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Things to Do in Hakone


19 Unmissable Things to Do in Hakone, Japan


I have compiled a list of my top 19 unmissable things to do in Hakone, Japan.

But it’s not just any old list. This is the list to end all lists.

So, stop searching, here are my tips for 19 top unique activities to do in Hakone!


However, if your time in Hakone is limited to just one day and you need to hit all the major highlights, then follow my Hakone One Day Itinerary.


Before we get started with the list, make sure that you learn about Hakone Free Pass. It will save you a lot of money on transportation in Hakone and give you discounts to many attractions in Hakone.




Mt Fuji Views in Hakone


If seeing Mt Fuji is on your bucket list of places to see, then Hakone has several spots perfect for Mt Fuji viewing.

Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain at 3776 meters high with a near perfect cone-shaped top. It has been worshiped as a sacred mountain for centuries.

Mt Fuji is an active volcano that last erupted in 1708.

Notably, more than 200,000 people climb up to its summit every year during summer months.


The best times to catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji is during the fall or winter seasons, especially from December to February when the weather gets drier. In addition, there is a better chance to see Mt Fuji in the early morning and late evening hours as opposed to middle of the day.



There are three places that you will be able to catch a view of Mt Fuji (weather permitting) in Hakone:

1. From the Hakone Ropeway. Specifically, between Owakudani Station and Ubako Station.

2. From the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi. Specifically, near Hakonemachi-ko Port and Motohakone-ko Port.

3. From the Observatory in the Hakone Detached Palace and Garden near Hakonemachi-ko.


Day Trip to Hakone




Hakone Tozan Train –

One of My Favorite Things to Do in Hakone


A ride on the Hakone Tozan Train, Japan’s oldest mountain railway, is a treat for more than just railway fans!

The train is built to climb the steep mountain slopes. It winds through narrow, densely wooded valleys, over many bridges and tunnels, stopping at small stations along the way and changing directions at three switchbacks.

The ride on the Hakone Tozan Train is especially beautiful in June and July when thousands of hydrangea are in bloom along the tracks.

Special trains run from mid-June through mid-July between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora Stations for the viewing of the illuminated flowers. They depart in the evenings, twice in each direction, and require seat reservations.


Things to Do in Hakone


One of my favorite things to do in Hakone is to be on Hakone Tozan Train when it passes over the 43 meter high Deyama Bridge. If you happen to be visiting in the fall, you will be amazed by the scenery!


Things to Do in Hakone






If you are considering to spend a couple of days in Hakone, then Miyanoshita is an excellent place to stay.

It is the most thriving spa town in Hakone with many excellent hotels and inns as well as places to eat and souvenir shops. In addition, it an excellent starting point for many side tours to Lake Ashi, Gora Onsen and the Sengokuhara Plain.


If you decide to stay in Miyanoshita for a couple of days, then you should consider checking out Fujiya Hotel.

It is one of the oldest hotels in Japan. It was founded in 1878.


Things to Do in Hakone


The hotel is surrounded by tranquil gardens. It a great place to take a walk and find some solitude.


Things to Do in Hakone


Above all, it is the interior of the hotel what really caught my attention. It is absolutely stunning. You will feel like you stepped back in time.  


Thing to Do in Hakone


Needless to say, you can relax in their onsen in the evening. Or, if you need privacy, then soak in the bathtub in your room. The water is supplied by the natural hot springs.


Many famous people from around the world have stayed at Fujiya Hotel including Charles Chaplin, Helen Keller, John Lennon, Prince Albert (later George VI) of the UK, the Swedish Crown Prince and his retinue, the Emperor Showa, the current Emperor and Empress, and many others.


For reservations, prices and availability, as well as detailed location instructions, check Fujiya Hotel.




Hakone Gora Park


Hakone Gora Park opened in 1914. It was designed by Shichigoro Isshiki one of the leading landscape designers of his generation.

The park is famous for its symmetrical layout, which represents a formal French garden with a pond and a fountain in the middle.


Things to Do in Hakone


If you are visiting in May, you will be surrounded by blooming azaleas.  In June and early July, make sure to visit the stunning Rose Garden.


How to Get to Hakone Gora Park


From Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Train and get off at Gora Station. Hokone Gora Park is no more than 10-minute walk from the station.


