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The mountainous city of Hakone, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan.

Location: Hakone, Japan

Kanagawa Prefecture
Coordinate: 35 11 N, 139 02 E


Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan is located less than 100 kilometers from Tokyo. It's a very popular and well known tourist destination to both local Japanese and international tourists alike. Hakone is frequently referred to as the most popular destination in Japan for sightseeing. Noted not only for its scenic volcanic mountain views, deep green forests, torii, ryokan and hot springs(onsen); as part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and according to the locales, it provides the best view of mount Fuji, the highest(3,776meters) peak and the most adored sight in Japan. In Hakone, Lake Ashi or Ashinoko in Japanese is the center of attraction. It is sorrounded by all the mountains, valleys, forests and all sightseeing destinations of Hakone, so lake Ashi can be viewed from the mountain tops. Another way of viewing Hakone is by cruising the Lake Ashi, which provides a spectacular view of the mountains, and the surrounding deep green forests in spring. And in fall when all the leaves on the trees turn deep red, the sight while cruising along the lake is breathe-taking. Hakone, therefore is an all year round tourists destination. This is a place for complete relaxation. To enable tourists unwind from the demands of city life and work related stress, the city is dotted with ryokan(Japanese styled inns and resorts), onsen(hot springs and bath-houses) and golf courses. The Imperial Family had used the Hakone detached Palace as their summer palace for centuries, this palace is now open for public use.
A ride on the Hakone Ropeway between Sounza and Togendai throught Owakudani provides an earial view of Hakone.

Attractions and things to see in Hakone:

Access To Hakone:

  • From Tokyo:
    Your best option when traveling to Hakone from Tokyo is from "Shinjuku Station". From Tokyo’s Shinjuku station use the "Romancecar", a very convenient, limited express train operated by the Odakyu Railway company. This provides the fastest link between Tokyo and Hakone-Yumoto, one of the best known sightseeing destinations in the Hakone area. It is also worth mentioning that seats on the romancecar are strictly on reserve bases.
  • From Narita Airport:
    From Narita airport, the fastest way to get to Hakone is via Tokyo Shinjuku station. To get to Shinjuku station, two options are available, one by express train "Narita Express" or "Dreamliner". These are fast moving limited express trains and saves you a lot of time. Secondly, you may use any of the highway luxury buses. From Shinjuku station to Hakone(see "From Tokyo" above).
  • By Bus:
    There are also buses running from Tokyo(Shinjuku) station to Hakone-Togendai, another popular destination in Hakone from which tourists can connect other sites.
  • Odakyu Freepass - Recommended:
    They touch every notable sightseeing destination, ryokan and hot spring resorts around Hakone either by train or bus.
    "The Odakyu Freepass is an economical excursion ticket for travel to Hakone or Kamakura, two of the best-known sightseeing spots in Japan. Odakyu Freepass is available in a variety of travel plans — to the mountains, the seashore or hot springs (onsen)—meeting your needs as closely as possible. Odakyu Freepass combines return transportation on the Odakyu Line and other railways with a ticket allowing you to get on and off as you like within specified areas, eliminating the bother of frequent ticket purchase".

Best Views:

  • Mount Fuji - Autumn/winter, early mornings and late evenings from the boats along the Ashi lake, from the mountains or from Moto Hakone.
  • Cherry blossom - April
  • Chinese silvergrass - Autumn
  • Another great view in Autumn is along the lake when all the leaves on the trees turn yellow and red.
  • Hakone is a mountainous resort, the driveway is complete with viewing spots all along the mountain range to the top, the sorrounding mountains, valleys, forests and the beautiful Ashi Lake can be viewed from any of these viewing spots. You can also view the mountains from the boats along the Lake Ashi.


Hakone line sightseeing cruise on lake Ashi - Ashinoko  Hakone mountain panorama around lake ashi   charred remains of a rock at owakudani after volcanic eruption

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