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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