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How to visit Hakone: a comprehensive guide for a unique experience

Exploring Hakone, Japan, proved to be a truly captivating experience on our recent trip to Japan. This charming destination offers not only stunning views of Mount Fuji but also a variety of hot spring activities that provide moments of relaxation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share our experience in Hakone, from how to get there to the top attractions and tips to make your visit to Hakone an unforgettable journey.

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Why Visit Hakone

Hakone is a hidden treasure worth exploring. Besides the magnificent views of Mount Fuji, this region is known for its hot springs, providing a relaxing and revitalizing experience.

Não há como visitar Hakone e não navegar no Lago Ashi.

The rich Japanese culture and history are present in every corner of Hakone, making it a truly unique and memorable destination for travelers.

How to Get to Hakone

To get to Hakone, we opted to use the Hakone Freepass, a convenient ticket that gave us unlimited access to a variety of transportation in the region. We started our journey by train, using the Hakone Freepass to travel to Hakone Yumoto Station.

Comboio na estação de Gora, Hakone

It’s important to note that the Hakone Freepass offers flexibility to travelers as it can be purchased with different starting stations (Shinjuku or Odawara), allowing travelers to choose the most convenient starting point for their journey. Additionally, this pass is available in various validity options, from one-day passes to multi-day passes, providing travelers with the freedom to explore Hakone at their own pace. This variety of choices makes the Hakone Freepass a convenient and versatile option for travelers wishing to make the most of their experience in Hakone.

Stay in Hakone or Visit in a Day

While it’s possible to visit Hakone in a day, we decided to extend our stay to fully enjoy everything the region has to offer. We chose to stay one night in the Hakone Yumoto area at the Yumoto Station Hotel Mirakone, ensuring we had enough time to explore the local attractions at a leisurely pace.

How to Get Around Hakone

In Hakone, getting around between the different attractions is easy and convenient, thanks to the efficient public transportation system.

Barco Pirata no Lago Ashi, Hakone

We used the Hakone Freepass to travel by train, bus, and boat, allowing us to explore every corner of Hakone with ease. Additionally, cable cars and scenic lifts offer stunning views of Mount Fuji. They are an excellent way to get around different parts of the region, and it’s all included in the pass.

Itinerary in Hakone

Our itinerary in Hakone covered a variety of unmissable attractions. We decided to follow the itinerary in the reverse direction of most visitors to avoid crowds and enjoy a more relaxing experience.

So, this was our itinerary:

  • We took the K bus, included in the Hakone Freepass, from Yumoto bus station to the “Amasake Tea House“.
  • We explored the Old Tokaido Highway (Old Tokaido Highway) to Motohakone, discovering points of interest along the way, such as the famous Heiwa no Torii.
  • We enjoyed lunch by the lake, opting for a convenience store to purchase traditional products.
  • We embarked on a cruise on Lake Ashi to Togendai.
  • We started the journey on cable cars and scenic lifts, passing through Ōwakudani Station, where we tasted eggs boiled in volcanic activity.
  • We continued on the cable car to Sōunzan Station in Gora, where we took the elevator to Gora train station.
  • We explored the neighborhood before returning by train to Yumoto.

This itinerary provided us with the opportunity not only to enjoy views of Mount Fuji that will stay with us forever but also to visit Hakone’s most important points, contributing to a unique experience.

What to Do in Hakone

Exploring Hakone goes beyond just enjoying the picturesque views; there’s a variety of captivating activities for travelers to enjoy. Here are some suggestions of what to do when your visit to Hakone:

Takaido Road in Hakone, Japan
  • Relax in Traditional Onsens: Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a relaxing bath in a traditional Japanese onsen. Hakone is known for its hot springs, and soaking in an onsen is a rejuvenating and soothing experience after a day of exploration.
  • Explore Gardens and Museums: Hakone is home to several charming gardens and museums that offer insight into Japanese culture and art. Visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum to appreciate outdoor sculptures and modern artworks, or take a stroll in the lush gardens of the Pola Museum of Art.
  • Experience Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to taste Hakone’s local delicacies. Try Manju, steamed buns filled with bean paste, a traditional delight that can be found in various shops in the area.
  • Cook Black Eggs in Hot Springs: A quirky tradition in Hakone is cooking eggs in the volcanic hot springs of Ōwakudani. It is believed that these eggs, which turn black due to minerals present in the water, extend the eater’s life. Experience this unique and tasty activity while exploring the Ōwakudani area.
  • Walk Along the Tokaido Road: Explore Hakone’s history along the Old Tokaido Highway, one of Japan’s oldest roads. This scenic route offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a unique way to experience local culture and tradition.

These are just a few of the many exciting activities Hakone has to offer. No matter what your interests are, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful region of Japan.

Safety Tips in Hakone

When exploring Hakone, safety should be a priority. Here are some simple tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:

  • Be mindful of weather conditions and dress appropriately for the weather, especially if you plan on hiking or engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Respect local traditions and etiquette when visiting temples and shrines, ensuring a respectful and authentic experience in Hakone.
  • Be aware of potential hazards and take precautions to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.
  • Pay attention to warning signs and avoid areas that may pose a safety risk.
  • Ensure you have essential safety items, such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.
  • Consider purchasing comprehensive travel insurance to ensure coverage in case of medical emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances during your stay in Hakone.

Safety is paramount to fully enjoying everything Hakone has to offer. Traveling with peace of mind allows you to make the most of the experience in this beautiful region of Japan.

Exploring Hakone was a truly memorable and enriching experience for us. From the breathtaking views of Mount Fuji to the relaxing hot springs and rich Japanese culture, this charming region offers something special for every traveler. We hope this comprehensive guide has helped plan an adventure in Hakone. By following our tips and suggestions, we’re confident you’ll have an unforgettable journey filled with magical moments in this hidden gem of Japan. May your visit to Hakone be filled with exciting discoveries and unique experiences that will be etched in your memory forever.

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Activities at Hakone

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