What to do in Hakone?
Known for its hot springs resorts, the city of Hakone is located west of Tokyo in Japan’s Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The views of the famous volcano Mount Fuji are breathtaking. Lake Ashi is nearby and offers a view of the red “tori” gate at the Shinto Shrine. Many people love to visit and vacation at this magnificent location that offers plenty of fun things to do and see. Here is a list of 10 of the most popular things to do in Hakone:
With a misty, forest path lined with bright red lanterns, the Hakone Shrine is a must-see when on holiday in the mountainous city of Hakone. The Japanese people view it as a magical place with a glowing, strange light. The path is as fun to navigate as it is to visit the actual shrine.
Created from a volcanic crater, Lake Ashinoko is popular for its gorgeous views of the great torii at the Hakone Shrine. Tour boats are available to take you around the lake and to check out other local attractions such as Onshi Hakone Park and Moto Hakone. The boats are replicas of Edo-era warships which makes the tour even more interesting.
Known for its healthy eggs that are said to add seven years to your life if you eat one, Owakudani is a crater that was formed 3,000 years ago after the last eruption of Mount Hakone. The area is very interesting to check out and it is a Japanese tradition to cook the black onsen tamago eggs in the hot sulfur springs at Owakudani. While the eggs are believed to add seven years to your life per the first two for a total of 14 years, do not eat a third one because then it becomes unhealthy!
Take a day trip on the Bullet Train from Tokyo to check out Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji. You will have the ride of your life on the train with the most amazing views you can ask for while on your holiday to Hakone.
The Hakone Ropeway
Whether you decide to take a ride on the Bullet Train or not, the Hakone Ropeway is another fun way to view the to view Mount Fuji, Lake Ashinoko and the Owakudani Valley. Up to 10 people can ride at one time in each gondola. Take your family on this amazing 30-minute ride to tour these beautiful features of Hakone.
Hakone offers an array of onsens that are quirky and fun to experience. The Yunessun Spa offers a variety of different spas including a bubblegum soda pool, one shaped like a bowl of Nissin noodles and some that are ‘flavored’ with coffee and red wine. Definitely a unique experience for you and your family.
The Hakone Open Air Museum
The Hakone Open Air Museum offers a different type of museum experience that the whole family will enjoy. It features art balanced with nature by displaying a variety of sculptures on fields with the backdrop being the surrounding mountains and beautiful valleys.
Hakone Glass no Mori
With exact replicas of the streets of Italy, you will feel as though you have been transported to the country. Quaint little shops and restaurants are available for visitors along with the amazing Hakone Venetian Glass Museum that features over 100 pieces of Venetian glassware from the seventeenth century to the twentieth.
This historic castle features a deck that offers gorgeous views of the natural beauty around it. History buffs will enjoy visiting the Odawara Castle Historical Museum that is located on the grounds and offers history on Odawara and the castle itself. There is also a mini zoo that children will love and Samurais displays.
These beautiful falls are located in the Owakudani area. The name Chisuji means one thousand lines which is what these falls resemble: one thousand lines of water flowing from the rocks. The area is also known for its koyo (beautiful colored leaves) during the fall time of the year.
Since Hakone is located in a mountainous region, you will want to bring along an umbrella and rain gear as the weather can change quickly and often. Hakone is an amazing place to visit and an educational experience you and your family will remember for a lifetime.