Hakone is well loved for two attractions in particular – the iconic view of sacred, symmetrical Mount Fuji seen across Lake Ashi, and its high concentration of bubbling onsen (hot springs). Featuring Mount Fuji as its backdrop, only sparkling lakes interrupt dense evergreen forests speckled with Shinto shrines, hot springs and luxury ryokans.
Shy Mount Fuji is, simply put, Japan’s icon. But, as the country’s highest mountain, it’s no easy climb. However, sunrise lake views and its 1,000-year-old temples rival any summit panorama, and rail journeys provide a spectacular way to witness the cherry blossom-lined lake at the base of the mountain.
Hakone's charms truly lie in its hidden houses and forests, from the remote hiking trails of Tokkaido to Miyanoshita's secret private baths. Hakone is also known for its onsen bathing and the ritual is integral to Japanese society and a trip to one of the 3,000 or so baths across the country is almost akin to a religious act. Onsen also provide soothing relief after walks through the park's many peaks and valleys, or for those who choose to undertake the ultimate climb in Japan and trek to the top of Fuji-san.
Hot spring, Yamanochaya, Hakone