Hours of Operation and Admission Cost


The opening hours are 9 am till 5 pm. Last admission is at 4:30 pm.

The entrance fee is 550 yen, however is you have Hakone Free Pass, then the entrance to the park is free.




POLA Museum of Art


Of all the things to do in Hakone, I think that exploring POLA Museum of Art, is hard to beat! It is, hands down, one of the top notch things to do in Hakone!

POLA Museum of Art was opened in 2002 by the POLA group, a skin care and beauty products company.

It displays an extensive private art collection of the company’s late owner, Suzuki Tsuneshi. Specifically, it includes a wide range of fine works by Japanese artists and European Masters.

And, if you are a fan of Monet, Renoir and Picasso, like I am, you are in for a treat. The collection’s focus is particularly on Monet, who set the benchmark for the impressionist painters, Renoir, and Picasso. But, there are so many others like Cezanne, Galle, Degas, and Van Gogh.

The first picture below represents a painting from a collection called Water Lilies. It is by French impressionist  Claude Monet. Monet painted approximately 250 oil paintings of his flower garden at his home in Giverny. 

The second picture is a painting by Vincent van Gogh called Flower Vase with Thistles


Things to Do in Hakone

Things to do in Hakone


The museum building is of architectural interest itself.

Situated in a 300-year old beech forest, it was designed not to disrupt the natural environment that surrounds it, but rather blend into the nature and greenery.


POLA Museum of Art



POLA Museum of Art


How to Get to POLA Musuem of Art


First of all, from Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Train and get off at Gora Station. It will take you about 30-35 minutes to reach Gora. Next, from Gora Station take Hakone Tozan Bus S and get off at POLA Museum of Art . It is about a 15-minute bus ride.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost


The opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm. Last admission is at 4:30 pm.

The entrance ticket is 1,800 yen.




Museum of the Little Prince and Saint-Exupery


If The Little Prince changed your life like it did mine and you find yourself in Japan, I would highly recommend visiting the Museum of the Little Prince and Saint-Exupery. It is a top notch experience and one of the best things to do in Hakone for all the fans of The Little Prince.


The museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of Antoine de Saint-Exupery and to the wonderful story of Little Prince.


Things to Do in Hakone


In addition, the museum has a charming outdoor area with life-sized characters from the book.


Things to Do in Hakone


Make sure to visit the chapel and browse through some French-inspired stores.


Things to Do in Hakone


How to Get to Museum of the Little Prince and Saint-Exupery


First, from Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Train to Gora. It is about a 30-minute train ride. Next, from Gora take Hakone Tozan Bus T and get off at Museum of the Little Price and Saint-Exupery.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost


The opening hours are 9 am to 6 pm and the last admission is at 5 pm. The entrance ticket is 1,600 yen.




Hakone Venetian Glass Museum


Needless to say, visiting the Venetian Glass Museum will be one of your favorite things to do in Hakone!

The Hakone Venetian Glass Museum (Glass no Mori) occupies an elegant European-style villa and showcases prominent glass artworks both antique and contemporary.


Hakone Venetian Glass Museum


Make sure to spend some time in the Hakone Glass Forest, which surrounds the museum. It is a great place to take some awesome  pictures.


Hakone Venetian Glass Museum


First of all, do not miss Palazzo Ducale Chandelier placed right in the middle of a large pond. It is a floor chandelier made by modern glass artist Dale Chihuly.


Hakone Venetian Glass Museum


Next, leading to the museum is a glass archway called ‘Corridor of Light’. The corridor is 10m in length and 9m in height and it is made of approximately 160,000 pieces of crystal. I hope you get a strong sunlight and no clouds to catch the full glittering effect.


Hakone Venetian Glass Museum


There are several experience studios where you can participate in payable workshops for vetero or sandblasting.


How to Get to Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

First of all, from Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Bus T bound for “Togendai”, and get off at “Hyoseki/Hakone Garasu-no-Mori-Mae (Hakone Venetian Glass Museum)”.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost

The opening hours are 10 am to 5:30 pm and the last admission is at 5 pm. The entrance ticket is 1,500 yen.




