One Day Trip to Hakone Onsen: Kanagawa’s Scenic Volcano Mountain | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

One Day Trip to Hakone Onsen: Kanagawa’s Scenic Volcano Mountain

By Nadia Apr 6, 2022

This post is also available in: Thai

Hakone onsen is a beautiful onsen area famous for its magnificent mountains. It is located in Kanagawa prefecture and if you live in central Tokyo, it takes around 85 minutes to get here. This area is close enough to Mount Fuji. You can enjoy riding the oldest mountain railway that will take you to the winter wonderland in Hakone. Because of its location, during winter some areas are covered with snow and you can enjoy the winter scenery, which is almost like a piece of art. During the spring you can travel to view beautiful sakura trees, and take sakura photos with a Mount Fuji backdrop.

What You Can Do in Hakone Onsen Area? 

Located close to Tokyo, Hakone makes for a popular tourist destination. Hakone can be enjoyed in all four seasons. In winter you can play in the snow while taking in the beauty of Hakone and enjoy hot springs with the cool air tingling on your skin. In summer the mountains are a lush green and in autumn they turn a beautiful quilt of gold, brown and red.

There are some different ways to get to Hakone, you can take a normal train or the nicest way is you can ride Romancecar towards Hakone. If you want to ride Romancecar, you can take it from Shinjuku station and take the Odakyu Line. It takes around 85 minutes to Hakone.

As I did my research when I went to Hakone, these are some places you should visit in Hakone. 

1. Hakone Tozan Train 

Once you arrive in Hakone, you will get off in Hakone Yumoto on the Hakone Tozan train. Fun fact, the Hakone Tozan train is the oldest mountain railway. Far more spectacular is the upper section from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora, which is served by the small mountain trains. During your trip to Gora, you will hear an explanation of the history of the Hakone Tozan railway.

During the 35-minute train ride from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora, you can already see a lot of snow on the tracks and on the road in the winter and lush greenery in the summer. With lots of nature surrounding the area, the scenery is even more beautiful the higher the train goes in the mountains; you will feel like you are in a magical wonderland.

on the train to hakonePhoto Credit: Canva

2. Hakone Cable Car 

The Hakone Ropeway must be reached by using the Hakone Cable Car after you arrive at Gora. This train has a classic shape and is not too big in size. In approximately 9 minutes, you will ascend over 200 meters to the Hakone Ropeway, and you will see a beautiful view of the mountains.

Hakone mountainsPhoto Credit: Author 

3. Hakone Ropeway 

After arriving at Souzan station, you will see directions to ride the Hakone Ropeway. The ropeway’s gondolas depart every minute and fit around ten people each. However, due to the coronavirus prevention, only 4 people can enter the gondola at one time, and you also have to social distance while inside the gondola. Before boarding, the gondola staff will also give you wet wipes to cover your nose because of the sulfuric smell from the volcanic mountain.

About to board the Hakone Ropeway

Photo Credit: Author

We will have the opportunity to see the active, sulfuric hot spring sources of the Owakudani Valley, which are located between Sounzan and Owakudani, from the Hakone Ropeway. This 30-minute ride allows us to see an amazing view of the surrounding mountains covered with snow in winter with volcanic steam coming out of the top of the mountain. During good weather and when the skies aren’t cloudy, you can usually see Mount Fuji when boarding the gondola. Mount Fuji was not visible to me while I was there due to the unfavorable weather.

Owakudani Valley in Hakone onsen from abovePhoto Credit: Author

4. Try the Famous Black Eggs 

When you stop at Owakudani, don’t forget to try the black eggs. These black eggs are called kuro-tamago. This is very famous because these chicken eggs are boiled in the hot sulfur spring until the shells turn black, however, you might be a little disappointed because the taste is just the same as ordinary chicken eggs.

Owakudani Valley black eggsPhoto Credit: Author

5. Pirate Ship on Lake Ashi 

After enjoying the volcanic view from the gondola and trying the popular black egg, we must continue the journey to Togendai station which is the last station for this. After arriving at the Togendai station, we will see a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and greenery.

We can enjoy this lake by boarding a boat shaped like a pirate ship. When you buy a ticket, you can choose to buy a first-class or economy class ticket. The comparison is only the shape of the chair is different.

This pirate ship took us on a 30-minute cruise from Togendai to Hakone-Machi. On the way, you’ll see two popular Hakone shrines.

You can also enjoy the best view of the lake combined with Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from Moto-Hakone which is a few steps south of the sightseeing boat pier, from Hakone Separate Castle Park, and from sightseeing boats sailing on the lake when the weather is clear.

Hakone pirate shipPhoto Credit: Author

Are You Ready to Explore Hakone in Winter? 

Hakone still has many beautiful places that you can enjoy in the four different seasons. If you want to enjoy snow in Japan but don’t want to go to a ski resort because it’s too pricey, or if you just want to go somewhere for one day, Hakone is the answer. If you’re looking for a spring trip, there are many beautiful  cherry blossom spots. With its location not too far from Tokyo, you can enjoy many beautiful places and can be refreshed by seeing the amazing scenery.

Hopefully this article can be a reference for your trip. Let us know about your Hakone trip story.

Nadia Nurhafida Abidin 

From Indonesia 

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