It is the fifth part of my trip to Japan, which led me to Hakone. Just know that I also wrote travel guides of Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, so if you have not read these articles yet, let’s go!!
I spent two weeks in August 2019 in Japan, and it was awesome! Because I loved this country so much, I decided to share the itinerary I followed and the activities I did. I stayed one day in Hakone. I went there on an early Monday morning, leaving from Kyoto and taking the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Odawara Station. Click the following link for more details on how to go to Hakone, depending on which station you end up in.
This itinerary is intentionally starting on a Monday, so make sure to check if attractions are open or not before your visit, as some monuments and restaurants can be closed on certain days. Opening and closing hours can also vary from summertime to wintertime.
The opening hours you will see throughout the article will be during summertime (June through August).
Here are some currency exchanges just for you to have a little guidance on the worth of the Japanese Yen (¥ / JPY):
$10 = ¥1,038
€10 = ¥1,254
£10 = ¥1,411
I hope you guys will enjoy this article! Do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or if something is not clear for you, as always.
Hakone in 1 day
Hakone Open-Air Museum (彫刻の森美術館)
Let’s start this morning visit to the incredible open-air museum! Opened in 1969, it offers visitors the display of a hundred sculptures playing with nature, and as its name suggests, in open-air. It features artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries by renowned Japanese and Western artists.
You should check out the Picasso Pavilion. It houses a collection of 300 works by the artist! Needless to say that the place is very popular for my wannabe Instagram influencers out there.
How’s your head? 🗿
Address: Ninotaira 1121, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0493
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM until 5 PM (with the last admission 30 minutes before closing).
Price (if you take the tickets on the internet, it’s ¥100 less expensive for each category):
- Adults: ¥1,600
- University and high school students: ¥1,200
- Middle and elementary school students: ¥800
When you’re done visiting the museum, you can walk around 10 minutes to Kigasakashita Bus Stop and take the bus for 10-15 minutes to…
Hakone Venetian Glass Museum (箱根ガラスの森)
Outstanding? No. Over the top? No. Still worth the visit? Just about! The Hakone Glass Forest Museum is yet another museum in Hakone that demonstrates Japan’s cultural institutions’ originality and creativity. As its name makes it pretty clear, this museum is specialized in… Venetian glass! But why would you go to Japan to see Venetian glass when you could go to Veneshia? Well, I don’t have the answer, but I did go there!
The Hakone Glass Museum has structures that are designed in an Italian style. A vast strolling garden encircles a canal-like pond, which is surrounded by a variety of enormous glass sculptures. Was it worth the visit? I don’t know. Yet I was vaguely amused by what was happening before me, and I’m okay with that!
Venice in Japan! 🇮🇹🇯🇵
Address: 940-48 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 10 AM until 5:30 PM (with the last admission at 5 PM).
- Adults: ¥1,800
- Senior (over 65): ¥1,700
- University and high school students: ¥1,300
- Middle and elementary school students: ¥600
Time to have lunch! Take the bus at the stop 俵石・箱根ガラスの森前 (good luck lol) for 10 min to go to…
The place: incredible! The atmosphere: amazing! The food: show-stopping! You got it. We found ourselves another food gem in Japan. One of the best restaurants, hands down, in Hakone. This sushi shop is a small family-owned shop with lovely service and affordable prices. The ahi sushi, sashimi, and rolled sushi of grained tuna were particularly tasty!
The owners (husband/wife duo) 🍣
Address: 310 Miyanoshita, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0404
Opening Hours: It is open every day (except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) from 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM for lunch and from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM for dinner.
After this lovely lunch, you can go to Shrine Ka Hakonecho Bus Stop and take the bus for 20 minutes to…
Ōwakudani literally means “Great Boiling Valley” because of its volcanic activity, which manifests itself through “onsens” (hot springs) and sulfur emanations. Ōwakudani is famous for its panoramic view of Mount Fuji (when the weather allows it), its volcanic activity, but also for its “kuro-tamago“, eggs cooked in the water of local hot springs! You should try them!!
Due to volcanic gases, the area is sometimes closed. So check before you go. Also, if you have asthma, bronchitis or heart disease, if you use a pacemaker, or if you’re pregnant (ew), just don’t go there.
Here is the mountain smoking like a Parisian 💨
Address: 〒250-0631 Kanagawa, Ashigarashimo District, Hakone
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM until 5 PM.
To go to the next stop, you have two options:
- For the most adventurous of you, a hiking trail departs from Owakudani Cable Car Station and continues to Mount Komagatake, from where you can take the Komagatake Cable Car to Lake Ashi. The hike takes about 2 hours and is very enjoyable. But be careful, it is for experienced hikers, and you will need suitable equipment.
