Hakone – onsen paradise
Hakone (箱根) is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than one hundred kilometers from Tokyo.
Famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view across Lake Ashinoko of nearby Mount Fuji, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists looking for a break from Tokyo.
Hakone Hot Springs , found in large numbers across Hakone.
Hakone has been one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts for centuries. Nowadays, more than a dozen springs provide hot spring water to the bath houses and ryokan in the Hakone region. Yumoto, at the entrance to the Hakone area near Odawara, is Hakone’s most famous hot spring with a particularly long history, high quality water and numerous baths and inns. Many more hot spring facilities are found across the hills and valleys of Hakone and along the shores of Lake Ashi.
Visitors can enjoy a hot spring bath in public bath houses or ryokan. Many ryokan open their baths not only for staying guests but also for the daytime visitors. While staying guests can use the baths for free, daytime visitors are paying an admission fee of typically between 500 and 2000 yen. Below is a list of some of Hakone’s better baths open to the public (shown in blue on the map):
Hours: 9:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:00)
Admission: 1300 yen Collection of nicely done hot spring pools, most of which are outdoors at the foot of a wooded slope. The bath house is a beautiful traditional Japanese style building. A short walk from Oku-Yumoto Iriguchi bus stop (bus line K).
Daytime Hours: 10:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)
Daytime Admission: 1800 yen
Overnight Stay: From 23,000 yen per person with two meals Multiple outdoor baths made of stone and wood including sauna and baths made of large ceramic pots. A cup of tea is served after the bath. Short shuttle bus ride from Yumoto Station (100 yen).
Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 (weekends until 22:00), entry ends one hour earlier
Admission: 1500 yen Hakone Yuryo is a tasteful public bath opened in spring 2013 on the former site of the Hakone Begonia Garden. The facility features gender segregated indoor and outdoor baths with nice views into the forest. There is also a large selection of private baths (additional fees apply) for families and couples that wish to bath together. A free shuttle bus operates every 10-15 minutes to/from Hakone Yumoto Station.
Hours: 6:00 to 9:00 and 11:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:00)
Admission: 1450 yen Various pools, most of which are outdoors. Nice views of the valley can be enjoyed from the bath house, but, unfortunately, not from the pools. 10 minute shuttle bus ride from Yumoto Station (100 yen).
Daytime Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Daytime Admission: 800 yen
Overnight Stay: From 5,000 yen per person without meals Outdoor baths in the wooded slope just above Yumoto Station. The wooden bath house is slightly run-down but remains atmospheric. A five minute walk from the station.
Yumoto Fujiya Hotel
Daytime Hours: 12:00 to 20:00
Daytime Admission: 1800 yen
Overnight Stay: From 19,000 yen per person including 2 meals Not to be confused with the historic Fujiya Hotel further up the valley, this hotel opens its baths to non-staying guests. The admission fee seems steep considering the hotel’s rather average indoor and outdoor baths without views. Across the river from Yumoto Station.
Hotel Kowakien Yunessun
Yunessun Hours: 9:00 to 19:00 (until 21:00 in August)
Mori no Yu Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 (until 21:00 in August)
Admission ends one hour before closing
Admission: 2500 yen (Yunessun), 1500 yen (Mori no Yu), 3500 yen (both) More water park than hot spring, this resort is split into two areas: “Yunessun” with themed pools and water attractions (bathing suits required), and “Mori No Yu” with traditional hot spring baths (no bathing suits). Located across the street from Hotel Kowakien.
Hakone Green Plaza Hotel
Daytime Hours: 13:00 to 24:00 (from 15:00 on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
Daytime Admission: 1600 yen
Overnight Stay: From 13,000 yen per person including 2 meals This hotel’s large rotemburo (outdoor baths) are some of the surprisingly few baths in Hakone that have views of Mount Fuji on clear days. A short walk from Ubako Station along the Hakone Ropeway.