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TOP Places Where to Stay in Hakone → 6 Best Areas

cable car traverses the lush greenery with Mount Fuji in the background, its peak capped with snow under a clear blue sky

Konnichiwa traveler, welcome to my blog post on where to stay in Hakone! Get to know Japan’s rural side in this mountainous city located just 90 minutes away from Tokyo by train! 

To help you plan your stay, I compared ALL the best areas and paired them with top-rated hotels for all budgets! I made sure this easy read will be the only Hakone accommodation guide you’ll need! 

Now, Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa are the best places to stay for first-timers! They’re easily accessible from Tokyo and have some fabulous attractions. But stay tuned for 5 more areas where you can stay that I sorted by interest!

The important part in order to get the best deal on your accommodation in Hakone is to book in advance. I recommend you do so as soon as you find a hotel you like!

If you are in a hurry

Check out the best Hakone hotels that are up for grabs:

Here’s a map to help you visualize where to stay in Hakone:

1. Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa – where to stay for the first time

A serene view of Hakone Yumoto, showcasing the vibrant autumn foliage with shades of red, yellow, and green surrounding a tranquil river that flows by traditional Japanese inns.A serene view of Hakone Yumoto, showcasing the vibrant autumn foliage with shades of red, yellow, and green surrounding a tranquil river that flows by traditional Japanese inns.

Jaw-dropping landscapes, natural beauty, and rich culture will make you fall in love with these 2 neighboring areas that are just 90 minutes away from Tokyo by train! Hakone Yumoto and Tonosawa are the best places to stay in Hakone if you’re visiting for the first time!

Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park that encompasses Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Fuji Five Lakes, the Izu peninsula, and the Izu Islands! The Park spreads across 1,227 square kilometers!

Hakone comprises different smaller towns, but Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa are the main ones here. Hakone Yumoto is the city’s gateway, filled with museums, temples, and stunning views. Tonosawa is more tranquil, located by the river, and is popular for its onsens, or Japanese hot spring baths (Hakone Yuryo is the most popular one).

In Yumoto, you’ll find places like the Youraku restaurant (map) where you can try kaiseki, traditional multi-course Japanese dinners, and you can also explore local geisha communities. Meet Geisha is a great place to talk to a geisha and watch them dance! 

Get the Hako Ticket to save money on selected museums, hot springs, and other tourist attractions!

The Forest Adventure theme park is a popular attraction with zip lines, climbing walls, and ropes courses in the middle of the forest. You’ll also find Buddhist temples like the Hakonekannon Fukujuin everywhere across Yumoto, so feel free to explore all you want! 

There are many luxury hotels and traditional ryokan hotels in Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa, but make sure you book them in advance! Everyone is on a hunt to find places to stay in this top-tier destination.

Luxury hotel

Enjoy the stunning views of the mountains while you relax in the communal onsen of this luxury Hakone hotel. The rooms of this 4-star ryokan are comfortable and have a balcony that boasts nice views. Indulge in Japanese cuisine at the restaurant and eat tons of sushi. The bar is also open if you’re up for cocktails!

Other accommodation options in Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa

Mid-Range

A stay with private onsen and a swimming pool; they also offer free parking

Budget

Chill on the sun terrace of the best budget hotel in the city with Japanese-style rooms and a shared kitchen

Airbnb

A lovely apartment 7 minutes on foot from the Yumoto Station that used to be the home of a geisha

Things to do in Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa

2. Gora – best place to stay in Hakone for the hot springs

A beautifully landscaped garden with a fountain in the center, vibrant flowers, and a classic pavilion in the backgroundA beautifully landscaped garden with a fountain in the center, vibrant flowers, and a classic pavilion in the background

Located 11 km (7 miles) West of Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa, this hot spring resort town has become famous due to the high amount of hot springs discovered at the beginning of the 20th century during railroad construction.

The hot springs and natural beauty of this Hakone region attract foreign tourists, and usually, everyone wants to spend most of their time having natural hot spring baths. The neighboring Kiga and Miyagino towns are also top destinations for hot springs.

