Translated by Tomoka Aono
Places To See In Hakone-Yumoto: A Day Trip From Tokyo
Hakone-Yumoto is part of the Hakone area, located conveniently close to Tokyo. Visitors can enjoy hot springs, traditional ryokan inns, and shopping here. Learn about things to do and how to get to this destination ideal for day trips.
Written by Jumpei Kawashima
Hakone-Yumoto: A Fun Day Trip with Hot Springs, Shopping, and Nature
Hakone is a small town surrounded by mountains in the southwest of Kanagawa Prefecture. As it is easily accessed from Tokyo, Hakone has long been a popular day trip destination for visitors, especially Hakone-Yumoto which attracts a lot of tourists as a gateway to the Hakone area.
There are over 40 onsen-yado (hot spring inns) near the station with baths you can dip into, along with souvenir shops, and nature. You can spend a whole day here and enjoy Hakone to the fullest. This article introduces popular spots and things you can enjoy near Hakone-Yumoto Station.
Explore Japan's Hot Spring Culture: Dip Into Onsen
Hakone-Yumoto is renowned throughout Japan for its superior natural onsen (hot springs), which have resulted from volcanic activity in the area thousands of years ago. The water, which comes from nearby natural sources, is thought to help relieve muscle pain and improve other health conditions. These onsen are thought to have been used since around the Nara Period (710-794).
You can try onsen of all types here close to Hakone-Yumoto Station. These include baths at hot spring facilities and at traditional Japanese inns where you can stay the night. There are also ashiyu (foot baths) if you are looking to soothe your feet after a day of walking around.
Make sure to visit the luxurious hot springs and a foot bath when you are in Hakone-Yumoto. For information on how to enter and enjoy onsen in Japan, see the articles below:
A Traditional and Charming Japanese Shop Alley
Directly in front of Hakone-Yumoto station is a shotengai (shopping street) which spans about 200 meters long. Here you will find a series of series of souvenir shops and street food stalls about 200 meters long. Be sure to take a walk through and browse the numerous stores here.
Regional specialties like fried fish balls and manju (steamed buns) with red bean paste are sold here for you to try. Most of the food sold can also be given as gifts or souvenirs. If you liked something you ate, why not give some to a friend or loved one?
This shopping arcade is covered, so you can enjoy strolling and looking through the merchandise even on a rainy day.
Hakone no Ichi ("Hakone Market") is a souvenir shop inside Hakone-Yumoto Station. You can find a variety of goods here which are also sold in different shops along the shotengai, so if you want to save some time, this is a good place for quick souvenir hunt.
Scenic View from Ajisai-bashi
You will find a wide river called Hayakawa in front of you when you exit Hakone-Yumoto station. Spanning Hayakawa is the beautiful red Ajisai-bashi bridge. It's only a one minute walk from the station.
Don’t miss the wonderful view from Ajisai-bashi. Hiroshige Utagawa, one of the most famous ukiyo-e or woodblock print artists in Japan, visited this bridge and created many works inspired by the sights he saw of the amazing landscape.
What we see today from the bridge is not exactly the same as what Utagawa saw at that time, but its beauty still impresses those who visit the place. It’s very nice during spring and summer, but the best season is fall because you will get to see a multitude of beautiful colored leaves.
Get Closer to the River
You can find stairs leading down to the river near Ajisai-bashi. There are pathways along the river, which are perfect for taking a walk on a sunny day. We also recommend getting some food from the shopping street and having a picnic here. Watching the calm river will make you feel safe and sound.
The view from the riverside is different than that from the bridge. You can capture the whole span of Ajisai-bashi bridge as its red contrasts strikingly with the greenery and blue sky behind.
Feel Ancient Japan at Sounji Temple
From Ajisai-bashi bridge, if you walk up a steep slope you will find Sounji Temple Temple.
This temple was built during the Edo Period and named after Hojō Soun, a samurai who ruled over the Kanto Region at that time. A lot of historical and cultural treasures are stored inside this temple.
Old trees and mossy architecture will catch your attention. Once you step into the site, you will be able to see the age of the surroundings and feel the hundreds of years of history.
Being at Sounji Temple combines the unique experience of being surrounded by nature with the sensation that you have traveled back in time. Visit there to breathe in the atmosphere of ancient Japan.
How to Get to Hakone-Yumoto from Tokyo
Hakone-Yumoto station is easily accessed from Tokyo. You can take Odakyu Romance Car bound for Hakone-Yumoto from Shinjuku, which only takes one hour and a half.
If you prefer to take local trains, take the JR Tokaido line or Odakyu Odawara line to Odawara Station, and from there take the Hakone Tozan Railway to Hakone-Yumoto. The whole trip takes about 2 hours.
From Hakone-Yumoto Station, you can take Hakone Tozan Railway or the cable cars to visit different spots in Hakone, which is why the station is called the “gateway of Hakone.”
Hakone-Yumoto is a part of Hakone with a plethora of attractions, such as the shops and scenery introduced in this article. Hakone has a different appeal than large cities. Here, history and nature come together in a beautiful way.
Leave Tokyo for a day and experience Hakone!