5 Reasons Why A Day Trip To Hakone Should Be In Your Itinerary | CoolJapan

The Torii Gate in Lake Ashi is a must-visit when you go on a Hakone day trip.

Hakone is a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is a town known for its hot springs (onsen), iconic view of Mt Fuji, natural beauty, as well as the Hakone Shrine overlooking Lake Ashinoko.

Only 1.5 hours away from Tokyo, Hakone has become a famous weekend destination for locals and tourists who are looking at breaking away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The best way to travel to Hakone if you are from the city would be from Shinjuku with the two-day Hakone Freepass (Adult: ¥5,700, Children: ¥1,500) that you can purchase from here. The Hakone Freepass allows unlimited rides on the eight transportation networks in Hakone, such as Hakone Tozan Cable Car, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, Hakone Tozan Bus and so on. They do not have a single day pass and paying all transportation individually will cost more than the two-day pass.

Immerse yourself in the rich and beautiful history of Hakone by including these five activities into your itinerary. 

1. Snap a photo of yourself in front of Lake Ashi at the water gates of Hakone Shrine

Torii Gate at Lake Ashi

(Photo by: Ridhwan Alwi)

At the foot of Mount Hakone and edge of Lake Ashinoko stands one of the most photographed and recognisable large Torii Gate of the Hakone Shrine. It is recommended that you reach this place by 9am to avoid queuing for a photo with the gate. We have heard that you can be in line for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the time of day and season you are in.

2. Live seven years longer: try the Owakudani black eggs

Owakudani black eggs and ice cream

Legend has it that you can add seven years to your life by eating one of these Owakudani black eggs. Owakudani means the Great Boiling Valley. The eggs are ordinary chicken eggs boiled in hot sulphur spring – only the shell turns black but inside it looks just like your everyday boiled eggs. 

You can purchase these eggs minimally for five pieces in a bag (¥500) at the mountain town of Hakone. Right beside the egg stall, there is a stall selling ice cream called Kuro-Choco Soft Cream, a soft serve ice cream with a piece of black colored rusk topping which you must try!

3. Cross Lake Ashikono on the Pirate Ship

Lake Ashikono Pirate Ship

Cruise on Lake Ashinoko on the pirate ship and get to the other side of Hakone. The Pirate Ship ride is covered with the two-day Hakone Freepass. Depending on where you are boarding the ship from, the boarding and arrival time will differ. You can refer here for the timetable and route.

While on the pirate ship, enjoy the scenic and postcard views surrounding Lake Ashinoko and keep a lookout for Mt. Fuji and the Torii Gate.

We took the pirate ship from Hakonemachi-ko and alighted at Togendai-ko to board the Hakone Ropeway (also included in the Freepass) and that brought us to the Mountain Town where we bought the Owakudani black eggs (alight at Owakudani station).

4. Try the onsen amusement park: Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

Hot spring

On the Hakone Ropeway, dropoff at Gora station and hop on the shuttle bus to Hakone Kowakien Yunessun. Admission fee to Yunessun ranges from ¥1500 – ¥3500 for adults.

This onsen amusement park is one of its kind. There are cave baths, a dragon’s waterfall, an outdoor hot spring, rodeo mountain slides and many more. One of the few baths that caught our attention has got to be their flavoured baths – green tea, wine, sake and coffee! 

5. Be amongst the Pampas Leaves (during autumn)

Pampas leaves 

If you are visiting Hakone in autumn (late September – late November), you have to visit Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields and witness the swaying and shining under the golden sun. You will be able to capture Instagram-worthy photos here. 

The pampas grass are only around during autumn. By the end of March, the pampas leaves will get engulfed in flames due to the annual yama-yaki ritual (mountain-burning) that helps preserve the landscape of pampas. This powerful scenery is another speciality of Hakone.

Hakone is an amazing town with lots to do whether you are with family, friends or your partner. Be sure to plan for a day trip or a 2D1N trip and explore what Hakone has to offer when you are in Tokyo. Get away from the buzz of city life and visit this nook to recharge.

For more information about Hakone, check the Hakone Japan website.

Maya is fueled by plans of travelling the world. She craves to be in different places all the time and illuminates when experiencing cultures, food and products unique to the localities. Getting to share these experiences through her snaps and writings makes her adventures more worthwhile.
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