Where the mountain, lake and temple meet in one picturesque spot.

The infamous Hakone Shrine, with its red torii gates over Lake Ashi.

Getting to Hakone

Most travellers tour Hakone from Tokyo as it takes only 30 minutes by shinkansen from Tokyo station to Odawara whereby a transfer via the Hakone-Yumoto station will bring everyone to the town of Hakone. We travelled from Osaka via the Shinkansen because our journey started in Osaka and it took double the time to reach Hakone. Despite that, the journey was relatively peaceful and relaxing as the ride was smooth and we got some well deserved rest on the quiet train.

Accomodation options

Being a popular destination for day trippers and short stay travellers, Hakone has a range of accommodation options. As we were on a long trip away from home, our main priority was to keep the cost low but at the same time have the location be accessible and lodging comfortable enough for a good day’s rest.

Most hotels in Japan were pricey and hence we settled on K’s House Hakone. Even though it was a hostel, it sure was a quality one with an outdoor onsen attached! We paid around 5000 yen/pax for a Japanese room (traditional japanese futon beds) with toilet attached. Price varies according to peak/off-peak seasons. My friend bathe in the onsen and said nothing could beat soaking in a hot bath when the weather is chilly outside. 

K’s House is walkable from the station (15mins) but the local bus took about 10 mins and it stopped right opposite the hostel, so it was very convenient! More details can be found on their website, and you can reserve your rooms directly over there. 

A quick snapshot into our room, very decent sized, clean and has greenery out the window. The onsen is a steal!

Hiking Hakone and visiting the famous attractions 

We decided to do a hike in Hakone which would eventually bring us to the famous Lake where the Red Torii is and what we didn’t know was how long this hike took us!

Old Tokaido Stone Paved Road

This trail used to be one of the 5 famous highway constructed in Edo period to travel between Edo and Kyoto. Here you get to do some serious forest bathing as the path leads you through stunning nature and the beautiful forests of Hakone. The trails are lined with many slippery mosses so even with good trekking shoes, we find it challenging! Be careful and walk slowly! 

The walk takes around 1 hour plus to reach this traditional tea house known as Amasake Chaya. For me this was the highlight of Hakone, because the tea house had a very rustic charm to its interiors, there’s traditional fireplaces and the Amasake tea was oh my delicious! I still miss the mochi i had there! You could also take a bus there but i recommend doing the hike and ending it with the tea there, you will find everything taste better after a good walk. 

Amasake comes in alcohol and non-alcoholic form and is meant to bring some health benefits to you, like combating the fatigue in your body and helping with the gut health by introducing good bacteria. Try them, you will most probably like it! 

Lake Ashi to Owakudani 

After lunch at Lake Ashi, we hoped on a sight-seeing cruise bound for the Hakone Ropeway at Togendai St. to take us to Owakudani St. On clear days, you will have fantastic views of Mt Fuji. It was a very pleasant cruise, the breeze and sun was very welcoming as Hakone was still chilly during the time we visited. 


Being one of the most famous points in Hakone, for a reason because you get to see volcanic activity up close. This place came to be due to a phreatic eruption and pyroclastic flow that occured almost 3000 years ago. While we were there, the skies in the distance cleared up, and Mt Fuji was clearly visible, what a moment! 

As the trail was closed by the time we reached, we just had the famous sulfur black eggs, p.s. it just taste like any other normal egg 🙂 I do give a thumbs up for the aerial views via the Ropeway. Despite it being a very touristy destination, i think its still worthwhile once in a lifetime. 

More photos for you all to enjoy! 

Final thoughts

We thoroughly enjoyed Hakone, despite it being a popular tourist spot. Rather than a day trip, a few days there will allow you to slow down the pace, not rush from site to site, and maybe even set time aside for the Onsen and museums. Will i be back again? Definitely. 

Oh the curry and the izakaya shop we went in Hakone was Oiishi max. Here are the address to them if you are keen. 

Curry House: Cocoro

Address: 475-8 Yumoto, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0311. Refer to google maps for more accurate opening hours. 

Izakaya House (Below pic): Karuta

Address: 1 Yumotochaya, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0312, Japan. Cash accepted only, make reservations recommended. Refer to google maps for more accurate opening hours. 


Till the next post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.