Situated within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, this serene resort town is the perfect counter to Tokyo’s hustle and bustle.
This is one of the very best places in Japan for views of famous Mount Fuji; whether you’re relaxing in a hot spring, taking a sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashinoko, or enjoying the aerial views from the Hakone Ropeway.
Popular with Japanese and international visitors alike, Hakone is famous for its hot springs. There are over a dozen here, which provide fresh hot water to the many onsen (spa) and ryokan (Japanese inn) houses. One of the most iconic attractions is the Hakone Shrine and accompanying magnificent torii gates. While another not-to-be-missed sight is the huge field of silvery pampas grass at Sengokuhara.
Visit Owakudani, a crater caused by the eruption of Mount Hakone over 3,000 years ago; today the area is still volcanically active, filled with sulphurous gases, hot springs and rivers. Adventurous guests can try sulfur-blackened eggs, cooked naturally in the thermal water! The breathtaking Lake Ashinoko was also formed by the volcanic event and is best explored by sightseeing cruise.
Many of Hakone’s main attractions are accessible by the Tozan Railway, which climbs the steepest rails in the country, and offers expansive views out over the valley and Hayakawa River. At Kowakidani Station you can visit Hakone Kowakien Ynessun, the hot spring theme park and public bath; while at Chokoku-no-Mori Station you’ll find the Hakone Open Air Museum, home to outdoor sculptures and the Picasso Pavilion. The Tozan Railway terminates at Gora, where nearby attractions include the Hakone Museum of Art and Gora-Koen Park, where you can admire seasonal flora or try your hand at making pottery or blowing glass.
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