Nestled in the mountains southwest of Tokyo, Hakone offers the quintessential Japanese retreat with its stunning scenery, endless onsen hot spring baths, historic shrines, and a wealth of outdoor activities. Surrounded by lush forests, the lake-filled caldera formed by volcanoes provides breathtaking views of iconic Mount Fuji and natural serenity.
From soaking in thermal mineral waters to cruising scenic Lake Ashi, visiting museums showcasing art and culture, and hiking through pristine natural landscapes, there are endless possibilities for both relaxation and adventure in Hakone. Its abundance of natural wonders never ceases to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit.
Best Things to Do in Hakone
Hakone offers visitors gorgeous scenery, endless outdoor activities, and iconic cultural sites in the mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture. Known for its captivating views of Mount Fuji and as a center for hot spring bathing, Hakone has much to delight travelers. These 20 attractions provide the ultimate Hakone and a trip to Japan, an unforgettable experience.
One of the best things to do in Hakone is to visit Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), a picturesque crater lake nestled amidst the stunning Hakone mountains. Lake Ashi beckons to nature enthusiasts and photographers, offering a sanctuary adorned with lush greenery and showcasing breathtaking vistas of Mount Fuji on clear days. Take a leisurely boat cruise across the tranquil waters, or rent a paddleboat for a more active experience. Explore the lake’s shoreline trails, visit the historic Hakone Shrine, and soak in the serene atmosphere. Lake Ashi is a must-visit destination in Hakone, combining natural beauty, cultural significance, and unforgettable vistas.
Lake Ashi is a must-visit destination in Hakone, Japan, and ranks among the best things to do in the area. Located within the stunning Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, this picturesque lake offers breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding natural beauty. Visitors can embark on a scenic boat cruise across the tranquil waters, taking in the awe-inspiring landscapes.
Lake Ashi is also known for its hot spring resorts, offering travelers a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. After a day of exploring Hakone’s attractions, soaking in the soothing hot springs is the perfect way to unwind and recharge.
Additionally, Lake Ashi is surrounded by several notable attractions, including the Hakone Shrine and the Hakone Open-Air Museum, making it an ideal base for further exploration. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural experiences, or a peaceful retreat, a visit to Lake Ashi is an essential part of any Hakone itinerary.
Hakone Shrine is one of Hakone, Japan’s most revered and enchanting destinations. Nestled amidst the lush greenery and misty mountains, this Shinto shrine offers visitors a serene and spiritual retreat. As you approach the shrine, you’ll be greeted by a captivating path lined with vibrant torii gates, leading you deeper into the spiritual realm. The vibrant red gates contrast beautifully with the surrounding nature, creating a picturesque scene that is a photographer’s delight.
The main hall of Hakone Shrine, known as Hongu, showcases exquisite architectural details and intricate craftsmanship. As you step inside, you’ll be enveloped in tranquility. The scent of incense fills the air, and soft light filters through the windows, creating an ethereal atmosphere. Take a moment to pray or make a wish at the shrine, immersing yourself in the spiritual energy that permeates the space.
One of the highlights of Hakone Shrine is its picturesque location near the shores of Lake Ashi. The shrine offers stunning views of the serene lake, with the iconic Mount Fuji often gracing the backdrop on clear days. This combination of natural beauty and spiritual significance makes Hakone Shrine a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper connection with Hakone’s cultural heritage and awe-inspiring landscapes.
Hakone Gora Park
Hakone Gora Park is a delightful escape nestled in the heart of Hakone, Japan. This charming park is designed as a European garden and offers a tranquil and enchanting atmosphere. As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful landscape adorned with colorful flowers, lush greenery, and winding paths. Stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens and discover hidden corners, serene ponds, and picturesque bridges.
One of the highlights of Hakone Gora Park is its iconic French-style rose garden, which blooms with vibrant hues during the spring and summer months. The intoxicating fragrance of the roses fills the air, creating a sensory experience that captivates visitors. Sit on one of the benches and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings, or indulge in a leisurely picnic amidst nature’s embrace.
For those seeking a moment of tranquility, the park offers a soothing foot bath where you can soak your feet in warm, mineral-rich waters. The foot bath overlooks a peaceful stream, allowing you to unwind in the serene ambiance. Hakone Gora Park is a haven of beauty and relaxation, offering a perfect respite from bustling city life and a chance to reconnect with nature in a truly enchanting setting.
Hakone Yumoto Station
Hakone-Yumoto Station serves as the gateway to the captivating world of Hakone, Japan. This bustling transportation hub not only offers convenient access to the region but also provides a unique cultural experience in itself. As you step into the station, you’ll be greeted by a blend of traditional and modern architecture, showcasing the essence of Japanese design. Admire the intricate wooden details and the elegant roof that evokes a sense of history and charm.
