HOME Tokyo and Surroundings Kanagawa Hakone / Odawara Awesome Things to Do In Japan: Most Popular Spots in Hakone / Odawara! (March 2020 Ranking)
Awesome Things to Do In Japan: Most Popular Spots in Hakone / Odawara! (March 2020 Ranking)

Awesome Things to Do In Japan: Most Popular Spots in Hakone / Odawara! (March 2020 Ranking)

Date published: 18 March 2020

These are the top recommendations for Hakone / Odawara, with travel tips and more, according to LIVE JAPAN, a top-class travel website for visitors to Japan. Our ranking is based on the most popular pages viewed by foreign visitors in a given category.

For instance, Owakudani, EVANGELION OFFICIAL STORE “EVA-YA”, Hakone Shrine and other related spots will be listed. Be sure to check them out during your visit to Hakone / Odawara!

1.Owakudani

1.Owakudani

Owakudani was created by the eruption of Mt. Kamiyama about 3,000 years ago. It is an active volcano that still emits 100°C sulphurous gas and vapour. You can feel the force of nature from the rough rocks that give off white smoke and a sulfurous smell. Here, 1,040 meters above sea level, you have a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji and Japan's North Alps, and on a clear day, of Yokohama's Landmark Tower and Rainbow Bridge. Taking the Hakone Ropeway gives you a view of Owakudani itself. A specialty of Owakudani is eggs with a deep black shell, made by the chemical reaction of geothermal heat and volcanic gas. Access Owakudani by Izu Hakone Bus from Odawara Station on the JR and Odakyu Lines, or from Hakone Yumoto Station. From Gora Station, take the Hakone Tozan Cablecar or Hakone Ropeway.

  • Owakudani
    • Address 1251, Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, 250-0631
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Gora Station (Hakone Tozan Railway / Hakone Tozan Cable Car)
    • Phone Number 0460-84-5201

2.EVANGELION OFFICIAL STORE “EVA-YA”

2.EVANGELION OFFICIAL STORE “EVA-YA”

An official store operated in Hakone, the town that was the model for Tokyo-3 that appears in the anime Evangelion. We offer a wide selection of items that have the unique Japanese stylings of Hakone and limited edition items only available at Hakone Yumoto EVA-ya.
We also offer sweets such as ice cream and take-out drinks in the color of Evangelion Unit-01.
As we are directly connected to the station, you can visit in any weather! Please stop by the EVA-ya while sightseeing in Hakone.
The No.1 official store, EVANGELION STORE TOKYO-01, is now operating in Ikebukuro.

3.Hakone Shrine

3.Hakone Shrine

The Hakone Shrine is worshipped in the capacity of the lucky gods for matters like traffic safety, for better luck and for warding off evil. Nowadays not only the civilians but also people from political and business circles visit to pay their respects, so the number of visitors exceeds 2000,000 people on an annual basis. On the premises, there are many shrines and vermilion-lacquered torii gate and the ”Homotsuden” (lit: treasure house) where various historical materials and objects are being kept and displayed. Above all, the subordinate shrine named Kuzuryu Shrine is famous as the guardian of economic fortune, business prosperity and matchmaking. On the ”Lake Ashi Summer Festival Week” firework displays and taiko drum performances are held and street stalls are lined up several nights in a row where many people come to visit. It is a 10 minute walk from the bus stop ”Motohakone” or ”Motohakone-ko”, accessible by bus from ”Hakone-Yumoto” Station of the Odakyu Line.

4.Lake Ashi

4.Lake Ashi

The lake was formed by the steam explosion of Kamiyama around 3,100 years ago. It is a caldera lake with an altitude of 724 meters, circumference of 19 kilometers, size of 6.9 square kilometers, and a depth of 43.5 meters at its deepest point. A caldera lake is a lake that is made by rainwater accumulating in a depression or a part of a depression made by volcanic activity. The lake is surrounded by the mountains of Hakone, and there are popular sightseeing spots nearby such as the Hakone Sekisho (checkpoint) and Hakone Shrine, as well as hot springs. You can go for a drive or a stroll by the lakeside, or enjoy the view from the lake on the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise or Pleasure Cruise that connects Togendai Port, Hakone-machi Port, and Moto-hakone Port. The colorful Hakone mountains and Mount Fuji that can be seen from the lake is an excellent view. To get to Togendai Port for the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, take the Hakone Tozan bus for 35 minutes to Togendai bus stop from Odakyu or Hakone Tozan Railway Hakone-Yumoto Station.

