Discover things to do in Hakone


Matsuzaka Honten Onsen in Hakone

A visit to a Japanese onsen is a must do for any trip to Japan. The country is full of places to experience this special piece of Japanese culture and history. The Hakone area is one of the best places to experience a dip in the Japanese hot spring. Geology has blessed Hakone with onsen areas of different qualities. There are 12 distinct onsen areas in Hakone and many options when finding a place to enjoy the waters. Most ryokan and hotel open their baths to day guests in the afternoon. There are also a number of high quality establishment catering to the day trips as well.

Ryokan in Hakone

A Suimeso room in Hakone Yumoto

Ryokan are Japanese inns a bit different from the modern hotel. Some ryokan in Hakone have been in operation for hundreds of years. The mountains were the most difficult part of the trip and the Hakone area has been receiving and welcoming visitors and guests for centuries. Ryokan in the area have provided continued service for centuries. The ryokan stay differs from a traditional stay in a hotel in many ways. Staying in a ryokan give you the opportunity to experience the traditional and refined method of Japanese hospitality.

Hakone Museums

A Picasso sculpture at the Hakone Outdoor Museum

Hakone is a short train ride from Tokyo and is a popular area to spend a few days or a weekend. Because of the beautiful surroundings, location, and number of visitors many museums have opened in the area. The Hakone area is full of wonderful museums. Some of the museums hold world class collections and others cater to more dedicated guests. The most popular is the Hakone Open Air Museum and Picasso Pavilion. An impressive collection of western art, including Monet, Degas, Manet, Van Gogh are on exhibit at the POLA museum.

Japanese Food

A typical dinner at Hakone`s Mountain View Hotel

Food is on parade in Hakone. One of the best food experiences in the world in the Japanese Kaiseki meal. The kaiseki is a multiple course meal reflecting the seasonality of ingredients and specialities of the location. There are also wonderful options for those not staying in one of the hotels or ryokan in the area. Walking the shops in front of Hakone-Yumoto station, Gora Station, and Moto-Hakone or visiting one of Hakone`s many hotel or ryokan for lunch can give you wonderful gastronomic experiences. There is wonderful street food, local restaurants, and much more to discover with your taste buds.