Hakone is a popular mountain town located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, southwest of Tokyo. It's a popular destination for tourists who want to enjoy natural hot springs and views of Mount Fuji. Here's a guide to help you plan your trip to Hakone:
How to get there - The easiest way to get to Hakone is by taking the train from Tokyo to Odawara Station, which is the gateway to the Hakone area. From there, you can transfer to the Hakone Tozan Railway, a scenic mountain railway that takes you through the mountains and to the hot springs.
Things to see and do - Hakone is famous for its hot springs, known as onsen. There are many onsen resorts and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) where you can relax in the hot water and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery. Other popular activities include taking a boat cruise on Lake Ashi, riding the Hakone Ropeway, visiting the Hakone Open-Air Museum, walking the Old Tokaido Road, visiting the Hakone Shrine, and exploring the Hakone Botanical Garden.
Where to stay - There are many hotels, ryokans, and onsen resorts in Hakone, ranging from budget to luxury. Many of these accommodations are located in beautiful natural settings and offer hot spring baths, traditional Japanese meals, and other amenities.
Where to eat - Hakone has many restaurants that serve traditional Japanese cuisine, including soba noodles, grilled eel, and kaiseki-style meals. There are also international restaurants and bakeries, as well as many cafes and bars.
When to go - Hakone can be visited year-round, but the best time to go is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful. The summer months (June to August) can be hot and humid, while the winter months (December to February) can be cold and snowy.
Getting around - Hakone is a relatively small town, and many of the attractions can be accessed by foot or by using public transportation. There are also taxis and rental cars available for those who want to explore the area more extensively.
Overall, Hakone is a wonderful destination to visit if you're looking for natural beauty, hot springs, and traditional Japanese culture. With its scenic mountain railways, beautiful lakes, and charming ryokans, it's no wonder why Hakone is such a popular destination for tourists in Japan.