Bucketlist Travels logo

Travel bucket list idea:

A day in Hakone [& Mount Fuji]

  • Hakone, Kanto, Japan

Last updated: 20 April, 2024

As overnight trips from Tokyo go, it’s hard to beat the mountainous Hakone region – under 90 minutes west of the city centre by train.

A trip here takes you close to iconic Mount Fuji, at 3,776 metres Japan’s tallest peak. Add in boat trips with Fuji views on Lake Ashi, superb art at the Hakone Open-Air Museum, cable car trips to the volcanic Owakudani Valley, and more onsen (natural hot springs) baths that you could dip a toe into, and there’s plenty to please even the most discerning visitor.

The area is also home to dozens of ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) where guests stay in tatami mat rooms, are served multi-course kaiseki dinners and soak in in-house, private onsen – classic traditional Japanese hospitality. If time allows, book into a ryokan for an overnight stay and get the full cultural experience.

Who to go with: tour operators

4

Owakudani

  • Hakone, Kanto, Japan

Tourists at the volcanic valley of Owakudani in Japan. Owakudani has many active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone, Japan.

Experience

Formed by an eruption several thousand years ago, this volcanic valley features bubbling hot-spring pools, billowing steam vents and Mount Fuji views. You can walk around parts of it, but it looks best from above on the Hakone Ropeway.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Boat tour on Lake Ashi

  • Hakone, Kanto, Japan

Boat tour on Lake Ashi

Experience

Lake Ashi, with its forested rim punctuated by the red gateway of Hakone Shrine and the white-capped Fuji looming behind, is the classic Hakone photo op. Jump on the pirate galleon sightseeing boats for a tour.

Adult price: £12

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 1-2 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

  • Hakone, Kanto, Japan

Contemporary sculptures, art, and nature converge in this art museum, spread across approximately 70,000 square meters of picturesque landscapes.

Outside, the verdant lawns of the museum are dotted with abstract sculptures from Japanese and international artists, including Rodin, Moore, Miro and the ‘Symphonic Sculpture’, an enormous structure designed by the American artist, Beverly Pepper (which you can climb up inside of).

Inside, there’s a 300-piece Picasso collection and a Venetian glass forest, displaying exquisite glass artworks.

Adult price: £10

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Yu Nessun

  • Hakone, Kanto, Japan

Yu Nessun

Experience

About as close as you’ll get to a hot-spring theme park, Yu Nessun has 23 indoor and outdoor public baths, ranging from traditional looking affairs to fun, gimmicky tubs infused with wine, sake and coffee.

Adult price: £5

Min age 3

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 8+
Frequency: annually
When: March, May and Sept
Duration: 2-3 hours

Getting there & doing it

The best way to get there from Tokyo is on the Odakyu Romance Car. Pre-booking online is not essential, but advisable.

There are numerous organised tours from Tokyo, but it’s fairly easy to do it independently. Odakyu has a great self-guided model course for taking in Hakone’s main attractions. You can get a brochure at the ticket office. It will lead you on a trip that takes in an open-air museum, a volcanic valley, views of Fuji, Hakone Shrine, and a boat trip on picturesque Lake Ashi.

There are numerous organsied tours from Tokyo, but it’s fairly easy to do it independently. Odakyu has a great self-guided model course for taking in Hakone’s main attractions. Details are online but you can also get a brochure at the ticket office. It will lead you on a trip that takes in an open-air museum, a volcanic valley, views of Fuji, Hakone Shrine, and a boat trip on picturesque Lake Ashi.

Before you go, get a money-saving 2-day or 3-day Hakone Free Pass at Shinjuku Station. This covers the 80-minute train trip on the Odakyu Romance Car both ways between Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto, plus unlimited rides on all the transportation services you’ll need to get around Hakone – local railway, ropeway, cable car, Lake Ashi sightseeing boat, buses, and more. Buy the passes at the ticket machines by the gates to the Odakyu Line or at the station’s Odakyu Sightseeing Service Centre.

