Whether you’d like to enjoy views over Lake Ashi or relax in your own private hot spring, there’s no better way to enjoy Hakone than with a stay in one of the hot spring region’s many traditional ryokans.
Hakone, a mountainous region made up of several small villages at the foot of Mount Fuji, is a popular weekend destination for Tokyoites and travellers looking to enjoy the region’s nature, art museums and steaming onsen. As a natural hot spring area, most of Hakone’s ryokans have public or private onsen available to guests, or are at least within walking distance of one.
From a spa break in Gora, the region’s central resort town, to a secluded stay in the northern Sengokuhara district, read on to find your perfect place to stay in Hakone.
Hilly Gora is a popular choice for visitors to Hakone; it is well connected with two train stations, replete with hot springs and spa hotels, home to Gora Park and a short walk from the Hakone Open-Air Museum. The area’s hotels and ryokans can be pricey, but the lovely Yutorelo-an is ideal for those looking for something both authentic and affordable. Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats and futon beds are available at the lower end of the price range, while those looking for a more deluxe experience should opt for a luxury room, which comes with its own open-air bath. Shared and private onsens are available to guests, along with complimentary coffee, a chocolate fountain and massage chairs.
Those looking for a lavish stay couldn’t do much better than checking in at the former summer home of the Imperial Family. Gōra Kadan prides itself on omotenashi, the Japanese principle that emphasises exceptional hospitality. Its restaurant serves up traditional, Japanese-style kaiseki, a multi-dish feast focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients, while guests can enjoy shiatsu massages, outdoor and indoor onsen and even a bar and nightclub. If you’re able to tear yourself away from the ryokan, you’ll find Gora Park, Hakone Ropeway and the Hakone Open-Air Museum just minutes away.
Located in mountainous Sengokuhara, a district of Hakone popular in the autumn months for its fields of gold-hued pampas grass, Mount View Hakone offers a peaceful retreat that feels worlds away from nearby Tokyo. Here, guests have the unique experience of dipping into rare milk water hot springs, plus the chance to feast on traditional, seasonal dinners at the ryokan’s on-site restaurant. Mount View offers a selection of Western- and Japanese-style rooms.
A traditional, 100-year-old ryokan on the Hayakawa River in Tonosawa, Fukuzumiro is the perfect place to stay for an authentic ryokan experience. Guests are provided with slippers and yukata (a light, kimono-style garment) and can enjoy a traditional kaiseki dinner at the low wooden tables in each room. For a serene soak, there are communal onsen for men, women and families, respectively.
Hugged by verdant woodland in the lush Kowakudani region, this upscale ryokan at the foot of Mount Hakone manages to offer undisturbed tranquility while also being within walking distance from some of Hakone’s most popular attractions. While must-visit spots such as Chisuji Falls and Hakone Open-Air Museum are moments away, the ryokan’s garden is a destination in its own right; each season puts on an astonishing display here, from pale pink blossoms in the spring to snow-capped trees in the winter.
For a unique, personalised ryokan experience, look no further than Hakone Suishoen. Not only do each of the ryokan’s 23 rooms come with a private hot spring bath, but guests can also request a room with a hammock, a footbath and even a sauna. For dinner, there’s a choice between the traditional multi-dish kaiseki or teppanyaki, where a personal chef cooks your food on a special griddle before your eyes. Note: as of October 2019, Hakone Suishoen is temporarily closed due to typhoon damage.
Kinnotake Tonosawa is a modern take on the Japanese inn, blending contemporary luxuries with the old-world charm of a traditional ryokan. Plush, Western-style beds take the place of futons and tatami mats, and most rooms come with a luxurious open-air bath and a balcony overlooking the surrounding bamboo forest. A traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner is served in the evenings.
With its tranquil Japanese gardens, exceptional hospitality, soothing onsen and views over Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji, this charming ryokan pulls out all the stops. You’re immersed in the customs and culture of the ryokan from the moment you’re greeted at the door all the way through to the 18-dish kaiseki dinner, enjoyed at the low table in your room. Four minutes away is Lake Ashi, and those wanting to visit Hakone Shrine and its famous torii gate need only embark on a half-hour stroll around the water’s edge.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.