Inside the station, you’ll find an array of shops, boutiques, and restaurants offering a taste of local cuisine and souvenirs. Indulge in a steaming bowl of Hakone’s famous hot spring eggs or pick up exquisite handicrafts to commemorate your visit. The station also serves as a starting point for the popular Hakone Tozan Railway. This scenic mountain train journey winds through picturesque landscapes, including panoramic views of the Hakone mountains and the iconic Switchback Railway.
As you explore Hakone-Yumoto Station, take a moment to observe the bustling activity and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. It’s a perfect opportunity to people-watch and soak in the dynamic energy of the region. Whether you’re arriving or departing, Hakone-Yumoto Station offers a unique and memorable experience that adds to the allure of your Hakone adventure.
Yoshiike Ryokan Garden
Yoshiike Ryokan Garden is a must-visit attraction and one of the best things to do in Hakone, Japan. As you enter, you’ll be greeted by meticulously manicured landscapes, lush greenery, and the soothing sounds of flowing water. Stroll along the meandering paths, admiring the vibrant seasonal flowers, moss-covered rocks, and traditional stone lanterns adorn the garden. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains further enhance the ambiance, creating a harmonious blend of nature and artistry. Whether you visit during cherry blossom season or autumn foliage, Yoshiike Ryokan Garden promises to captivate your senses and provide a serene retreat in the heart of Hakone.
The garden is an integral part of the Yoshiike Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn known for its warm hospitality and authentic cultural experience. After exploring the garden, you can indulge in a traditional tea ceremony or savor a delicious kaiseki meal with the freshest local ingredients.
The ryokan’s inviting atmosphere and attentive staff ensure a memorable stay, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich traditions of Japanese hospitality. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful moment of reflection, a cultural immersion, or simply a picturesque backdrop for stunning photographs, Yoshiike Ryokan Garden is a gem that should be noticed during your visit to Hakone.
Hakone Tozan railway
Embark on a breathtaking adventure through the mesmerizing landscapes of Hakone as you board the renowned Hakone Tozan Railway. This iconic attraction is an absolute must for travelers seeking a memorable experience. This mountain railway offers a unique and unforgettable experience as it winds its way up the steep slopes, passing through lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque villages. The train’s large windows provide panoramic views of the surrounding natural beauty, including glimpses of Mount Fuji on clear days.
The highlight of the Hakone Tozan Railway is undoubtedly the thrilling Switchback Railway section. This engineering marvel utilizes a series of switchbacks to navigate the steep terrain, allowing the train to ascend the mountain in a zigzag pattern. As the train makes its way up the slopes, passengers can marvel at the breathtaking vistas and feel a sense of adventure.
Along the journey, the Hakone Tozan Railway stops at various charming stations, each with its unique character and attractions. Begin your enchanting journey at the historic Hakone-Yumoto Station, the starting point of the railway that will transport you through the captivating landscapes of Hakone. This station holds a rich history, offering a glimpse into the past as you embark on your scenic adventure. The Hakone Tozan Railway is a must-do experience, providing not only transportation but also a memorable adventure through the captivating landscapes of Hakone.
Embark on a breathtaking aerial adventure by riding the Hakone Ropeway, one of the best things to do in Hakone, Japan. This scenic cable car journey takes you high above the picturesque Hakone mountains, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to stunning lush greenery, volcanic peaks, and the iconic Lake Ashi below.
The Hakone Ropeway consists of multiple stations, allowing you to hop on and off to explore different points of interest. At Owakudani Station, you can experience the otherworldly volcanic activity firsthand, with steam vents and sulfurous fumes creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The station also offers delicious local specialties, including black eggs boiled in the hot springs, which are said to add years to your life.
Continuing on the Hakone Ropeway, you’ll reach Togendai Station, located by Lake Ashi’s shores. From here, you can enjoy a leisurely boat cruise across the tranquil waters or simply soak in the breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. The Hakone Ropeway provides a thrilling and unforgettable experience, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty and immerse yourself in the unique wonders of Hakone.
Hot springs (Onsen)
Indulge in the ultimate relaxation experience by visiting the hot springs (onsen) in Hakone, one of the best things to do in the area. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hakone is renowned for its therapeutic hot springs. Immerse yourself in the healing waters and let the warmth envelop you, soothing your body and mind.