When to do it

There’s no bad time to visit Hakone, but the spring colours of April and May and autumnal hues of October and November are the most scenic. However, those times and the summer holidays also bring the biggest crowds.

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Tokyo

Discover some of Japan’s most famous highlights on a full-day guided tour from Tokyo. Travel to Mt Fuji’s bustling 5th Station and learn about the revered mountain. Continue to nearby Lake Ashi for a short boat cruise, followed by a ride on the Mt Komagatake Ropeway. Climb by aerial tram to the top of Mt Komagatake and get fantastic views of the Owakudani volcanic valley, Lake Ashi and Mt Fuji. Return to Tokyo by bullet train in the evening. Enjoy the ease of included transportation, entry fees and a knowledgeable guide.

Price ¥22,000

Min age 0

Rating 4.05 / 5 [5597 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Tokyo

We are providing 1-day trip which includes Mt Fuji and Hakone. You will be picked up from your hotel. We only provide private charters which ensure your full satisfaction and comfortable. This 1-day trip is fully customizable in fact we are open for your suggestions. We will visit Mt Fuji area and Hakone 1 day Kita hongu sengen shrine Oshino Hakkai (Hakone ) Lake Ashi,Pirate cruise. Owakudani Fuji Area Only Suggested Itinerary : Mt Fuji 5th Station Lake Kawaguchi Kachi Kachi Ropeway Arashiyama Shrine Kita hongou Sengen shrine Chureito Pagoda Oshino Hakkai You have to choose either 1 itinerary. We can customize places with Hakone but please understand we cannot do fuji sorrundings and Hakone itinerary. We provide English speaking guide.

Price $600

Min age 0

Rating 4.86 / 5 [1031 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Tokyo

Find the best viewpoints of Mt. Fuji with our stress free chauffeured private tour. In this activity you can choose between visiting Mt. Fuji 5 Lakes or a day in Hakone. Friendly to any age, the 5 Lakes area is the most desired destination. The tour usually starts from Arakurasengen Park where you can expect the panoramic view of Mt Fuji with the famous five-story pagoda. The other choice will be Hakone, which has long been popular among Japanese tourists with its hot springs and traditional ryokan. You can expect activities such as riding a ropeway and seeing the volcanic activity of Owakudani valley then enjoy the lake cruise on the quiet Lake Ashi, and see the famous red Torii Gate of Hakone Shrine standing on the water. Our tour is fully operated by qualified guides and Japanese staff who have great knowledge of the surroundings. Please tell us how you would like to spend your day and we will be happy to give you the best of it.

Price ¥172,000

Min age 0

Rating 4.93 / 5 [246 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Tokyo

Competition for the most beautiful region of Japan is fierce but Hakone is a serious contender. It’s no secret that Hakone is one of the most popular and accessible day trip destinations from Tokyo. What keeps people coming back is its famous hot springs and vastly untouched nature. Not to mention, on a lucky day, visitors can get a perfect glimpse of Mount Fuji from afar. Perhaps most strikingly, Hakone is heaps quieter, which is why even locals come here for a respite from the busy city on weekends. As this is a private tour, itinerary can be tailored according to your interests. Hassle free and comfortable way of visiting Fuji and Hokone. P.S All the location’s mentioned in the itinerary can’t be cover in one day, you can make own personalized itinerary with the help of driver on the tour day.

Price ¥89,000

Min age 0

Rating 4.44 / 5 [87 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Tokyo

Hakone is famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view across Lake Ashinoko of nearby Mt. Fuji, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists. You will visit Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu, Lake Ashinoko, Hakone Gora Park and Hakone Ropeway (via Owakudani). Relax and enjoy this tour in a private luxury vehicle with friendly and English speaking driver.

Price ¥67,150

Min age 0

Rating 4.48 / 5 [68 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >