Hakone Travel Guide: 162 reviews and 686 photos


Our main goal visiting Tokyo is to get a good view of MT. Fuji and have a close personal experience with the Japanese countryside. Being avid lovers of nature, as soon as we have rested our tired bodies from our long 14 hour flight, I booked an escorted tour to Hakone/Mt/ Fuji and we were not disappointed!

The day trip to Hakone, which is less than 100 kilometres from Tokyo was fun and pleasant for the family! Having known beforehand that sakura or the cherry blossoms festival has just about wrapped up in Tokyo, we were ecstatic when we saw rows and rows of cherry blossoms trees still with plenty of blooms on the way and around Hakone!

The trip also gave us a good idea of life in rural Japan. The streets are clean, cars are small and compact, not so noisy like in many places/cities and there were no huge smitrailer trucks that usually spoil our road travels!

Of course vending machines are always present even in the mountains!

The little shops/souvenir places were always well organised, there is something to amuse my boys- whether cute trick boxes, little stuffed toys, plenty of fridge magnets for my collection, and many other quirky stuff that made our trip so fun! Food is also a plenty as I have noted over and over!

Even the vendo machines give outchips (fired potatoes) to the delight of my junk food loving boy (not that he eats a lot of them anyway.)There are hotdogs, even spaghetti in vending machines, top that Sydney!

Anway, the tour which cost us 49,000 yen was all worth it. There is an English-speaking tour guide, Masayuki who even gave us lessons in the Japanese language both oral and written and a lot of history about Mt. Fuji which I assume many tourists to Japan would have known by now.

The trip had all kinds of weather- cold and wet, sunny and nice at some pointsthough foggy early in the day. The Visitor's Centre in Hakone had facilities for the ordinary traveller so everything is fine except that Mt. Fuji was not so visible at the first station we went to.

However, we were compensated going to OWAKUDANI or the valley of hell, as we had some views of Mt. Fuji and surrounding mountains and valleys from the gondola ride we had at the Hakone ropeway.

I forgot to take a lot of photos as I try to soak as much of the atmosphere as I could! It was magical!

The pirate boat ride to Lake Ashi was fun too though the weather became cold and it was windy. Good thing we could get inside the cabins and still see lake views. As always, shopping for souvenirs and food was fun near Lake Ashi.

Verdant greens mixed with Japanese ancient architecture plus the lovely cherry blossoms and yummy food and amusing souvenirs make up for a most enduringly pleasant trip for the whole family!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:good views of Japanese countryside and Mt. Fuji, gondola ride, Japanese craft and arts
  • Cons:weather can be very cold and wet
  • In a nutshell:Japanese countryside with lots of cherry blossom blooms plus Mt. Fuji nearby, what more do you want?
  • Last visit to Hakone: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated Apr 20, 2008
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