Despite the main attraction of this area, which obviously is the hot springs, it would be a shame not to explore the rest of the district! So, remember to take a break from the onsens and walk around the town on foot!

Getting around in Hakone is best with public transportation! Most visitors stay here without a car, as a massive network of cable cars, buses, and boats functions pretty well. There’s even a Hakone Freepass for public transport for first-timers & frequent visitors! 

You can visit the Hakone Museum of Art and try authentic matcha tea while admiring the art. But my favorite spot here is Hakone Gora Park (map)! You’ll want to spend your whole day here once you see the colorful flowers and those trees!

This area also has great travel connections; you can always use the Gora Hakone station to visit other parts of the city. If I were you, I would take the Hakone Ropeway cable car and admire the amazing views of the sulfur fields!The travel connections are great in Hakone; you can even take a train from the station to Tokyo and get there in 2.5 hours!

Luxury hotel

Ever wondered how it is to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan? Now you can find out! And on top of that, you can book a room with your own private hot spring baths! Spend a cozy night on the balcony and enjoy the hot spring water and mountain views, and then you can go to the restaurant and eat some delicious sushi to end your night perfectly!

Other accommodation options in Gora

Mid-Range

Warm-up by the fire pit of this hotel that has a hot spring on-site and a library with the coolest decor

Budget

A cool Hakone hotel for budget travelers that has a hot spring bath, a restaurant, and family rooms

Airbnb

Relax in the hot tub that has a Japanese style decor, 3 rooms, a kitchen, and a free parking spot

Things to do in Gora

  • Join a full-day tour of Hakone with a government-licensed guide
  • Make your own souvenirs in the Hakone Craft House (map)
  • Visit the Hakone Gora Park and check out the tea house
  • Take the Hakone Ropeway cable car and admire the views
  • Go on a walk around the gardens in the Hakone Museum of Art
  • Enjoy a hot spring bath at Gora Karaku Spa

3. Motohakone (incl. Lake Ashi) – best place for nature lovers

A pirate ship cruise on a blue lake with Mount Fuji in the backdrop amidst a clear sky and colorful autumn trees on the shoreA pirate ship cruise on a blue lake with Mount Fuji in the backdrop amidst a clear sky and colorful autumn trees on the shore

Located 11 miles (18 km) west of Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa, this area is a corner of paradise, perfect for those who want to discover Japan’s main tourist spots like Mount Fuji, Mount Hakone, and Lake Ashinoko (also known as Lake Ashi).

By the way, Lake Ashinoko flows into the Hayakawa River, which, in turn, flows down to Odawara Port along the Pacific Ocean! 

During the Edo Era from the 17th-19th centuries, the Tokaido Road, passing just south of Lake Ashi, was Japan’s most important route! It connected Kyoto, the empire’s capital, with Edo, the capital of the military government at the time.

For a very special experience, embark on a Hakone Sightseeing Cruise along Lake Ashi for fabulous views of Mt. Fuji! I hope you have a sunny day so you can actually see this beautiful volcano!

Also, make sure you visit Hakone Shrine or Hakone Gongen (map) just by the lake. This Japanese Shinto shrine is a place of worship connected to the dragon legends, samurai, and travelers who used to take the Tokaido Road!

To the West of the lake, you’ll find Mt. Mikuni, and to the South is Mt. Taikan with its famed Observation Deck (map). You can walk to both mountain peaks as there are hiking trails everywhere!

P.S. pack some comfy shoes because the best way to explore all the parks, mountains, and picturesque Lake Ashi is on foot!

Luxury hotel

End your day of hiking and walking around the area with a hot springs bath at this luxury hotel with Lake Ashi views! The Japanese garden on-site is the perfect place to have your morning coffee, and then you can go to the restaurant and eat a delicious breakfast. The session at the wellness center will be much needed after that long flight to Japan!

