Hakone is a small town and park located in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan’s southern Kantō region. Nestled into lush mountains, Hakone is a fantastic base for exploring the dramatic landscape. Discover lakes, waterfalls, Shinto shrines and steaming hot springs amidst the dense forests in this region.
The volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is Hakone’s top destination. The park consists of several natural attractions around Lake Ashinoko. Lake Ashi, as locals call it, is a crater lake with striking views of Mount Fuji. Explore the lake on a pleasure boat, designed in the style of a sailing warship.
Situated near to lakes, coastlines, hot springs and volcanic mountains, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is full of varied natural beauty. Visit the mythical looking Shiraito Falls or traverse the volcanic island of Izu Oshima.
Take the aerial tram at Hakone Ropeway up to the hot springs and sulphur vents at the Great Boiling Valley. Eating the local specialty of an egg hard-boiled in the hot springs which is said to increase longevity.
Visit Hakone Shrine at the foot of Mount Hakone. This Shinto shrine is hidden in the forest and shrouded by the mountain’s mist. Don’t miss its massive torii gates. The large red entrance gate looms over the shore of Lake Ashinoko.
For a unique cultural experience, stop by Hakone Open Air Museum. Seamlessly blending art with nature, this museum features over 1,000 pieces of art. Wander through the extensive Henry Moore sculpture garden or examine some 300 pieces created by Pablo Picasso.
Tokyo is just 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) to the west of Hakone. Several train options will bring you to the town in about an hour. Most trains require a transfer at nearby Odwara, a pleasant hot springs town that is a destination of its own.