Best (and Worst) Coworking Spaces in Hakone

3 Best (and 1 Worst) Coworking Spaces in Hakone

Being able to travel without regard to other people’s schedules is undoubtedly one of the essential benefits of internet-based jobs. You can take the work wherever you go, and do it from a fancy European city such as Paris, a sandy beach in the Caribbean, or even a Buddhist monastery, provided they have Wi-Fi there. Have you spotted a glaring problem in this idea yet?

Whether you want to admit it or not, aside from incorrigible workaholics, nobody looks forward to working while on holiday. Your motivation is likely to drop significantly if you have to stay in your room and miss the fantastic weather or give up on seeing something you want because you’re about to miss a deadline. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a pleasant coworking space — it promotes productivity, and it gets you out of your apartment.

If there is one thing that’s bound to give you plenty of grief when you decide to use the perks of the fact that you work online, it’s the lack of coworking spaces at the location. Unfortunately, Hakone is one of the most amazing places with the lowest number of available coworking spaces. And, you know — it’s a truth universally acknowledged that an American in a foreign country must be in want of Wi-Fi. Once again, Google is your best friend, so here are three best — and one worst — coworking spaces (or alternatives) in Hakone.

Our favorite coworking space is Hakone Honbako

The book hotel, Hakone Honbako, is located 4 min on foot from Nakagora Station, and a 12-min walk from the Hakone Museum of Art.

The hotel boasts an impressive collection of books, which are all at your disposal when you check-in. There are plenty of places to read, and it’s incredibly calm and peaceful, so it’s a great place to work in. There are many reading spots in the lobby, which looks like a little library, and the seating is really comfy.

While not officially so, it is considered an “adults only” hotel, so there is no noise connected with little children running around. There is no TV, so the distractions are at a minimum. The staff is lovely and always helpful.

There is free parking on the premises if you’re driving. If you’re traveling with your furry friend, though, we have some bad news — the place is not pet-friendly.

Even though coworking space is not the primary function of Hakone Honbako, the hotel is a great place to work in. The environment is quiet and peaceful, and there are some incredibly comfortable armchairs scattered around the place, which makes sitting much easier on your back. There is free Wi-Fi, and you can chill with a cup of coffee, enjoy the view from the lobby, and get some work done.

Basics
Pricing
  • 49,000 yen for 2 people per night
High-Speed Internet yes
Open Hours
  • 24/7
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks no
Conference Rooms no
Private Offices no
Phone booths no
Coliving yes

Two other great places for work in Hakone

If you’re not staying in Hakone Honbako, you may not find the hotel so convenient. There are some alternatives, of course, but none of them are legit coworking spaces. That being said, many cafes in Hakone are work-friendly – you just have to know where to look for them. Don’t forget to order a new drink every once in a while! So, here’s our pick for the two places in Hakone you can work at.

  1. Naraya Cafe
  2. Timuny

There is an extra tip included too!

Naraya Cafe

Naraya Cafe is a cute little cafe that serves excellent coffee. It is situated on the slope behind Main Street. Google maps are a bit unclear in this area, but you can’t miss it since it’s right on the way up to the train station.

The only complaint we have about this place is the size of their coffee – it’s delicious, but there are only about two mouthfuls of it. The food is excellent, though, and they even offer some gluten-free options! It’s great if you have to work for a longer time since you don’t have to go out to get a delicious snack.

The place itself is pretty cozy and peaceful. You’ll see many people reading (and some even taking a nap!) in the café, which makes the atmosphere very work-friendly because of the low levels of noise. Naraya overlooks beautiful scenery, and there’s a lot of greenery around, so it can provide you with a lot of inspiration for creative work.

There is another bonus – once you’re done with work, you can treat yourself to a relaxing foot bath. Just don’t forget to bring your own towel, or you’ll have to buy one.

Timuny

Timuny is a very cozy little place overlooking the river. It is situated to the right of the footbridge, just 3 minutes’ walk from the Hakone-Yumoto Station.

It’s a good place for coffee lovers – they have four types of coffee beans, so you can pick and choose. There is a smokers’ room on the upper floor. It’s not used a lot, and, even when it is, most of the smoke stays up there. Still, if you’re particularly sensitive, this is something to have in mind. It’s vegan-friendly. For those of you who get homesick a lot, they offer a superb grilled-cheese sandwich!

It’s nice and peaceful, with a great, inspiring view, and they offer free Wi-Fi. The downside to this café is that there aren’t many available power outlets. You can ask the staff to charge your laptop for you while you’re having lunch, though, so it’s not too big of an obstacle. Still, you’ll want to make sure your laptop battery is reliable and charge it before you come to the café.

