Hakone lake

Day Trip to Hakone and first Onsen experience

If you are planning on visiting Tokyo, I recommend you to go on a day trip to Hakone from there! Tokyo is amazing (hopefully my photo diary for Tokyo is coming out soon!) but it’s also nice to have a look at what you can find around the big city! So what’s in Hakone? What can you do there? What to eat? Let’s see together how to spend a day in Hakone, shall we?

Day trip hakone

How to spend a day in Hakone

First of all, if you want to visit Hakone you have to leave from Shinjuku Station. Take the train to Shinjuku Station, then take the South Exit and you’ll find the train for Hakone. You can buy your ticket at a machine for the romance car the day of the trip or the day before if you want to. It’s very easy, the instructions are also in English so don’t worry!

If you want to make the best out of Hakone I recommend that you buy the Hakone free pass. It costs 5410 yen (it lasts 2 days in case you decide to sleep in Hakone!) and you can buy it at Odakyu Line station ticket machines. It allows you to take the bus, the train, the funicular, the boat and also free access to some attractions or discounts to some other!

Here is my itinerary

Departure from Shinjuku Station on the Romance Train > Hakone Yumoto 

From Hakone Yumoto Station you can catch the Hakone Tozan Bus, Line H, stop at Moto-Hakone boat pier and then walked to the temple, Hakone Jinja.

The beautiful lakefront torii  is definitely worth a picture and a lot of people queue in Hakone Jinja to pray so don’t hesitate to stay there for a while and buy one “Ōwakudani ” (protection spell).

Hakone Jinja

After that I stopped by the 7/11 close to the pier to get lunch (the gyudon was GOOD!) while waiting for the boat to come around 1PM.

Gyudon

 

From the lake you are supposed to see Mount Fuji unfortunately it was too cloudy that day so I didn’t even get a glimpse at it! That’s my biggest regret about that trip.

Hakone lake

Boat from Moto-Hakone Pier > Togendai 

The Boat was quite nice and the “cruise” doesn’t last long until Togendai, it is the first stop!

After that I took the funicular to Ōwakudani directly at Togendai, you can’t miss it! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view!

Togendai> Ōwakudani 

Ōwakudani was probably my favourite spot in Hakone! It is a volcanic valley where you can witness amazing colours and sulphur vents!

Owakudani

What to eat?

You must try the black eggs in Ōwakudani ! These eggs were boiled in hot springs and turned black because of the sulfur! They say that eating the black eggs will make you live longer.

black egg

I tried them and the taste is not very different from a normal egg but even if it may seem like something very touristic, I’m still glad I did it! It’s not everyday that you can eat black eggs! It costs 500 YEN for 5 eggs so it’s not that expensive and you can share the cost with a friend if you go with someone!

Ice-cream were also pretty popular over there! I didn’t try it because I bought plenty of things to eat at the 7/11 but they also had Egg flavored soft ice-cream! Sounds fascinating right? I have absolutely no idea about the taste but if you go there please do try and tell me how it tastes!

After that I took the bus to go to Souzan station and from Souzan we took the train to Gora Park

Gora park

It is a nice (and free if you have the pass!) park but unfortunately, it was winter so there weren’t much flowers to see.

After walking there, we took the train at Gora to go back to Yumato Station. If yo’re not familiar, Hakone is very famous for its Onsen (hot springs!). I believe that my Japan experience wouldn’t have been complete without trying the Onsen which is why I insisted in trying it there.

There are plenty of Onsen but I chose to go to Tenzan Onsen. You can just catch a but at Yumoto bus stop (it’s at the stop number 4 if I remember well. To make sure you can just ask the driver if he goes to Tenzan!

Get down at Okyu Yumoto Iriguchi Bus stop to go to Tenzan Onsen!

I wasn’t sure so I didn’t bring anything with me that day but don’t forget to bring a towel if you decide to go there!

Let’s talk bout my first Onsen experience!

Honestly, despite the fact that I was very excited I have to admit I was a little bit worried. If you are not familiar with the Japanese culture, when you go to a Onsen you don’t wear anything! No swimsuit, no towels around you, just you and your naked body! I have to admit I felt a bit… shy to be naked around tons of women that I don’t even know.

Despite all that, there was no way I couldn’t try the Onsen, so I just went with it and did as everyone else! In the end, I realized that it wasn’t a big deal actually. I took off all my clothes, so what? Everyone was the same, no one was paying much attention to me or staring so surprisingly, I starting to feel comfortable there!

Before going to the hot spring, first you have to take a good shower (again other people shower next to you). It’s Japanese style, you are sitting on a small stool and wash yourself using either the shower or a bucket that you fill with water.

Be careful, because some Onsen don’t accept people who with tattoos! So make sure to check their websites beforehand, you wouldn’t want any bad surprise!

 

Tenzan Onsen, 208 Yumotochaya, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0312

Opening hours:9AM – 11PM

Price: 1200 Yen

 

Back to Tokyo

Be careful because the last bus to go back to Yumoto station is at 8:48PM ! You wouldn’t want to miss your train to go back to Tokyo, right?

Before returning home, I had dinner at one of the restaurant in Tenzan Onsen! I had Unagi, the river Eel, on top of rice and it was DELICIOUS. You must try it if you have the opportunity, trust me on this one!

unagi on rice

After that it was  time to return to Tokyo! There were only 1 trains left to go back to Tokyo and we didn’t know… If you don’t want to end up like me, make sure you check the timetable beforehand!

 

Hopefully you’ll want to stop by Hakone when you visit Tokyo! I hope this was helpful to you~

If you’re planning a trip to China don’t forget to check my article about Disneyland Shanghai!

Until next time!

 

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day trip to hakone and first onsen experience

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