Best Route in Hakone to Fully Enjoy its Great Nature
Hakone is located in the south-western area in Kanagawa Prefecture. Reachable in about 2 hours by train from Haneda Airport, the area makes one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan that attracts many tourists from outside Japan.
It is of course highly popular among Japanese tourists across all age and gender groups too. From enjoying the natural scenery from the window of a cable car to admiring sculptures at a museum, relieving your fatigue at a hot spring and many others, Hakone provides so many things to see and do that one day here can never be enough time. Title photo by flickr
Here, we have narrowed down our recommended spots for you.
Hakone Ropeway is located in Hakone-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture, at an altitude of about 1,000 meters. It has been used as a tourist attraction and a means of transportation for about 60 years. One cable car can accommodates up to 18 people and is resistant to wind of 30 meters per second at maximum.
You can buy a boarding ticket at Sounzan Station, where you make a transfer from train to ropeway, and get on the cable car.
What you want to keep in mind is that the operating hours of the ropeway is subject to change according to weather and other conditions. Make sure to check the latest information on the official website in advance.
Improve Your Longevity!? Black Egg of Owakudani
About a 10 minute ride on the cable car will take you Owakudani Station, where you will see a vast area of land scattered with clouds of smoke here and there. The area is nicknamed “Jigoku Dani (Valley of Hell)” for its impressive landscape.
Owakudani is the area of the highest altitude you can get on the ropeway and commands a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.
But as the admission to the area is sometimes restricted due to volcanic activity, make sure to check whether the admission is allowed or not on the official website before visiting.
Owakudani is also known for the specialty food called “Black Egg (kuro tamago).” A chemical reaction between geothermal heat and volcanic gas will cause eggs boiled in hot spring water to have black colored shells.
While it’s totally up to you whether to believe it or not, a legend says that eating one black egg is said to extend your life for seven years. But it is also said that eating too many of them out of greediness will shorten your life. So beware of overeating them anyway, even if you might like them very much.
Hakone Craft House: Make Your Own Original Souvenir
After fully enjoying Hakone Ropeway and sightseeing in Owakudani, I thought I would have a little extra side trip just before taking a train back home from Gora Station of Hakone Tozan Line. I went to Hakone Craft House, where you can make your own original crafts such as glassware, pottery, blown glass and sandblast.
It is located about 5 minutes on foot from Gora Station. Here you can try your hand at making your original crafts, receiving some advice from the staff. It would make a nice memorabilia from your trip.
They also offer works by professional craftsman for you to purchase, so it’s worth visiting even when you cannot spare enough time to join the craft workshop. Official Website
Hakone is most known for its hot springs, but sightseeing in the great nature, as we have seen above, is yet another great thing Hakone has to offer. Take in a lot of fresh air and refresh yourself from within!