- OR, if you’re a lazy ass like me, you can go to Owakudani Bus Stop and take the bus to Hakone Ashinokohanaorizen Bus Stop to head to…
Lake Ashi (芦ノ湖)
The crater lake is also referred to as Hakone Lake or Ashinoko Lake. The lake is famous for its views of Mount Fuji, as well as its many hot springs, historical landmarks, and ryokan (Japanese inns). The most interesting thing to do here is the cruise! I recommend Hakone Sightseeing Cruise. If the weather allows it, being on the boat will be one of the best ways for having a clear view of Mont Fuji. More important, the boat is a pirate ship (how cool is that??)! Category is: Japanese pirate realness.
For more info, click here to get redirected to the website of the cruise. You will need to get a one-way ticket and leave from Togendai-ko (Stop 3), pass by Hakonemachi-ko (Stop 1) and land at Motohakone-ko (Stop 2) in order to visit the next attraction. The whole journey lasts 35 minutes.
Mount Fuji behind the cloudy cloud ☁️ / Hakone Shrine torii gate ⛩️
Address of the cruise: 164 Moto-Hakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun 250-0522
Opening hours of the cruise: From Hakonemachi-ko, the first ship leaves at 9:30, and the last ship leaves for Togendai-ko at 16:20. I cannot find the actual timetable from Togendai-ko, but please note that the timetable varies at each port.
Price of the cruise:
- Adults (junior high school students and above): ¥1,200
- Children (elementary school and under): ¥600
After landing at Motohakone-ko boat stop, you should walk around 15 minutes to go to…
Hakone Shrine (箱根神社)
Founded in 757, Hakone Shrine is a Shinto shrine located on the shores of Lake Ashi. It stands out for its torii (Japanese red gate) submerged in the lake that offers one of the best-known views of Mount Fuji. You will have to stroll in the thickness of the nearby forest as the main building is hidden amongst many beautiful cedar trees. Then, go to the torii and take a picture of yourself for your mandatory IG post.
[Story time] According to Japanese mythology, a nine-headed dragon was causing problems in the area a long time ago. It took the intervention of a monk to whoop his ass and transform him into a being of protection. Since then, the dragon has been consecrated within the sanctuary.
🎵Into the thick of it…🎵
Address: 80-1 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0522
Opening Hours: It is open 24/7.
Restaurants in Hakone close pretty early, so when you’re done, you should go have dinner! And the best place for that is…
Itoh Dining by Nobu
This steakhouse is unique not just because of the food but also because of the customer service, cooking performance, and decorations. The food is quite pricey, but worth it, as the quality of the meat is incredible (Kobe beef). There is a special dinner menu that I would recommend taking to have the whole culinary experience (it comes with soup, salad, seafood, beef, etc.), but you can also choose dishes from the “À la carte” menu if you don’t feel like having a full menu.
[Little Tip] Try to make a reservation on the tables in front of the chef to see him cook in front of you!
The meat: juicy! 🥩
Address: 1300-64 Gora, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0408
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 11:30 AM until 2 PM for lunch, and from 5 PM until 9:30 PM for dinner.
Let’s say that the night scene in Hakone is not really… busy. However, the best thing you could do is go to an onsen, and Hakone has lots of them! If you’re staying in a ryokan, there’s probably an onsen right there. However, if you’re staying in an Airbnb or a place that doesn’t have an onsen, you should head to…
Hotel Green Plaza Hakone
Despite the fact that the hotel is not as conveniently located as others, many visitors come to relax in this onsen for one particular reason: the panoramic view of Mount Fuji! Most of the time, the water is around 42 °C, so let’s get naked!
Tripzilla.com made a list of the “Top 10 Onsens in Hakone: Hot Springs for All Budgets” here if you’re looking for something closer to your accommodation!
View of the Mount Fuji from the onsen 🗻♨️
Address: 1244-2 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631
Opening Hours: It is open every day in the morning from 5 AM to 10 AM. The rest of the day, it is open from 1 PM to midnight from Friday to Tuesday and from 3 PM to midnight Wednesday and Thursday.
- Adults: ¥1,600
- Elementary school students: ¥700
- Less than elementary school students: Free
Sadly, this is the end of this incredible trip to Hakone. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Don’t hesitate to comment and share it with your friends, family, lovers, pets…
My next article will feature the last step of my trip to Japan, in no other city than Tokyo! If you enjoy the content of my blog, don’t forget to follow A Gourmet Vagabond on WordPress and my social media channels, to be updated about new upcoming articles and other fun stuff!
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