 400 years ago. This year, it was counted as one of Japan’s three biggest toronagashi events.

    Together with the boat, around 10,000 lanterns are sent into Miyazu Bay, creating a beautiful and majestic atmosphere. Close to 3,000 fireworks are set to illuminate the sky above, leading to an indescribable beauty as the fireworks and lights give off their own light.

     

    ▼Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival

    Date: August 14, 2019

    Time: From 19:30

    Location: Shimasaki Park
    Official Website: https://www.kyo.or.jp/miyazu/hanabi/

     

    Ine Fireworks – Fireworks Galore Envelop Ine Bay

    Around 1,200 fireworks climb up and over Ine Bay, lighting the calm water surface and the funaya boat houses of Ine with their brilliance. The boat houses themselves are also strung and lined with hanging lanterns.

     

    ▼Ine Fireworks

    Date: August 24, 2019

    Time: 20:15

    Location: Ine, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.ine-kankou.jp/inehanabi/

     

     

    Did you enjoy our pick? It isn’t summer in Japan without fireworks. If you’re travelling to Kyoto to catch some sun this year, finish the day off with one of its many fireworks festival―from traditional Kyoto-esque events to large-scale ones with 8,000 fireworks ready to be deployed.

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