What you can do in Hakone for a short trip (Part 2)

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What you can do in Hakone for a short trip (Part 2)
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Tags: accommodationdestinationshakonekanagawamuseumsonsenshopping

Located at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a picturesque town which is a famous destination among the Japanese who reside in Tokyo. It’s a place for a short trip or just rejuvenate the body with a hot spring bath.

In the first part of my article, I featured some destinations and attractions in Hakone such as Odawara, Hakone Shrine, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi, and Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani as well as how to get to Hakone from Shinjuku. In this article, I will continue introducing activities you could do in Hakone and attractions that are related to art.

1. Enjoy outdoor art at the Hakone Open-air Museum

Also known as the first open-air museum in Japan, this is a museum you should visit. It is 70,000 square meters wide – it may even take some time to explore the area. You could take a stroll as you enjoy the art pieces and sculptures you see along the way on the grassland, surrounded by the valley and mountains. You could even mesmerize about Picasso’s collection here because this is a museum that exhibits about 300 of Picasso’s best collections.

Image credit: ginny blocher on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Access:
Take Hakone Tozan Railway (covered by Hakone Free Pass) and alight at Chokoku No Mori Station, the last station before the terminal station Gora. The Hakone Open Air Museum is a stone throw away from Chokoku No Mori Station.

Hakone Open-air Museum
Address: 1121 Ninotair, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Kanagawa.
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Entry Fee: ¥1,600 or ¥1,400 with Hakone Free Pass

2. Be dazzled at Hakone’s Glass Forest Museum

This is a beautiful museum in Hakone – an Italian-styled building that houses a museum, restaurant, café and bakery shop. Here, you get to enjoy a variety of glass art exhibited at both indoor and outdoor. The outdoor glass creations are pretty impressive, whereas the indoor Venetian Glass Museum features a collection of antique glass artwork and modern glass objects.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

A closer look.
Image credit: Marufish on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Access:
Take the Hakone Tozan bus bound for Togendai from Hakone-Yumoto Station, get off at the Hyoseki/ Hakone Glass no Mori-mae bus stop.

Hakone Glass no Mori Museum
Address: 940-48 Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 5.30 PM
Entry Fee: ¥1,500 or ¥1,400 with Hakone Free Pass

3. The Little Prince Museum

Located in Sengokuhara, this is a museum dedicated to the character in the story titled The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The museum features the life of the author, houses an European Garden designed by a garden designer Yoshiya Keiko, a restaurant and a museum shop.

Image credit: Kentaro Ohno on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Little Prince Museum
Address: 909 Sengokuhara Hakone-machi Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0631
Tel.: +81-460-86-3700
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM
Entry Fee: ¥ 1,600 (adult); ¥ 700 (children); ¥ 1,100 (senior citizen & student)

4. Stay in an onsen hotel

I strongly recommend you to spend at least one night in Hakone – there are many hot spring hotels and ryokan here. I chose to stay at Hotel Mount View Hakone after checking out that it is equipped with a rare volcanic hot spring water called nigori-yu, which looks milky and could diminish fatigue from our bodies. The hot spring’s thermos therapy effect could alleviate muscle spasm, improve joint fluid viscosity, boost the immune system, enhance the extensibility of tendon tissues, and even burn calories!

Kaiseki dinner.

This onsen hotel also serves Japanese style breakfast which comes with multiple dishes that feature the use of local ingredients and seasonal items. It was so delicious that I finished everything, including the bowl of rice.

Access:
From Hakone Yumoto Station, take the T bus on Hakone Togendai Line and alight at Sengokuhara-bunka-center-mae (about 40 minutes’ journey). The hotel is right in front of the station.

Hotel Mount View Hakone
Address: 885 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan.
Tel.: +8146084633

5. Dip yourselves in hot spring water with a swimsuit

Be sure to dip yourselves in hot spring water when you are in Hakone! If you are shy to dip in a public bath without any clothes on, make a visit here with your swimsuit and enjoy the luxurious hot spring water!

The place I went to – Yunessun Hot Spring & Spa Resort, is more like a water theme park. It is a leisure facility which is great for families and friend to come together. Inside, there are themed pools where you can have fun and enjoy the dips in your swimsuit. There is also an open-air hot spring called Mori no Yu with a Japanese atmosphere, but it is considered as a naked zone (men and women in separate baths, of course).

Access:
Take the Hakone Tozan Bus or Izuhakone Bus in the direction of Moto-hakone-ko/Hakone-machi and get off at the Kowakien Stop. Yunessun Inn is a 5-minute walk via the indoor connecting passageway from Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.
It is approximately 40 minutes from Odawara Station, 20 minutes from Hakone-yumoto Station

Ride the Izuhakone Bus in the direction of Kojiri/Hakone-en and get off at the Yunessun Inn Stop.
It is approximately 40 minutes from Odawara Station, 20 minutes from Hakone-yumoto Station

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0407, Japan
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 7 PM (Yunessun); 11 AM – 8 PM (Mori no Yu)
Entry Fee: ¥4,100 (Yunessun + Mori no Yu); ¥2,900 (Yunessun)

6. Shop till you drop at Gotemba Premium Outlet

Don’t forget to visit this place if you love shopping. Gotemba Premium Outlet is a mall located within the view of World Cultural Heritage site, Mount Fuji. On top of that, Gotemba is one of the largest outlets in Japan. You could find a total of 210 outlet stores with international brands as well as local brands and a number of restaurants, food court and a Ferris wheel.

Do prepare yourself at least half day here and a large amount of cash (or credit card), and shop till you drop! The items are affordable and you are sure to find something you like here. I often walk out with bags after making a trip here.

Image credit: DozoDomo on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Access:
Free shuttle bus is available from JR Gotemba Station at Otomeguchi Exit. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

Gotemba Premium Outlets
Address: 1312, Fukasawa Gotemba-Shi, Shizuoka, Japan 412-0023
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM (Dec. to Feb.), 10 AM – 8 PM (Mar. to Nov.)
Closed: Third Thursday of February

If you are going to stop by Hakone in the future, be sure to go to visit some these places and include some of them in your itinerary. I hope my suggestions would help you to enjoy your trip to Hakone!

If you’re looking for Part 1 of my article, click here.

Ivy Chang
Ivy Chang
A girl who has wanderlust and love travel very much. She deeply falls in love with Japan ever since she stepped onto the "land of rising sun" in year 2002. She always wishes to explore more about Japan; the beauty of its art and culture, people and spirit, food and language. She finds that every prefecture in Japan is very unique and different from one another and always has a dream to visit all 47 prefectures in Japan.

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