Hakone Travel Guide

  • Abekawa Rice Cake
    Abekawa Rice Cake
    by taigaa001
  • Yosegi Puzzle Boxes at Owakudani Shop
    Yosegi Puzzle Boxes at Owakudani Shop
    by taigaa001
  • Watermelon Manju from Tokyo-3?
    Watermelon Manju from Tokyo-3?
    by taigaa001

Hakone Highlights

  • Pro
    manuelEB profile photo

    manuelEB says…

     Beautiful scenary 

  • Con
    crazyguitar profile photo

    crazyguitar says…

     Are you kidding? 

  • In a nutshell
    toonsarah profile photo

    toonsarah says…

     Feels like the "real Japan" - whatever that is! 

Hakone Things to Do

  • Hakone Open Air Museum

    Even if you don't have any special interest in modern art or in sculpture, which is the focus for this museum, it is still worth coming here for the marvellous setting. Works by Henry Moore, Picasso, Antony Gormley, Rodin, Miro, Giocometti and many others are beautifully displayed around the grounds, each one positioned in a spot carefully chosen...

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  • Owakudani Hot Springs

    This was one of my favourite of the places we visited in Japan, and along with the Open Air Museum, my top Hakone experience. When you alight from your cable car at Owakudani you find yourself in a large, modern facility with shops, cafės etc. But look out of the large picture window and you will a scene that seems to be from another world....

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  • Lake Ashi

    This beautiful lake, also known as Ashinoko, lies about 720 metres above sea level and is surrounded by mountains, including the iconic Mount Fuji. It has an area of seven square kilometres and is19 kilometres in circumference, making it the largest lake in this area. It is a crater lake lying along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount...

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  • Hakone Checkpoint

    In Hakone-Machi you can visit this reconstruction of a checkpoint on the Tōkaidō Way, the old highway which linked Tokyo with Kyoto during the feudal Edo Period. This was the most important of the highways, and connected Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto. At intervals there were checkpoints like this one, known as sekisho, where travellers...

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  • On the Tōkaidō Way

    The Tōkaidō was the most important of the Five Routes or highways during the Edo period, and connected Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto. Tōkaidō means East Sea Road – this was a coastal route along the sea coast of eastern Honshū (there was also a less well-travelled inland route).The name lives on today in the Shinkansen...

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  • Hakone Western Slope

    Hakone Nishizaka(Western Slope) is the section of Tokaido trail between Hakone Barrier and Mishima Taisha Shrine. Usually hikers use western slope as a downhill trail from Hakone Barrier to Mishima because uphill trail from Mishima has some steep slopes. One of the most popular stops-by of this trail is Yamanaka Castle (Yamanaka Fort) with artistic...

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  • How to use hot spring baths ??

    Hakone Palace Hotel's Spa-area is situated on the first floor and separated for men and women.Your Yakuta (bathrobe) and slippers are already prepared in your hotel-room.On the first floor you have to take care to find the right gender-specific entrance. You enter a room, where you should undress (totally), and deposit your Yakuta , underwear and...

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  • Lake Ashi

    A deep blue lake formed by an ancient volcano 400 thousand years ago. Nowadays, it offers boating and fishing for the many Japanese that flock here on weekends.If you travel with the Hakone Freepass, there are cruise ships built like pirate ships that ply between the villages along the 20 km shoreline.On a good day, the lake offers breathtaking...

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  • Hakone Rope Way

    From Odawara Station their is Odakyu Travel Services sales office you can buy "Hakone Free Pass" a roundtrip pass and you have the flexibility of six types of transportation in the area and offers unlimited boarding pass, you saved money, line up and hassle. And they give you brouchure and map..I recommend to start early in the morning because the...

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  • Lake Ashi

    This is a scenic lake in the area of Hakone.It is a crater lake and it is very popular for its view of Mt. Fuji, but I was not so luky to get such a view as I met a cloudy day.If you are interested in the various views that the lake can offer, you can take one of the many boat tours around the lake, we did not have time to do that, but could notice...

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  • Hot Spring

    When my friend told me that we were coming here to enjoy hot spring, I did not even know what hot spring is, and now I know it's a sort of thermal baths.This kind of resort in Japan are near volcanos as those waters have told to be healthy for the body.I enjoyed hot spring baths in Tokyu harvest club where we slept but almos any hotel in Hakone has...

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  • Owakudani

    This active crater is worth the trouble of multiple transport links to get there. A great, steaming mountain shrouded in sulfurous mist. Be sure to buy some eggs boiled black in the hellish waters. They add 7 years to your life. Really.

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Hakone Hotels

See all 8 Hotels in Hakone

Hakone Restaurants

  • Family-run, great value

    On Andrew's recommendation we all headed to Daichi for our first dinner in the Hakone region. With 14 in our group we had to pre-order but that wasn't a problem as the guest house where we were staying had menus (in English, with photos) for us to consult. We all chose from the various set dinners. I had the ginger pork (the meat is thinly sliced...

