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Surrounded by jungles, towering mountains, and vast blue skies, Lake Ashinoko (or Ashi Lake) really resembles a picture of flawless natural beauty. Often reminded by the bright red torii gate with the majestic Mount Fuji in the background, Ashinoko Lake is in the heart of the Hakone Hot Springs, hence it becomes a spot-on emblem of this land nature.

Lake Ashi (Ashinoko Lake). One of the most beautiful lakes in Hakone, Japan.
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko Lake). One of the most beautiful lakes in Hakone, Japan.
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Unique on-the-water-surface bridge
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Mount Fuji is visible from this viewpoint
Hakone Hotel
Hakone Hotel overlooking Lake Ashi

It’s easily accessible to the lake on dropping off the bus at Hakone-Yumoto Station, Ashinoko Lake is nestled amidst the tiny beautiful hot spring towns spreading around the large lake.

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Feel the tranquility there by drifting in cruises
Pirate ship ferry crossing Lake Ashi in Hakone, Japan
Pirate boat ferry crossing Lake Ashi.

The cruise departs from the main port of Moto-Hakone or from the nearby town – Hakone-Machi, which takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to walk around the lake with the polyglot guide mastering three languages: English, Chinese, Japanese.

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A perfect place to enjoy life

Other ways to discover the sceneries are the speedboats or swan-shaped which is scintillating for ¥ 1,000 rent charge at the harbor.

Hakone-Machi and Moto-Hakone are located on the south side of Lake Ashinoko. Other tours from the northern shore of the lake such as Togendai or Kojiri are also noteworthy.

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Another incredible shot of this venue

Each of these small towns is sui generis. Hakone-Machi is famous as one of the oldest checkpoints in Japan. This ancient gate was a milestone on one of the most crucial trade routes of the Edo period. You will also find many traditional handicraft shops here.

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Fantastic Blue jade water
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A closer look at this ship
hakone private boat
Close to Hakone private boat | hakone travel blog
Ashinoko Lake Japan 13 Credit: lake ashinoko blog.
This great lake viewed from above

The Hakone Shrine adjacent to Ashinoko Bus Station will take you to the breath-taking views of the majestic mountainous landscape of Hakone National Park filled with the wildness of nature.

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The famous Torri gate of Hakone Jinja Shrine
Winter in Hakone Shrine, Kanagawa, Japan
Winter in Hakone Shrine, Kanagawa, Japan
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The entrance gate to Hakone Shrine

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This Torri gate seen from far way.

A small academy connected to this place often have groups rehearsing different martial arts performances which makes us feel like stepping into an ancient film studio.

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Poetic scenery

The famous on-the-water-surface torii gate is about 5 minutes walk away.

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A luxury ship in the middle of this lake
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Queen Ashinoko-Sightseeing Cruise
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Hakone private-boat
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The pristine surroundings of Lake Ashi. Credit: lake ashinoko blog.

Things to know

Hakone Free Pass Ticket

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Hakone Free Pass | hakone travel guide
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Hakone Free Pass Day Trip From Tokyo

Hakone Free Pass is a circulation card that allows you to use the Hakone Electric Railway, Cable Car and Odakyu Buses, and also includes discounted entrance tickets for several Hakone Tourist Attractions.

How to transfer

Hakone Area Map ,hakone travel blog,hakone travel guide,hakone blog,2 days in hakone,hakone 2 day itinerary
Hakone Area Map | hakone guide

Train

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You can getting to Hakone by Romancecar Limited Express
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Romancecar carbin

If you have too much time, take the Hakone Tozan train towards Gora from Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto to Ashinoko Lake, then transfer to the cable car or take the cable car towards Togendai on the north bank of the lake. From Togendai you can continue to sail to Moto-Hakone or Hakone-Machi. The Hakone Free Pass can be used.

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Odakyu Line to Hakone
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Hakone mountain railway
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Hakone Yumoto Station

Bus

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Bus to Hakone

From Odawara, there are many regular bus routes running through Hakone-Yumoto, Moto-Hakone, and Hakone-Machi to the south end. The Hakone Tozan bus also regularly runs from Odawara passing Hakone-Yumoto to Togendai on the north side of the lake.

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You can take a bus to Hakone from Tokyo | hakone travel guide

Buses also run between Atami and Hakone-Machi and from Mishima Station to Hakone-Machi or Moto-Hakone. From Gotemba, there are two hourly bus trips between Gotemba and Togendai. Hakone Free Pass tickets are valid on these flights except those departing from Atami.

Hotel Okada
Hotel Okada, Hakone famous for its onsen bathing

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K's House Hakone - Onsen Hostel
K’s House Hakone – Onsen Hostel
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Hakone Ropeway with Mount Fuji in the Background

Are you looking for more Hakone travel guide and top things to do in Hakone: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Hakone travel blog — The Hakone travel guide & how to spend 2 days in Hakone for the first-timers.

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