Other accommodation options in Motohakone

Mid-Range

Enjoy the outdoor hot spring baths and the nice mountain views at this hotel that has family rooms and a restaurant

Budget

A cozy inn for budget travelers with a lake view, free Wi-Fi, and 2-single-bed apartments

Airbnb

Have a BBQ on the terrace of this cabin that has wooden decor, 3 rooms, a hot tub, and lake access

Things to do in Motohakone

  • Cruise the lake and admire Mt. Fuji views
  • Visit the beautiful Hakone Shrine and take a picture at the torii gate
  • Check out the gardens and art at the Narukawa Art Museum
  • Climb to the Yamabushi Pass Observatory (map) for beautiful views of Lake Ashi
  • Have traditional Japanese desserts in the Amasake Tea House (map)
  • Stroll around Onshi-Hakone Park and the Hakone Checkpoint landmark
  • Take the Hakone Komagatake Ropeway to Hakone Mototsumiya Shrine (map)

4. Sengokuhara – where to stay in Hakone for families

Tourists visiting a geothermal site with steam vents and walking paths, with a modern visitor center and mountains in the backgroundTourists visiting a geothermal site with steam vents and walking paths, with a modern visitor center and mountains in the background

Located 8 miles (13 km) Northwest of Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa, this stunning area is filled with natural beauty and outdoor activities, making it the perfect place to stay in Hakone for families!

In terms of natural sights, visit the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands (open daily in the summer – map) and the Owakudani volcanic valley! The Choanji Temple (map) is another must-visit for sights of 200+ Buddhist statues!

Nearby museums include the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum (also known as The Glass Forest), with plenty of unique glassworks, and the Pola Museum of Art, featuring 9,500 works and an outdoor trail.

I highly recommend visiting one of the most popular spots in Sengokuhara, the Susuki Grass Fields (map). This ample area is filled with pampas grass! It’s my dream place! 

And if you’re looking for a more urban experience, go to the train station and visit Yokohama, which is only 2 hours away from Hakone. Check out my article about where to stay in Yokohama for hotel inspiration!

Luxury hotel

A dreamy place for the whole family, this retreat allows you to walk outdoors on a wooden deck in the middle of the forest and bathe in their outdoor hot spring bath! There’s also a spa service, a fabulous breakfast, and the most lovely rooms with forest views.

Other accommodation options in Sengokuhara

Mid-Range

This hotel is equipped with family rooms which have a flat-screen TV and free parking spots

Budget

Enjoy a hot springs bath at this Hakone hotel that has rooms decorated with tatami mats and futon beds

Airbnb

Feel at home in this cozy house that has 2 rooms, a kitchen, and offers free parking spots

Things to do in Sengokuhara

  • Visit the Owakudani volcanic valley and admire the views of Mount Fuji
  • Check out the Pola Museum of Art
  • Explore the Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields on a family picnic
  • Take the kids on the Hakone Ropeway cable car and enjoy the views
  • Go on a date to the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum (Glass Forest)
  • Take a stroll around the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands

5. Kowakudani – where to stay in Hakone for the local experience

Tranquil waterfall cascading over moss-covered rocks in a lush forest setting, creating a serene atmosphereTranquil waterfall cascading over moss-covered rocks in a lush forest setting, creating a serene atmosphere

Another lovely neighborhood not so popular with tourists is located 6 miles (10 km) West of Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa. Here, you can truly experience traditional Japanese culture!

Because the area is mostly residential, you can peek into people’s lives in the city. You’ll still find a fair share of attractions, like the beautiful Chisuji Falls (map), a lovely forest waterfall you can explore along hiking trails. 

People in Japan are on top of their game regarding art. The top attraction in this area is certainly the Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan’s first such museum, founded in 1969. Try the free ashiyu (onsen foot bath), capture the iconic Symphonic Sculpture, and stroll through the Picasso Pavillion to see Pablo Picasso’s ceramics works!

The Okada Museum of Art here surely doesn’t disappoint either. It has Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art examples inside a woodland area!