Pampas Grass at Sengokuhara


Pampas grass at Sengokuhara is definitely one of things to do in Hakone that should not be missed if you are visiting Hakone in the fall or even early winter. It is touted as one of the most scenic spots in Kanagawa Prefecture.

If you visit in early fall, what you will experience are open fields of nothings by golden pampas grass. Come November, the pampas grass will turn a beautiful whitish color. Needless to say, it is quite a sight!

From a distance, the fields look like an immense fluffy carpet laid down over the lumpy land.

Take a walk down the path and immerse yourself in the picturesque landscape.


Pampas Grass at Sengokuhara

Photo credit ajari via flickr


How to Get to Pampas Grass at Sengokuhara


From Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Bus T and get off at Sengoku Kogen. The bus ride will take about 30 minutes.




Odawara Castle


Odawara Castle was as an impregnable castle owned by the fifth daimyo of the Hojo clan, the samurai family that governed Kanto area for about a century from the end of 15th century. It functioned as a cornerstone of defense for Hakone.

The current castle tower was rebuilt in 1960.

This three-layered, four-story castle tower has a tsuke-yagura (connecting tower) and watari-yagura (hall turrets) on the top.


Hakone Day Trip


In addition, don’t miss Tokiwagi Gate Samurai museum. The exhibition truly captures the artistry of the samurai armor and the spirit of the samurai.
Odawara Castle Samurai Museum


How to Get to Odawara Castle


If you are traveling on JR East or JR Central, then Odawara Station will be your first stop and it is a perfect opportunity to visit Odawara Castle. From Odawara Station take the East Exit and follow the signs.

Odawara Castle is no more than a 10-minute walk from Odawara Station. You will see Odawara Castle Donjon (a massive tower) from the distance.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost


The hours of operation are 9 am to 5 pm and the last admission is at 4:30 pm.

I would recommend getting a 3-Hall Common Ticket that covers the Castle Tower, Tokiwagi Gate, and Odawara Castle Historical Observations Hall. All together it costs 700 yen.

However, if you are limited on time, then make sure to at least visit the Castle Tower.

The entrance ticket to the Castle Tower costs 500 yen for adults and 200 yen for Elementary/Junior High Students. If you have Hakone Free Pass, then you qualify to get a discount and purchase the adult ticket for 450 yen and pay 180 yen for Elementary/Junior High Student ticket.



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Things to Do in Hakone

Things to Do in Hakone




Hakone Open-Air Museum


Hakone Open Air Museum is a world-class open-air gallery and you should not miss it on this day trip to Hakone. It covers an area of 70,000 square meters of beautiful lawns and gardens surrounded by forested hills. It’s collections include some of the world’s most significant sculptures and works of art of late 19th and 20th century by Western and Japanese artists.


However, many pieces of art at designed for kids to climb and explore, so the day trip to Hakone and the visit to Hakone Open Air Museum could be a lot of fun for the entire family. In addition, Hakone Open Air Museum has an outdoor foot bath. How cool is that!


The most notable of the indoor exhibits is a collection of Pablo Picasso creations. It includes more than 300 of Picasso’s works, comprising of oil paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, and gold objects.


One of the most popular pieces at Hakone Open Air Museum is the Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire.

Symphonic Sculpture is a tower enclosed by colorful stained glass. Furthermore, inside the stain-glass tower is an 18-meter tall circular staircase that you can ascend all the way up to the viewing platform.


Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire


Sphere Within Sphere by Arnaldo Pomodoro is one of the more famous designs at Hakone Open Air Musuem.

Actually, there are other spheres made by Arnaldo Pomodoro. They are located all over the world.

The surface of the sphere is brightly polished and can be spotted from a far distance gleaming in the sun. As you come closer, you notice that there is a tear in the perfect orb. It looks like a part of it was either ripped out or torn away. The tear exposes the interior with another sphere inside.


Hakone Open Air Museum


Hakone Open Air Musuem’s piece de resistance is the outdoor foot bath.

Here, you can soak your footsies in the warm mineral waters scented with floating oranges and lemons and massage your feet on raised river pebbles.


Hakone Open Air Museum



How to Get to Hakone Open Air Museum


From Hakone-Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Train and get off at Stop OH56 – Chokoku-no-mori Station. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Chokoku-no-mori Station. And, Hakone Open Air Museum is no more than a 5-minute walk from the station.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost


The openings hours are 9 am to 5 pm. Moreover, the last admission is at 4:30 pm.

