Open-air museum Odawara Castle Odawara Hakone Sanctuary Gongen Tori Centennial Cedar Alley Pirate boat on Lake Ashino-Ko Funicular Soon-zan-Tongendai
This site contains Hakone attractions – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Hakone, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Hakone.
The Open Air Museum is the first art museum in Japan and was founded in 1969. It consists of 5 exhibition halls with about 120 works of famous contemporary sculptors. You can also find the Picasso Pavilion and various lawns with hot springs where you can relax and enjoy the splendor of outdoor art.
The exhibition areas cover an area of about 70,000 square meters. The main attractions of the museum are examples of works by world famous sculptors such as Rodin, Bourdelle, Miró and Moore.
Picasso’s collection consists of more than 300 works, including various paintings, prints, sculptures, gold and silver objects, and a large assortment of ceramics acquired from Maya Picasso, the creator’s eldest daughter.
The open-air museum in Kanagawa has one of the world’s largest collections of works by English sculptor Henry Moore. A rotating exhibition of 26 pieces offers the visitor an insight into the artistic sensibilities of this master. You will find many restaurants and stores on the museum grounds in addition to the gallery exhibition.
Coordinates : 35.24996500,139.05291200
Odawara Castle, founded by Omiru Yeriharu in 1418 and located in the town of the same name in Kanagawa Prefecture, was once the residence of several daimyo during the Muromachi period. It is now a museum.
The total area of the castle, located on a hill and well protected – surrounded by a moat around its perimeter – was about 170 hectares. After it was seized in 1495 by the Hojo Nagaoji, it was owned by five generations of the Hojo clan.
But in July 1590 it was conquered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and then destroyed by the Meiji government and rebuilt only in 1960 as you can see it now.
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Odawara is the main rail line of the Odakyu Electric Railroad, a private Japanese railroad operator. It stretches nearly 83 kilometers from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture. The line became famous for its “Romance Car” express trains. Some trains run on the Dzeban and Chieda lines, departing from Yehigi-Uehara station. The Odawara line was opened in April 1927. In 1942 it was forcibly merged with the Tokyu Company, but in 1948, after a series of reforms, it became part of the Odakyu Company again.
Plans to expand the line were initiated as early as 1970, but could never be realized due to the problems encountered in obtaining the necessary land. Extension work began in 2011 and is still underway on the stretch from Yehigi-Wehara Station to Mukogaoka-Yuen Station. Some sections of the line will have to be lowered underground in order to lay two additional tracks. It was decided to build a tunnel in the section from Higashi-Kitazawa Station to Seetagaya-Daita Station. It is planned to be finished as early as 2013.
Coordinates : 35.22346600,139.02773900
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Hakone Gongen Sanctuary
Hakone Gongen Sanctuary is located at the foot of Mount Koma in a dense forest. You can recognize it by the huge red torii gate (a ritual symbol of Japan), which stands directly in the water of the lake, just north of the Motto-Hakone stop. Hakone Gongen is one of the country’s most majestic and largest shrines and was founded 1,200 years ago. In 1180 the Japanese hero Minamoto Yeritomo, who was defeated in one of the battles against the Taira clan, took refuge here.
The shrine is famous for its treasury, which contains important historical relics, and its alley of cedars. If you have plenty of time to spare, take the hiking route from Hakone Yumoto to the old Tokaido Tract from Moto Hakone. The hike takes about 3.5 hours, and on the way you can see the most beautiful temples: Segenji, Soundji, and Soundji. Not far from the shrine are the most popular hot springs, Hakone Yumoto. A visit to Hakone Gongen will give you great aesthetic pleasure and peace of mind, and you will have a trip to remember for a lifetime.
One of the main attractions in Hakone is an ancient Shinto shrine dedicated to Mount Fuji. Literally, the monastery’s name translates as “sanctuary of the sacred mountain,” and its gate resembles a rooster’s roost. Legend has it that when the sun goddess Amaterasu disappeared into darkness and eternal darkness enveloped the world, she was summoned by a rooster, who flew high on the roost and sang, causing morning to arrive.
In honor of this event, the gate to the Shinto shrine is called tori, which means “the place where there is a rooster” in Japanese. In the altar of the temple there is a large round mirror, which drives away evil spirits. On the tori in white hieroglyphs is written the name of the temple, as well as various mystical images. In this area, they are considered to be a kind of portal to another world.
In Japan, there is a belief that when passing through the tori, you need to make a wish and throw a coin, if it reaches and hits the wall of the gate – the wish will certainly come true this year. You can find souvenirs depicting this mystical structure in any Hakone store and it is believed that they bring great luck.
Centuries-old Cedar Alley
The Japanese cedar, or cryptomeria, is the country’s national tree. The Centennial Cedar Alley is one of the many attractions of the Hakone Gongen Sanctuary located in Hakone City. It is about 1,050 meters long and the oldest tree is about 600 years old. This amazing place holds many mysteries, as well as the memory of various historical events that occurred here over hundreds of years. The alley was planted long before the foundation of the temple, and now it leads directly to the main gate of the monastery. The oldest cedar is at the end of the alley, its diameter is about 4 meters. According to scientists, the Hakone Cedar Alley has 1020 trees (on both sides). The local authorities plan to increase its length by planting young cedars.
This place has fantastic medicinal properties, so it is very popular with tourists. People from all over the world come here, especially those suffering from respiratory diseases. With each day spent in this wonderful place, you will be filled with new strength and energy.
Pirate boat on the lake Asino-ko
Lake Ashino-ko is a unique piece of nature located in the Hakone region. Thanks to its picturesque shores it is the most popular tourist attraction in the city and offers wonderful scenery of Mount Fuji. Here tourists have a unique opportunity to observe the coastal areas of the lake from stylized tourist boats. Some of them are made in the form of pirate ships, which fully comply with the originals. During the boat trip you can see the Hakone Volcano and visit the boiling Owakudani Valley. The pirate ships sail along two tourist routes, with good fishing and excellent small restaurants.
The pirate ship begins its voyage on Lake Asino-Ko daily at 08:00. When a sufficient number of people gather at the pier – boarding begins, and then the ship sets sail on one of the selected routes. To create a real pirate atmosphere, highly qualified animators are invited on board. Also you can taste pirate’s drink, rum.
The Soun-zan-Tongendai Funicular is the link between the Sounzan Railway Station and the Gora Cable Car in Hakone, Kanagawa. The funicular line was opened in 1922 and underwent a major renovation in 1975. It is currently 1,200 meters long and 214 meters high. There are two carriages, each with a capacity of 250 passengers, at the disposal of the Soong-Zang-Tongendai. The funicular line is unidirectional, with a cyclic path. The carriages travel the distance in about 10 to 15 minutes, including 4 short stops.
The funicular is an indispensable transport in Hanoka, which will save you time and allow you to enjoy the magnificent scenery of Mount Fujiema. Without it, getting to the cable car would be very problematic. From the window of the carriage you can take great pictures, and free video shooting is also allowed. Tourists are attracted by the simplicity and accessibility of the cable car. The price of an adult ticket is 2 euros and a children’s ticket is 1.5 euros.
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