Hakone, 1 hour 30 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, is known for its hot springs. The city is perched in the beautiful mountainous region where the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is located. The Chokoku-no-mori Museum is one of the most interesting places to visit. It exhibits hundreds of outdoor sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries, created by Japanese and Western artists. Gora, located one stop on the Hakone Tozan Line, is the center of the Hakone region. The cable car that passes through Sounzan will take you to Owakudani, called the “Great Fiery Valley”, where jets of water vapor and sulfur erupt from hidden crevices in the rock.
From Togendai, you can relax by taking a cruise on Lake Ashinoko, which offers stunning views of Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji, at 3,776 meters of altitude, is the highest mountain in Japan and also the main symbol of the country. A walk out of the city of Hakonemachi along Cedar Avenue will take you to the old Hakone Barrier. This checkpoint guaranteed the security of the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), then the capital of the shogunate. Here you will also be able to consult the relics and historical documents made available to you.
Places to visit
Hakone Yumoto Spa is the gateway to the Hakone onsen region. This is the oldest in the area, at the confluence of the Sukumo and Hayakawa rivers, which are born in Lake Ashi. Throughout the gorge, there are many picturesque and peaceful lodges scattered.
- 1 hour 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station by Limited Express train on the Odakyu Railways line.
Miyanoshita is one of the most appreciated spas in the region, with excellent quality hotels and hostels and souvenir shops. Japan’s first resort hotel, Hotel Fujiya, was opened here in 1878, a striking mix of Western and Japanese styles. This station is particularly popular with foreign visitors, to the point that many signs and signs are in English. It is a good starting point for excursions to Lake Ashi, Gora Spa or Sengokuhara plain.
- 25 minutes from Hakone Yumoto Station.
This park is the largest rock park in all of Asia, with a giant pond and specific gardens, such as an alpine plant garden or a tropical botanical garden, and even a natural history museum.
The village of Gora is the starting point of the funicular to Mount Sounzan.
- 5 minute walk from Gora station.
The “Great Burning Valley” juts into the ancient crater of Mount Kamiyama. The smell of sulfur fumes pervades the entire throat. Clouds of steam emanate from crevices and hot water fountains gurgle, forming, with Mount Fuji in the background, an exceptional otherworldly landscape.
5 to 7 minutes on the Souzan cable car.
This large lake, with a circumference of 21 km and located 725 meters above sea level, is one of the main attractions of Hakone. It is a very precious destination for fishing or sport sailing. It is also known for mirroring Mount Fuji on clear days. Some ships offer cruises between Togendai or Kojiri and Moto-Hakone or Hakone-machi, sometimes with a stop at Hakone-en park.
- Hakone Kankosen Boat
Departures every 40 minutes from March 20 to November 23, every 50 minutes from November 24 to March 19. Service: Togendai, Hakone-machi and Moto-Hakone.
Schedules and prices detailed on the site: http: //www.hakone-kankosen.co.jp/foreign/en/
Included in Hakone Freepass and Fuji Hakone Pass.
Izu Hakone Senpaku Boat
Departures every 30 to 50 minutes. Service: Kojiri, Hakone-en, Hakone Sekishoato and Moto-Hakone.
Detailed hours and prices (Japanese only): http: //www.izuhakone.co.jp/senpaku/hakone/index.htm
The Hakone Open Air Museum features 700 sculptures by Japanese and Western artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, including some twenty works by Henry Moore. More than 200 works by Picasso are exhibited in a pavilion.
- 2 minute walk from Chokoku-no-mori station on the Hakone-Tozan line.
Hakone Museum of Fine Arts
This museum presents a collection of Japanese ceramics and porcelains from the Jomon period to the Edo period. There is also a bamboo and moss garden.
- 10 minute walk from Gora station.
Narukawa Museum of Fine Arts
A unique museum displaying modern and contemporary Japanese-style (nihonga) paintings. From a 50 meter window you have an impressive panoramic view of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji.
- 2 minute walk from Moto-Hakone Pier or Moto-Hakone bus stop.