After we reached JR Shinjuku station by Narita Express. The next destination of this trip is Hakone where we go to by the train from Odakyu line.
To go to Hakone from Tokyo. One of popular ways is to take the train from Odakyu line which goes to Hakone directly. The Odakyu station is next to the JR station in Shinjuku.
For those who want to have a vacation at Hakone. It’s a good idea to buy Hakone Free Pass which is the card that make you use any transportation service in Hakone. If you buy it at Shinjuku, this card will cover the train fee for round-trip from Shinjuku to Hakone too. Also some hotel and sightseeing places in Hakone will offer you the discount when you show this card.
Hakone Free Pass will cost you 5,000 yen for 2 days. It will also be sell in 3 days if you want to stay in Hakone longer. You can buy it from Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center or vending machine in Odakyu Shinjuku station.
For my trip the Romancecar which is the express train was reserved. Hakone Free Pass can be used for the normal fare but the express surcharge must be paid additionally. It’s around 800 yen per seat. If you reserve the Romancecar ticket, you can take it along with Hakone Free Pass at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center.
If you want to buy Romancecar ticket on the same day of travel. You can buy it from Romancecar counter near Sightseeing Service Center directly.
The Romancecar model I boarded on that day is Tyep 50000 VSE which is design specialty for sightseeing. This model received many design award include iF Design Award on 2007.
While I was waiting for the train to departure. I see the Type 60000 MSE on the opposite platform. It is the latest model which using totally-enclosed type traction motors for silent run. However it’s designed for business customers. Not the sightseeing customer like the VSE. So in term of features and services VSE is better.
The train’s cockpit is on the upstairs of the front car. It can be access by the extend ladder which is kept in the ceiling.
VSE also have the toilet and on-board cafe which you can buy food and drink here. It also has the seat service but we are too hungry to wait for them. So we went to cafe instead.
Many food and drink menus which sold here are exclusive for this train. One of them is “Romancecar” VSE Lunch Box which meal will be put in Romancecar VSE shaped box. After finish eating, the box is yours.
The wet towel is on the paper box inside.
The food is inside the paper box. It contains 2 onigiri, 2 Inarizushi, tempura shrimp, sausage, tamagoyaki, crab stick and karaage chicken . Although it isn’t warm. The taste is better than many chain Japanese restaurants in Thailand.
The unique feature of VSE is the observation deck which has the large windows with anything blocking it. So the passengers can enjoy the scenery while traveling.
All Romancecar trains have the vermillion-orange band. The vermillion-orange is the signature color of Romancecar service.
Although you aren’t in the observation deck. You can still enjoys the scenery with the windows which larger than the other trains.
All seats in the Romancecar are romance seats. Hence the name “romance” in Romancecar. The seats can be rotate to face the persons sit behind them. There are also the folding table between seats. So large group of passengers can enjoy their meals together.
VSE also have the saloon car which features the seats that face to each others and have the table between them.
Finally at the destination. Let’s say goodbye to Type 50000 VSE.
Next time we will begin the trip in Hakone. Look forward to it.