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1 night, 2 days


1st day
A tour of art museums

The picturesque Hakone resort area is located within the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park surrounding the volcanic Mt. Hakone-yama. You can see Mt. Fuji up close and enjoy nature's splendor throughout the seasons. With its many hot springs and outdoor attractions, Hakone represents one of the finest sightseeing spots in Japan. Unique art museums have sprung up here one after another, and they are very popular with the visitors.
Long ago, before adequate transportation facilities were developed, it was extremely difficult for travelers to go over the steep Mt. Hakone-yama. In the 17th century, a place called Sekisho was set up for officials to conduct strict checks on travelers. A typical scene from that time is now reproduced in the museum.

Various events are held throughout the year, including the Intercollegiate Hakone Ekiden (marathon relay race) held on 2-3 January and the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu on 3 November, where the feudal lord's procession is re-enacted with brightly decorated floats and thousands of people dressed in the samurai costumes of the Edo Period (1603-1867).

We recommend purchasing a Hakone Free Pass (valid for 2 days or 3 days) at Shinjuku Station on the Odakyu Line. These convenient passes can be used to ride on most public transport in the Hakone area.

Hakone Free Pass: 5,000 yen (2 days) and 5,500 yen (3 days) from Shinjuku Station on the Odakyu Line

Make your way to Hakone Yumoto Station on the 'Romance Car' Limited Express from Odakyu Shinjuku Station (85 minutes).
Try the Tourist Association's Hakone Carrier Service. They will carry your luggage to your hotel.

Fare: Shinjuku Station to Hakone Yumoto Station 2,020 yen

Change to the Hakone Tozan Tetsudo train, which is the only authentic mountain railway in Japan. This train zigzags up the steep slope of the mountain in a switchback style.
The direction is changed in mid run, and it is fun to watch the driver and conductor switch places.

Get off at Chokoku-no-Mori Station after about a 30-minute ride.
Fare: 390 yen

Visiting the Hakone Open Air Museum
The outdoor area of approx. 70,000 square meters draws on Hakone's natural beauty to create the background for about 120 sculptures by renowned modern and contemporary artists such as Rodin, Maillol and Taro Okamoto.
The museum also has various indoor galleries, including one devoted solely to Picasso's work.
There is an area where children can interact with art works.
If your feet are tired from all the walking, you can treat them to a footbath at the outdoor "Hot Foot" spa.

Sightseeing time: 120 minutes
Admission: 1,600 yen

Get on the Shisetsu Meguri bus (facility tour bus) from the museum for about 20 minutes. Get off at the Sengoku Annaijo-mae Terminal Stop.

Fare: 440 yen

On the way, you will see the Pola Museum of Art known for its fine collection of modern paintings, and the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum with its popular collection of delicate Venetian glass.

Visiting the Lalique Museum, Hakone
This museum is located only a short distance from the bus stop.
The permanent collection of about 230 works by renowned designer Rene Lalique represents both the art nouveau and art deco periods. A saloon car from the Orient Express with interior glass panels decorated by Lalique and produced in 1929 is also on exhibit. You can enjoy coffee and dessert inside the train.
A nice restaurant and souvenir shop are located on the premises.

Sightseeing time: 90 minutes
Admission: 1,500 yen

A 10-minute walk.

Visiting the Hakone Mononofu-no-Sato Museum
This museum exhibits samurai armor, helmets and swords, as well as ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock prints) and Noh masks. You can actually wear armor that was created in the Edo Period (1603-1867) and imagine yourself as a samurai warrior.

Admission: 800 yen

A 5-minute walk.

Hakone Wetlands Botanical Garden
Take a walk through a garden filled with 1,700 species of plants found in wetlands and alpine areas.
At the beginning of June, people come from all over to enjoy the magnificent sight of the Nikko Kisuge (daylily) in full bloom.

