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Lake Ashinoko (m, Ashinoko) was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano's last eruption 3000 years ago. Today, the lake with Mount Fuji in the background is the symbol of Hakone. The lake's shores are mostly undeveloped except for small towns in the east and north and a couple of lakeside resort hotels.

The best views of the lake in combination with Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from Moto-Hakone (a few steps south from the sightseeing boat pier), from the Hakone Detached Palace Garden and from the sightseeing boats cruising the lake.

Note however, that clouds and poor visibility often block the view of Mount Fuji, and you have to consider yourself lucky if you get a clear view of the mountain. Visibility tends to be better during the colder seasons of the year than in summer, and in the early morning and late afternoon hours.

Two companies, Hakone Sightseeing Boats and Izuhakone Sightseeing Boats, operate boats between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi at the lake's southern shores and Togendai and Kojiri at the lake's northern end. A boat cruise from one end of the lake to the other takes roughly 30 minutes and costs 1020-1200 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on the pirate ship shaped Hakone Sightseeing Boats but not on boats operated by Izuhakone.

Getting there and around

From Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto

Frequent buses connect Odawara via Hakone-Yumoto with Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi at the southern end of Lake Ashinoko. The one way journey from Odawara takes about 50 minutes and costs 1340 yen. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 1080 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on Hakone Tozan buses (bus line H) but not on Izuhakone buses (bus line Z).

There is also a frequently served Hakone Tozan Bus line from Odawara via Hakone-Yumoto to Togendai at the northern end of Lake Ashinoko (bus line T). The one way journey from Odawara takes about 50 minutes, costs 1440 yen and is covered by the Hakone Free Pass. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 1180 yen.

A slow and scenic way of approaching Lake Ashinoko from Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto is taking the Hakone Tozan Railway to Gora, followed by a cablecar and ropeway ride to Togendai at the northern end of of the lake. From Togendai one can continue by sightseeing boat to Moto-Hakone or Hakone-machi. The whole journey is covered by the Hakone Free Pass.

From Mishima

There are buses from Mishima Station to Hakone-machi and Moto-Hakone (bus line N, operated by Numazu Tozan Tokai Bus) every hour. The one way journey from Mishima to Moto-Hakone takes about 50 minutes and costs 1050 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on these buses.

From Gotemba

There are two buses per hour between Gotemba Station and the northern and eastern shores of Lake Ashinoko (bus lines V and W, operated by Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus). The one way journey from Gotemba to Togendai takes about 30 minutes and costs 1040 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on these buses.

From Atami

There are buses (operated by Izuhakone Bus) from Atami Station to Hakone-machi every hour. The one way journey takes about 60 minutes and costs 1290 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is not valid on Izuhakone buses.

