Doing DIY tours is usually the cheaper option when traveling but not the case when you go to Japan. I've never been a huge fan of organized tours but I welcomed the idea of joining one in Japan especially when traveling far from the city as it was more convenient and saved time and money because public transportation can be quite a challenge unless you speak the local language. For the Mt. Fuji-Hakone day tour, we chose JTB, one of Japan's largest travel service provider.
Back in 2018, the English guided tour costs around USD170/person inclusive of the following:
- Trip to Mt. Fuji's 5th Station
- Cruise on the pristine Lake Ashi
- Ride to Komagatake Ropeway which offers a majestic view of Hakone National Park
- Bus ride from Shinjuku and return via Shinkansen from Odawara Station back to Tokyo
- Local lunch
Pros: Very organized and enjoyable tour, clean and well-maintained bus, no hidden fees, no forced commission-based shopping stops, delicious Japanese lunch, tour guide was polite and spoke good English, and with Shinkansen one-way ticket back to Tokyo.
Cons: Nothing -- this tour is highly recommended!
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