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  • Great noodles

    We stopped for lunch in this small restaurant in Hakone-Machi. There was a good selection of dishes and the menu was thankfully in English and with illustrations. Many of the dishes were noodle ones and I chose one of these – soba noodles in a soup with seaweed. Chris had the curry rice, a popular Japanese take on that Indian staple with a simple...

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  • The experience is everything!

    We all ate here together on our second evening in Hakone. The restaurant is some way out of the village of Sengokuhara but they will collect you from and drive you back to your hotel, with prior reservation (arranged through your hotel). The setting is lovely, with a pretty Zen garden. We ate in the first floor area, where the seating is that...

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Hakone Transportation

  • Getting to Hakone

    To get to Hakone from our hotel in Asakusa we first took the subway (Ginza line) to Ueno, then the JR train to Tokyo station. Here we boarded a bullet train to Odawara (about 30 minutes).From here we took the bus, using our Hakone Free Pass (see below). The ride to Sengokuhara took about 50 minutes, with lots of stops, climbing gradually. We...

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  • Buses

    We took quite a few buses while staying in this area. The most useful services seemed to be the T, which we took from and to Odewara (and in the evening when going out for dinner at Daichi, just a few stops away), and the S which we caught to Gora (for the funicular) and to the Open Air Museum. Buses run relatively frequently for a rural area - I...

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  • Hakone's "rope ways"

    The Hakone rope way is a cable car system that links Gora to some of the main sights including Owakudani Hot Springs and Togendai on Lake Ashi. We took our first one from Sounzan at the upper terminus of the funicular railway to the springs, and after visiting there changed to the other to descend to the lake. The cars are modern and comfortable,...

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Hakone Shopping

See all 6 Shopping in Hakone
  • "We love Lawson's!"

    To satisfy late night snack cravings or indeed at any time of day, head to Lawson's. We found the one in Senkyoro, almost opposite the Fuji Hakone Guest House, to be the ideal spot to pick up dessert and/or a drink to enjoy while relaxing in the lounge after dinner. They have some things you will recognise from home (a good range of Hagen Dazs ice...

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  • Buying Shizuoka Souvenirs in Hakone

    When I was browsing for souvenirs in Hakone Owakunani Ropeway shop, I was surprised to find Shizuoka souvenirs there. Photo #1 is ABEKAWA MOCHI or Abekawa Rice Cake. It is a rice cake sprinkled with kinako or soybean flour.#2 and #3 is Kokko, a steamed cake with milk creams inside. Kokko also has other variation such as green tea kokko using...

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  • Souvenir goods with Evengelion...

    In the souvenir shop at Hakone Ropeway Owakudani station, you will find some of animation characters such as Hello Kitty and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most popular Japanese robot animation series in 1995 and the newer film editions has been released up to the third of the four-movie series. One of the main...

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Hakone Local Customs

  • Kuro-tamago: black eggs

    This is really a must-do while at Owakudani Hot Springs. At the point where the path divides to make a loop around the geysers there is a small hut and in one of the pools nearby a man is, yes, he is boiling eggs! Make sure you buy one of these at the hut, as eating one is said to add seven years to your life! They look black but are just ordinary...

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  • Himitsu-Bako and Yosegi Zaiku

    After lunch Andrew suggested that we visit a shop where a craftsman would demonstrate how Hakone’s famous secret boxes are made. As we approached the shop and entered I was anticipating the all too common “quick demo then hard sell to the gullible tourists” that we have experienced in some other places, but this was much more than that – we saw a...

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  • Koto music and kimono

    When staying in the Fuji-Hakone Guesthouse we had the opportunity to hear some traditional music played on the koto. This is a traditional stringed instrument, played horizontally on the floor. The 13 strings sit on moveable bridges which can be adjusted to change the pitch.Our hostess had invited a local woman, a retired teacher who has been...

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Hakone Tourist Traps

  • Fabanna's Profile Photo
    the castle

    by Fabanna Written Mar 11, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although it's written in many guides, this ancient castel is really nothing exciting. It is also surrounded by a small and very sad and dirty zoo. Not recommended at all

    Unique Suggestions: have a walk around the park

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

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Hakone What to Pack

  • AusPinay's Profile Photo
    Layering is standard for trips like this 1 more image

    by AusPinay Written Apr 21, 2008

    Luggage and bags: You need a handy backpack, something not heavy but big enough to keep your coat/jacket as the trip to Hakone/Mt. Fuji will have all sorts of weather especially in spring. We were there mid-April and it was overcast and rainy at one point, then sunny and hot after a few hours. Then it was cold again during our pirate boat ride.

    Many people were caught out with thin clothing and were shivering during the boat trip. They had to stay in the cabins most of the time and missed out on some good views around the lake!

    The backpack is also good for taking small snacks like pastries, bread, cookies, etc. as lunch is not till 1:30 pm and the trip starts around 9 am. If you got picked up much earlier than that then it will be a while before having a real meal again.

