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Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 100 kilometers from Tokyo. Famous for hot springs, outdoor activities, natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists looking for a break from Tokyo. While some may want to climb Mt. Fuji, that option isn't always available year round. Instead, many Tokyoites or foreign visitors will head to Hakone for relaxing hot-springs and to see the beauty of Mt. Fuji close by.
Hakone has been one of Japan's most popular hot spring resorts for centuries. Nowadays, more than a dozen springs provide hot spring water to the many bath houses and ryokan in the Hakone region. Some ryokans even offer private rooms for families or for those with tattoos to let everyone enjoy the relaxing hot-springs waters. Hakone's popularity as a hot-spring resort has only grown, with more foreign guests looking to visit the popular onsen area.
There are a number of spots to visit, including O-waku-dani, Lake Ashi-no-ko, Susuki-sogen of Sengokuhara, a stone Buddha and stone towers situated in Moto-Hakone, and cedar trees along Kyu-Kaido Street. Various methods of transportation, such as mountain railway, cable car, ropeway, and cruising boat, are available to bring you to these spots. Hoto is a specialty of the area we also recommend trying when visiting Hakone.
The best time of the year for views of Mt. Fuji is the winter months of December and January. In addition, Hakone is also home to various museums. The Hakone Open Air Museum, the Narukawa Art Museum for modern Japanese paintings, the Pola Museum of Art featuring Western paintings, and the Venetian Glass Museum are only a few to mention among many that attract a number of visitors.
The Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands (箱根湿生花園, Hakone Shisseikaen), a botanical garden in the highlands of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, is also a great spot to enjoy nature and the plants in the wetlands.
Hidden in the dense forest, but are well advertised by its huge torii gates
Beautiful French Style Rose Garden in Hakone
Famous crater in Hakone and active volcanic zone
Japan's tallest mountain and its symbolic heart