One of the exciting way to travel in Hakone is by the Tozan bus. Do the opposite route from Odawara to Moto-Hakone. Takes about 1hr through small towns along winding road with fantastic views. You can sometimes see the Old Tokkaido Trail used hundreds of years ago among the cedar lined trees. and mountains around it.
This is the part of the trip where we were sure that we would see Mt Fuji! At every moment we expected a break in the clouds...but it just wasn't to be. We got out at Owaku-dani to change cars ( we elected not to visit the 'pits' because of concern for the baby re the sulpher), only to discover that the second half of our cable car had become a bus (closed for maitenance), so our last hope was gone! It was probably for the best given my fear of heights (if I could see where I was going I probably wouldn't have got on in the first place!). So! If you do the Hakone 'loop', be prepared for dissapointment....you won't always get the views you expect! if all else fails, look at photo's other VT'ers have taken!
We did this as part of the Hakone 'loop'. (Train, funicular, cable-car,boat,hike/bus back to station). We caught the local train from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora and the funicular from there. The local train is a rattly old thing, but loads of fun for the kids. The funicular scared the pants off me (I have a fear of anything held up by a cable), but was an experience...the mountain is really steep! The trip is very pretty scenery-wise. We had a 'free pass' (see website below), so I don't know the cost on its own.
Lake Ashi is beautiful (even on a miserable day when you don't get to see Mt Fuji), and the pirate ships are a 'must do' if you have kids. They run in both directions across the lake between Hakone-machi and Togendai. One way cost is 970yen, or free if you have the Hakone Free Pass(see website below). We did the trip as part of the Hakone 'loop', (train, funicular, cable car, boat and hike/bus back to station), and it was a great day.
Beautiful scenery without a doubt, great for nature photography. When you've reached Owakudani you will smell that unmistakable stench of sulphur but climbing up the hill is really worth it! It's like watching the pools of witchcraft bubbling in the sulphuric pools... Be sure to stop by for some melon buns at the small shop before you go up.
Mount Fuji's 5th station during Autumn can get really cold even though it doesn't feel like it before you ascend... so bring some warm clothing. At the 5th station there's a little shop selling postcards with a postal service so you could write yourself a card from Mt Fuji and they'll mail it for you. :)
On a sunny, clear day Lake Ashi is gorgeous. Here is a photo of Mt. Fuji, taken aboard the lake cruise, peaking from behind the mountains. There is a nice cafe near Hotel de Yama which sits right on the lake with perfect views including a terrace. I didn't stay at the hotel but did walk through the lobby. It's quite beautiful. Check out the site:
Any guided trip through the Hakone region will include a long distance view of this castle, a reproduction of a building built in the 1400's and for a period of perhaps 100 years occupied by one of the ruling clans of Japan. With the rise of Edo (Tokyo) these lesser castles and the owners lost improtance. At one point, the Japanese government destroyed all the castles but many including this one were rebuilt after WWII to emphasize Japanese history and culture. For those on longer stays, the castle houses a museum.
The crater formed when Mt. Hakone last erupted 3 centuries ago still emits hot vapors and sulphurous fumes, creating a scene that might be drawn from Tolkein's Mordor. Steam rises from the rivers flowing through this area.
This elongated lake developed about 3000 years ago during the last volcanic eruption of Mt. Hakone. Extremely scenic, it is lined by dense forests, shrines, and luxury hotels and crisscrossed by passenger ferries, some oddly decorated as pirate ships. It is also popular with fishermen. These photos give an idea of how pretty the lake is. On clear days, which are not frequent, views of Mt. Fuji are supposed to be beautiful but we didn't see any.
Lake Ashi is formed by an ancient volcanic caldera. Sightseeing cruise boats which resemble pirate ships cross the lake in a north-south direction in both directions regularly and takes about 30 minutes. On a cold winter day in 2005, I took the southbound boat from Togendai to Hakonemachi. Along the way, you will pass by a Shinto shrine on the south-eastern side of the lake. The sights along the way were breath-taking. I braved the cold and remained on the deck throughout the cruise.
The premier attraction in this city is the Great Buddha, housed on the grounds of the Kotokuin Temple. This bronze statue of the Amida Buddha was cast in 1252 and is about 40 feet high and weighing well over 100 tons. In this century, earthquake protection reconstruction was made allowing the body to move freely on the base. It is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan and has been exposed to the outside elements since a surrounding temple was washed away by a tidal wave in the late 15th Century.
This is a museum of sculpture set in some beautiful lawned gardens. Sound boring? It isn't - even the kids will love this as there are so many massive works, mainly of a modern bent - even giant perspect tubes that the kids can play in.
Some really impressive Henry Moore works and a very nice Picasso exhibition.
The valley is actually near the top of a mountian and is a volcano that colapsed a long time ago. The result is an area of mountain side covered with thermal vents that produce a lot of steam and boiling water on the surface. There are walkways through the area that allow you to safely stroll around and take it all in. At the top there is a small kiosk selling hard boiled eggs cooked in a nearby boiling pool of water that come out black (500 Yen for 6).
The Owakudani valley is on the main Hakone circular tour and can get very busy at weekends and during holidays. Also it can get very windy up there and when we were there they had to shut half the cable cars down.
An amusement park, featuring Fujiyama, one of the world's highest roller coasters.
Open since 1961.
The site of this park pales in comparison to nearby Mt. Fuji. The 124-acre park has 33 rides, 9 restaurants, 12 snack bars, 17 tennis courts, and 20 bowling alleys.
The highest stand 79m,highest speed 130km/h, the whole ride takes about 3.36minutes. The length is 2045m. Entrance fees is 1000yen/ride.
I can't even walk nearby....scary!!! How bout you?
The Japan highest mountain of 3776m above sea level. This is a landmark of Japan which will never miss by most tourist. The beauty of the shape is just like a lady's skirt. The peak is changing color from season to season.I think most of us knew why...When getting closer to the peak, the plants are actually getting sorter and when you reach the peak is actually no plants at all. Most the Japanese can explain. There is also some stories behind this landmark!