Sightseeing time: approx. 40 minutes
Admission: 700 yen
Closed on Dec.1 to Mar. 19

Staying at a quiet ryokan (Japanese inn) in Sengokuhara

2nd day
Experiencing travel in the Edo Period (1603-1867)
Take a Togendai-bound bus from Sengoku Annaijo-mae (4 buses an hour). About a 10-minute ride. Get off at the Terminal Stop. Make your way to Lake Ashino-ko on foot.
Excursion on Lake Ashino-ko on a sightseeing boat
Lake Ashino-ko is a caldera lake created by an explosion of vapor 3000 years ago.
Enjoy a 40-minute cruise from Togendai Port to Hakonemachi Port. It is fun to get on these unique boats - a pirate boat modeled on European sailing vessels or a paddle steamer like those found in America in the 19th century.
In fine weather, there is a clear view of Mt. Fuji.

Fare: Lake Ashino-ko Sightseeing boat ... one way 970 yen
Pirate boat ... 1st class one way 1,460 yen

Visiting the Hakone Sekisho (check point) ruins
Located a short distance from the ferry.
Hakone used to be an important traffic point connecting Eastern and Western Japan a long time ago. You had to go over the steep mountains of Hakone to get to Kyoto, Osaka or Kyushu from Edo (today's Tokyo).
In the Edo Period (1603-1867), the government checked all travelers and their weapons in order to protect the city of Edo.
Women leaving Edo were under particular scrutiny. This was to prevent the families of warriors who were under the control of the government from escaping.
Walking through the restored buildings and reading the reference material, it is not hard to imagine the scene from back then.

Sightseeing time: 60 minutes

Pose for a photo dressed in a kimono, or take a tour around the area in a jinrikisha (rickshaw).
On 3 November, an elaborate festival is held recreating a daimyo (feudal lord)'s procession from the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Hiking along the Avenue of Japanese Cedar Trees
About 420 cedar trees form an avenue about 500 m long. These trees were planted 400 years ago to create shade for travelers.

Visiting the Narukawa Art Museum
This is a private art museum that house an excellent collection of Japanese paintings.
You can see beautiful Lake Ashino-ko and Mt. Fuji from the lounge and cafe.

Admission: 1,200 yen

A short distance on foot.

Walking on the old Hakone Road
Shortly after leaving the art museum, you'll notice a stone walkway about 1 km long. The government of Edo maintained and improved the road to help travelers get across Mt. Hakone-yama.
You can see the scenery from the Edo Period (1603-1867) just as it was, and imagine the feeling of travelers back then.

Make your way down the stone walkway again to return to Lake Ashino-ko. Take a sightseeing boat from Motohakone Port to Togendai. It takes about 30 minutes.

Fare: Lake Ashino-ko sightseeing boat ... one way 970 yen
Pirate boat ... first class one way 1,460 yen

Make your way to Owakudani Station from Togendai Station by ropeway. The dynamic view from the gondola is very impressive. 18 minutes.

Fare: 1,020 yen

Visiting Owakudani
This is the remains of a crater made by an eruption that occurred 3000 years ago. Vapor and carbon dioxide gas spews out from everywhere and there is a sulfurous odor in the air. You can explore the area following the trail. Black eggs boiled in the hot spring water are very popular.

Sightseeing time: approx. 30 minutes

Make your way to Souunzan Station from Owakudani Station by ropeway. It takes about 8 minutes.

Fare: 820 yen

Change to the Swiss-made cable car at Souunzan Station and go to Gora Station.

Fare: 410 yen

Then take the Hakone Tozan Tetsudo train and get off at Miyanoshita.

Fare: 130 yen

Walking on Sepia Road
Foreigners came here to find relief from the heat of summer in the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Along the road there are Japanese and Western antique shops and souvenir shops in buildings that are more than 100 years old. Note that many shops close on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Go down to Hakone Yumoto Station from Miyanoshita Station on the Hakone Tozan Tetsudo train.

Fare: 260 yen

Return home on the 'Romance Car'.