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  • Hakone is a beautiful destination known for its onsen, beautiful nature, museums, and

  • iconic views of Mount Fuji.

  • Located on a mountain of the same name, it's part of the scenic

  • Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park which is Japan's most visited national park.

  • The town of Hakone itself is quite large, containing multiple town centers and numerous

  • attractions worth exploring.

  • Only an hour to an hour and a half south-west of Tokyo.

  • Hakone has become one of the most popular weekend destinations

  • among Japanese and international visitors alike

  • who want a break from the busy city.

  • For this reason, we suggest visiting on a weekday if possible, to avoid the weekend crowds.

  • Although Hakone makes an excellent day trip from Tokyo, it is best enjoyed with a night

  • at one of the many onsen ryokan.

  • Besides its natural beauty, the area has much history.

  • During the Edo period, Hakone was known as the entrance to the Kanto Plain.

  • Travelers along the popular Tokaido trade route that connected Kyoto to Edo (now Tokyo)

  • knew their long journey was almost over when they reached Hakone because it was the last

  • mountain range on the way to Edo.

  • One of the most convenient ways to get around Hakone is by using the Hakone Freepass.

  • This pass allows one person unlimited access to all the buses, trains, boats, cable cars

  • and ropeways in the Hakone area that are affiliated with the prominent Odakyu group.

  • It also provides discounted admission to several tourist attractions and optionally a round

  • trip from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.

  • There is a lot of see and do in this region, so here are our top 5 recommendations in Hakone.

  • Number Five: Hakone Open Air Museum

  • The expansive and pristine grounds of the Hakone Open Air Museum are dotted by large

  • sculptures which visitors can walk around and appreciate up close.

  • With views of the surrounding grand Hakone mountains, the museum achieves an appealing balance of

  • art and natural beauty.

  • Of the multiple in and outdoor exhibition spaces,

  • one of the most notable is the Picasso Exhibition Hall.

  • Displayed across two floors, this is one of the largest collection of works by Pablo Picasso

  • in the entire world containing over 300 paintings, sculptures and ceramic works by the famous artist.

  • Of the outdoor sculptures, one of the the largest is the Symphonic Sculpture, which

  • is a stained glass tower visitors can enter and climb with a view from the top.

  • The museum has a large permanent collection as well as several rotating exhibition spaces.

  • The grounds are also home to multiple shops, cafes, and a foot bath.

  • Number Four: Hakone Shrine

  • At the foot of Mount Hakone, on the edge of Lake Ashinoko

  • stands one of the most recognizable and photographed icons in the area,

  • the large torii gate of Hakone Shrine.

  • From here, paths lined with traditional red lanterns lead from the shore into the dense

  • forest where the shrine buildings are located.

  • The shrine complex itself is made up of multiple structures including several other torii gates,

  • a smaller shrine dedicated to the legendary 9-headed dragon Kuzuryu

  • and the main shrine itself.

  • Originally the shrine was established on the summit of Komagatake

  • one of Mt. Hakone's multiple peaks

  • However it was relocated to the shore of Lake Ashinoko in 1667.

  • The original Hakone Shrine called Mototsumiya is known for often being shrouded in an atmospheric

  • fog and still stands on the top of Komagatake which can be visited by either taking the

  • Komagatake Ropeway or walking up hiking paths.

  • Number Three: Old Tokaido and Hakone Checkpoint

  • During the Edo period the Tokugawa clan built 5 major trade highways allowing merchants

  • and travelers to walk or ride between the nation's important centers of industry and culture.

  • By far the most trafficked route was the Tokaido which connected Kyoto to Edo.

  • Along the Tokaido were over 50 towns where travelers could restock and rest.

  • In addition, there were two checkpoints where officials would inspect travelers' documents

  • and goods, one in Arai and one in Hakone.

  • Positioned in the mountains just west of Edo and the Hakone Checkpoint controlled traffic

  • into and out of the city.

  • Mostly this included checking for smuggled weapons

  • or for wives and children of feudal lords trying to escape the city.

  • In 2007 an exact replica of the Hakone Checkpoint was finally unveiled after years of construction.

  • Complete with gates, stables, prison, and armory, visitors can experience for themselves

  • what it was like to travel through this historic checkpoint during the Edo period.

  • Although the Old Tokaido has been replaced by modern roads and train lines, between Moto-Hakone

  • and Hakone-Yumoto a portion of the walking trail has been preserved.

  • The best section being between Moto-Hakone an Hatajuku where parts of the original stone path remain.

  • Walking this segment takes between 75 to 100min and brings travelers past a traditional Japanese

  • tea house called Amazake Chaya which has been welcoming visitors since the Edo era.

  • Number Two: Hakone Onsen

  • Mount Hakone is a volcanic mountain with ongoing hydrothermal activity such as hissing steam

  • vents which can be observed in the Owakudani area, particularly from the Hakone Ropeway.

  • As a result, Hakone has an astonishing seventeen natural onsen.

  • These act as the source of the many bath houses and ryokan in the area, and make it one of

  • Japan's premiere onsen destinations.

  • The onsen waters of Hakone can be enjoyed at a public bath house or at a ryokan.

  • Guests of these traveler inns are given unlimited access to the pools at the inn where they are staying.

  • Most ryokan will also welcome daytime visitors, but will charge an admission fee.

  • If you aren't staying at an inn, there are plenty of excellent bathhouses to choose from.

  • A prime example being the Hakone Yuryo bath complex which provides bathers

  • with pleasant views of the surrounding forest while they soak.

  • It has the usual gender separated public areas with a variety of pools to enjoy and

  • also a large selection of private baths for families or couples.

  • Aside from bathing, onsen towns in the Hakone region such as Hakone Yumoto

  • typically have a variety of quaint shops and eateries and are pleasant places to explore.

  • Number One: Lake Ashinoko

  • Formed by an eruption 3000 years ago, this caldera lake offers some of the area's best

  • views of Mt. Fuji and is the peak of Hakone's natural grandeur.

  • The most famous view is from Moto-Hakone, a small port town on the south-east side of the lake.

  • Like the other lake-front towns, Moto-Hakone caters to tourists looking for lake-side hotels,

  • restaurants, and hot springs.

  • Nearby, on the southern peninsula of Lake Ashinoko, next to the Hakone Checkpoint is

  • the Hakone Detached Palace.

  • This was once a summer home of the Japanese imperial family, but it is now open to the

  • public and free to visit.

  • The manicured park surrounding what's left of the old palace has pleasant walking trails

  • that offer more beautiful views of the lake and on a clear day Fuji itself.

  • The other great way to tour lake Ashinoko is by taking a sightseeing cruise.

  • A couple of companies offer boat tours.

  • Of these, the tours operated by the Hakone Sightseeing Boats company

  • whose boats resemble pirate ships, are covered by the Hakone Free Pass.

  • Although the sight of Mount Fuji is famous from Lake Ashinoko, it's not always visible.

  • The best times to see it are during the colder months, and in the early morning or evening

  • hours of the day, but even then it still can be elusive.

  • We hope this Top 5 list gives you a good place to start when planning your trip to Hakone.

  • For more information about any of the places mentioned in this video or to explore another region of Japan

  • click the links on the screen now or head over to japan-guide.com

  • your comprehensive, up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan.

  • Thanks for watching, and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Japan.

  • Happy travels.

Hakone is a beautiful destination known for its onsen, beautiful nature, museums, and

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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