18 of the Best things to do in Hakone


2019.06.26

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Hakone is one of the most sought-after weekend getaway destinations for busy Tokyo residents wanting to relax in an onsen (hot spring) with beautiful mountains in the background. However, Hakone is more than just an onsen town. There are many attractions, including Mt. Fuji views, modern art museums, and nature parks, just to name a few. Here's a list of the best things you can do in Hakone to help you plan your trip.

  • 01

    Plan your journey from Tokyo to Hakone

    Plan your journey from Tokyo to Hakone

    Plan your journey from Tokyo to Hakone

    If you have the JR (Japan Rail) Pass , you can take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen "Kodama" from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station, which takes less than 40 minute. Then change to the Hakone Tozan train for a 15 minute journey and get off at Hakone-Yumoto Station. It’s necessary to purchase a separate ticket as this journey is not covered by the JR Pass.

    If you prefer to travel direct to Hakone, you can take the Odakyu Limited Express Romancecar from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station in 73 minute (fast route). Alternatively, you can either take the Keikyu bus or Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus straight from Haneda Airport to Hakone-Yumoto Station, which takes about 140min.

    【URL】http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/about_jrp.html

    Plan your journey from Tokyo to Hakone

    Plan your journey from Tokyo to Hakone

  • 02

    Getting around Hakone

    Getting around Hakone

    Getting around Hakone

    There are two main ways to get your sightseeing done in Hakone. The Hakone Tozan Train is a mountain railway line that offers a scenic ride. The Hakone Tozan Bus offers direct access to major destinations jn Hakone and fares can be paid using the Suica or Pasmo smart card.

    If you are staying in Hakone for a few days, get the Hakone Free Pass at Shinjuku Station, which provides unlimited use of buses, trains, and many other forms of transportation in the area, as well as a discounted round trip to Hakone.

    【URL】https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/en/

    Getting around Hakone

    Getting around Hakone

    Getting around Hakone

    Getting around Hakone

  • 03

    Try the local delicacies at Ekimae Shotengai (shopping arcade)

    Kikukawa Shoten

    Kikukawa Shoten

    When you exit Hakone-Yumoto Station, take time to stop at Kikukawa Shoten. At this retro-style souvenir shop, you should buy Hakone Manju, a mix between a Western sponge cake and Japanese buns that are filled with a sweet, white bean paste.

    If you want a quick yet tasty lunch before setting out on your sightseeing, Yama Soba is a good option. Here, you can enjoy crispy and flavorful shrimp tendon (deep fried shrimp served over rice), which is so large you will marvel at its size.

    Kikukawa Shoten

    Kikukawa Shoten

    菊川商店
    place
    神奈川県足柄下郡箱根町湯本706
    phone
    0460855036
    no image
    山そば
    place
    神奈川県足柄下郡箱根町湯本704
    phone
    0460857889
    no image
  • 04

    Zip line at Forest Adventure Hakone

    Zip line

    Zip line

    Forest Adventure Hakone is an amusement park in the woods where you can test your fitness and agility in the most exciting way. They offer a free shuttle service from Hakone-Yumoto Station, which only takes three minutes. Alternatively, if you want to stretch your legs before the adventure, you can take a 10-minute walk along the hilly road from the station.

    Once you get there, challenge yourself on the obstacle courses up in the trees and take a zip line through the beautiful forest canopy.

    【URL】https://foret-aventure.jp/eng/

    Forest Adventure Hakone

    Forest Adventure Hakone

    Forest Adventure Hakone
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Yumoto Tea flower 749-1
    phone
    08042192206
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00 (Last entry Hours…
  • 05

    Hakone Yuryo: A comfortable and easily accessible onsen near Hakone-Yumoto Station

    Hakone Yuryo

    Hakone Yuryo

    Dreaming of going to an onsen in Japan but not used to getting naked in a public setting? If so, you can opt for a private onsen at Hakone Yuryo. This onsen complex consists of a large communal bath, 19 private open-air baths, a sauna, massage facilities, and a restaurant.

    They provide a 3-minute free bus ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station or you can enjoy a 15-minute walk to earn your relaxing onsen experience. For the private baths, be sure to make a reservation online to secure your spot.

    【URL】http://www.hakoneyuryo.jp/english/

    Hakone Yuryo

    Hakone Yuryo

    Hakone Yuryo (hot spring resort)
    place
    Kanagawa prefecture Ashigarashimo-gun Hakone machi Tosanosawa 4
    phone
    0460858411
    opening-hour
    [Weekday] 10:00-21:00[Saturd…
  • 06

    Fukazawa Zeniarai Benten Shrine and Hibusekannon Temple

    wash your money

    wash your money

    Tonosawa Station is one of the railway stations on the Hakone Tozan Line. Here, you can visit two well-kept secrets: Fukazawa Zeniarai Benten and Hibusekannon. The legend of Zeniarai Benten states that if you wash your money in its water, then it will multiply.