The entrance ticket costs 1,600 yen, however if you have the Hakone Free Pass, then you can purchase a discounted ticket for 1,400 yen.




Hakone Ropeway


Taking Hakone Ropeway from Sounzan to Togendai-ko is one of the top things to do in Hakone!

First, you will be passing over Owakudani known as ‘Hell Valley’ with boiling pools of water and vents spewing hot steam and sulfur fumes.


Hakone Day Trip


Next, as you approach Ubanko Station be on the lookout for Mt Fuji (weather permitting).

The first time I saw Mt Fuji, it was a very emotional experience for me. I was on Hakone Ropeway approaching Ubanko Station. I did not know that what to expect. And, then Mt Fuji was right in front of me. It brought tears to my eyes. I hope you get to experience such a moment as well!


Things To Do in Hakone




Owakudani Valley


Owakudani is known as ‘the Great Boiling Valley or ‘Hell Valley’. Specifically, it is a large volcanic crater formed 3,000 years ago following an eruption of Mount Hakone. 

Owakudani still remains an active volcanic region. It has hot springs, boiling pools of water, and huge vents spewing hot steam and fumes. You will be able to smell the volcanic fumes of sulfur from far away. The fumes have an unmistakable scent of rotten eggs.

However, do not be discouraged, it is one of the most fun things to do in Hakone!


Day Trip to Hakone


To start with, take a walk and enjoy these spectacular natural views.

Furthermore, be on the lookout for Mt Fuji. At this altitude of 1,044 meters, you might be lucky to see Mt Fuji and even Tokyo Skyline, if the weather cooperates.



Interestingly enough, tourists flock to this area seeking the famous Owakudani black eggs or ‘kuro-tamago’.

Owakudani black eggs or “Kuro-tamago” are basically hard boiled chicken eggs in the Owakudani’s hot water pools. The sulfur in the water turns the egg shell black, however the inside still looks like a normal hard boiled egg.

Legend has it that eating just one egg will extend your life by 7 years. Incidentally, there is an addendum to the legend that says that you should not eat more than two of these eggs. So, there is no chance here of becoming immortal.

But, If you are looking for original souvenirs, I think that getting some eggs as a gift with a promise of life extension might be pretty sleek.


Day Trip to Hakone






If you like trains then make sure to check out RomanceCar!  It most definitely should be one of your top things to do in Hakone!

RomanceCar is the most luxurious and fastest way to get to Hakone. Notably, RomanceCar leaves from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and it will take you straight to Hakone Yumoto without changing trains in Odawara.

It is not called RomanceCar for nothing! It has fully reclining seats, private compartments, panoramic windows, observation decks, onboard WiFi and more.


Things to Do in Hakone


In addition, it travels through some of the most picturesque areas of Japan. 




Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi


To be honest, the cruise on Lake Ashi is one of my favorite things to do in Hakone.

The scenery is breathtaking no matter what time of the year you visit. In addition, Lake Ashi is really well known for the inverted reflection of Mt. Fuji. And, here, hopefully, you will get another chance to catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji.


Day Trip to Hakone


Notably, Lake Ashi is a crater lake created by a phreatic (stem and minerals) eruption 3000 years ago. It sits at 725 meters (2,378 feet) above sea level. Lake Ashi has a circumference of 21 km (11 miles).

Apparently, it abounds in black bass and trout.




Hakone Checkpoint


Personally, I find Hakone Checkpoint as one of  the most interesting things to do in Hakone. I love history and this area has so many stories to tell.

During the Edo period a nationwide road network was developed in Japan. Along with the development of roads came many ‘sekisho’, which are checkpoints. The purpose of the checkpoints was to inspect the travelers and their loads.

Hakone Sekisho was one of the most important checkpoints that safeguarded the security of Edo (now Tokyo) as the seat of Shogunate.

Once you reach Hakone Checkpoint, you will be able to see a historically accurate restoration of the original checkpoint.


Day Trip to Hakone


Do not miss Hakone Sekisho Exhibition Hall. It displays many artifacts of the Edo period, such as travel certificates, officials diaries and samurai weaponry.