Hakone is renowned across Japan for its abundance of soothing hot spring baths, or onsen, thanks to the area’s volcanic geological activity. Many hotels, a place to stay, boast their own private onsen for guests to unwind in the warming, mineral-rich waters. There are also public bathing facilities like Tenzan Tōji-kyō, which has a variety of indoor and outdoor baths, saunas, and even stone baths. After a day of sightseeing, hiking, or exploring Hakone’s art museums, soaking in one of Hakone’s therapeutic onsen surrounded by picturesque mountains provides the perfect way to relax tired muscles and experience traditional Japanese bathing culture. Hakone’s natural thermal springs have attracted visitors for centuries, seeking the restorative powers of its waters.
After a day of exploring Hakone’s attractions, such as the Hakone Open-Air Museum or Hakone Shrine, a relaxing soak in the hot springs is the perfect way to unwind. Soak away your cares and let the healing properties of the onsen revitalize you. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, wellness benefits, or simply a unique cultural experience, a visit to the hot springs in Hakone is not to be missed. A visit to Hakone will not be complete without soaking in Hakone hot springs.
Hakone Open Air Museum of Art
A trip to Hakone will not be complete without visiting The Open-Air Hakone Museum of Art, which is a captivating destination that combines art appreciation with the beauty of nature. Located in the breathtaking landscapes of Hakone, Japan, this extraordinary museum is a haven for art enthusiasts. Set against a backdrop of scenic surroundings, the museum boasts a remarkable assortment of sculptures and artworks intricately showcased amidst lush gardens and picturesque landscapes. As you explore the museum’s grounds, you’ll discover a harmonious blend of artistic creations and natural elements, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere.
The museum features a diverse range of sculptures and installations, including works by renowned Japanese and international artists. From traditional stone sculptures to modern abstract pieces, each artwork is thoughtfully placed to interact with the surrounding environment. Stroll along the winding paths, cross quaint bridges, and take in the breathtaking views as you appreciate the fusion of art and nature.
One of the highlights of the Open-Air Hakone Museum of Art is its seasonal exhibitions, which showcase the changing beauty of the gardens and offer a different experience with each visit. Cherry blossoms in spring, vibrant foliage in autumn, and serene snowscapes in winter provide a stunning backdrop for the artwork. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply seeking a tranquil and contemplative experience, a visit to the Open-Air Hakone Museum of Art promises an immersive and captivating journey through art and nature.
Pola Museum Of Art
The Pola Museum of Art stands as a premier cultural destination in Hakone, Japan, offering a captivating journey through an extensive collection of fine art. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Hakone mountains, this modern museum showcases a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and glasswork. With its striking architecture and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, the museum itself is a work of art.
Inside the Pola Museum of Art, visitors can admire the masterpieces of both Japanese and Western artists. From traditional Japanese paintings to Impressionist works, the collection spans various artistic movements and periods. The museum’s carefully curated exhibits provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the beauty and depth of these artworks up close.
In addition to its impressive collection, the Pola Museum of Art also offers educational programs, workshops, and special exhibitions that delve deeper into the world of art. Visitors are invited to dive deep into the vibrant cultural scene, immersing themselves in the world of artists and unlocking valuable insights into their distinctive techniques and endless inspirations. A visit to the Pola Museum of Art is a must for art enthusiasts and anyone seeking a refined and enriching experience in Hakone.
Hakone Venetian Glass Museum
A visit to the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum is an enchanting experience that transports you to the romantic canals of Venice, Italy, right in the heart of Hakone, Japan. This unique museum showcases a stunning collection of Venetian glass art, offering a captivating blend of craftsmanship and beauty. As you explore the museum’s halls, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricate Hakone glass sculptures, delicate chandeliers, and vibrant glassware that adorn the displays.
The Hakone Venetian Glass Museum not only showcases exquisite glass art but also provides a deeper understanding of the Venetian glassmaking tradition. Visitors can witness live glassblowing demonstrations, where skilled artisans create intricate pieces right before their eyes. The museum also features a serene garden with beautiful glass installations, creating a serene and harmonious atmosphere.
One of the highlights of the museum is the Venetian Glass Gallery, showcasing a diverse range of glass art created by renowned Venetian artists. From delicate vases to ornate jewelry, each piece is a testament to the craftsmanship and artistic vision of its creator. A visit to the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum is a truly immersive and visually stunning experience, allowing you to appreciate the beauty and elegance of Venetian glass art in a unique setting.
Museum Of The Little Prince In Hakone
Step into the magical realm of The Little Prince at the Museum of The Little Prince in Hakone, Japan, and embark on a whimsical journey like no other. Inspired by the beloved novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, this museum offers a captivating and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Step into the magical realm of the Little Prince as you explore the museum’s exhibits, which beautifully bring the story to life through interactive displays, artwork, and installations.
