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Hakone is a beautiful destination known for its onsen, beautiful nature, museums, and
iconic views of Mount Fuji.
Located on a mountain of the same name, it's part of the scenic
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park which is Japan's most visited national park.
The town of Hakone itself is quite large, containing multiple town centers and numerous
attractions worth exploring.
Only an hour to an hour and a half south-west of Tokyo.
Hakone has become one of the most popular weekend destinations
among Japanese and international visitors alike
who want a break from the busy city.
For this reason, we suggest visiting on a weekday if possible, to avoid the weekend crowds.
Although Hakone makes an excellent day trip from Tokyo, it is best enjoyed with a night
at one of the many onsen ryokan.
Besides its natural beauty, the area has much history.
During the Edo period, Hakone was known as the entrance to the Kanto Plain.
Travelers along the popular Tokaido trade route that connected Kyoto to Edo (now Tokyo)
knew their long journey was almost over when they reached Hakone because it was the last
mountain range on the way to Edo.
One of the most convenient ways to get around Hakone is by using the Hakone Freepass.
This pass allows one person unlimited access to all the buses, trains, boats, cable cars
and ropeways in the Hakone area that are affiliated with the prominent Odakyu group.
It also provides discounted admission to several tourist attractions and optionally a round
trip from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.
There is a lot of see and do in this region, so here are our top 5 recommendations in Hakone.
Number Five: Hakone Open Air Museum
The expansive and pristine grounds of the Hakone Open Air Museum are dotted by large
sculptures which visitors can walk around and appreciate up close.
With views of the surrounding grand Hakone mountains, the museum achieves an appealing balance of
art and natural beauty.
Of the multiple in and outdoor exhibition spaces,
one of the most notable is the Picasso Exhibition Hall.
Displayed across two floors, this is one of the largest collection of works by Pablo Picasso
in the entire world containing over 300 paintings, sculptures and ceramic works by the famous artist.
Of the outdoor sculptures, one of the the largest is the Symphonic Sculpture, which
is a stained glass tower visitors can enter and climb with a view from the top.
The museum has a large permanent collection as well as several rotating exhibition spaces.
The grounds are also home to multiple shops, cafes, and a foot bath.
Number Four: Hakone Shrine
At the foot of Mount Hakone, on the edge of Lake Ashinoko
stands one of the most recognizable and photographed icons in the area,
the large torii gate of Hakone Shrine.
From here, paths lined with traditional red lanterns lead from the shore into the dense
forest where the shrine buildings are located.
The shrine complex itself is made up of multiple structures including several other torii gates,
a smaller shrine dedicated to the legendary 9-headed dragon Kuzuryu
and the main shrine itself.
Originally the shrine was established on the summit of Komagatake
one of Mt. Hakone's multiple peaks
However it was relocated to the shore of Lake Ashinoko in 1667.
The original Hakone Shrine called Mototsumiya is known for often being shrouded in an atmospheric
fog and still stands on the top of Komagatake which can be visited by either taking the
Komagatake Ropeway or walking up hiking paths.
Number Three: Old Tokaido and Hakone Checkpoint
During the Edo period the Tokugawa clan built 5 major trade highways allowing merchants
and travelers to walk or ride between the nation's important centers of industry and culture.
By far the most trafficked route was the Tokaido which connected Kyoto to Edo.
Along the Tokaido were over 50 towns where travelers could restock and rest.
In addition, there were two checkpoints where officials would inspect travelers' documents
and goods, one in Arai and one in Hakone.
Positioned in the mountains just west of Edo and the Hakone Checkpoint controlled traffic
into and out of the city.
Mostly this included checking for smuggled weapons
or for wives and children of feudal lords trying to escape the city.
In 2007 an exact replica of the Hakone Checkpoint was finally unveiled after years of construction.
Complete with gates, stables, prison, and armory, visitors can experience for themselves
what it was like to travel through this historic checkpoint during the Edo period.
Although the Old Tokaido has been replaced by modern roads and train lines, between Moto-Hakone
and Hakone-Yumoto a portion of the walking trail has been preserved.
The best section being between Moto-Hakone an Hatajuku where parts of the original stone path remain.
Walking this segment takes between 75 to 100min and brings travelers past a traditional Japanese
tea house called Amazake Chaya which has been welcoming visitors since the Edo era.
Number Two: Hakone Onsen
Mount Hakone is a volcanic mountain with ongoing hydrothermal activity such as hissing steam
vents which can be observed in the Owakudani area, particularly from the Hakone Ropeway.
As a result, Hakone has an astonishing seventeen natural onsen.
These act as the source of the many bath houses and ryokan in the area, and make it one of
Japan's premiere onsen destinations.
The onsen waters of Hakone can be enjoyed at a public bath house or at a ryokan.
Guests of these traveler inns are given unlimited access to the pools at the inn where they are staying.
Most ryokan will also welcome daytime visitors, but will charge an admission fee.
If you aren't staying at an inn, there are plenty of excellent bathhouses to choose from.
A prime example being the Hakone Yuryo bath complex which provides bathers
with pleasant views of the surrounding forest while they soak.
It has the usual gender separated public areas with a variety of pools to enjoy and
also a large selection of private baths for families or couples.
Aside from bathing, onsen towns in the Hakone region such as Hakone Yumoto
typically have a variety of quaint shops and eateries and are pleasant places to explore.
Number One: Lake Ashinoko
Formed by an eruption 3000 years ago, this caldera lake offers some of the area's best
views of Mt. Fuji and is the peak of Hakone's natural grandeur.
The most famous view is from Moto-Hakone, a small port town on the south-east side of the lake.
Like the other lake-front towns, Moto-Hakone caters to tourists looking for lake-side hotels,
restaurants, and hot springs.
Nearby, on the southern peninsula of Lake Ashinoko, next to the Hakone Checkpoint is
the Hakone Detached Palace.
This was once a summer home of the Japanese imperial family, but it is now open to the
public and free to visit.
The manicured park surrounding what's left of the old palace has pleasant walking trails
that offer more beautiful views of the lake and on a clear day Fuji itself.
The other great way to tour lake Ashinoko is by taking a sightseeing cruise.
A couple of companies offer boat tours.
Of these, the tours operated by the Hakone Sightseeing Boats company
whose boats resemble pirate ships, are covered by the Hakone Free Pass.
Although the sight of Mount Fuji is famous from Lake Ashinoko, it's not always visible.
The best times to see it are during the colder months, and in the early morning or evening
hours of the day, but even then it still can be elusive.
We hope this Top 5 list gives you a good place to start when planning your trip to Hakone.
For more information about any of the places mentioned in this video or to explore another region of Japan
click the links on the screen now or head over to japan-guide.com
your comprehensive, up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan.
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Happy travels.


Top 5 Things to do in Hakone | japan-guide.com

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Summer 發佈於 2020 年 4 月 28 日
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