  • Lake Ashi
    • Address Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Lake Ashi, 250-0500
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Hakone-Yumoto Station (Hakone Tozan Railway)
      35 minutes by bus
    • Phone Number 0460-85-8911

5.Odawara Castle

5.Odawara Castle

Odawara Castle is best known as the seat of the Odawara Hojo clan, which captured it in the late 15th century and enjoyed the glory for 100 years — until the castle fell to Hideyoshi, ending the warring states period. After that, the castle was ruled by many feudal lords, until 1870 when it was banned by the Meiji Government and many of the castle buildings were dismantled. The Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 crushed the remaining buildings, leaving the area without reminders of its past. Post-earthquake reconstruction efforts brought back not only the main castle tower but the corner tower (Sumi-yagura), Tokiwagi-mon, Akagane-mon and Umadashi-mon gates. The exterior design of the reconstructed main tower was based on a reduced-scale prototype and plans created during the Edo Period (1603–1868). Inside the tower is a historical museum exhibiting helmets, armor, swords, drawings, paintings and historical records telling the story of Odawara and Odawara Hojo Clan. A ten-minute walk from the East Exit of Odawara Station on the Tokaido Main Line.

Hours are subject to change, please see official site: https://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/223

  • Odawara Castle
    • Address 6-1, Jonai, Odawara-shi, Kanagawa, 250-0014
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Odawara Station (Tokaido Shinkansen Line / JR Tokaido Main Line / JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Odakyu Odawara Line / Hakone Tozan Railway / Izuhakone Railway Daiyuzan Line)
      10 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 0465-23-1373

6.Hakone Ropeway

6.Hakone Ropeway

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.

7.Venetian Glass Museum

7.Venetian Glass Museum

Hakone Garasunomori Museum, or the Venetian Glass Museum in Hakone, is the first museum to specialize in Venetian glass in Japan. On the premises, there are the Venetian Glass Museum, which exhibits 100 excellent works of Venetian glass objects from the 15th century to 19th century, and the Modern Glass Museum, which exhibits glass sculptures of contemporary artists. In the garden, from which the entire Owakudani Valley can be viewed, “Hikari-no-Kairo,” a crystal glass arch sparkles in seven colors reflecting the sunlight. Also, the seasonal exhibits such as cherry blossoms, Japanese silver grass, and Christmas trees made of crystal glass are must-see. There is a workshop where you can experience glass making, and you can create your original work there. A restaurant where you can enjoy live canzone sung by an Italian singer (six performances a day) and a museum shop that handles 100,000 items of Venetian glassworks and accessories are also on the premises. The museum is a 25-minute bus ride from the Hakone-yumoto Station by the Hakone Tozan (mountain) bus.

8.Hakone Gora Park

8.Hakone Gora Park

Opened in 1914, this was the first formal French garden in Japan. The total area was approximately 36,400 square meters when the park first opened. About 26,500 square meters remains and is used as the park grounds. There are many slopes and stairs throughout the park, and there is a difference of approximately 40 meters in elevation between the main gate and the west gate. You can feel the difference in temperature within the park, and during the wintertime, you can observe a rare phenomenon where snow falls only in some areas of the park. You can also enjoy such seasonal flowers as cherry blossoms and azaleas in spring, hydrangeas in summer, maples in autumn, and poinsettias in winter. There are many other attractions, such as the Tropical Flora House, Tea Garden, and Hands-on Workshop Craft House where you can experience pottery making. Take the Hakone Tozan cable car to the Koen-Shimo Station and walk approximately one minute to the main gate, or to the Koen-Kami Station and walk one minute to the west gate.

9.HIGANESAN・JIKKOKUTOUGEHAIKINGUKOHSU

9.HIGANESAN・JIKKOKUTOUGEHAIKINGUKOHSU

[Takes around two hours 15 minutes at a regular pace - suitable for regular walkers]

Known as the ”stone Buddha walking course” as stone Buddhas have been placed along the route to show you the way.
Start from Jukkokutoge-sancho Station, which overlooks all ten of surrounding ancient kingdoms of Japan, namely Izu, Suruga, To'otoumi, Kai, Shinano, Musashi, Sagami, Awa, Kazusa, and Shimofusa. The station also affords a great view of Mr. Fuji.

10.MAKUYAMAHAIKINGUKOHSU

10.MAKUYAMAHAIKINGUKOHSU

On this course, the various changes in scenery will give you a boost as you walk.
Walk along the clear stream of the Niizaki River, which is a fishing ground for Japanese salmon and trout, and you’ll arrive at the huge rock face of Makuyama.
The peak of the mountain is 626 meters above sea level and you can enjoy wonderful views of Sagami Bay.
The grass spreading over the mountain is a treasure trove of wild flowers.
While walking through the vast, open landscape, you can enjoy a view filled with seasonal plants.

Access:
From Yugawara Station, take the bus headed to Makuyama Koen for about 20 minutes
The course starts next to the Makuyama Koen bus stop

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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