Day Trip to Hakone


How to Get to Hakone Checkpoint


My favorite way of getting to Hakone Checkpoint is take Hakone Tozan Bus K from Hakone Yumoto Station, and then getting off at MotoHakone-ko Port. Next, I like to take the Ancient Cedar Avenue to Hakonemachi-ko Port.

Hakone Checkpoint and Hakone Sekisho Exhibition Hall are about a 10-minute walk from Hakonemachi-ko Port.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost


The opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm and the last entry is at 4:30 pm.  Moreover, entrance fee is 500 yen, however if you have the Hakone Free Pass, then you can purchase a discounted ticket for 450 yen.




Lalique Museum Hakone


Even if you are not a die hard Lalique fan, Lalique Museum Hakone is well worth a visit if only to better understand what a true genius Rene Lalique was! Lalique Museum Hakone owns the collection of more than 1,500 of Lalique pieces including over 200 pieces of precious jewelry

The museum is beautifully designed and situated, and each of Lalique’s pieces is beautifully displayed and lit up.


Things to Do in Hakone


René Lalique (1860-1945) was a French artist of “Art Nouveau” and “Art Deco” era. He was primarily known as a craftsman of the objects in glass and also as a master of jewelry.



How to Get to Lalique Museum Hakone


From Odawara Station or Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Bus Kojiri/Togen-dai route and get off at Sengoku Annai-jo Mae. It takes about 45 from Odawara and 30 minutes from Hakone Yumoto Station to reach Lalique Museum Hakone.


Hours of Operation and Admission Cost to Lalique Museum Hakone


Lalique Musuem Hakone is open from 9 am till 5 pm and last admission is at 4:30 pm. The entrance ticket is 1,500 yen.




Ancient Cedar Avenue


I have to honestly say that Ancient Cedar Avenue is my second favorite thing to do in Hakone (right after the cruise on lake Ashi).


Ancient Cedar Avenue stretches for about two kilometers.  It is an absolute delight to walk under the cedars planted over 400 years ago and enjoy the shade they give travelers.


Day Trip to Hakone


Here you can get great views of Lake Ashi and Mt Fuji as well.


How to Get to Ancient Cedar Avenue


The Ancient Cedar Avenue is located between Motohakone-ko and Hakonemachi-ko. You can take Hakone Tozan Bus k from Hakone Yumoto Station and get off at either Motohakone-ko or Hakonemachi-ko and take a stroll in either direction.


Hours of Operation and Admission Cost


You are free to walk among these giants at any time. Just be mindful of when it starts getting dark. You don’t want to be stuck there in the darkness.




Hakone-jinja Shrine


Hakone-jinja Shrine was founded in 757 and it is where Tokugawa and other samurai families worshiped. I have to say that of all the shrines I visited in Japan, this shine is situated in the most visually captivating setting I have ever been to.


Day Trip to Hakone


The road leading to it will give you many opportunities to capture some breathtaking pictures.


Day Trip to Hakone


However, the main tourist attraction here is the vermilion colored o-torii gate. Here, tourists line up to take some great pictures of lake Ashi. However, I think it is worth the wait to get some awesome pictures!



Day Trip to Hakone


How to Get to Hakone-jinja Shrine


First of all, from Hakone Yumoto Station take Hakone Tozan Bus K to Motohakone-ko. Hakone-jinja Shrine is no more than a 15-minute walk from Motohakone-ko. And, it is free!




Mishima Skywalk


I am saving the best for last. Mishima Skywalk is definitely worth checking out. It is not quite located in Hakone, however it is close enough. And, above all, I do not want you to miss an incredible walk on a 400 m suspension bridge. It will be one of your favorite things to do in Hakone, or I should say, close to Hakone.


Mishima Skywalk is a pedestrian bridge officially known as the Hakone Seiroku Mishima Suspension Bridge. 

It spans a valley on the southwestern rim of the Mount Hakone caldera in Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan.


Notably, views form the bridge are spectacular! If the weather is cooperating, you will get to see the panoramic views of Mount Fuji and Suruga Bay.