To get a better picture of everyday life in the Hakone region in Japan, I highly recommend exploring the area on foot. And if you get tired, make a stop in the Kowakidani Horaien Gardens and smell all those stunning flowers (map)!

Luxury hotel

I love the elegant design of this luxury hotel in Hakone! The views are simply stunning, and the hot spring will be the perfect place to relax after a whole day in town. End your night with a delicious dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and a cocktail at the bar.

Other accommodation options in Kowakudani

Mid-Range

Relax in the wellness center and take a hot spring bath at this hotel with family rooms and a bar

Budget

One of the best budget hotels to stay in Hakone that has a shared lounge area and kitchen, but also family rooms for an authentic Japanese experience

Airbnb

Spend a cozy night playing games at this cute villa that has 2 rooms, a hot tub, and a kitchen

Things to do in Kowakudani

  • Admire the Hakone Open Air Museum 
  • Explore the area and find out new things about the local culture
  • Spend time outdoors near the Chisuji Falls
  • Visit the Okada Museum of Art in Kowakudani
  • Have your daily spa treatment at the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (map)

6. Miyanoshita – best place to stay in Hakone for tranquility

Rustic watermill with a thatched-roof cottage beside a serene stream, nestled in a verdant forest setting.Rustic watermill with a thatched-roof cottage beside a serene stream, nestled in a verdant forest setting.

Located 4 miles (7 km) west of Hakone Yumoto-Tonosawa, this area is more chilled than the others, so if you’re not a fan of staying in a crowded place filled with tourists, then this peaceful oasis is the spot for you. It’s also home to the Miyanoshita Hot Spring.

You can take the Hakone Tozan Train that runs between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora at any time if you want to explore all the touristy spots. However, I highly recommend exploring Miyanoshita during your stay in Hakone and admire the retro architecture and streets here.

Go hiking in Mount Ashigara (they also call it Mount Kintoki), or test your endurance by climbing Mt. Myojintaje! It’s beautiful to admire the fall colors, so add it to your itinerary if you visit at this time of the year!

There are a few other attractions here that you can explore, like the Kumano Shrine (map) dedicated to the God of hot springs. 

And if you’re more into outdoor activities, the Dogashima Valley Promenade (map) by the Haya River is a popular spot here for hiking. It’s where you can enjoy moments of complete solitude and a breath of fresh air!

Now let’s see which are the best hotels for where to stay in Hakone, Japan, in this part of the city:

Luxury hotel

One of the city’s most iconic hotels where Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein stayed during their visit to Hakone! Everything in this 5-star hotel is perfect, from the architecture, interior, service, and location!

Other accommodation options in Miyanoshita

Mid-Range

I love the clean and simple decor of this villa that has family rooms, a kitchenette, and free Wi-Fi

Budget

Enjoy your stay in Hakone in this budget hostel that has a shared lounge, free Wi-Fi, and spacious rooms

Airbnb

A spacious and cool house with 4 rooms, a hot tub, a kitchen, and free parking spots

Things to do in Miyanoshita

  • Explore the hiking trails at the Dogashima Valley Promenade
  • Visit the Josenji Buddhist Temple (map) and the Kumano Shrine
  • Take a stroll around the area and admire the retro architecture
  • Go hiking in Mount Ashigara
👑 Luxury price: US$400
💵 Mid-range: US$250
🛏️ Budget: US$130
📍Best area: Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa
👪 Best area for families: Sengokuhara
🛎️ Best luxury hotel: Hakone Airu
🧳 Best mid-range hotel: Yumoto Fujiya Hotel
👛 Best budget hotel: GuestHouse Azito

BONUS: The best ryokan hotels in Hakone

Geothermal valley at dusk with steam vents, a walking path, and a visitor center, with a backdrop of mountains under a gradient skyGeothermal valley at dusk with steam vents, a walking path, and a visitor center, with a backdrop of mountains under a gradient sky

A ryokan is a Japanese Inn and a perfect place to stay to experience Japanese culture. These accommodations usually feature rooms covered with tatami mats, where Japanese people entertain their guests or have tea ceremonies.

