The Hakone Hydrangea Train: The Hakone Hydrangea Train operates on the Hakone Tozan Railway, renowned for its narrow-gauge railway line that winds through the mountainous terrain of Hakone. The train ride provides a delightful fusion of natural beauty, nostalgic charm, and cultural experiences, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and train aficionados alike.
As you board the retro-style train cars, a sense of nostalgia washes over you. These classic cars feature large windows, allowing panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes throughout the journey. The interior provides a cozy and comfortable setting, ensuring a relaxing experience as you traverse through the captivating scenery.
The Hydrangea Delight: The highlight of the Hakone Hydrangea Train is undoubtedly the abundance of hydrangea flowers that adorn the railway tracks and the surrounding areas. Hydrangeas, known as “ajisai” in Japanese, paint the landscape with their vivid hues of blue, pink, and purple. The blooming season typically occurs from late June to early July, enveloping the train route in a tapestry of vibrant colors.
The Stations along the Way: The Hakone Hydrangea Train journey encompasses several stops, allowing passengers to explore and immerse themselves in the wonders of Hakone. Here are some notable stations along the route:
Hakone-Yumoto Station: This bustling station serves as the gateway to the Hakone region. Before boarding the Hydrangea Train, take some time to explore Hakone-Yumoto. Indulge in local cuisine, relax in the rejuvenating hot springs (onsen) the region is famous for, or shop for unique souvenirs. The station area often boasts charming hydrangea displays, setting the stage for a memorable adventure. Located near the picturesque Yumoto district, this station is a gateway to traditional Japanese culture. As you step off the train, you’ll be greeted by streets lined with quaint shops offering traditional crafts and artisanal products. Delve into the world of handcrafted wooden items, ceramics, and other local treasures. The streets of Yumoto are often adorned with potted hydrangeas, adding a touch of natural beauty to your exploration.
Gora Station / Chokoku no Mori Station
- Gora Station: A significant hub along the Hakone Tozan Railway, Gora Station offers a myriad of attractions. One stop before here you can visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum, renowned for its outdoor sculptures set against a backdrop of lush greenery. Take a leisurely stroll through the museum’s expansive gardens, which often feature stunning hydrangea displays. Gora Station itself is a delightful spot to appreciate the surrounding natural beauty.
- Chokoku-no-Mori Station: This station is a gateway to Hakone’s rich art scene. Explore the Hakone Museum of Art, dedicated to showcasing fine Japanese ceramics. The museum’s tranquil garden, adorned with manicured landscapes and a variety of hydrangea species, creates a serene ambiance. Don’t miss the opportunity to appreciate the harmonious blend of art and nature.
- Kowakudani Station: Located in a picturesque valley, Kowakudani Station offers a serene escape amidst Hakone’s natural splendor. Discover the tranquil Kowakudani Onsen, a traditional hot spring retreat famous for its therapeutic qualities. Enjoy a relaxing soak while surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature. Kowakudani’s serene atmosphere makes it an ideal spot to take in the beauty of the hydrangea season.
Throughout the journey, the Hakone Hydrangea Train’s scenic route provides passengers with panoramic views of Hakone’s natural wonders. The train ascends steep inclines, traverses bridges, and winds through tunnels, offering breathtaking vistas at every turn. Take advantage of the train’s slow pace to fully appreciate the captivating landscapes and the delicate fragrance of the hydrangeas.
The Hakone Hydrangea Train is a captivating experience that combines the beauty of blooming hydrangeas with the charm of a nostalgic train ride through the scenic Hakone region. The journey allows you to explore vibrant stations like Hakone-Yumoto, Hatajuku, Gora, Chokoku-no-Mori, and Kowakudani, each offering unique cultural and natural attractions. Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes, enjoy the vibrant colors of the hydrangeas, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The Hakone Hydrangea Train promises an enchanting adventure you won’t soon forget.