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Tranquility Near Tokyo: Exploring Saitama’s Hidden Treasures

Hakone, a beloved travel destination near Tokyo for locals, is easily accessible by taking the Odakyu Limited Express Romancecar from Shinjuku Station. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Due to its proximity to Tokyo, it’s a great place to visit.

Hakone is mainly famous for being a hot spring destination. Staying at a traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan, allows for a leisurely trip. Here, we will introduce some great places to visit in Hakone.


The gallery of the Hakone Glass no Mori (Forest Museum) displays Venetian glass crafts. As soon as you step into the museum, the beautiful landscape of the glass garden captivates your sight. In the spring, you can enjoy beautiful flowers.

The Hakone Glass Forest Museum is a beloved destination. Its exotic landscape seems to have been transported straight from Italy. The museum offers glass craft workshops and sells various craft souvenirs. It is counted among Hakone’s most iconic attractions.

  • Address: 940-48 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan
  • Operating hours: 10:00-17:30
  • Admission fee: Adults 1,800 yen ($16), High school and college students 1,300 yen ($12), Elementary and middle school students 600 yen ($5)

The Narukawa (Seongcheon) Art Museum opened in 1988 and houses over 4,000 pieces of Japanese art. The museum is also famous for its beautiful surroundings.

Located on the shores of Lake Ashinoko, the museum offers panoramic views of the lake. The museum features a 50-meter-long window through which visitors can enjoy a serene lake view while having tea. A cafe and a garden make it a great place to spend time.

  • Address: 570 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0522, Japan
  • Operating hours: 09:00~17:00
  • Admission fee: Adults 1,500 yen ($13), High school and college students 1,000 yen ($9), Elementary and middle school students 500 yen ($4.50)

Hakone, a representative hot spring region in Japan, boasts a history of over 1,200 years. Hakone Yuryo Onsen (Hot Spring) is where you can enjoy hot springs in nature. It’s conveniently located just a 3-minute ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station via a free shuttle bus.

You can enjoy the open-air hot springs and sauna even without staying overnight. The facilities, designed with a traditional Japanese wooden motif, exude a tranquil atmosphere. You can also enjoy a complete Japanese meal in the hot spring.

  • Address: 4 Tonosawa, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0315, Japan
  • Operating hours: Mon-Thurs 10:00-20:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-21:00
  • Admission fee: Adults weekdays 1,700 yen ($15), Adults weekends and holidays 2,000 yen ($18), Elementary students 1,000 yen ($9)

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun is a hot spring theme park popular for family trips. With various themed hot spring baths, it’s a great place to enjoy hot springs. The coffee and red wine hot springs are top-rated and offer a new hot spring experience.

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun also features an outdoor slide and private baths. If you’re planning a trip to Hakone with children, this place comes highly recommended.

  • Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0407, Japan
  • Operating hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat-Sun 09:00-19:00
  • Admission fee: Adults 2,500 yen ($22), Children 1,400 yen ($12)

NARAYA CAFE is a cafe in Hakone known for its incredible views. It’s visible when you get off at the Hakone Tozan Line’s (Mountain Railway) Miyanoshita Station. The cafe is in a renovated ryokan that is over 300 years old. At the restaurant, you can enjoy leisurely while looking out at nature.

The cafe serves coffee, desserts, and pizza cooked in a kiln. It also features a foot bath, making it a perfect place to relax and unwind.

  • Address: 404-13 Miyanoshita, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0404, Japan
  • Operating hours: 10:30~17:00, Closed on Wednesday
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