Visit Hakone in Autumn! It has beautiful Autumn colour, mysterious Ōwakudani, an extensive view of pampas grass field, and lovely Mt. Fuji!
Hakone gradually has became popular tourist attraction for foreign visitors. It takes approximately only 80 minutes from Shinjuku, Tokyo to Onsen, so its also an excellent holiday choice for Japanese visitors. It also suitable for one day return trip. However, we would recommend you to plan your trip in 2 days and one night stay in Hakone in order to enjoy the amazing place even more.
It takes about 80 minutes from Shinjuku, Tokyo to Hakone-Yumoto Station by “Odakyu Romance Car.” If you travel alone to Hakone, Hakone freepass (5,140 yen per person) is recommended between Shinjuku to Hakone. (If ride “Odakyu Romance car”, you might need to pay extra fee for express service) It contains Hakone Tozan Cable Car funicular, ropeway and bus tickets, as well as preferential treatment at many travel attractions. It is a complex tickets in order to avoid troubles of purchase different kind transportation tickets.
Hakone-Yumoto Station is the main entrance of Hakone. Most visitors choose to take “Odakyu Romance Car” (VSE) due to its conveniency, luxurious facilities and absolutely amazing view. 80 minutes will pass very fast without notice once you decide to ride on the Romance Car.
There is souvenir shops selling onsen-manju at Hakone-Yumoto Station, and many shops with local foods. You will able to find them and purchase some souvenirs before finish the entire trip here.
Gōra Station is a terminal railway from Hakone-Yumoto Station where is above sea level 450 meters, and takes about 25 minutes. You will see some of the very best Japanese scenery during the ride, especially Autumn colour of this season. In order to offer a better view from the train, new trains with large windows are provided from Nov. 2014.
Hakone is a famous and popular tourist attraction with plentiful things to do. First of all, we would recommend you to visit “Gōra Park” (Gōra Kōen) for your first stopping point. It will be free of entry if you show them your “Hakone freepass” that we mentioned earlier. (Usually cost 550 yen for entry)
Gōra Park is a French style landscape park featuring a large fountain and red autumnal leaves surround. The rose garden, and greenhouses contain atmosphere of Southern countries which make you feel relaxed and enjoy the scenery views. Furthermore, there are “Hakone crafthouse” where provides craft activities such as glass blowing and pottery, etc.
The staff of crafthouse will lead you to crafting a wine glass which takes about 15 minutes (price is from 3,560 yen) and you will get the completed goods in next day (without postal fee). The self glass-made goods will be the best souvenir of Hakone trip after all.
After leaving Gōra Park, let's ride cable car to Sōunzan, and change to funicular railway to Oowakudani.
“大涌谷 Oowakudani” Station is full smell of sulfur which visitors might feeling special with new experience of onsen. Towards to the direction walking about 10 minutes, you will see many visitors are buying “Kuro Tamago” and sampled them.
Here is “Kuro Tamago”! The famous “black eggs” in Oowakudani. There was a rumour says that it extended 7 years of your life after eaten 1 black egg. There are 5 eggs within a bag (500 yen per bag), in other words, life should extended 17 years and half after ate 2 and half eggs, right?! Due to the geothermal heat and volcanic gas, boiling raw eggs in hot spring water through a chemical reaction will turn the egg shells into black. Therefore if you come here, please try and experience the black egg (but life extension story is still a rumour).
After leaving Oowakudani Station, take funicular railway to Lake Ashi. You will definitely see Mt. Fuji in good weather, Autumn colour and beautiful view of Lake Ashi.
The terminal of funicular railway is Tougendai, where has bus service to Sengokuhara. Sengokuhara has beautifully pampas grass field from early Autumn, just like a huge golden carpet.
We strongly recommended to see these gorgeous and brilliant pampas grass field at nightfall. Although the picture looks like taken in the early morning, but watching the golden pampas grass field with sunset is the best timing.
Hurry up and plan your trip to Hakone. However, please arrange your trip early and make sure to reserve your hotel in advance.
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