Things To Do in Hakone

February 05, 2020


Traveling to Japan is one of the option you have to consider if you are looking for travel destination. The culture, people, and cuisine are very interesting and memorable (though I might be biased because I think this is no 1 country to travel lol). If you are travelling to Japan and about to find another option of a short escape from big busy city like Tokyo, I have a right destination idea for you to visit. Try to visit Hakone, one of a must visit destination places which is known for the hot springs or onsen areas, with beautiful and unspoiled nature with the view of magnificent Mount Fuji. Plus, you can reach Hakone within easy travelling distance from Tokyo with some transportation options. To enjoy the beauty of Hakone, I do recommend you to stay at least one night here

HOW TO GET TO HAKONE?


First thing to do when you are traveling is to find how to get to your destination. There are many ways to visit Hakone, but on this post I will recommend you to buy Hakone Freepass that departs from Shinjuku. This pass that I recommend will cover your transportation during your visit to Hakone. It is a money saving pass that allows you to enjoy unlimited rides throughout Hakone areas with Hakone Tozan Train, Hakone Tozan Bus, Hakone Tozan Cable Car, Hakone Ropeway, and even Hakone Sightseeing Cruise.

Hakone Free Pass can be used for unlimited rides from buses, trains, Hakone Ropeway, even the cruises hence making it more economical!


HAKONE ROPEWAY

Hakone Ropeway is one of the main attractions in Hakone and to ride the ropeway, you can visit a few stations available in Hakone but I start my journey from Togendai station. By purchasing the Hakone Freepass, I can travel with Hakone ropeway all you can ride because it is included in the pass already! The ride was fun as I can enjoy the beautiful scenery from above around while I am on my way to reach the destination. Anyway, can you guys spot the Mount Fuji behind me? When you're lucky, you can spot Mount Fuji from the ropeway

OWAKUDANI


Here I am arrived at my next destination, which is Owakudani! Well, Owakudani is also translated as the great boiling valley. This place is created around 3000 years ago because of volcano eruption. If the sky is quite clear, you can even see Mount Fuji from Owakudani.


The view of blue sky combined with the sulfurous fumes that look just like cloud. Owakudani is also well known for the hot springs or onsen


Strolling around while enjoying the beauty of Owakudani. It is fascinating that this beautiful place is naturally built because of volcano eruption.


Walking into the volcanic zone, you can see many people selling something similar. Yes, it is Kuro Tamago (black egg) the iconic food from Owakudani. There are even souvenirs shaped like kuro tamago that you can purchased from the gift shops around here. It is not complete visiting Owakudani without trying this famous kuro tamago. It naturally changes color because it is boiled in hot sulfur spring. It is said that you would be able to increase your life span to 7 years per 1 egg!! 


After strolling around it is time for me to have lunch. There are so many options of restaurants and cafes here. Various types of foods that help you to choose the one that suits your tastebud. I had sukiyaki-styled udon for my lunch here. Having a bowl of hearty and warm meal, while enjoying this beautiful scenery, what a perfect and heartwarming combination. For you guys who love to shop, there are some gift shops around this area too where you can buy Hakone's souvenir for your trip memories, such as fridge magnets, keychains, and many more.

HAKONE SIGHTSEEING CRUISE

Next is Hakone Pirate Ship Sightseeing Cruise. It is within walking distance from Togendai Station. This Hakone pirate cruise makes me feel like I am on the middle of a movie set. The autumn air breezes through my face while I am on the deck, enjoying the beautiful view of Ashinoko / Lake Ashi. It was very windy and cold, but really worth it for the view!!




From the Cruise, you can also take picture of the iconic combination of Hakone Shrine and Mount Fuji in one frame! Don't miss it out! I was lucky because the weather was amazing so Mount Fuji was clearly seen

HAKONE SHRINE
The most popular landmark from Hakone is probably the Hakone Jinja or Hakone Shrine. It stands at the foot of Mount Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi, while the shrine buildings are located hidden in the dense forest. While arriving at Hakone Shrine, there was a long queue of visitors waiting to get their chance to take a picture of this popular shrine. The last time when I visited this place around 3 or 4 years ago, this place wasn't as popular as it is now. The huge red tori gate with blue sky, the scenery of beautiful lake, and also mountains are enough to make this one of the most instagramable and a must visit place in Hakone

HAKONE OPEN AIR MUSEUM


Next recommendation is Hakone Open Air Museum! My main goal is to explore the pretty and colorful stained glass room. Not only you can enjoy the beauty of the colorful stained glass inside, but you can also enjoy the view from outside. It is so fascinating, pretty colorful stained glass surounding me, with spiral staircase. I have never seen anything like this in Tokyo, and I think there are still many people who do not know about this place, and I really hope you can spend some time here and take a look at this beautiful place when you visit Hakone next time.


Once the sky has turned dark, the outside of the building will become light illumination. It is just too pretty! The illumination event is Winter Limited only and the last time it was only available during 29 Nov 2019 to 5 Jan 2020 (Winter Season). It's common for places in Japan to have illumination installation during the winter season so make sure catch any illuminations including the Hakone Open Air Museum next winter


Other than the colorful stained glass room, there is also an art gallery called The Picasso Exhibition Hall here in Hakone Open Air Museum. This place shows paintings, sculptures, and also ceramic works by the artist, and also some pictures of himself at various points during his life.It is prohibited to take pictures inside, so it is the chance for you to directly visit this place.

WHERE TO STAY?


For this trip, I stayed at Suzukinohara Ichinoyu Ryokan. This ryokan was just newly opened on August 2019. The room here is very nice and quite spacious. It even has a private onsen for you to enjoy just by yourself at the room. So cozy yet relaxing. I recommend you to stay at ryokan rather than regular hotel to get more Japanese experience as it is something that people would usually do when they hear 'Hakone'




So, that is all I want to share to you about Hakone. I hope this post could be useful for you if you are still looking for another short escape while you are visiting Tokyo, and you can have some ideas about things you can do at Hakone. This post is in collaboration with Kanagawa Prefecture. 

Talk to you guys on my next post! 


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