Thnigs to Do in Hakone


How to Get to Mishima Skywalk


First, from Hakone Yumoto Statioon take Hakone Tozan Bus H bound for Hakone Port and get off at Motohakone Port. It will take you about 35 minutes to reach Motohakone Port. Next, from Motohakone Port take Tokai Orange Shuttle Bus N bound for Mishima Station and get off at Mishima Station. It should take you about 20 minutes to reach Mishima Station. Finally, walk to Mishima Skywalk. It is no more than a 10-minute walk.


Operating Hours and Admission Cost

The opening hours are 9 am till 5 pm . However, it is subject to change depending on the weather conditions. In general, I need to add, that you should be prepared for strong winds. In addition, if you are visiting in winter, make sure to dress warm.

The entrance ticket costs 1,000 yen.



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Things to Do in Hakone

Things to Do in Hakone



Now, I want to hear back from you! Have you been to Hakone? Would you add anythings else to this list?

Are you planning a day trip to Hakone? What are you planning to see?



More posts about Hakone:

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46 thoughts on “19 Unmissable Things to Do in Hakone


It looks like there are plenty of things to do and see in Hakone. It’s interesting to see so much European influence in the area, especially French and Italian. The views of Mt Fuji alone make it worth going to Hakone.


    Hey Joanna,
    There is a lot of European influence in Japan and some awesome museums with great European collections.
    Thank you for your comment!


This region has some gorgeous scenery and, apparently, plenty to see and do. The Odawara Castle and samurai museum, in particular, caught my attention, but I think it would be hard to choose things to do with limited time. Plenty of inspiration here for my (hopefully) future Japan travels.


    Hi Randy,
    Thank you for your comment!
    It is a great area to explore and everyone can find something unique to do.


Our boys would absolutely love the mountain train and the Little Prince museum! Such fun! They’d love to go to Japan some day so these things will get added to their list of thing to see and do when we make it there!


    I hope you all can go to Japan. It is a country that completely captured my attention.
    Thank you for your comment!


So much to do in Hakone, Japan. This is one of the prefecture we were choosing when we plan to visit Japan. I would love to see Mt. Fuji from Hakone though. We missed it, cause it rained last time.


    Hi Lawrence,
    The best time to see Mt Fuji is when it is dry – winter season. Otherwise, it is hit and miss.
    Thank you for your comment!


You definitely have covered it all! I have visited Hakone but missed the museum and the skywalk. Your photos do tell a lot of the area and are beautifully captured.


    Oh, thank you so much!


That’s such a great and detailed guide! I find it so funny that there’s a museum of Saint Exupéry haha. The views over My Fuji must be so beautiful in the fall. I’d love to take the train and go on the skywalk! Thanks for all this information.


    Hi Pauline,
    Thank you for your comment! I recommend that you visit Hakone. It is worth exploring.


A good read. I liked number 10 & 19 most. It seems I need to update my bucket list after reading your article.


    Hello Moon Ray!
    Yes! Revamp that bucket list and go to Hakone. It is all worth it!


I am a volunteer at the Olympics in Tokyo next year and plan to do some exploring while I am there. Hakone is a definite on my places to visit list.


    Hello Larch,
    Of how special! Maybe we will see each other!
    I am recommending Hakone for a day trip. It is a great place to explore.

Lou Does Travel

I’ve never been to Japan and I’ve never heard of Hakone, however after reading these suggestions I will defo need to add it to my itinerary when planning a trip to Japan. The views of Mount Fiji look incredible! Beautiful photos!


    Hey Lou,
    Yes! Definitely worth the visit!


There are so many great things to see in Japan, I really need to go back sometime. The view of the mountain from the skywalk looks fantastic. Definitely be up for doing that.


    Hey Paul!
    Thank you for your comment!


So many amaxing things to do in and around Hakone. I would find it very difficult narrowing down these options if my time was limited. I love the sound of the Open Air Museum and that some displays are made for children to climb. That’s a big plus for someone like me who would be travelling with kids. And as a family we’d have to visit Odawara Castle as we’re big fans of castles.


    Hi Cath,
    I do like visiting castles as well. I am such a history fanatic and these places have so many stories to tell.
    Thank you for your comment.

I didn’t realise there was such a connection with glass here, from Lalique to the giant sphere within sphere and the outdoor museum. How very beautiful. I think I would enjoy the lake cruise and the cedars too.


