29 Interesting Facts about Hakone

Hakone, nestled in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, is a picturesque town renowned for its natural beauty, hot springs (onsen), and panoramic views of Mount Fuji. Boasting a serene ambiance, it’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking relaxation and rejuvenation amidst stunning landscapes.

One of Hakone’s primary draws is its abundance of natural hot springs, offering visitors the chance to unwind in therapeutic baths while soaking in the surrounding scenic vistas. These onsens are scattered throughout the region, with some traditional ryokans (inns) and resorts featuring private baths and open-air hot springs, delivering an authentic Japanese bathing experience.

The town’s strategic location near Mount Fuji allows for breathtaking views of the iconic volcano. One of the most iconic spots is Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), where visitors can take boat cruises offering stunning vistas of Mount Fuji, particularly on clear days when its reflection shimmers on the lake’s surface.

Hakone is also home to diverse cultural attractions, including the Hakone Open-Air Museum, showcasing sculptures amidst beautiful gardens, and the Hakone Shrine, an ancient Shinto shrine nestled among dense forests, offering a serene and spiritual retreat.

For travelers seeking adventure, the Hakone Ropeway provides an aerial journey over volcanic valleys and sulfurous hot springs, offering a bird’s-eye view of the region’s natural wonders, including Owakudani, an active volcanic valley known for its steaming vents and black eggs boiled in natural hot springs. Hakone’s harmonious blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and therapeutic hot springs presents a serene escape for visitors, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring Japan’s diverse and captivating offerings.

Hakone in autumn

Hakone in autumn

It’s a good idea to look at these 29 interesting facts about Hakone to know more about this town.

  1. Hot Springs Hub: Hakone is renowned for its numerous natural hot springs (onsen), offering relaxation and therapeutic benefits to visitors.
  2. Mount Fuji Views: Positioned near Mount Fuji, Hakone provides some of the best vantage points to admire Japan’s iconic volcano.
  3. Lake Ashi: Also known as Ashinoko, this scenic lake offers boat cruises with breathtaking views of Mount Fuji.
  4. Historical Spa Town: Hakone has been a spa town for centuries, attracting travelers seeking the healing properties of its hot springs.
  5. Hakone Open-Air Museum: An art museum showcasing various sculptures amidst beautiful gardens and landscapes.
  6. Hakone Shrine: An ancient Shinto shrine nestled among forests, offering spiritual tranquility.
  7. Hakone Ropeway: A cable car ride that provides aerial views of Hakone’s valleys, hot springs, and Mount Fuji.
  8. Owakudani: An active volcanic valley known for its sulfurous vents and hot springs, where visitors can try “black eggs” boiled in natural hot springs.
  9. Pirate Ship Cruise: Lake Ashi offers pirate ship-themed cruises, adding a unique touch to the sightseeing experience.
  10. Hakone Checkpoint: A reconstructed historical checkpoint that once served as a gate on the Edo-era Tokaido road.
  11. Gora Park: A beautifully landscaped park featuring French-inspired gardens, a museum, and a fountain show.
  12. Hakone Tozan Railway: A mountain railway journey offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
  13. Hakone Detached Palace Garden: Formerly an imperial residence, it now serves as a serene garden open to the public.
  14. Sculpture Forest: Hakone’s surroundings feature numerous art installations and sculptures set in nature.
  15. Hydrangea Gardens: Hakone is known for its hydrangea gardens, especially vibrant during the rainy season.
  16. Samurai Houses: Some preserved samurai houses offer insights into the lives of these historical warriors.
  17. Japanese Crafts: Visitors can participate in workshops to learn traditional crafts like pottery and glassblowing.
  18. Hakone Art Museum: Showcases various forms of Japanese art, including paintings and ceramics.
  19. Hakone Ekiden Race: An annual long-distance relay race attracting runners from universities across Japan.
  20. Hakone Turnpike: A scenic driving route offering panoramic views of the region’s natural beauty.
  21. Hakone Stone Buddhas: Statues carved into volcanic rocks, portraying Buddhist figures.
  22. Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Fields: In autumn, these fields showcase golden pampas grass, creating a stunning landscape.
  23. Hakone Yumoto: The town’s main gateway, known for its traditional inns and as a base for exploring Hakone.
  24. Venetian Glass Museum: Exhibits a collection of Venetian glass art in a picturesque setting.
  25. Galleries and Art Studios: Hakone hosts various galleries and art studios, showcasing contemporary and traditional Japanese art.
  26. Onshi Hakone Park: A scenic park offering views of Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms in spring, and autumn foliage.
  27. Hakone Botanical Garden: Features a wide variety of flora, including alpine plants and tropical species.
  28. Hakone-en Aquarium: Showcases marine life from Sagami Bay and offers interactive exhibits.
  29. Hakone Soba: Renowned for its delicious soba (buckwheat noodles), a local culinary specialty.

Hakone, nestled amidst Japan’s scenic landscapes, stands as a tranquil haven offering a harmonious blend of natural wonders, cultural richness, and therapeutic relaxation. With its iconic views of Mount Fuji, serene Lake Ashi, and bubbling hot springs, it’s a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of Japan’s countryside. Whether exploring art museums, taking in panoramic vistas from the Hakone Ropeway, or indulging in the soothing waters of onsens, Hakone weaves a tapestry of experiences that celebrate Japan’s heritage and natural splendor.