    Hibusekannon, on the other hand, is dedicated to the god of fire. Whether or not you believe in these deities, it doesn't hurt to explore this serene spot.

    深沢銭洗弁財天
    place
    神奈川県足柄下郡箱根町塔之澤
    phone
    0460855700
  • 07

    Visit Fujiya Hotel, one of the oldest hotel resorts in Japan

    Fujiya Hotel

    Fujiya Hotel

    Since it opened in 1878, Fujiya Hotel has served a variety of well-known visitors, such as Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller, and John Lennon, to name a few. This heritage hotel features Meiji-era architecture, which is a beautiful blend of Western and Japanese styles, and can be accessed by a 10 minute walk from Miyanoshita Station.

    Although it's currently undergoing renovation works until 2020, you can still visit its top-notch Japanese restaurants for lunch and dinner (dinner requires a reservation), as well as the bakery and private indoor bath (requires a reservation).

    【URL】https://www.fujiyahotel.jp/en/index.html

    Fujiya Hotel

    Fujiya Hotel

    Fujiya Hotel
    place
    359 Miyanoshita Hakone
    phone
    0460822211
  • 08

    Explore the family-friendly Hakone Open-Air Museum

    Hakone Open-Air Museum

    Hakone Open-Air Museum

    Hakone Open-Air Museum is 70,000 square meters in size and features more than 120 art works and sculptures by both Japanese and Western artists. The combination of sculptures backed by the scenic mountains and valleys creates a truly unforgettable experience for everyone, including families with small children, couples, art-enthusiasts and nature-lovers.


    There are lots of interactive facilities where children can play, many eye-catching sculptures, and even a foot bath for weary adults. The nearest station is Chokoku-no-mori and the museum is just a 2 minute walk from there.

    【URL】https://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/about/?id=4

    Hakone Open-Air Museum

    Hakone Open-Air Museum

    Hakone Open-Air Museum

    Hakone Open-Air Museum

    The Hakone Open-Air Museum
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Ninotaira 1121
    phone
    0460821161
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00 (Last admission 3…
  • 09

    Indulge to your heart's content at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

    Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

    Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

    If you are looking to try various types of onsen where you can bathe in a swimsuit, then Yunessan is for you. You can access this onsen amusement park via its free shuttle bus (approximately a 10 minute ride) from Gora Station.

    One of the most popular things to do here is to try its quirky drink-themed baths, including red wine, green tea, coffee, and sake, all of which are said to be good for the skin. You can rent swimsuits and towels for a small fee if needed.

    【URL】https://www.yunessun.com/en/

    Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

    Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

    Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Inn
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Ninotaira 1297
    phone
    0460824126
    opening-hour
    [Yunessan (Wednesday bathing…
  • 10

    Feast your eyes on fine East Asian art at Okada Museum of Art

    Okada Museum

    Okada Museum

    The Okada Museum of Art is a privately-owned museum that exhibits an extensive collection of Japanese Edo-period silk screens, East Asian ceramics and sculptures. The museum can be accessed by either the Izu-Hakone bus or the Hakone-Tozan bus from Kowakudani Station.

    Outside the main building, you can stop at the foot bath cafe where you can order drinks or sweets and gaze at a magnificent Japanese-style mural titled "Wind/Time" by Fukui Kotaro. Those looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs or something special for themselves can stop at the museum shop and buy luxury chocolates with well-known Japanese artworks printed on them.

    【URL】https://www.okada-museum.com/en/

    Okada Museum

    Okada Museum

    Okada Museum of Art
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Kowakudani 493-1
    phone
    0460873931
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00(Latest entry16:30…
  • 11

    Stroll around the Hakone Gora Park

    Hakone Gora Park

    Hakone Gora Park

    The Hakone Gora Park can be accessed from Gora Station by a five-minute walk. In this spacious, Western-style landscape park, you can enjoy various types of flowers and vegetation throughout the year, including cherry blossoms, wisteria, and roses.

    This park is also famous for its wide variety of experiences, such as tea ceremonies, Japanese pottery, and glass blowing workshops.

    【URL】https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/gorapark/en/

    Hakone Gora Park

    Hakone Gora Park

    Hakone Gora Park
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Goura 1300
    phone
    0460822825
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00(depending on the …
  • 12

    Visit the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Situated a 20-minute bus ride from Gora Station, the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum showcases a fine collection of Venetian glass art work. In addition to their indoor exhibitions, their crystal glass tunnel in the garden is a must see, especially on a sunny day. If you have time in the morning, visit the museum restaurant and order the crispy croissants for your breakfast (these can be purchased at the museum bakery too).

