The Limited Express "Romancecar" is the Odakyu Line’s flagship service. This service provides comfortable support for trips from Shinjuku to destinations such as Hakone and Enoshima.
One of the popular aspects of the Limited Express "Romancecar" is the beautiful scenery that can be viewed through the windows from the observation deck seats at the front of the train. Enjoying movement as you view the scenery flowing past its windows is one of the features of Limited Express "Romancecar" travel.
You can also choose seating to match your preferences, including “saloon seats” in separate compartments for people who want to enjoy their journey in a private space.
Gourmet dining and original goods exclusively available onboard the Limited Express "Romancecar" are another of its unique offering.
Why not plan an enjoyable trip using the Limited Express "Romancecar"?
Odakyu’s Limited Express train is known by the name of "Romancecar", but there is no record of when or how that name was established. One theory is that the term is derived from an old trend in places such as movie theaters for two-person seats, which were called “romance seats”. Direct trains between Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto started operating in 1950, and by the following year the name "Romancecar" had been established.
A limited express surcharge is required if you want to take a journey on a "Romancecar".
Examples are as follows:
Total price from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto: 2,080 yen
(Limited express surcharge 890 yen + normal fare 1,190 yen)
Total price from Shinjuku to Katase-Enoshima: 1,250 yen
(Limited express surcharge 620 yen + normal fare 630 yen)
The same limited express surcharges apply to all four types of the Limited Express "Romancecar".
Looking out from the windows onboard the Limited Express "Romancecar" heading from Tokyo to Hakone, you can enjoy a changing scenery that takes in rows of skyscrapers immediately after departure in Shinjuku, Tokyo commuter towns and countryside areas through to the rich natural environment of mountainous regions in Hakone.
Limited Express "Romancecar" is a train from which you can freely enjoy these changing landscapes.
Particularly popular are the limited observation deck seats located in the front row, which give 180-degree panoramic views and let you enjoy views of the outside scenery as though you were in the driver’s seat.
There are not many of these seats available, so make sure you get your reservation in early!
On trains heading towards Hakone, rich natural scenery fills the Limited Express "Romancecar"’s large windows as it leaves the city, providing enjoyment of Japan’s four seasons including the cherry trees and fresh leaves of springtime and the changing colors of leaves in fall.
Even if you are not able to reserve an observation deck seat, you can relax safely in the knowledge that even the standard Limited Express "Romancecar" seats are designed to offer maximum enjoyment of the scenery.
Large windows and seats that are slightly tilted towards the window-side have been installed to ensure that passengers can see nature and scenery simply by sitting on their seats. You will be happy as you relax and enjoy gazing out of the windows.
Spaces inside ordinary cars always tend to be public spaces. On-board the Limited Express "Romancecar", though, there are private compartments called “saloon seats” available so that you can enjoy a relaxing journey without having to bother about your surroundings inside the train. Of course, these seats are also optimized for viewing the scenery outside thanks to their large open windows.
With a sense of distinction exuded by the wooden interiors inside the compartments, this is a great way to enjoy traveling with a feeling of luxury.
*The number of saloon seats available is limited, so please reserve early.
While foods are sold on wagons insides the carriages of many trains, the services inside Limited Express "Romancecar" carriages are provided by attendants who visit your seat to take your order and then bring your requested item directly to where you are seated, just like being in a restaurant.
You can stay seated and enjoy your journey while ordering and savoring your preferred items from drink, food and souvenir menus at your leisure. And if you are unsure about something, just ask the attendant.
“Original Organic Coffee” is a highly popular drink available to be served at your seat, and is freshly dripped inside the carriage using carefully selected materials to produce authentic coffee.
Onboard the Limited Express "Romancecar", attendants will give you information about gourmet cuisine options and goods that are exclusively available inside the carriage.
If you want something nice to eat, for example, you might choose a typically Japanese Makunouchi bento, a bento in the shape of the "Romancecar" VSE, or one of Hakone's Speciality “Hakone no Saka, Gateau Chocolat“.
There is also an extensive drinks menu including VSE-exclusive organic coffee, tea, and orange juice. Alcoholic beverages to enjoy include draft beers and sakes that are usually not served inside carriages.
Why not enjoy the view from the window while savoring the exclusive Limited Express "Romancecar" menu?
Exclusive sweets and goods on sale only inside carriages on the Limited Express "Romancecar". These are perfect as souvenirs of your trip. Left/middle-left: "Romancecar"-exclusive cookies and chocolate crunches; Middle-right: Phone straps decorated with the VSE and MSE mascots; Right: Four types of "Romancecar" ball-point pen
Here we will introduce some viewing spots recommended by train crew members who have excellent knowledge thanks to their always being onboard. Why not try to find the same landscapes as you look out of the train windows?
I recommend the Hakone Cafe at Hakone-Yumoto Station. The cafe provides a view across the platform, and I love to relax here while watching the Limited Express "Romancecar" and Hakone Tozan trains go by.
My other recommendation is the lovely view of Tokyo Tower and other tall buildings as seen from the Limited Express "Romancecar" observation deck seats when heading toward Shinjuku at night.
The scenery is beautiful after passing Shin-Matsuda Station around one hour after leaving Shinjuku. Not only can you see Mount Fuji, but there are also gorgeous views of flowers blooming in Matsuda Herb Garden in the distance.
The MSE (Multi Super Express) is the newest model of the Limited Express "Romancecar". This eye-catching train features a vermillion orange line along its Vermeer blue body.
A calming ambience is produced inside the carriages through a combination of wine red carpets and gentle lighting.
The MSE also travels on the Subway Line (within the Tokyo Metro).
The main feature of the "Romancecar" VSE - a name that stands for “Vault Super Express” - is its sense of openness, which can be attributed to its dome-shaped ceiling, or “Vault”.
Traditional Limited Express "Romancecar" observation deck seats are installed in this train. These observation deck seats are perfect for taking a journey while enjoying the scenery as it extends right before your eyes. Private seating compartments called “saloons” are also popular.
The "Romancecar" EXE is the most common model of Limited Express "Romancecar". The EXE model is a familiar sight on its line, and its name “Excellent Express” describes an excellent limited express train.
The carriage interiors are united by relaxing colors, and great care has also been taken with the design of the aisle carpets and seating. Windows have large openings for enjoyment of scenery while traveling.
The "Romancecar" LSE (Luxury Super Express) has a distinctively shaped front carriage with observation deck seats.
This model keeps alive the traditional Limited Express "Romancecar" style, with vermillion orange and gray coloring and classical observation deck seats, etc.
The LSE’s refined, classical seats provide a spacious and relaxing journey. The seats recline, too, making them perfect for sleeping if you are feeling tired.