Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Hakone - 5 Ideal Spots To Enjoy The Autumn Leaves In 2019
This article introduces five spots where you can enjoy autumn foliage and views of Mt Fuji in Hakone, a popular day-trip destination just under two hours away from Tokyo, in Kanagawa. Hakone is the ideal place for a peaceful and beautiful fall day trip.
Written by Koshizuka Misato
When and Where to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Hakone
Hakone is located in the western region of Kanagawa prefecture. Easily accessible from Shinjuku Station, it is popular throughout the year as a day-trip destination from Tokyo.
Many tourists come here to enjoy the hot springs and mountain-climbing, but a large number of people visit Hakone from October to the middle of November to enjoy the autumn leaves. We will introduce five recommended spots with fantastic views, showing harmony with the fall foliage.
1. Gora Park
Picture courtesy of the Hakone Gora Tourist Association Website
Gora Park is located in Gora, which is famous as one of Hakone's prominent hot-springs areas. It was completed in 1914, as Japan's first French-style park. Built on a sloping area, the park is surrounded by trees and flowers, and visitors can enjoy the autumn leaves in a western-style environment.
There is an extensive variety of flowers in the park. A great number of tourists visit Gora Park just to enjoy roses that bloom during this time of the year as well as the autumn leaves.
2. Hakone Museum of Art
Picture courtesy of the Hakone Museum of Art
The autumn leaves of the Hakone Museum of Art, the oldest museum in Hakone, is located in its 1,900 square meter-sized moss garden. Approximately 130 types of moss and 200 trees with leaves turning red and yellow are planted here. Visitors can walk along the promenade surrounded by these trees. The green moss in stark contrast to the autumn leaves is very unique and a sight to behold.
After enjoying the moss garden and the autumn leaves, you can also visit the museum as an additional treat.
3. Lake Ashi
Picture courtesy of Walker+ Autumn Leaves Ranking
Lake Ashi, or Ashinoko, is a large lake in Kanagawa Prefecture and offers views of Mt. Fuji and the autumn leaves. You can barely see the opposite side of this vast lake and coupled together with the sight of the surrounding foliage all turning red and yellow, it truly is an astonishing sight. On a clear day, Mt. Fuji can be seen in the distance as well.
Visitors can also enjoy the view from pirate-themed boats, which depart from four ports at Lake Ashi.
4. Choanji Temple
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 the bamboo thicket nearby. The details of each statue are different, so be sure to check them out carefully! It is quite refreshing to see these stone Buddhist statues showing different states of emotions.
Choanji is located in a quiet area away from Hakone's busy central district. It makes for a relaxing afternoon of nature and exploring a serene temple.
5. Hakone Tozan Railway
Picture courtesy of Hakone Tozan Train
Hakone Tozan Railway runs the two-kilometer distance between Odawara Station and Gora Station. The cars zig-zag their way up the steep grade. The railway is named "tozan," as this 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 great surprise to riders. The cars stop briefly at this bridge just so the passengers can enjoy the view of the autumn leaves.
Climbing through the mountains, watching the leaves up close, sitting on top of a railway bridge completely surrounded by beautiful leaves; they are all things that you can only enjoy during a ride on the Hakone Tozan Railway.
|Business Time||First Train from Odawara: Everyday 5:33 Last Train from Gora: Everyday 22:41|
|Fixed holidays||Open 365 days a year|
|Accepted Credit Cards||Not Available|
|Languages||Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean|
|Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages||Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean|
|Nearest station||Visitors can switch trains at Odawara Station (JR Tokaido Line)|
|Telephone number||+81-46-532-6821 (Hakone Tozan Railway General Administration)|
Enjoy the Best of Japan's Autumn in Hakone!
While Hakone is well-known for its hot springs, and there are many places to enjoy the autumn leaves other than the five spots mentioned above. Visit Hakone in the fall for a one-of-a-kind experience.