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Top 5 Spots to Enjoy the Fall Foliage in Hakone


Translated by Shinji Takaramura

Written by Koshizuka Misato


This article will introduce five spots to enjoy the autumn foliage and awe-inspiring view of Mt Fuji in Hakone. This popular day-trip destination in Kanagawa Prefecture is accessible under two hours from Tokyo. Visitors will be treated to an idyllic fall day at this hot spring (onsen) resort!

When and Where to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Hakone

Hakone is located in the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture. This onsen (hot spring) resort town is easily accessible from Shinjuku Station and popular year-round as a day-trip destination from Tokyo.

Many visitors come to soak in hot springs and enjoy outdoor excursions, including mountain climbing. However, a large number of people visit Hakone from October to mid-November for the fall foliage. This article will introduce five spots with fantastic views showcasing this striking seasonal display.

1. Hakone Gora Park

hakone gora park in fall

Picture courtesy of the Hakone Gora Tourist Association Website (Japanese)

Gora Park is located in Gora, one of Hakone's premium hot springs areas. It was completed in 1914 as Japan's first French-style park. Built on a slope, trees and flowers surround the Western-style recreation ground.

There are various types of flowers blooming in the premises. Many tourists flock to Gora Park to enjoy roses that bloom during this time of the year alongside the autumn leaves.

Hakone Gora Park

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2. Hakone Museum of Art

Top 5 Spots to Enjoy the Fall Foliage in Hakone

Photo by Pixta

The autumn leaves at the Hakone Museum of Art, the oldest museum in the town, is found in its 1,900-square-meter moss garden. Approximately 130 types of moss and 200 trees gradually turn red and yellow when fall rolls around. Visitors can walk along the promenade surrounded by lush nature. The contrast between the green moss and autumn leaves is a unique sight!

After enjoying the moss garden and foliage, why not visit the museum as an additional treat?

Hakone Museum of Art

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3. Lake Ashi

Top 5 Spots to Enjoy the Fall Foliage in Hakone

Photo by Pixta

Lake Ashi, the largest lake in Kanagawa Prefecture, offers visitors views of Mt. Fuji with the backdrop of the autumn leaves. You can marvel at this vast body of water coupled with the surrounding foliage turning red and yellow hues. It is truly an astonishing sight! On clear days, Mt. Fuji is visible in the distance as well.

Visitors can also enjoy the view from pirate-themed sightseeing boats, which depart from four ports at Lake Ashi.

Lake Ashi

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4. Choanji Temple

Choanji Temple in Fall

Choanji is a Buddhist temple built about 700 years ago. The statues of the Gohyaku Rakan, the 500 disciples of Buddha who attained nirvana, stand quietly in a nearby bamboo thicket. The details of each statue are different, so be sure to check them out carefully! It is quite refreshing to see these Buddhist stone statues displaying different emotions.

Choanji Temple is a quiet area away from Hakone's busy central district. It makes for a relaxing afternoon filled with nature and exploring serene temples.

Choanji Temple

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5. Hakone Tozan Railway

Hakone tozan railway

Picture courtesy of the Hakone Tozan Train

Hakone Tozan Railway operates about a two-kilometer distance between Odawara Station and Gora Station. The cars zig-zag their way up the steep hill. This is also why the railway is named "tozan," which means "mountain climbing" in Japanese.

The Hayakawa Railway Bridge (located between Tonosawa Station and Deyama Signal Station), also known as the Deyama Railway Bridge, offers a spectacular view for riders. The cars stop briefly at this bridge so passengers can enjoy the autumn leaves.

While heading up the mountainous slope, watching the foliage up close on top of a railway bridge surrounded by seasonal nature is incredibly serene. This unique experience is exclusively offered on a ride along the Hakone Tozan Railway.

Enjoy the Best of Japan's Autumn in Hakone!

Although Hakone is famous for its hot springs, there are countless spots to marvel at the autumn leaves in addition to the five places mentioned above. With its proximity to Tokyo, why not plan a day trip to Hakone for a one-of-a-kind experience in the fall?

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.