Famous hot springs, great heritage, and fantastic views of Mt Fuji at a world-class resort
The town of Hakone is situated in western Kanagawa Prefecture, and is part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park . It is famous both inside and outside of Japan as a resort area brimming with natural hot springs of the highest quality, and for its stunning views of Mt Fuji .
- Soaking in some of the country's finest hot springs
- The boat tours around Lake Ashinoko
- The life-prolonging black eggs at Owakudani
- Outdoor art installations at the first open-air museum in Japan
How to Get There
The gateway to Hakone, Hakone-Yumoto Station, is located in western Kanagawa Prefecture, and is easily accessible from Tokyo.
You can take the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station (about 90 minutes).
Or take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station, and then take the Hakone Tozan Railway from Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station (about 55 minutes).
There are 17 types of hot springs in Hakone
The area is located at the base of the Mt. Hakone volcano
Lake Ashinoko formed as a result of Mt. Hakone's last volcanic eruption 3,000 years ago
Hot springs in operation for hundreds of years
Hakone is made up of seven hot spring resorts, one of which is Miyanoshita, which began operating in the Edo period (1603-1867). Miyanoshita's Fujiya Hotel opened in 1878 to attract foreign visitors, thus increasing the popularity of the area. Many well-known celebrities, including John Lennon, have stayed at this hotel over the years. Like Hakone's other hot spring towns, the retro atmosphere of the town works in its favor.
Take a dip at a hot spring theme park
Another popular destination in Hakone is Hakone Kowakien Yunessun , a kind of hot spring theme park. Here, you can bathe in a host of hot spring baths-some somewhat unusual such as the coffee, red wine and green tea tubs. There are both swimsuit-friendly and non-clothed areas, making it great if you aren't quite ready to bare everything.
Pirate ships and lofty heights
The most iconic view in the area is arguably that of Mt Fuji from the southeastern shore of Lake Ashinoko . Take one of the sightseeing boat tours to explore and enjoy views from the lake. The pirate ship-shaped boats operated by Hakone Sightseeing Boats add a little extra fun to the experience.
Alternatively, ride the Hakone Tozan Railway through the area. Trains pass through dense forests and across bridges high up over picturesque gorges.
Visit a volcanic valley
Budget some time to visit Owakidani, a volcanic valley with active hot springs and sulfur vents. The scenery is surreal with volcanic gas and steam billowing up from all around.
If you can stomach the strong smell of sulfur and feel like a snack, you may want to try one of the black eggs sold in the valley. They are boiled and blackened by a chemical reaction in the hot springs. Eating one is said to prolong your life by seven years.
Japan's first open-air museum
Just a short walk from Chokoku-no-Mori Station is the Hakone Open-Air Museum . Spread over 70,000 square meters, this museum features over 100 sculptures by Japanese and international artists.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.