Translated by Tomoka Aono
Enjoy A Day Trip To Hakone Through Google Street View
Written by LIFE STYLE, Inc.
Hakone can be reached from Shinjuku in only two hours. It is a charming hot spring town with many places that are worth seeing, which makes it a perfect one-day-trip destination.
Hakone is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Tokyo for hot spring lovers. It takes only two hours to reach via local train from Shinjuku; with hot springs and other tourist spots all together in a charming small town, is it any wonder that Hakone has become a popular day trip spot?
Now you must be wondering what Hakone looks like, right? Let’s visit some of the major tourist destinations in Hakone through Google Street View.
A Traditional Hot Spring Town Welcomes You
When you exit Hakone Yumoto station, a traditional Japanese hot spring town appears right in front of you.
There are plenty of choices available when it comes to transportation: trains, buses, boats, cable cars, and ropeways can all be taken to get around Hakone, but let’s take Hakone Tozan Railway to enjoy the mountain view first.
Hakone Tozan Railway: from Yumoto to Gōra
From Hakone Yumoto station, you can take the Hakone Tozan Railway, which travels to many various sightseeing destinations. The final stop of the railway is Gōra station.
The train rambles and goes up the steep mountain. You see lush mountains on both sides and the beautiful river at the bottom of valley. The landscape you see through the window changes each season. The hydrangeas in July and colored leaves in the fall are especially gorgeous sights. If you want to avoid the crowds, though, you should better visit sometime other than those peak seasons.
Cable Car from Gōra Station
If you want to go up the mountain further, you have to take the cable car. The slope is too steep for trains. You can find many hotels along the Hakone Tozan Railway and Cable Car route.
Major tourist spots like Hakone Gōra Park and Hakone Museum are accessible from cable car stations. You should definitely stop by if you have time.
Ropeway from Sōunzan
The final stop of Cable Car is Sōunzan station. There aren't many things to see around the station other than the view, but you can take the bus or ropeways from here. The ropeways are sometimes under maintenance, so make sure you check their website for their schedule.
Ōwakudani is a volcanic valley where volcanic activity can be seen, which is quite exciting. White smoke comes up out of jagged rocks and you will be amazed by the power of Mother Earth. And when you get to Tōgendai Plateau, you will see Lake Ashi in front of you. Enjoy the wonderful landscape there!
Cruising Lake Ashi on a Pirate Corsair
The majestic Lake Ashi in Hakone is a mystic lake that is the legendary home of the dragon gods. Kuzuryū Shrine is at the edge of the lake and you can see its beautiful torii facing the lake itself. If you'd like to get a great view of the whole area, you might want to take a cruise on the pirate corsair that travels around Lake Ashi.
From the ship you can fully enjoy the fresh mountain air around you as you cruise through Lake Ashi, and if you are visiting on a cloudless day, you can even see a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji. Don't forget to bring your camera!
Visit Hakone Shrine in the end
If you take a cruise ship from Tōgendai, you can get off at Hakone-machi Port or Moto-Hakone Port. If you want to visit Hakone Shrine, you should get off at Moto-Hakone Port.
Take a short walk from Moto-Hakone Port and you will soon see Hakone Shrine. Pass through the large torii gate, go up the stairs surrounded by tall cedars, and the main shrine will be there ahead of you.
Greet the guardian deities of Hakone Shrine through a short prayer and your trip of Hakone ends here. When you want to head back to the station, simply hop on the direct bus heading to Hakone Yumoto station.
This model route is perfect if you would like to enjoy a day trip in Hakone while trying some of the different means of transportation available in this fantastic hot spring town. Please make sure to stop and enjoy the stunning landscapes and spots on the way. Enjoy your trip!