Name Naraya Timuny
High-Speed Internet yes yes
Comfortable Chairs yes yes
Open hours Every day 10:30 am – 6:00 pm Mon – Tue 10:00 am – 7:00 pm,

Thu – Sun 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

An extra tip

If none of these options work for you, you can always get a good travel stand desk. Some models weigh less than 4 lbs, so they’re convenient to carry around. There are several benefits to this option:

  • It’s good for your back;
  • You can take it basically everywhere with you;
  • You can set up your own little office wherever you go.

So, if you don’t like any of the other ideas, you can always take your desk wherever you want, and work from there.

Ninja Cafe Fuma is incredible – but not a great place to cowork in Hakone

Ninja Cafe Fuma is a great place to visit when you’re in Hakone. You’ll have a ninja making and serving your food, and you can even have a shuriken-throwing practice! There is a corner with ninja merchandise as well. The owner speaks fluent English, the food is great, and there are some vegetarian options as well.

It’s great for children – but not so great for working. The most important issues are:

  1. The shuriken throwing
  2. The flashy food preparation process
  3. The level of noise
  4. The children running around being thrilled with the ninja staff

These are all factors that contribute to the annihilation of your ability to focus. The seating is hardly comfortable, and there are no power outlets available to customers. So if you have to work, go to basically any other place and, when you’re done, come back to Ninja Cafe Fuma to practice your ninja skills.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it – a few places to work in while staying in Hakone. Even though the area is not overflowing with coworking spaces, it would be a shame to miss out on some of the most beautiful attractions of this magical place. If this is your first visit, check out these 21 things to do in Hakone, and make sure you make the most of your trip.

Where to Stay in Hakone

Where to stay in Hakone – a guide to ideal places for relaxation

Map of Hakone

Less than one hundred kilometers from Tokyo, in Kanagawa Prefecture, the small resort town Hakone is located. This town is becoming more popular among tourists owing to the abundance of hot springs, natural beauty which can be enjoyed all through the year, and the amazing view of the nearby Mount Fuji. As a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, this town will leave you breathless with the stunning landscape and diverse events. 

Safety alert!

Towards the end of the last year, there was a severe volcanic activity near Owakudani, the area located around the crater formed during the last eruption of Mount Hakone. As many tourists decide to visit Hakone by train, it is useful to know that as a result of this event, a part of the route Hakone Tozan Railway linking Sounzan and Togendai had been restricted as they pass near Owakudani. Consequently, these restrictions had then been lowered to Level One, with expectations of being removed in the near future. From late October, Hakone Ropeway has been operating along its full length. Still, if you are planning on visiting Hakone anytime soon, make sure to double-check whether this route is still safe to travel.

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Hakone

Image source:  hakonenavi.jp

As a popular travel destination, Hakone is rapidly developing and expanding, aiming to satisfy the needs of the quickly increasing number of tourists that decide to visit this resort. As a relatively small town, it is neatly divided into neighborhoods where everyone can find some activities for everyone’s liking. Finding accommodation in Hakone is not an easy endeavor since the prices tend to be high sometimes. Based on the cultural and historical values, outdoor activities, and the budget, we have made a list of areas where you can find a place to stay and get to experience the best of Hakone such as:

  1. Hakone-Yumoto
  2. Gora
  3. Miyanoshita
  4. Motohakone
  5. Tonosawa 

To find out more details about why we recommend these particular areas, check out our table breakdown below.

Area

Ideal for: 

Why? 

Hakone-Yumoto

First visit to Hakone

Beautiful hot springs, many museums, and historical landmarks

Gora

Nightlife

Numerous restaurants, cafes, shops are located in this area

Miyanoshita

Travel on a budget 

Cheap accommodation

Motohakone

Bohemians 

Hakone’s most famous sights

Tonosawa 

Long-term stay

Traditional Japan, peaceful and secluded

Ship Image source: pixabay

Where to stay in Hakone for the first time – Hakone-Yumoto 

Map Image source: hakonenavi.jp

The Hakone-Yumoto area can be easily reached from Tokyo via Romancecar. This area is full of landmarks and interesting activities. There are numerous shops, hotels, museums, and restaurants to keep you entertained. Also, you can find the well known hot springs of Hakone in this area. 

Water stream Image source: rururaa

Things to see and do in Hakone-Yumoto

As there are many things you can see and do in this area,  we have made a careful selection and these are our recommendations: 

  • Tenzan Onsen 
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum
  • Kumano Shrine
  • Glass Art Experience Workshop
  • Old Tokaido Road and Hakone Checkpoint
  • Hydrangea Train 

Tenzan Onsen 

Tenzan Onsen is a huge complex with many bath-onsens, courtyards, restaurants, cafes and tatami areas used for resting. 

