When you travel to Hakone, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Hakone, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Hakone to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Hakone things to do can include exploring Hakone attractions and visiting the places of interest.
Hakone has been inhabited for over thousands of years. The rich history brings with it many monumental places of interests when it comes to exploring the wonderful town of Hakone. But only a few these monumental structures still remain. The most famous ones are Hakone Check Point, Mori-no-Fureaikan-Hall, Hakone Jinja Shrine, Moto-Hakone Stone Buddhas, HatajukuYosegi-Kaikan, Museum of Saint-Exupery and Little Prince, Hakone KowakienYunessun.
The Hakoneen Aquarium and petting Zoo is a place children would enjoy. Situated in Motohakone in Hakone-mach, this aquarium and petting zoo is famous among children. The Aquarium offers children an educational experience with an air of excitement and frolic blended with it to make the Hakoneen Aquarium and Petting Zoo the most sought after destination to take children to on a trip to Hakone.The HakoneToy Museum exhibits toys. Your children will love to visit this place.
Hakone offers a number of museums to everyone who visits it. The HakoneOpenAirMuseum exhibits a massive range of sculptures and artwork nestled in a beautiful pastoral setting. Thismuseum also exhibits many of Picasso’s creations.The Museum of Saint-Exupery and Little Prince features exhibits paying homage to the French town in which Saint- Exupery is believed to have spent his youthful days. The museum, modeled on the town, is complete with a chapel and downtown. Strolling around the town-like Museum is a joyful experience and takes one closer to the time of Saint- Exupery. The Museum has many stores selling souvenir. A restaurant selling southern French cuisine is also there.
Other notable museums in Hakone are Pola Museum of Art, Hakone Museum of Art, Okada Museum of Art, Venetian glass Museum, LaliqueMuseum, HakoneEkidenMuseum, Hakone Meisses Antique Museum and HakoneToyMuseum.
The Hakone Botanical Gardens of the Wetlands is a botanical garden where one can see a variety of plants from various terrains of Japan. The park is open from mid March to mid November each year.Sengokuhara and Pampas Grassfields was once a part of a lake but is now a national park. The park breeds various rare species of fauna like nohana iris and peat moss to name a few. Duringautumn, the park is turned yellow due to growth of Susuki Pampas grass over the meadows.
The Hakone Detached Palace Garden protrudes into the LakeAshinko and offers a paradisiacal view of the lake with Mt. Fiji as a backdrop. It is situated within the precincts of the Hakone Imperial Villa and is one of the most sought after places to visit when in Hakone.
The picturesque OwakudaniValley is divided into two zones of Jijokuzawa and Enmadai. It is formed out of the crater of the volcanic Mt. Kamiyama. The panoramic view of Mt.Fiji and the NagaoPass is breathtaking.The Hot Springs of Hakone: Hakone is known for its Hot springs. The 17 Hot springs of Hakune namely Tonosawa, Dogashima, Miyanoshita, Yumoto, Sokukura, Kiga, Ashinoyu, kowaikidani, Gora, Miyangino, sengokuhara, ubako, Yunohanazawa, Takogawa, Ashinoko, Ohiradai and Ninotaira. Collectively called ‘Hakone 17 toh’ these hotsprings are a major attraction when travelling to Hakone.
Hakone has quite a few landmarks worthy of mentioning. Take for instance the Hakone Check Point which was erected in the year 1619 by the Military Government to check the rebellious feudal lords from resisting the Government.
The Hakone KowakienYunessun is another important landmark. The hot water spring park is synonymous with Hakone.The Imperial Villa beside LakeAshinoko is also a notable landmark.The Hakone Jinja Shrine is also an important place where tourists from all over the world congregate here to complete a Kanto pilgrimage.
Hakone is situated in the thick of nature and offers various hiking trails. The trail along the old highway to the Mt Komagatake through the Owakudani valley is the most breathtaking. Ropeway cars ply at different spots along the hike to help trekkers up and downhill as and when needed.
Hakone is a hot spot as far as hot springs are concerned. With all of them believed to have therapeutic properties, the hot springs are a relaxing experience beyond all imagination. For more enterprising ones Hakone also has many spas scattered around town. One could try out the GeSpa and Hayato Hakone Salon and Spa for instance. The rich natural landscape that nestles Hakone combined with the various spiritually historic sites lend a vibe of relaxation to the town of Hakone itself.
Escaping nature in Hakone is next to impossible. Soaking in the various natural hot springs, Hiking along the wonderful Kangawa region and stealing picturesque views of Mt Fiji are all experiences one would cherish for long. Boating on Lake Ashinoko and the walk along the Avenue of Cedar tree leading upto the lake is recommended.
Hakone is predominately famous for its Japanese cuisine of the Kangawa region and also Japanese Teppanyaki. While many restaurants are spread across town, some of the more sought of the ones are The Fujiya, Sushimiyafuji, akCafé, itoh Dining by NobuTeppanyaki.
While the restaurants in Hakone serving top notch Japanese cuisine; a trip to Hakone is incomplete without trying two of its most famous dishes.The Black Eggs available at the Owakudani springs is a global icon. Boiled on site in the hot spring, the eggs take a black color due to reaction with the highly sulphurous water. Legend has it that the black eggs increase a person’s lifespan considerably.
One can spend an evening at The Terrazza café with live Italian Music. The Victoria Bar at The Fujiya Hotel also hosts occasional live music evenings. Restaurant Le Petit Prince also hosts live music events where one can enjoy wonderful French delicacies along with soothing live performances.
Most of the high dining restaurants offer wine but Hakone’s drinking joints are largely confined to the various hotels and accommodations. Few of the most sought after drinking joints are the Victoria Bar at The Fujiya Hotel at Miyanoshita and Il Lago t the Hakone Hotel. The local Hakone beer, Erennagosso available at the Hakone National Park in front of the Kazamatsuri station is also a much sought after option when in Hakone.
Though there is not any so called designated flea market in Hakone, each of the cultural attractions and hot springs have a number of cartels and shop selling antiques and delicacies from a region. What could easily qualify as mini flea markets, these groups of shops around major tourist destination is a treasure trove of curios and taste of this region.
The Odakyu Group runs a few retail outlets, supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the Kangawa Prefecture which Hakone is a part of. Eva store sells a range of things from fashion apparels to cosmetics and even products of daily convenience.Other famous shops of Hakone includes Hamamatsuya and kanazashi wood Craft, both of which sell wonderful installation of wood in which the Kangawa region specialises in.