    The bags we took were also useful for souvenirs as we opted to take the speed train back to Tokyo.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Of course good walking shoes are always best in trips outdoors. Though there was the sky gondola ride and boat rip, you still have o do a lot of walking especially around the Visitor's Centre at Hakone as it has a huge reserve/park and lots of ground to cover.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It is a good idea to pack a small first aid kit for small accidents l- band-aid, little ointment/disinfectant, etc.

    Photo Equipment: Cameras - digital or not are a must

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Out door gear is highly recommended- especially wind breakers as it could be windy during the cruise and the trek to the mountain/Valley of Hell.

    Layering is the standard here for clothing- meaning you just remove a layer of clothing depending on the prevailign weather, then add a jacket or coat one the climate gets colder again.

    Take also scarves and beanies for your family.

    Miscellaneous: The Gray Line Company is the main organiser of the Hakone/Mt. Fuji day tours. Other companies also use them aside from the hotels in case you book through your hotel. You pay them directly. The hotel only rings them for you.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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Hakone Off The Beaten Path

  • Owakudani

    Owakudani is the area around the craters created during the last eruption of Hakone Volcano.This is an area where you enjoy hot springs, sulphureous fumes.This area is about 40 minuts by car from the town of Hakone, you can have a walk around, and, with 10 minuts walk you can reach an area with bubbling boiling pools where you can cook eggs that...

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  • Pampas Grass Plain

    As you take the bus up from Moto Hakone to Ashiniko, you'll pass by a hillock of pampas grass.The trek to the peak can be muddy and discouraging, but standing in the midst of the windy plains with swaying, yellow grass as tall as yourself is an experience in itself.

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  • Hakone Hotels

    8 Hotels in Hakone

    141 Reviews and Opinions

Hakone Favorites

  • Hakone Freepass

    This is a great buy if you plan to spend any time at all travelling around the Hakone area. You can buy a pass for two or three days (our three day one cost 4,400¥ from Odawara while a two day one is currently (October 2013) 3,900¥) and use it for free travel on all the varied forms of local transport – local trains, buses, the funicular railway,...

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  • Mount Fuji

    There is no more recognised symbol of Japan than Mount Fuji, and every visitor to the country hopes to see this iconic volcano, so perfectly conical in shape, just as a child would draw one. But the weather in this region (indeed in most of Japan) is not especially reliable, and own many days Fuji is shrouded in cloud. For several days before our...

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  • Be happy. Smile

    Hakone is, yes, a crowded spot. Where in Japan is not crowded? Still it has an intriguing appeal to the visitor. Expectations are usually meet if you do not ask for too much. In this trip, nevertheless, I had learnt about the lack of discipline in my family. Gone are the days when I said "smile!" and every one did it in a perfect sincrony. It took...

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Explore Deeper into Hakone
Funicular from Gora to Sounzan
Transportation
Cruise on a pirate ship!
Transportation
Yosegi Puzzle Boxes
Shopping
Hakone Free 3 Day Pass
Transportation
Hakone Ropeway
Transportation
Hakone Tozan bus
Transportation
Pirate sightseeing boat
Transportation
EXQUISITE JAPANESE ARTS AND CRAFTS
Shopping
Hard boiled eggs cooked in hot spring water
Restaurants
Just Walk!
Things to Do
Romance Car
Transportation
TAKING THE SPEED TRAIN FROM HAKONE
Transportation
Begonia Garden
Things to Do
Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History
Things to Do
YUMMY FOOD WITH SCENIC VIEWS
Restaurants
Bus from Odawara to Moto-Hakone
Things to Do
Soun-zan Cable Car (Hakone Loop Part 2)
Things to Do
Funicular up the Mountain (Hakone Loop Part 1)
Things to Do
Lake Ashi Pirate Ships! (Hakone Loop Part 3)
Things to Do
Sight seeing ship
Things to Do
My life has been extended!
Things to Do
What's that smell?
Things to Do
John Lennon stayed here
Things to Do
Owakudani and Mount Fuji
Things to Do
Fuji View on Lake Ashi & coffee at Hotel de Yama
Things to Do
Finding the station
Transportation
The shinkansen is awesome
Transportation
Sulphur Mountain
Things to Do
Odawara Castle (2 photos)
Things to Do
Owakudani Sulphur Springs (2 photos)
Things to Do
Lake Ashinoko ( 5 photos)
Things to Do
A short visit to hell
Things to Do
Hakone Free Pass gives you all of Hakone
Transportation
Idyllic Lake Ashi
Things to Do
The Carp
Local Customs
the torii
Local Customs
The Great Buddha of Kamakura (4 photos)
Things to Do
Hakone Open Air Museum
Things to Do
Owakudani Valley
Things to Do
Well Endowed Hedgehogs Prevail
Local Customs
Map of Hakone

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