What to see in Hakone: Travel Guide & Local Tips

What to see in Hakone: Travel Guide & Local Tips

Exploring Hakone: A Traveler's Guide

Hakone is a beautiful town located in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan, known for its stunning natural landscapes, hot springs, traditional ryokans, and views of Mount Fuji. Whether you are looking to relax in an onsen, explore art museums, or hike through lush forests, Hakone offers a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Top Things to See and Do in Hakone

  • Visit Hakone Shrine: Explore this picturesque Shinto shrine located on the shores of Lake Ashi, known for its iconic red torii gate and peaceful surroundings.
  • Ride the Hakone Ropeway: Take a scenic cable car ride over the Owakudani volcanic valley for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and hot springs.
  • Relax in an Onsen: Unwind in one of Hakone's many hot spring baths, known for their healing properties and serene settings.
  • Explore Open-Air Museums: Visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum and Pola Museum of Art to admire contemporary sculptures, installations, and traditional Japanese artworks.
  • Cruise on Lake Ashi: Enjoy a boat ride across Lake Ashi, surrounded by views of Mount Fuji and the lush Hakone landscape.
  • Hike the Hakone Ropeway: Embark on a hike along the Hakone Ropeway trail, passing through forests, waterfalls, and panoramic viewpoints.
  • Try Black Eggs: Visit Owakudani to try the famous black eggs boiled in sulfuric hot springs, believed to prolong your life by seven years.

Where to Stay in Hakone

For an authentic Japanese experience, consider staying in a traditional ryokan with tatami mat flooring, sliding paper doors, and kaiseki meals. Many ryokans also feature private hot spring baths for guests to enjoy.

If you prefer modern accommodations, Hakone offers a range of hotels, resorts, and guesthouses with stunning views of Mount Fuji and easy access to the town's attractions.

Getting Around Hakone

The most convenient way to explore Hakone is by purchasing a Hakone Free Pass, which provides unlimited access to trains, buses, cable cars, and boats within the area. The pass can be purchased for 2 or 3 consecutive days and offers great value for visitors looking to see multiple attractions.

Alternatively, you can use the Hakone Tozan Train, a mountain railway that passes through scenic landscapes and connects major sights in Hakone.

Weather in Hakone

Hakone experiences a temperate climate with mild temperatures throughout the year. Summer (June to August) is warm and humid, ideal for outdoor activities, while winter (December to February) can be cold with occasional snowfall. Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for sightseeing and hiking.