    Thank you, Bernie! Hakone offers so many options for any tests and interests. It is a beautiful area to spend a few days and enjoy the hot springs as well.


One of my dreams is to see Mount Fuji although I think I’d be one of the ones climb up the volcano. Owakudani would be fantastic to explore. I love the sound of the spa town Miyanoshita, sounds like a perfect chill out place. Great tips of things to do in Hakone, spoilt for choice!

Renata -

I’m going to Japan next Saturday. Hakone has not been on my list, but after your post, I’ll consider changing my itinerary – especially for the art – looks amazing!


    Oh, awesome! However, be prepared for some warm and humid weather. Hakone has lots of museums!
    However, check out other places and museums as well. Lots of collections.


I’m so happy you got to go there! I haven’t visited yet, but my fiance went before we first met. He’s fallen in love with Japan and we hope to visit it together one day soon 🙂


    Hi Mirela!
    I am not surprised that he was charmed by Japan. It got me as well. I hope you get to visit soon. You will love it!


Hakone looks worth visiting as it has Mt. Fiji’s view and many other beautiful things to do. As I love trains a lot, so taking a ride on the Hakone Tozan Train which Japan’s oldest mountain railway intrigues me a lot. French inspired shops are very colorful and photogenic.


    Hi Yukti,
    I have to say that taking Hakone Tozan Train is one of my favorite things to do in Hakone. The views of Mount Fuji are awesome, if the weather cooperates.
    Thank you for your comment!


There is sooo much to do in Hakone, I had no idea. I especially fell for the Odawara Castle, the samurai museum and the oldest railway in Japan – great tip about visiting in June and July due to the flowers, must be an amazing sight!


    Hi Tina,
    Odawara Castle is definitely worth a stop. There is so much to do in Hakone that you can easily spend a few days exploring the area. Perfect vacation spot!


Indeed Miyanoshita hotel looks absolutely magnificent. I would love to visit museums like Little Prince museum. That ancient cedar Avenue, Pampas grass and Owakudani valley are stunning. Quite comprehensive guide to Hakone.


Wow such an amazing place and so many different things we can witness in and around Hakone. Always wanted to see Mt fuji. And Mishima skywalk looks so amazing. Pictures are really great. Thank you for sharing such detailed information with us.


    Thank you so much for your kind comment!

Sarah Wilson

Gosh, I didn’t realise there were so many things to do in Hakone. I just thought it was for Mount Fuji views, I’d love to walk that Mishima Skywalk


    Oh there is so much to do in Hakone. It is the best to stay 2-3 days in the area to really check it all out.


A truly magnificent city to visit with so much on offer. Mt Fuji and the museums would be a must for me. The skywalk looks amazing, but a bit too high for me I think. I’m curious about the Romance Car Train and would be keen to go on it. Great tips.


    Thank you, Tania.
    I am definitely recommending Hakone to anyone visiting Japan.

Jennifer Morrow

This is such a great resource for planning a trip. Mt Fuji was really the only attraction that i knew about. I love researching new locations in the pre-planning process for a trip.


    Thank you, Jennifer! Hakone is definitely one of my favorite places to explore.


Excellent list! There is more to see than one has time for. We’ll choose many spots from your list. Japan is fascinating.


    Thank you, Slavka! Japan is my favorite place to explore.

Bless Carter

Hi Anna, you’re so right…I don’t need to look at other site. You’ve covered and captured everything wonderful about Hakone.
One thing I need your help with is that I love unique arts and craft. I read that Hakone is the home of the art Yosegi-Zaiku. I would love to see this craftmanship at work and bring some of this beautiful items back to Australia. Is there such place or workshop?
We’re going to Japan for the first time in Sept/Oct 2020. So looking forward to it.

Hope to read more of your travels.
Thank you,


    Hi Bess,
    I know exactly what you are referring to. I am not an expert. I bought several of the puzzle boxes for my daughter and I always search for genuine pieces. My daughter is quite a collector. I do not know of any specific workshops. It is always a challenge to find something worthwhile. Once you get to Hakone, ask questions, investigate and get to the best source. I am in Egypt right now and heading to Jordan. I hope I can continue with my travels.
    P.S. You will love Hakone. It is spectacular (burst of colors) in the fall.

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