Let's go, Hakone! vol.2 Power Spots, Pirate Ships, and Mt. Fuji



Let's go, Hakone! vol.2
Power Spots, Pirate Ships, and Mt. Fuji



Summer is a great time to visit Hakone, and DiGJAPAN! editorial staff member Iki is here to show you all the great things there are to do in the area! Having enjoyed some famous snacks outside Hakone-Yumoto Station, gotten a great view of hydrangea in full bloom during a ride on the Hakone Tozan Railway, and enjoyed fine art at the Hakone Open-Air Museum, she's ready for more adventures on day two!

Meet Japan's only "onsen seals"

Iki recommends starting your second day off with a trip to Hakone-en Aquarium. From energetic penguins to mysterious jellyfish, you can see some 450 species of marine life.


A big fish tank at Hakone-en Aquarium

Watching the colorful fish swim around in their giant tanks is a nice way to relax.


Seal show Hakone style looking like a bather

The most memorable creature of all, however, will probably be the baikal seal. During the seal shows, you can check out these cute little guys enjoying a "bath" in their enclosure in perfect Hakone style! They have a bucket bathers use for washing up before entering the bath and have a towel drapped on their heads as many bathers like to do. Of course, they also have a little bottle of sake to help them relax. These shows take place twice a day on weekdays and three times a day on weekends and national holidays.


Penguins at Hakone-en Aquarium

There are about 30 penguins who like to hang out together, swimming around in a group. If you're lucky, maybe you can even see their feeding time!

Hakone-en Aquarium
Hours: 9:00am~5:00pm
Price: Adults 1,500 yen | 4 yrs ~ Elementary school students 750 yen
Address: 139 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Access: Take the Izu Hakone Bus bound for Hakone-en to the Hakone-en stop.

Get energized at a power spot!

Next up on the day's itinerary is a trip to Hakone Shrine. Built in the year 757, this impressive shrine is considered a “power spot” by many Japanese people. They come here seeking assistance in matters of love and relationships, for luck, for safe childbirth, and more. Whether or not you’re the type to believe in the granting of wishes, the surrounding landscape does give the shrine a somewhat otherworldly vibe.


The main path leading up to Hakone Shrine

The path leading up to the main shrine is flanked with gigantic old cedar trees.


The main shrine of Hakone Shrine

The brilliant vermillion paint of the shrine stands out in sharp contrast against the surrounding green. This shrine is a prime example of traditional Japanese architecture.


The newly constructed

As with many Shinto shrines, there are many smaller sub-shrines located within the compound of the main shrine. As such, inside Hakone Shrine you'll also find Kuzuryu Shingu Shrine. This place is said to enshrine the nine-headed dragon god Kuzuryu, the guardian deity of Lake Ashi. In front of this shrine there is a fountain shaped like this nine-headed dragon god, water pouring from each of its mouths. This isn’t just any water, though. This is go-shin-sui, which directly translates to god-water. This water is considered special because of its supposed proximity to Kuzuryu. Use this water to rinse your hands and “purify” yourself before visiting the shrine. You can even pick up a special bottle for 100 yen at the shrine store to take some home with you if you’d like.


Omamori good luck charms love and marriage, success, safe childbirth

Before leaving the shrine, think about picking up an omamori (good luck charm) as a souvenir. They have specific charms for different needs. Trying to find a significant other? The enmusubi is a good fit for you. Know someone having a baby? Get an an-san charm for safe childbirth. And for any students, the gakugyo charm for successful studies is a must.

Hakone Shrine
Hours: the shrine may be entered at any time
Address: 80-1 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Access: Take the Hakone Tozan Bus bound for Motohakone/Hakone-machi to the Motohakone-minato stop. The shrine is a 10 min walk from the stop.

Try red udon for lunch!

Located inside the compound of Hakone Shrine, Gongen Karame Mochi serves up some pretty interesting lunch items. For example, there's the Ore No Udon Aka (850 yen). You'll supposedly get good luck if you eat this. Then there's also the extremely popular Gongen Karame Mochi set of 5 different kinds of mochi (500 yen).


You can pose for a picture with this cut out in front of the store.

You can pose for a goofy picture outside of the shop with this cut-out that celebrates the store winning third place in a Japan-wide udon competition.


The red soup of Ore no Udon Aka

You'd probably think that this is one spicy bowl of udon going by the red color of the soup, but you'd be surprised! The color comes from the store's original blend of ra-yu (chili-infused oil). This is then mixed with a Japanese-style soup broth. The result is a soup that's actually on the sweet side!


Here are the flavors that come in the set of Go-Shoku Mochi

Here are the flavors that come in the set of Go-Shoku Mochi (from left to right): anko (sweetened azuki bean paste); kinako (soybean powder); sesame; nori seaweed; oroshi (grated diakon raddish with soy sauce).


Gongen Karame Mochi
Hours: 9:30am~5:00pm (or when sold out)
Irregular closings
Address: 80-1 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Access: Take the Hakone Tozan Bus bound for Motohakone/Hakone-machi to the Motohakone-minato stop. The shrine is a 10 min walk from the stop.

See Mt. Fuji from a "pirate ship"

If there's one thing you absolutely must do before leaving Hakone, it's seeing Mt. Fuji by pirate ship! Okay, so technically it's a sightseeing cruise, but in Japanese they call these ships kaizokusen, which means pirate ship. At any rate, though, these ships are gorgeous!


Hakone Pirate Ship Sightseeing Cruise leaves from Moto-Hakone Port

The ships are docked at Moto-Hakone Port, which is only a pleasant ten minute walk from Hakone Shrine.


