Hakone, located in the southwestern region of Kanagawa, is an area which has a number of mountains so steep, they can be called swords of the earth. It also has a number of hot springs that boast abundant amount of hot water. As it is close to magnificent Mount Fuji and equipped with various leisure facilities like museums and cruising, it is also loved as a place to escape from the summer heat.
Sightseeing on Lake Ashi by a Luxurious Pirate Ship
Hakone Sightseeing Cruise boats imitate actual battleships from the 17th and 18th centuries. They are called Hakone pirate ships due to their unique shape, and have been operating for half a century. There are three ports: Tougendai, close to the terminal of Hakone Ropeway, Moto-Hakone, and Hakone-machi. It takes between 10 to 30 minutes to travel between ports. The boats shown on the photos are the Royal II, Vasa, and Victory which move on the surface of Lake Ashi gracefully. Depending on the location, you can view Mount Fuji from the boat on the lake, and because this is a big attraction of Lake Ashi, every year about 1.8 million tourists ride the boats.
A Stunning View Overlooking the Four Seasons of Hakone
The Hakone Ropeway operates for about 4km from Tougendai station, facing Lake Ashi via Ubako and Owakudani stations, to Sounzan station. Opened in 1959, currently over 2 million people ride it each year. On the route going through Hakone mountains, you can view the nature which changes by seasons, such as cherry blossoms, azaleas, hydrangeas, and red and yellow leaves, as well as allowing you to view Mount Fuji in the distance on a sunny day. From Sounzan Station, the terminal station, you can change trains to Hakone Tozan cable cars and go to Gora Onsen (hot springs) and further down to the Hakone Open-Air Museum by Hakone Tozan Railway.
* Hakone Ropeway has partially halted some operation as of February 2016. For more information, refer to Hakone Navi.
A Museum With a Spectacular View of Lake Ashi
Narukawa Art Museum stands on a hill viewing Lake Ashi, a 3 minute walk from the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Moto-Hakone Port. Its collection is mainly modern Japanese paintings, as well as some other works. Works made from Chinese jade, and kaleidoscopes with unique sparkles, are permanent exhibitions. Also, you can enjoy special displays that are changed every three months. At the observatory lounge on the first floor, there are special seats facing a 50m wide glass, so you can view mountains surrounding Lake Ashi and magnificent Mount Fuji. At the tea lounge Kisetsufu (meaning "seasonal winds"), you can enjoy tea while viewing scenery of Hakone in a relaxed manner.
570, Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, 250-0522
Odawara Station （Tokaido Shinkansen Line / JR Tokaido Main Line / Odakyu Odawara Line / Hakone Tozan Railway / Izuhakone Railway Daiyuzan Line）
- Phone Number 0460-83-6828
- Address 570, Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, 250-0522
Viewing Mt. Fuji While Enjoying an Open-Air Bath!
This resort hotel, accessible from Lake Ashi by the Hakone Ropeway, is representative of Hakone. From an open-air bath with water sourced from Sengokubara Onsen (one of 17 Hakone hot springs), to a magnificent view of the Mount Fuji spread. The hot spring contains rich metasilicic acid, a natural moisturizer that is famous for its mildly alkaline nature of spring which is gentle for skins. It has a reputation that skins get soft and plump after taking bath there and also known as "hot spring for beautiful skin". You can take a bath even without staying, everyday between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Also, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., female guests have the special privilege of enjoying sake in the bath while viewing Mt. Fuji. Why don't you enjoy the spectacular Mt. Fuji, a symbol of Japan, while enjoying the country's hot spring culture, beloved since ancient times?