Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hakone Hiking Trail―Hakone-jinja Shrine and Old Tokaido (東海道)

The following trip is designed for a one-day hiking around Lake Ashinoko area with the following itinerary:
  1. Hakone Visitor Center ― (15 min.0.8 km) →
  2. Togendai Port ― (50 min.8 km) →
  3. Moto-Hakone Port ― (10 min.0.7 km) →
  4. Hakone-jinja Shrine ― (35 min.1.8 km) →
  5. AMASAKE-CHAYA (Tea House) 

In this article, we assume you will use Hakone Freepass and all transportation fees should be covered.

Click to Enlarge (North points to Up)[4]

Hakone Visitor Center

Before you proceed to Togendai Port, you may want to consider spending some time on the walking course around Hakone Visitor Center.  Around the course, visitors can enjoy bird watching and strolling as far as the lake shore.

Click to Enlarge (North points to Left, no Up)[1]

Lake Ashinoko

The best views of the lake in combination with Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from:[3]

Old Tokaido (東海道) Hiking

From Moto-Hakone Port, you walk along lake shore to Hakone-Jinja Shrine (roughly 10 mins).  Then take the paved Old Tokaido (東海道) to arrive Amasake-Chaya, which is a tea house with a 400-year history:[1]
With its distinctive thatched roof, it has been known since the times of old for its amazake (sweet fermented rice drink) and mochi (Japanese rice cake). There used to be four tea houses in this vicinity, where a great many travelers are said to have found rest and refreshment. As a reward for the long walk, why not have a drink of amazake, and while enjoying it, take a rest and let yourself slip back in time to the Edo period.
After enjoying your stay at Amasake-Chaya, you can either leave with bus Line K or keep on hiking down to Yumoto (1h 55m).

Japan Travel―Visiting Hakone for Onsen Experience

Hakone, part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, is a very popular destination among Tokyoites, as well as tourists, for its gorgeous scenery around the Mount Fuji (for instance, the Ashi lakes and Owakudani), its many onsens and vacation resorts.

Hakone Onsen 

Hakone (箱根) is one of the most popular onsen (hot spring) towns and has a history of 1200 years. Visitors can enjoy a hot spring bath in public bath houses or ryokan. Many ryokan open their baths not only to staying guests but also to daytime visitors. While staying guests can use the baths for free, daytime visitors pay an admission fee of typically between ¥500 and ¥2000.

Onsen for Daytime Visitors

Below is a list of some of Hakone's better baths open to the general public:

  1. Tenzan (天山湯治郷)
    • 天山 
      • Hours: 9:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:00)
      • Admission: 1300 yen
    • Other Options
  2. Hakone Yuryo (箱根湯寮)
    • Large Communal Bath
      • Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 (weekends until 22:00), entry ends one hour before closing
      • Admission: 1400 yen
    • Other options
  3. Hakone Kamon (花紋)
  4. Yunosato Okada ()
      • Day Plan
        • Hours: 6:00 to 9:00 and 11:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:00)
      1. Kappa Tengoku (かっぱ天国)
          • Outdoor Hot Spring
            • Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
            • Admission: 800 yen
          • Other Options
        1. Yumoto Fujiya Hotel (湯本富士屋ホテル)
          • Day Plan (Main communal bath and outdoor bath)
            • Hours: 12:00 to 20:00
            • Admission: 1800 yen
        2. Hotel Kowakien Yunessun (箱根小涌園ユネッサン)
            • Yunessun (Swimsuit Area)
              • Hours: 9:00 to 19:00 (until 21:00 in August)
              • Admission: 2900 yen
            • Mori no Yu (Onsen Area; 森の湯)
              • Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 (until 21:00 in August)
              • Admission: 1900 yen 
          1. Hakone Green Plaza Hotel (ホテルグリーンプラザ箱根)
            • Day-Use 
              • Hours:
                • 13:00 ~18:00 / on Monday & Tuesday & Friday
                • 15:00 ~18:00 / on Wednesday & Thursday
                • 13:00 ~15:00 / on Saturday & Sunday & Holiday & top season (2017/05/03~2017/05/05, 2017/07/15~2017/08/25, 2017/12/28~2018/01/03)
              • Admission: 1,600 yen

          Hakone Green Plaza Hotel (ホテルグリーンプラザ箱根)

          Both the men’s and women’s open-air baths offer a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji. The view from the women’s open-air bath is especially stunning.  To access the hotel, you can take either Hakone Ropeway or Bus.


          Hakone Yuryo (箱根湯寮)

          Hakone Yuryo is a tasteful public bath opened in spring 2013 on the former site of the Hakone Begonia Garden. The facility features gender segregated indoor and outdoor baths with nice views into the forest. There is also a large selection of private baths (additional fees apply) for families and couples that wish to bath together. A free shuttle bus operates every 10-15 minutes to/from Hakone Yumoto Station.

          Tenzan (天山湯治郷)

          Collection of nicely done hot spring pools, most of which are outdoors at the foot of a wooded slope. The bath house is a beautiful traditional Japanese style building. A short walk from Oku-Yumoto Iriguchi bus stop (bus line K).