Onsen Image source: ashionpathfinder.tokyo_kazu

Water stream Image source: gabrielanachos

Hakone Open-Air Museum 

This is Japan’s first museum of this kind. It spreads across 70 000 square meters with many collections of artworks and sculptures of famous Japanese as well as international artists. For instance, Picasso Exhibition hall occupies the central place where more than 300 his artworks are located. 

Museum Image source: tiffaniedebartolo

Tower Image source: nihilfly

Picasso Image source: acquireatdesign

Kumano Shrine

Kumano Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in the Hakone-Yumoto area with multiple smaller shrines, gates, and the main shrine as well where you can pay your respects. 

Shrine Image source: natulflower

Glass Art Experience Workshop

One of the most popular hands-on activities in Hakone is glass blowing which you can learn in this workshop, later apply what you have learned, and produce your glass blown souvenir.

Glass Image source: afan_62

Old Tokaido Road and Hakone Checkpoint

Old Tokaido Road was the famous road linking Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period. During that period, Hakone was a significant checkpoint on that road. Today, the section leading to Hakone has been reconstructed as well as the Hakone Checkpoint so tourists can acquaint themselves with the rich history of Hakone.

Tokaido Road Image source: willyyilly

Checkpoint Image source: japonismo

Landscape Image source: retroboyastro

Hydrangea Train

From the middle of June to late July, you can take a ride on this train which passes along the hydrangea flowers. Also, you can also see the illuminated flowers in the nighttime since this train operates during the night.

Train Image source: mamikoooo_yo

Where to stay in Hakone-Yumoto 

Since this area is at a convenient location, there are plenty of accommodation options, although they can be quite expensive. The most traditional place to stay in is the onsen ryokan or the Japanese style inns. However, you can find some Airbnbs where the average nightly price is $119.

Our top 3 picks are the following ones:

Affordable optionPrivate Onsen Designer House 

Room

Moderate price Lakeside Villa with Mt.Fuji View

Room

Luxury optionOnsen modern guest house in mountains

Room

For more Airbnbs in Hakone-Yumoto area, click here

Where to stay in Hakone -foodie edition – Gora

Map Image source: hakonenavi.jp

Since Hakone is a resort town where locals and travelers come to relax after the crowded Tokyo, nightlife as such doesn’t exist here. Still, there is an area in Hakone with many dining and shopping options. Gora is an attractive onset neighborhood which apart from beautiful hot springs and stunning landscape, you can find shops, restaurants, and cafes if you are in search of the more vivid side of Hakone. Arriving in this area is a real adventure since you can take a ride on the Hakone Ropeway and enjoy the view of Mount Fuji from afar. 

Fuji Image source: panina_84

Things to see and do in Gora

In this area, you can enjoy the countryside and the beautiful landscape but also relax and try some local food or traditional tea. Take a look at our favorites:

  1. Visit Hakone Gora Park 
  2. Gora Brewery & grill
  3. Tamura Ginkatsu-Tei
  4. Cafe de Meissen
  5. ISSHIKIDO

Hakone Gora Park

This park with amazing nature is located above Gora Station. It is a great place for relaxing and unwinding. 

Park Image source: asenseofzuber

Autumn Image source: pedrojuan81

Gora Brewery & grill 

This is a great place where you can try some of the most famous Japanese dishes such as sushi or grilled steaks.

Restaurant Image source: brutal_wolfgal

Grilled meat Image source: brutal_wolfgal

Tamura Ginkatsu-Tei

One of the most attractive restaurants in Gora where you can try the famous dish called Tofu Katsuni.

Dish Image source: justonecookbook

Cafe de Meissen

A wonderful and cozy cafe near Gora Station where you can enjoy some freshly baked pizza or soft and fluffy pancake along with freshly brewed coffee. 

Pizza Image source: noy__ny

Pancakes Image source: huntinggirled

ISSHIKIDO

This restaurant is located near Gora Park and it is most famous for a wide array of different sandwiches. They pride themselves in selecting only the best and freshest ingredients for their dishes. 

Sandwiches Image source: maki_mouse0827

Where to stay in Gora

Gora is quite an attractive area for tourists and the hotels are usually booked well in advance. However, it is possible to find other accommodations such as Airbnbs where the average price for a night is the pricey $212. 

Our top 3 picks are:

Affordable option – Twin room near Gora Station

Twin room

Moderate pricePrivate hot-spring in the Japanese tatami room

Room

Luxury optionHakone Villa with Private Onsen

Room

Find more Airbnbs in Gora here