Early this year we went to 富士箱根伊豆国立公園 (Fuji Hakone Izu Kokuritsu Koen) Fuji Hakone Izu National park. It is absolutely beautiful here and If you are looking for a very short but good side trip from Tokyo, Hakone is the place to go to!
We left at 9am and we took the Romance car from Shibuya which cost us about 22000 Yen together with the Hakone Free Pass. I would suggest that you buy the free pass at Shibuya as I heard that it is cheaper to buy it here. It is only a 2 hour train ride away from Tokyo and on the way to Hakone we saw Mt. Fuji from the train. Hakone is very cold. So if you are weak to the cold I suggest that you bring your gloves and mufflers for extra protection.
When we got there we followed the route going around Hakone. We took the trail going to the Jinja shrine, The Kaizokuban River cruise and then we took the ropeway up the mountain where the famous Onsen Tamago is made in Owakudani. Take long stops on top of the mountain because there are many things to do such as eat the Onsen Tamago and you could see Mt. Fuji too from the mountain. Although we only stayed for a day, we hope to come back again so that we could tour some more. Since we lacked so much time in going around Hakone.
On the way down the mountain we were already rushing since our train was at 545pm. If you are to go to Hakone I noticed what people do here is stay at a hotel near the mountain so that they stop there and then on the next day they go back down the mountain and tour the sites on the way down. A day is enough to go around Hakone, however if we did have 2 days I would think that we would have seen more things. We were really in a rush and most of the time i was looking at my watch for the time, Its a good thing that everything in Japan is on time so we had no problem even if we were running late. But if you would like to enjoy the whole of Hakone then I would suggest that you stay here overnight to better appreciate this beautiful small town.