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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 1200 yen. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 980 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 1250 yen and is covered by the Hakone Free Pass. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 1070 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 1170 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:
    • Yoshimatsu
      Luxury
      Surrounded by bamboo trees and hills, Yoshimatsu is a traditional Sukiya-style Ryokan (inn) with beautiful outdoor hot spring baths. Overlooking Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi, it provides a free shuttle from Hakone Machi Bus Station. Fitted with tatami-mat flooring, these classic Japanese-style rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV and Yukatas (Japanese-style bathrobes). En suite bathrooms have a bathtub. Yoshimatsu is a 5-minute walk from Lake Ashinoko Cruise Station and a 9-minute walk from Lake Ashinoko. It is within a 15-minute walk from Onshi Hakone Park and an 8-minute drive from Narukawa Museum. Breakfast and dinner are served to the guest rooms or in the main dining room upon request. These special Kyoto-style set meals are prepared according to the season's freshest ingredients. Guests can enjoy a relaxing stroll around the landscaped gardens and koi ponds. The hotel also provides massage, karaoke rooms and free parking. Free Wi-Fi is available at the lounge.
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    • Field Hakone Resort
      Mid-range
      Open in April 2017, Field Hakone Resort is set in Hakone, a 6-minute walk from Sengokuannaishomae Bus Stop. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Each room at this guest house is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. The rooms are fitted with a private bathroom with a bath and bidet, with slippers and free toiletries provided. You will find a shared lounge at the property. Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands is 800 metres from Field Hakone Resort, while Venetian Glass Museum is 1.3 km from the property. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 76 km away.
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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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    • 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 kitchen 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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    • 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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    • 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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    • Hakone Yuyado Zen
      Luxury
      Located in Hakone, 2.8 km from Owakudani Valley, Hakone Yuyado Zen provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. 3.7 km from Hakone Lalique Museum and 3.9 km from Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, the property offers a garden and a terrace. The accommodation features a hot spring bath, room service and free WiFi. The ryokan will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. All rooms have a coffee machine, while certain rooms here will provide you with a balcony and others also provide guests with garden views. At Hakone Yuyado Zen every room has bed linen and towels. An Asian breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Venetian Glass Museum is 4.2 km from Hakone Yuyado Zen, while Pola Museum is 5 km away.
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    • Hakone HOSTEL1914
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Hakone, a 29-minute walk from Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone HOSTEL1914 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 Hakone HOSTEL1914, while Hakone Lalique Museum is 6.6 km away. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 73 km from the property.
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    • okcs Retreat Hakone villa
      Luxury
      Okcs Retreat Hakone villa in Hakone provides adults-only accommodation with a restaurant, 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 set 400 metres from Venetian Glass 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. Guests at okcs Retreat Hakone villa will be able to enjoy activities in and around Hakone, like hiking and cycling. Pola Museum is 1.7 km from the ryokan, while Hakone Lalique Museum is 1.8 km from the property.
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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. Hakone Open-Air Museum is 2.1 km from the accommodation, while Hakone Gora Park is 2.4 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 101 km from Hakone Mori No Yado.
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