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Visiting Hakone in the Fall: Art, Gardens, and Foliage

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The best time to see the fall foliage in Hakone is from the end of October to late November. We introduce a day trip itinerary to wonderful fall foliage destinations in Hakone such as the Gora Garden, Hakone Open-Air Museum, or the Hakone Museum of Art.

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Journey Out to See Fall Foliage in Hakone

When one thinks of fall in Japan, many would think of the colorful leaves. As the weather gets cooler, there are plenty of visitors who come to view the iconic red maple leaves.

From Tokyo, you can reach Hakone in about two hours. This time, we would like to introduce you to a day trip in Hakone to see the autumn scenery. The prime time to see the maple leaves in Hakone is from the end of October to late November. Why not trip out of the busy metropolis to enjoy the seasonal beauty in Japan?

If you travel to Hakone from Tokyo, use the Hakone Freepass, a convenient two or three day ticket that includes transportation to and within Hakone, as well as rides on the Lake Ashi cruise and Hakone Ropeway.Hakone Freepass can also be purchased online through EMot Online Tickets.(*This service can only be used with smartphones)

Book the Hakone Freepass!

8:00 Depart from Shinjuku Station to Hakone

Hakone autumn

From Hakone Tozan Line - Climb The Mountain By Train And Enjoy The Scenery!

If you were to depart to Hakone from Tokyo, leaving from Shinjuku Station is very convenient. You can take the Odakyu Romance Car directly or take the standard trains or buses.

The duration of your trip may vary according to your transportation method, but it will take approximately one hour and a half to two hours. For more information about transportation between Tokyo and Hakone, please read 3 Easy Ways To Get From Shinjuku To Hakone.

In addition to that, you may also enjoy the panoramic view of the autumn foliage from the Hakone Tozan Railway that departs from Hakone Yumoto Station, bound for the Hakone Open-Air Museum.

10:00 Enjoy Art and Foliage at the Hakone Open-Air Museum

Chokoku no mori

Photo courtesy of Hakone Open-Air Museum

In the spacious 70,000 m2 field of the Hakone Open-Air Museum there is an outdoor gallery with many sculptures standing among the red leaves of Autumn. Along with the hall of Picasso, there are five different indoor museums as well. This is a perfect spot for those who would wish to enjoy art and nature at the same time.

This is also a great opportunity to take lunch and spend a relaxing time at the cafe (Japanese), the buffet-style restaurant (Japanese) or the organic restaurant (Japanese).

12:30 Gora Garden: The French-style Garden with Japanese Elegance

Gora onsen

From ”Hakone - 5 Ideal Spots To Enjoy The Autumn Leaves In 2017

Take the loop bus from the Open-Air Museum bound for the Hakone Botanical Garden and after a ten-minute ride, you will reach the Gora Garden. This garden is constructed in the French-style with a beautiful fountain in the middle. An entry fee of 550 yen for adults is needed on site.

During the Autumn season, you will also be able to see the roses in full bloom. Why not go see the beautiful scenery of the red leaves and the colorful roses?

13:30 Tea House at the Hakone Museum of Art


Photo courtesy of Hakone Museum of Art

After walking about five-minutes from Gora park, you will reach the Hakone Museum of Art. This museum is located within the Japanese garden called Shinsenkyo that mainly consists of colorful Japanese maple.

Facing the moss garden, there is a tea house called Shinwatei. They are known to serve delicious organic matcha green tea along with seasonal Japanese confectionery for 700 yen per serving with tax (from 10:00-15:30.)

Spend a leisurely time as you sip from matcha green tea while getting a grand view of the autumn leaves.

Admission fee to the Hakone Museum of Art is 900 yen for adults, 400 yen for high school and university students.

15:00 Choanji Temple: Wonderful Leaves and Arhat Statue


From ”Hakone: Two Spots to Visit During Fall

Choanji Temple is another famous spot in Hakone to see the foliage. From the Hakone Museum of Art, take the bus bound for the Botanical Gardens or Kojiri/Togendai for about twenty minutes. Get off at Sengoku and you will see the temple before your eyes.

Witness the amazing view of the leaves among the hundreds of Arhat statues.

16:00 View the Charms of Sengokuhara Silver Grass Field


From ”Hakone: Two Spots to Visit During Fall

Take the bus from Choanji temple bound for Togendai for about ten minutes. You will reach the Sengokuhara bus stop and reach the Sengokuhara Silver Grass field. During the fall season, the entire field of silver grass begins to shimmer.

At sundown, the silver grass turns golden and creates a dreamy landscape to enjoy as you walk through the path leading into the field.

18:00 Arrive at Hakone Yumoto Station

Hakone Yumoto

From ”A Day Trip From Tokyo: Places To See In Hakone-Yumoto

In order to reach Hakone Yumoto Station, it's best to take the bus. Hop onto a bus bound for Odawara and you will reach the station in about forty minutes. You can easily return to Shinjuku from here, but Hakone is also a popular hot springs spot. Why not extend your trip for an additional day to take a comforting dip in the hot springs?

Book the Hakone Freepass!

Written by


Miho Moriya


MATCHA editor and freelance writer. Born, raised, and currently living in Tokyo. Have visited over 30 countries and lived in four different prefectures. I have traveled to almost all 47 prefectures in Japan! I try to create articles that help convey the charms of a destination through words and pictures. I love forests, temples, and camels.
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