How to get to and around Hakone

Hotels around Hakone

Top rated in Hakone
Budget:
    • Hakone Villa Bizan
      Mid-range
      Featuring a restaurant, bar, shared lounge and free WiFi, Hakone Villa Bizan is located in Hakone, 600 metres from Hakone Shrine and 1.7 km from Hakone Checkpoint. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. Each room comes with a balcony. At the hotel, each room is equipped with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. The rooms come with a kettle, while some rooms are equipped with a kitchenette with a microwave and a stovetop. Guest rooms at Hakone Villa Bizan are equipped with a seating area. An American breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Lake Ashi is 2.7 km from Hakone Villa Bizan, while Hakone Open-Air Museum is 9 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 110 km from the hotel.
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    • Fujiya Hotel
      Luxury
      Opened in 1878, Fujiya Hotel features Meiji Era architecture set in Hakonefs natural beauty. Just 500 metres from Miyanoshita Station, it offers indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a restaurant in a converted Imperial Villa called Kikka-so Inn. Rooms feature bathtubs with natural hot-spring water. Rooms are divided between 5 different buildings constructed between 1891 and 1960, providing a variety of styles and decors. All rooms are non-smoking, and come with air conditioning and a private bathroom. The Gora area and Hakone-Yumoto Train Station are a 15-minute drive. Hakone-Jinja Shrine and Owakudani Valley are about 10 km away. The hotel offers a free shuttle from nearby Miyanoshita Train Station (call upon arrival at station to use). Private and public hot-spring baths are on site, and guests can enjoy the hotelfs garden and greenhouse. The hotel has its own shops and museum. Massage services are also offered. The hotel's indoor pool uses natural hot-spring water. Main Dining Room "The Fujiya" serves French cuisine in an elegant space. Restaurant Cascade offers Western dishes, while Kikka-so serves traditional Japanese kaiseki dinners. A bar, lounge and bakery are available.
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    • Onsen Guest House Tsutaya
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 2-star accommodation, Onsen Guest House Tsutaya is situated in Hakone, 7 km from Hakone Lalique Museum and 7 km from Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a shared kitchen, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The ryokan offers a hot spring bath. Owakudani Valley is 9 km from Onsen Guest House Tsutaya, while Pola Museum is 25 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 99 km from the accommodation.
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    • okcs Retreat Hakone villa
      Luxury
      Set in Hakone, 400 metres from Venetian Glass Museum, okcs Retreat Hakone villa offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is allergy-free and is located 1.7 km from Pola Museum. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a fridge, a minibar, a kettle, a bidet, slippers and a desk. The rooms are equipped with a coffee machine and a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer, while certain rooms also offer a kitchen. At the ryokan every room is fitted with bed linen and towels. Guests at okcs Retreat Hakone villa can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The accommodation offers 4-star accommodation with a hot spring bath and terrace. The area is popular for hiking and cycling, and bike hire is available at okcs Retreat Hakone villa. Hakone Lalique Museum is 1.8 km from the ryokan, while Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands is 2.3 km from the property.
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    • HakoneHOSTEL1914
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Hakone, a 29-minute walk from Hakone Open-Air Museum, HakoneHOSTEL1914 has a shared lounge. The property is around a 36-minute walk from Hakone Gora Park, 7.9 km from Owakudani Valley and 6.1 km from Pola Museum. Venetian Glass Museum is 5.4 km from the property. With a shared bathroom, rooms at the hostel also offer free WiFi. Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands is 7.1 km from HakoneHOSTEL1914, while Hakone Lalique Museum is 6.6 km away. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 73 km from the property.
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    • MEIBI Hakone Yumoto
      Mid-range
      MEIBI Hakone Yumoto has river views, free WiFi and free private parking, situated in Hakone, 10 km from Hakone Open-Air Museum. All units here are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV, a living room, a well-equipped kitchen with a dining area, and a private bathroom with bidet, slippers and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also available, as well as a kettle. Hiking can be enjoyed nearby. Hakone Gora Park is 10 km from the holiday home, while Hakone Shrine is 12 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 93 km from MEIBI Hakone Yumoto.
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    • Hakone Mori No Yado
      Budget-friendly
      Hakone Mori No Yado features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Hakone. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Complete with a shared bathroom, the units at the guest house come with air conditioning, and some rooms come with a seating area. Guest rooms feature bed linen. Guests at Hakone Mori No Yado can enjoy an American breakfast. You can play table tennis at the accommodation, and the area is popular for hiking. Hakone Open-Air Museum is 2.1 km from Hakone Mori No Yado, while Hakone Gora Park is 2.4 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 101 km from the guest house.
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    • Fukuzumiro
      Luxury
      Fukuzumiro features an authentic Japanese atmosphere, natural hot spring baths and traditional Japanese-style rooms with garden or river views. It's a 15-minute walk from Hakone Yumoto Station. Rooms at Fukuzumiro feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon bedding. Each guest room is equipped with a Handy Phone so guests can stay connected to WiFi during their entire stay and make international calls to select countries for free. A TV and a refrigerator are also included in rooms. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. Guests can relax in public hot spring baths, or enjoy one for private use (subject to availability). Spa hotel Fukuzumiro provides luggage storage, and it offers drink vending machines. Fukuzumiro offers traditional Japanese multi-course dinners with seasonal local dishes. Beverages can be enjoyed at Bar Kikyo. Japanese inn Fukuzumiro is a 30-minute walk from Amida-ji Temple.
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    • gran terrace Le Lien Hakone
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Hakone, 1.7 km from Hakone Gora Park, gran terrace Le Lien Hakone provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a garden and a spa and wellness centre. Each accommodation at the hotel has mountain views, and guests can enjoy access to a terrace and to a hot spring bath. The air-conditioned rooms provide a sea view and come with a desk and free WiFi. At the hotel, each room includes a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom. All units will provide guests with a fridge. Continental breakfast options are available daily at gran terrace Le Lien Hakone. Pola Museum is 1.9 km from the accommodation, while Owakudani Valley is 3.3 km away. The nearest airport is Oshima Airport, 83 km from gran terrace Le Lien Hakone.
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    • Masutomi Ryokan
      Mid-range
      Just a 5-minute walk from Hakone Yumoto Train Station, Masutomi Ryokan features open-air hot spring baths, spacious guest rooms and free Wi-Fi. Guests can reserve the rooftop bath at an additional fee. On-site parking is available for free. The ryokan provides Japanese-style rooms with traditional futon bedding and rooms with Western beds and a tatami (woven-straw) seating area. A TV and a telephone are equipped in all rooms, and bathroom is shared with other guests. Ryokan Masutomifs front desk is open 24 hours, and gift items can be purchased at the on-site souvenir shop. Drink vending machines can be used. The property is a 20-minute drive from O-wakudani and Lake Ashifs Sightseeing Cruise Pier. Traditional Japanese meals are prepared with organic vegetables and fresh seafood, and served in the on-site Fukuryu-an restaurant.
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