The Museum of The Little Prince not only showcases the story itself but also delves into the life and works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, providing a deeper understanding of the author’s inspirations and philosophy. Visitors can admire original illustrations, manuscripts, and personal artifacts, gaining insights into the creative process behind this timeless tale. The museum also hosts special events, workshops, and screenings, allowing visitors to engage with the story in a hands-on and immersive way.
As you wander through the museum’s gardens, you’ll encounter sculptures and landscapes that evoke the spirit of The Little Prince. The serene surroundings and the charming atmosphere make for a truly enchanting experience. Whether you’re a fan of the book or simply seeking a delightful and imaginative adventure, a tour around the Museum of The Little Prince is a must-do activity in Hakone.
Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field
Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Hakone by visiting the Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field. This expansive field, located in the Sengokuhara region, offers a mesmerizing sight as the tall, golden pampas grass sways gently in the breeze. With the majestic backdrop of the Hakone mountains, this picturesque landscape is a must-visit attraction in the area.
The best time to witness the enchanting beauty of the Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field is during the autumn season when the grass turns a vibrant shade of gold. As you meander through the field, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and serenity, surrounded by the peaceful rustling of the grass and the captivating views of the surrounding nature.
In addition to the stunning visual spectacle, the Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Visitors can take leisurely walks or rent bicycles to explore the area, soaking in the natural splendor at their own pace. The field is also a popular spot for photography enthusiasts, who can capture the ethereal beauty of the landscape. A visit to the Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field is a rejuvenating and unforgettable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of Hakone.
Narukawa Art Forum
The Narukawa Art Forum stands as a captivating destination for art lovers in Hakone, Japan. Located on the shores of Lake Ashi, this contemporary art museum offers a unique blend of art, architecture, and natural beauty. Designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the museum’s innovative design seamlessly integrates with the surrounding landscape, creating a harmonious and visually striking environment.
Inside the Narukawa Art Forum, visitors can explore a diverse collection of contemporary artworks by Japanese and international artists. The museum showcases a range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and digital art. Each exhibit is thoughtfully curated, encouraging visitors to engage with the artworks and contemplate the artist’s vision.
Beyond the art, the museum boasts breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Ashi and the surrounding mountains. The expansive windows and outdoor terrace provide the perfect vantage points to appreciate the natural beauty of the area. The Narukawa Art Forum also hosts special exhibitions, events, and workshops, fostering a vibrant artistic community and providing opportunities for deeper engagement with the art world. A visit to the Narukawa Art Forum is a must for art enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of contemporary art, architectural beauty, and stunning natural landscapes.
Indulge your senses and savor the flavors of Hakone at Café Komon, a charming café that offers a delightful culinary experience. Nestled in the heart of Hakone, Japan, this cozy establishment combines a warm and inviting atmosphere with delectable treats and beverages. Step into Café Komon and be greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the sweet scent of pastries.
Café Komon offers a menu that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences. From artisanal coffee and specialty teas to mouthwatering cakes and pastries, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely breakfast, a mid-day pick-me-up, or a relaxing afternoon tea, Café Komon provides a cozy and welcoming setting to enjoy a delightful culinary experience.
The café’s interior exudes a rustic charm, with wooden furnishings, soft lighting, and comfortable seating areas that invite guests to unwind and linger. Enhancing the welcoming ambiance, the staff at this establishment are known for their warm and attentive nature, making your visit truly memorable.For those seeking a moment of tranquility or a place to catch up with friends, Café Komon is a perfect choice in Hakone, offering a delightful blend of flavors, ambiance, and warm hospitality.
Okada Museum of Art
The Okada Museum of Art stands as a cultural gem in Hakone, Japan, offering a captivating journey through centuries of Japanese and East Asian art. Housed in a stunning architectural masterpiece, this museum boasts an extensive collection of exquisite artworks, including paintings, ceramics, calligraphy, sculptures, and lacquerware. Step inside and be immersed in the rich artistic heritage of the region.
The Okada Museum of Art showcases masterpieces from various periods and artistic styles, providing a comprehensive overview of the diverse artistic traditions of Japan and East Asia. From ancient artifacts to contemporary works, each piece is carefully curated to highlight its historical and aesthetic significance. Visitors can admire the delicate brushstrokes of traditional ink paintings, marvel at the intricate details of porcelain ceramics, and appreciate the serene beauty of Buddhist sculptures.
Beyond the impressive displays, the museum also offers educational programs, workshops, and lectures, providing opportunities for visitors to deepen their understanding of the art and culture. The tranquil gardens surrounding the museum provide a serene backdrop for contemplation and reflection. A visit to the Okada Museum of Art is a must for art enthusiasts and anyone seeking to explore the rich artistic heritage of Hakone and beyond.