    【URL】http://www.hakone-garasunomori.jp/entrance/english/

    Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

    Hakone Grasunomori Museum (Hakone Venetian Glass Museum)
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Sengokuhara 940-48
    phone
    0460863111
    opening-hour
    10:00-17:30 (until 17:00 adm…
  • 13

    Visit the Pola Museum of Art in the forest

    Pola Museum

    Pola Museum

    The Pola Museum of Art (which can be accessed by bus from Gora Station) features an extensive collection of French Impressionist works and Japanese paintings, as well as various glasswork and ceramics. With the intention of preserving harmony with the surrounding natural environment, the majority of the museum building is located underground. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful curation of its fine arts, as well as its proximity to natural scenery.

    【URL】https://www.polamuseum.or.jp/english/

    Pola Museum

    Pola Museum

    Pola Museum

    Pola Museum

    Pola Museum of Art
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Sengokuhara Ozukayama 1285
    phone
    0460842111
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00 (until 16:30 admi…
  • 14

    Appreciate local flowers and plants in the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands

    Hakone Botanical Garden

    Hakone Botanical Garden

    Sengokuhara is one of the most popular destinations in Hakone for its museums and resorts but you can also find some of Hakone's best outdoor activities too.

    Take a Hakone Tozan bus from Hakone-Yumoto Station for approximately 30 minutes and you will find yourself in the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands. Enjoy a stroll through the gardens to see many seasonal Japanese flowers and plants, including iris, primrose, and daylily.

    Hakone Botanical Garden

    Hakone Botanical Garden

    Sengokuhara Marsh
    place
    Kanagawa Ashigarashimo-gun Hakonemachi Sengokuhara
    phone
    0460843500
  • 15

    Admire the shiny Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields

    Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields

    Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields

    If you are planning a visit to Hakone between late September and early November, you can't miss the Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields. They only take a few minutes to reach from the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands.

    The swaying, shining golden pampas (some of which might be as tall as you are) will greet you as you walk into the fields.

    Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields

    Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields

    仙石原ススキ草原
    place
    神奈川県足柄下郡箱根町仙石原
    no image
  • 16

    Feel the power of nature in Owakudani

    Owakudan

    Owakudan

    Owakudani (which translates as the “Great Boiling Valley”) is an active volcanic zone created during the last eruption of Mount Hakone more than 3,000 years ago. Here, a sulphuric steam hissing out from the vents wraps around your nose.

    You can access Owakudani from Togendai Station along the Hakone Ropeway (as of 20 June 2019 it is temporarily out of service due to the high volcanic alert level) and enjoy views of Mt. Fuji on sunny days. Don’t miss the opportunity to eat a black egg here, which is said to prolong your life by seven years.

    Japan Meteorological Agency | Volcanic Warnings

    【URL】http://www.owakudani.com/index_e

    Owakudan

    Owakudan

    Black egg

    Black egg

    Owakudani
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Sengokuhara 1251
    phone
    0460849605
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00
    Owakudani
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Sengokuhara 1251
    phone
    0460849605
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00
  • 17

    Take a pirate cruise at Lake Ashi with Mt. Fuji in the background

    Lake Ashi with Mt. Fuji

    Lake Ashi with Mt. Fuji

    Lake Ashi, a crater lake that formed around the caldera of Mount Hakone, is best observed from Hakone Kankosen’s eye-catching pirate ships.

    On this leisurely boat tour, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Ashi with Mt. Fuji standing graciously in the background. Depending on the weather, you can even capture the reflection of Mt. Fuji on the lake.

    There are three boat docks in the area where you can join the tour: Hakonemachi-ko, Motohakone-ko, and Togendai-ko.

    【URL】https://www.hakone-kankosen.co.jp/foreign/en/

    Pirate ships

    Pirate ships

    Lake Ashi
    place
    Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture Hakone-machi
  • 18

    Visit the Hakone Shrine and Kuzuryu-jinja Shingu Shrine

    Hakone Shrine

    Hakone Shrine

    The Hakone Shrine is situated at the foot of Mount Hakone along the expansive shores of Lake Ashi. Most of the buildings are hidden in the dense and tranquil forest, except for the iconic torii (a red gate found at Japanese Shinto shrines) that stands prominently on the surface of Lake Ashi. This shrine is 10 minutes from Motohakone-ko, one of the boat piers in the area.

    The Kuzuryu-jinja Shingu Shrine is part of the Hakone Shrine and dedicated to the nine-headed dragon god that lives in the lake. This shrine is said to bring luck in match making, so many Japanese singles visit here in search of a life-long partner.

    Hakone Shrine

    Hakone Shrine

    Kuzuryu-jinja Shingu Shrine

    Kuzuryu-jinja Shingu Shrine

    Hakone-jinja Shrine
    place
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Motohakone 80-1
    phone
    0460837123
    opening-hour
    Open 24 hours [Treasure Hall…

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