The pirate ship sailing on the lake and Mt. Fuji

Just look at the incredible scenery you can enjoy from onboard the ship.

Looking at the scenery from the pirate ship

Enjoy the summer time green of the mountains surrounding the lake as well.


A statue of a crew member onboard the ship

Also be sure to take a moment to appreciate the details of the ship.


Kaizokusen Curry Bread available only at Togendai Port

You'll arrive at Togendai Port in about 30 minutes after setting sail from Moto-Hakone Port. While on land, pick up a special Pirate Ship Curry Bread. It gets its black color from squid ink kneaded into the dough. Sound yummy?


Take a picture wearing a captain's costume

Also while at Togendai Port, you can dress up like a captain and have your picture taken at a ship's wheel!


Hydrangea near Lake Ashi and the pirate ship

Of course, there are lovely hydrangea in shades of white, pink, and blue around Lake Ashi for you to enjoy as well.

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
Hours: 9:30am~4:20pm (may vary by season / port of depature)
Typically 2 ships depart every hour
※ Departure times may vary due to weather.
※ Operation may be suspended in the event of inclement weather.
Price: Adults 1,000 yen | Children 500 yen (Moto-Hakone Port - Togendai Port)
Address (Moto-Hakone Port): 6-40 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken


Pick up some last minute souvenirs

As your trip draws to a close, you'll probably want to pick up a souvenir or two. A great place for shopping is Kaizoku Ichiba, located only two minutes walking distance from Hakone-Yumoto Station. Here you can pick up some Hakone specialties like senbei rice crackers and onsen manju.

Hakone kurotama black egg manju

These little cocoa-flavored cakes are made from steamed bread and have custard cream centers. Because of their dark color, they're called "black eggs!"


Moisturizing sheet masks that look like black eggs

More fun with the black eggs: these "black egg" moisturizing sheet face masks are black in color to resemble-- you guessed it-- the famous black eggs of Hakone.


Kaizoku Ichiba Gift Store

They also have booths filled with souvenir goods outside as well, so be sure to take a look!

Hakone Tozan Meisanten Yumoto Eki-mae Ten Kaizoku Ichiba
Hours: 9:00am~7:00pm
Closed Jan. 1
Address: 706-1 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Access: 2 min walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station (Hakone Tozan Railway)


Black eggs?

Owakudani Black hardboiled eggs kuro tama
Yes! These black eggs or kuro tama are a famous snack from the Owakudani area. They've been unavailable for a year now, but we're pleased to announce that Kurotamakan 4 has started selling them again! These eggs are cooked in the naturally occuring hot water here, the sulfer content of which turns the shells black! Eating one of these eggs is said to add seven years to your life. How popular could black eggs be, you ask? They've been selling an average of 1,500 eggs per day since they opened back up for business.

Kurotamakan 4 (former name: Lodge Fujimien)
Hours: 10:00am~5:00pm (Black eggs start selling from 11:00am)
Address: 1245 Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Access: Take the Hakone Tozan Bus bound for Togendai to the Minami Onsenso stop.

See you later, Hakone!

With plenty of fun activities to do, places to enjoy, and delicious foods to try, Hakone is a great place to visit whether you’re traveling on your own or as a family. Furthermore, its easy access from Tokyo makes it a great destination for a one or two-night stay at a beautiful ryokan. We hope this plan gave you some inspiration for planning your own Hakone adventures. If you've ever been here, please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments for your fellow travelers!

Transportation to and within Hakone


■ Destinations visited in this article

■ Access information from Tokyo to Hakone

Access information map from Tokyo to Hakone

The Odakyu Romance car is a convenient way to get all the way from Shinjuku Station to Hakaone-Yumoto Station without any transfers. If you're looking to get to Hakone-Yumoto Station quickly, then taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station is a good idea. It'll get you there in about 50 minutes!

Hakone Free Pass
This pass will make all the difference during your trip to Hakone. With this ticket, you have unlimited rides on eight different kinds of public transportation options within the Hakone area including the Hakone Tozan Railway. This ticket also includes a round trip on the Odakyu Line from your starting station to Odawara Station.

Pass includes access to the following: Hakone Tozan Railway, Hakone Tozan Bus (within designated area), Hakone Kaizokusen, Hakone Ropeway, etc.

Cost when buying at Shinjuku Station:
2-Day Pass: Adults 5,140 yen | Children 1,500 yen
3-Day Pass: Adults 5,640 yen | Children 1,750 yen

Cost when buying at Odawara, Hakone-Yumoto, Yugawara, etc.:
2-Day Pass: Adults 4,000 yen | Children 1,000 yen
3-Day Pass: Adults 4,500 yen | Children 1,250 yen

■ Fuji Hakone Pass
Available for foreign tourists only, the Fuji Hakone Pass gives you access to both the Fuji and Hakone areas with just one convenient ticket. You can choose either Shinjuku Station or Odawara Station as your place of departure.

Points of purchase: Shinjuku and Odawara Stations

Ticket includes access to the following: Hakone Tozan Railway, Hakone Tozan Bus (within designated area), Hakone Tozan Cable Car, Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus (within designated area), Hakone Tourist Attraction Sightseeing Bus, Tokai Bus Orange Shuttle (within designated area), Fujikyuko Line (within designated area), Fujikyu Bus (within designated area)

※Tickets with Shinjuku departures also include one-time, one-way access to the Odakyu line (use of the Limited Express "Romancecar" will cost an additional 890 yen) and the Chuo Highway Bus (within designated area) while ticket is valid.

Ticket validity: 3 Days

Shinjuku Station departure: Adults 8,000 yen | Children 4,000 yen
Odawara Station depature: Adults 5,650 yen | Children 2,820 yen



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