Who is not a fan of outdoor adventures, especially hiking in breathtaking destinations? If you are planning your next hiking adventure, you surely must visit Hakone in Japan. Don’t know where to start? That’s alright. You’ve stumbled upon this blog just in time.
Hakone is a beautiful town located in Kanagawa Prefecture. Belonging to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, it is close to Tokyo.
Hakone is one of the most mesmerizing natural wonders in Japan. Featuring underground spring baths (onsens), the spectacular scenery of Fuji, minor volcanic activity, and the Lake of Ashinoko, it’s a must-visit site for travel enthusiasts from across the world. In addition, other top attractions include museums, including Narukawa, Okada, Glass no Mori, and Open Air, Hakone Shrine, Gora Park, Choanji Temple and more. Hakone is relatively easy to get to and from Tokyo. Plenty of well-established transportation systems await your arrival so they can take you there pleasantly and comfortably.
Hakone typically has a humid subtropical climate with the average annual temperature at 13.3 °C. The summers are warm, while winters are cool with snowfall.
Usually, March to May are the best months to visit Hakone and hiking there. However, non-hikers prefer June and July, too, as there is a Hydrangea bloom on one of the trails of the Hakone-Tozan Railway Line.
Spring: March to May is when Japan’s spring is in full spring. Spring in Hakone brings warm days, but it can get cold at night. This season is when you will find the most travelers and tourists as it is the peak season for visits and hiking.
Summer: Summertime in Hakone starts from June and lasts till August. Summers in Hakone are comparatively hotter and more humid, which is why we wouldn’t recommend the summer season to travelers. However, if you are a photographer out on photographing Japanese sunsets, then summer is your pick of the litter.
Autumn: Autumn in Hakone starts in September and lasts till November. During this time of the year, the weather is mildly warm and a tad bit cold – but not too much. Autumn is also a good choice for traveling and hiking. But the only downside of visiting Hakone in autumn is that you are likely to miss out on all the greenery that Hakone offers in other months.
Winter: December till February is wintertime in Hakone. There is snow in the city, and the weather is enjoyable.
When exactly should you plan your trip to Hakone? While you can visit Hakone in any season, apart from the colder time of the year, the remainder of the year is a reasonable time for climbing and hiking and appreciating the place’s natural beauty.
Hakone is blessed with several hiking trails, each having its own length and difficulty level. Every single trail offers something unique that you will get to explore on your way. The greenery and nature surrounding each trail are breathtaking, to say the least.
When planning your hiking trip to Hakone, you will need to do some research. Luckily for you, we have dedicated this blog to Hakone’s various hiking trails. In order to make your life easier, we have covered different Hakone hiking trails so you can choose the course that suits you and your capacities the best.
For first-time hikers, Hakone has, in fact, released a hiking map in English, which can be found at local information centers and stations. It’s important to remember that each trail is different so we would suggest you check out the map before embarking on your journey.
Now is the time to talk about the most well-known hiking trails in Hakone that you ought to opt for while going on a nature stroll to witness beauty lying beyond your imagination.
The Tokaido Road linked Kyoto with the city of Edo (the name of Tokyo until 1868). It was utilized by a number of individuals like explorers, priests, vendors, and daimyo, who needed to go to the capital under the rule of the Tokugawa shoguns.
Today, numerous Japanese like to go along this course, typically just with extra special care (about 32km). Hakone was a significant step on this road. It was the last line post before the capital, and this section was dreaded for its trouble and risk.
These days, it is feasible to briefly look at the ways by taking the Hakone Kyukaido, the old Tokaido road.
A path of ten kilometers permits you to stroll along Lake Ashi in the backwoods, a long way from the street. Some of the highlights of this trail include Kojiri Floodgate and Fukara Floodgates. After the intersection of the Kojiri lock, you can walk along the west bank of Ashinoko, which incorporates two sandy beaches: Sanadahama and Shirahama. You can also witness the stunning views of Mount Fuji from the lake.
Around a little way from the Kojiri lock, there is that of Fukara, which was utilized to flood the water in the district 350 years prior. However, it’s a lovely walk, not in every case simple, with now and again significant rise and drops.
There are great perspectives on the contrary bank, including Komagatake and the Hakone holy place. Here, nature is abundant and the wild plants and birds there will elevate your walkway, extending for 11.5km. It requires around 4 hours of strolling.
This is a climbing trail that will intrigue geography enthusiasts as they get to witness volcanic emissions on the way. Along with that, you will also explore plentiful flora and backwoods. This trail starts from Owakudani to Mt. Kamiyama, the most critical place of Hakone, and afterward to Komagatake Mountain. From that point, you will get to explore sublime views of Ashi Lake and Mount Fuji.
Rising to 1,438-meter, Mount Kamiyama is the highest point in Hakone. However, we would not suggest this route to beginners due to the tough climb. Before heading out for the hike, make sure to wear your best climbing gear and remember to bring water with you. You can walk the 4.5 km in about 2.5 hours.
Kamiyama and Komagatake Mountains
On the off chance that it’s a crisp, clear morning, the Mt. Kintoki climb offers WOW views of Mt. Fuji. The mighty mountain is also called Mount Ashigara. Situated close to Kanagawa and Shizouka prefectures in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, it stands at 1,212m high. The climb is a bit challenging and takes about 90 minutes. However, the view is definitely worth the exertion and effort.
The 3-metre high Chisuji Waterfalls are probably the most intriguing and impressive in this part of Japan. The underground water streams between two solidified magma streams giving the appearance that it is coming straight out of the earth. In winter, the waterfalls steam since they are typically warmed by the earth. It is just a 15 minute stroll up the slope from Kowakien Station on the Hakone Tozan Train line.
In conclusion, the spring season is the best time for climbing and hiking on Hakone. If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are many budget-friendly hotels and Airbnbs you can choose from.
As mentioned earlier, Hakone has a reliable public transportation system, including boats, trains, buses, trains, cable cars, etc. You won’t have to worry about conveyance when you’re there.
Hakone itself is renowned for being part of the famous natural bath springs resort towns in the nation. Thus, remember to loosen up both your body and soul at any onsen in Hakone. Needless to say, do not forget to buy high quality hiking gear and footwear to ensure your comfort and safety.
Watch where you go through these paths, and make sure you rest upon the teahouses that come along the way. Hakone offers countless exciting activities for travelers. It’s home to numerous stunning sights so make sure to plan your trip properly so it’ll be simpler for you to explore the majority of its top-tourist attractions.
Japan is one of the most fascinating destinations in the world, and Hakone is no exception. Whether you’re a beginner or pro at hiking, we believe that hiking in Hakone should be experienced by everyone. It’s a liberating experience that will completely change your life forever.
We recommend hiking in Hakone as a secondary outing from Tokyo if you visit the country this year. Also, make sure before you choose to go there, go through this blog, and use the tips here to make your excursion an epic experience. Enjoy your trip!