Hakone One-Day Tour – 7 Fascinating Attractions You Must Visit

Hakone One-Day Tour – 7 Fascinating Attractions You Must Visit

February 16, 2019

Hakone is a popular destination among Japanese and international visitors looking for an escape from Tokyo. This charming small town is well-known for the hot springs and the incredible view of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji. You can easily explore 7 interesting places in Hakone within one day.


#1 – Hakone Shrine


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Founded in 757 by Priest Mangan in the Nara period, this shrine has been worshipped as a guardian deity by the Tokugawa and other samurai families who ruled the region. Its red tori gate, visible on the shore of Lake Ashi, is commonly seen on Instagram. My friends told me that they had to queue for about 30 minutes before they could get a picture over there, and they felt very pressurised with so many people behind them in the queue watching them snap their shots within the shortest time possible. I preferred avoiding such a situation, and visited the shrine as early as 7am. Needless to say, I was the only person there.

Hakone Shrine
Address: 80-1 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0522, Japan
Opening Hours: Always Open
Admission Fee: Free


#2 – Lake Ashi


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Lake Ashi is a crater lake formed by volcanic activity four thousand years ago. It has a 20 kilometres circumference with a depth of 43 metres at the deepest point. The lake abounds in pond smelt, trout, carp and other fish. I took a morning stroll around the lake around 8am, and had a clear view of Mount Fuji.

Lake Ashi
Address: Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0522, Japan


#3 – Gora Park


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In the past, Gora Park was built for the upper classes, and only featured the Western garden and the Japanese garden. During the second World War, the Japanese garden was sold to the World Messianity Church and is currently residing in the Hakone Museum of Art as part of its gardens. Today, there are 7 areas of interest within the Gora Park, and it is a great place to admire the autumn foliage in Hakone.

Hakone Gora Park
Address: 1300 Gora, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0408
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm daily
Admission Fee: ¥550 per person. Admission is free for children under 12 years old, Hakone Free Pass users, and the Hakone Tozan Train & Cable Car 1-Day Pass users.
Website: https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/gorapark/


#4 – Hakone Detached Palace Garden


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The Hakone Detached Palace Garden, also known as the Onshi Hakone Park, is situated on a peninsula that juts into Lake Ashi. The Hakone Imperial Villa was built here in 1886 as a summer retreat for the Imperial family and also to accommodate their foreign dignitary guests. The park today features a number of walking trails centred around the lakeside observation tower and the Benten no Hana observatory, offering superb views of Mount Fuji.

Hakone Detached Palace Garden
Address: 171 Motohakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0522, Japan
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm daily. The observatory is closed on Tuesdays and the day following public holidays.
Admission Fee: Free


#5 – Owakudani Valley


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Before arriving at the Owakudani Valley via the Hakone ropeway, you’ll already be able to observe sulphurous fumes and clouds of steam rising from the old crater of Mount Kami. As the bubbling hot water is piped to distant spas, there are many hot springs in the area.

Owakudani Valley
Address: Sengokuhara, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm daily


#6 – Hakone Sekisho (Checkpoint)


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Hakone Sekisho is an important site for the history of transport and communication during the Edo period. The Tokugawa Shogunate set up 53 Checkpoints throughout Japan, and Hakone Sekisho was set up in 1619. It is considered to have been the biggest and most important of them all. The primary purpose of Checkpoints was to control arms entering Edo and women attempting to leave Edo. Hakone Sekisho, known for its strictness, was primarily responsible for keeping women from escaping from Edo. You’ll get a glimpse into the Japanese officials’ lives here.

Hakone Sekisho
Address: 1 Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0521, Japan
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm daily. Winter Season from 1 December to 28 February 9am to 4.30pm.
Admission Fee: Adults 500¥ || Children below 12 years old 250¥
Website: http://www.hakonesekisyo.jp/english/


#7 – Cedar Avenue


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There’s nothing much here except cedar trees which were planted along the old Tokaido Highway in 1618 when the Hakone post town was opened. The trees shaded travellers in summer and protected the road from snow in winter. There are about 412 trees remaining today.

Cedar Avenue
Address: Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0521, Japan
Opening Hours: Always Open

It’s quite convenient to get around Hakone with so many different modes of transportation. I’ve previously shared a guide on how to get around Hakone, and another guide on what to eat in Hakone. If you’re not rushing for time, it’s better to stay in Hakone for 2 or 3 days, so you’ll be able to fully relax at the hot springs.

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Hi! I’m Alexis!

I’m a true-blue Singaporean who loves travel, photography, and food. I left my career in accountancy in 2014 to become a globetrotter. Since then, I’ve travelled to over 20 countries and have checked many adventures off my bucket list. I hope my readers will benefit from my first hand perspective of the trips.

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