You can find most ryokan hotels in rural Japan, including Hakone. The top ryokan hotels tend to be luxury, and this list uncovers the best hotels you’ll find in the area!

  1. Hakone Kyuan Hotel – Wake up in the morning and get private hot spring baths in this amazing ryokan hotel with great mountain views! Drink some tea in the tatami-matted rooms and discover how to live the Japanese lifestyle for a day! The accommodation even has a terrace where you can order room service!
  2. Okcs Retreat Hakone villa – Tucked away between the trees, this rural retreat villa is everything you ever imagined in a ryokan and more! Get a cup of tea, take a fluffy blanket, and relax in front of the fire while you admire the lovely tree views through the floor-to-ceiling windows. A hot spring bath is also available!
  3. Hakone Yuyado Zen – Eat some delicious Hakone sushi in the restaurant of this ryokan hotel with a bar! The rooms are super spacious, with a designated tea area. While you’re not exploring the area, take a long bath in the hot springs and relax after all that walking around!
  4. Hakone Ashinoko Hanaori – With those poolside views and amazing services, it will be hard to leave this hotel! Enjoy a lazy morning on the terrace of a hotel in Hakone, admiring the views of Lake Ashi, and then try one of the massage treatments at the spa center! The accommodation also offers hot spring baths and a buffet breakfast!

FAQs about where to stay in Hakone

Shinto shrine gateway, or torii, marking the entrance to a sacred forested path leading up a mountain, inviting a spiritual journeyShinto shrine gateway, or torii, marking the entrance to a sacred forested path leading up a mountain, inviting a spiritual journey

🔝 Which is the best area to stay in Hakone?

Hakone Yumoto & Tonosawa is the best area to stay in Hakone. Many attractions here include museums, private ocean baths, and stunning hotels like Hakone Airu

🚄 How do you get from Tokyo to Hakone?

You can rent a car to get to Hakone, or you can take a train from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station to Odawara train station and change trains from Odakyu’s Hakone Tozan Line to Hakone Yumoto Station.

🗻What is the best hotel with a view of Mt Fuji?

Hotel Mount Fuji is the best place to stay in Hakone, Japan, for a Mount Fuji view! They also have an indoor pool and offer amazing services! 

💯 What is the best ryokan in Hakone?

Hakone Kyuan Hotel is the best hotel to enjoy the full ryokan experience. It has a traditional Japanese design and mountain views and offers open-air baths.

🧐 Which area of Hakone to stay in?

It depends on your travel interests! Hakone Yamoto is best for first-timers, Motohakone is ideal for lake and Mt. Fuji views, Gora is for hot spring baths, and Kowakudani is for a traditional experience.

🗓️ How many days should you spend in Hakone?

Although many people visit Hakone on a day trip from Tokyo, I recommend you stay at least 1 or 2 nights to truly experience the beauty of this place.

Is it better to stay in Gora or Hakone?

Gora is technically part of Hakone! It’s the most popular area for spring baths, so if this is what you’re after, you’ll have a blast! Other areas in Hakone worth exploring include Hakone Yumoto, Motohakone, Sengokuhara, Kowakudani, and Miyanoshita.

Conclusion

Twilight view of Mount Fuji towering over a peaceful lake dotted with small boats and a hint of the day's last light on the horizonTwilight view of Mount Fuji towering over a peaceful lake dotted with small boats and a hint of the day's last light on the horizon

I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in Hakone, Japan, and which luxury, mid-range, or budget hotel to pick!

There are many options in this post, but here are my top 2 favorite ones, both located in Hakone-Yumoto & Tonosawa:

All you’ve got to do now is choose one! Make sure you book your favorite in advance; that way, you’ll be able to get your hands on the best offers!

Go on adventures on the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, enjoy the views of Mount Hakone, and explore all the natural areas around Lake Ashi and near Gora Park! 

You’re going to feel so much younger after this holiday! Leave me a comment below if you want to share your experience or ask me a question!

Safe travels,

Victoria


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