Hakone is a champion of Tokyo tourism, and it caters for domestic and international visitors alike with its spectacular view of Mt Fuji. This is a beautiful mountain resort with ancient sites, alpine lakes and spas fueled by hot springs. Some tourists from Tokyo make a daytrip out of Hakone, but booking accommodation in Hakone and spending a few days to really enjoy the experience is well worth it.
While Mt Fuji is the major attraction in the region, local Mt Hakone defines the local scenery. It looms over Lake Ashi, and perched between the mountain and the lake is Hakaone Shrine, a peaceful retreat often cloaked in mist.
Hakone has been well-traveled since the Edo Period, which began in the early 17th century. Traditional inns (called ryokan) were built in those days to accommodate the shogun and his servants when they crossed from Edo to the rest of Japan. Hakone has maintained its older ryokan, and a few have been converted into luxury hotels in Hakone. These atmospheric inns highlight any visit to Hakone and are lost to those who come on a daytrip.
Another highlight of a trip to Hakone is the ride in. Trains depart from Tokyo for Hakone-Yumoto Station. Some people disembark at Odawara (Gora Station) and ride the Hakone Ropeway (a cable car) high up Mt Hakone to Owakudani Station where a fuming cauldron is used to boil eggs. To see hot springs without braving the ropeway, visitors can also ride the narrow-gauge train to Miyanoshita Station, where an expansive hot-springs resort operates.