Hakone is a famous resort town in Japan, located in the Kanto region and a popular destination for people who want to relax and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery. With its lush green mountains, natural lakes and famous onsen (hot springs), Hakone enjoys a particularly prime geographical location, only about 100km from Tokyo and accessible from Tokyo to Hakone by train or car. So, is Hakone worth visiting and what to do in Hakone for 2 days? Let’s check out our suggested Hakone itinerary 2 days on how to spend 2 days in Hakone (two days in Hakone) perfectly as follows!
How to get to Hakone from Tokyo or Kawaguchiko?
How to get to Hakone from Tokyo?
Trains are the most popular means of transport to get to Hakone from Tokyo. You can go from Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Odawara Station, which takes about 35 minutes. From Odawara Station, you can transfer to the Hakone Tozan Railway to destinations within Hakone. The Hakone Tozan Railway is a local train that runs on mountainous terrain, giving you the thrill of traveling through winding railways.
If you want to save money and travel time, the bus is the right choice. From Shinjuku Station, you can take buses to various destinations in Hakone. However, traveling by bus can take longer than by train, especially during peak hours.
How to get to Hakone from Kawaguchiko?
In fact, my trip to Hakone started from Kawaguchiko. After visiting places near Mount Fuji, I decided to experience Hakone because I was interested in Japan’s hot springs. Kawaguchiko and Hakone are both popular tourist attractions in Japan. However, the two locations are quite far apart, so getting from Kawaguchiko to Hakone can take some time and effort. Here are some means of transportation you can choose to get from Kawaguchiko to Hakone.
Trains are the most popular means of transportation from Kawaguchiko to Hakone. From Kawaguchiko Station, you can take the train to Mishima Station, then transfer to the Tokaido Shinkansen to go to Odawara Station. From Odawara Station, you can transfer to the Hakone Tozan Railway to reach destinations within Hakone. The train ride can take up to 2 hours, depending on waiting times and transit times.
You have the option of taking a bus from Kawaguchiko to Hakone, but this may take longer than taking the train. You can take a bus from Kawaguchiko station to Gotemba station, then change to another bus to go to Hakone. The bus ride can take around 3 hours or more, depending on wait times and transfer times. The bus transfer was also quite complicated, making me a bit lost if I didn’t ask the driver and the people on the same bus.
Where to stay when traveling to Hakone? (#two days in hakone)
When visiting Hakone, visitors can choose to stay in popular areas such as Gora, Hakone-Yumoto, Hayakawa, Moto-Hakone or Sengokuhara.
- Gora: Gora is a luxury resort area, famous for its resorts and onsen (hot springs). If you want to enjoy a quiet space and high-class resort, Gora is a great destination.
- Hakone-Yumoto: Hakone-Yumoto is the heart of the Hakone region and is considered the most popular place to stay. The area has a wide selection of hotels, hostels, resorts, shops and restaurants.
- Hayakawa: Hayakawa is a quiet area located about 5 km from Hakone-Yumoto. This is the ideal place for those who want to find a peaceful space and enjoy nature.
- Moto-Hakone: Moto-Hakone is an area located by Lake Ashi and has many famous tourist destinations such as Hakone-jinja temple and Kowakien Yunessun museum. This area has many accommodation options with beautiful views of Lake Ashi.
- Sengokuhara: Sengokuhara is located in the southwestern part of Hakone and is an area full of flowers and beautiful scenery. The area is known for its luxury resorts and hotels.
Alternatively, visitors can choose to stay at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), which will let you experience traditional Japanese lifestyles and enjoy services such as hot springs and traditional meals.
Because I went alone, I chose the beautiful 3-star hotel Hakone Suimeisou (Agoda, Booking). The price is very good, but it is located in the center of Hakone-Yumoto, only 3 minutes walk from Hakone Yumoto Station, so it is very convenient. The hotel also has a very spacious Onsen bath, completely free if you bathe in the shared bathing zone. If you take a shower in a private room and have a mountain view, you will only have to pay extra.
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
What and where to eat in Hakone?
Hakone has a wide variety of dining options from traditional dishes to modern and international dishes. Here are some prominent places to eat in Hakone:
- Soba (noodles) at Owakudani Station Restaurant: If you like soba (buckwheat noodles), go to Owakudani, which is famous for its soba made from whole wheat flour. In addition, this restaurant also has other dishes such as udon and tempura.
- Seafood at Kappa Restaurant: Kappa Restaurant is a famous dining place in Hakone with fresh seafood dishes and beautiful decoration. It also has other dishes like nabe (hot pot) and sashimi (raw fish).
- Yakiniku (Japanese-style barbecue) at Yakiniku Kintan Restaurant: Yakiniku Kintan Restaurant is a great place to enjoy Japanese barbecue. It offers fresh meats and is prepared on its own grill.
- Breakfast at Kinhin-tei: Kinhin-tei is a famous coffee shop in Hakone with quiet space and beautiful design. This is also where guests can enjoy a Japanese breakfast with traditional dishes such as natto (fermented soybeans), tofu, rice, noodles and vegetables.
- Cakes and pastries at Pâtisserie Koyama: Pâtisserie Koyama is a favorite pastry shop in Hakone with a wide variety of cakes and pastries. It also has delicious fresh fruits that are beautifully decorated.
- Drinking at Hakone Brewery: Hakone Brewery is a local brewery in Hakone with beers produced from mountain spring water. In addition, there are also wines and sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage).
The first evening when I arrived in Hakone, I found myself a small shop in the Yumoto neighborhood. Finally found a restaurant located in a small alley, with good reviews on Google. The dishes here are also very special, I ordered some beans, deep fried fish and especially the Namero fish salad that no one dared to eat at first glance. However, I had a clean cup, it was a bit difficult to eat but I got used to it after a while ^^.
The second dinner I ate was simpler with a portion of noodles and a little salmon. This portion was quite savory, the salmon in Japan is great because it is always fresh and delectable. However, this portion is not enough to eat.
Hakone itinerary 2 days: What to do in Hakone for 2 days (2 days in Hakone)
Day 1: Owakudani and Lake Ashi (#two days in hakone)
Outdoor Onsen bathing experience
9:00 am: Have breakfast at the hotel or a noodle shop in town after a good night’s sleep because of arriving in Hakone the night before. Then I found an onsen bath near the hotel. Pay automatically and just take a shower.
Admire the natural scenery of Owakudani
10:30am: Arriving at Hakone-Yumoto Station, you can book tickets for the Hakone Tozan Ropeway and the Hakone Tozan local train at the ticket counter. Afterwards, take the train to Owakudani, where you can admire the beautiful natural scenery and enjoy Hakone’s best soba (noodles) at Owakudani station restaurant.
1:00pm: Continue take the train to Gora Station and visit Hakone Museum of Art and Chojinbara Museum (Hakone Open-Air Museum). You can also enjoy the cool mountain climate by walking through paths filled with trees and flowers.
Cruising around Lake Ashi
4:00pm: Return to Gora Station and take the cable car or train to Ashinoko Port, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and cruise around the lake. This is the giant super yacht that I went around Lake Ashi, and the scenery around the lake is also spectacular.
6:00 pm: The cruise docked at Motohakone Port, visit Hakone Shrine and then take a bus back to Hakone-Yumoto Station. It was quite difficult to catch the bus this evening, waiting in line for an hour. Back to the downtown area to find a traditional dinner restaurant to enjoy Japanese food.
Day 2: Visit Komagatake and Odawara Castle (#hakone itinerary 2 days)
Go to the top of Komagatake
9:00 am: Start the day by taking the train to Hakone-Yumoto Station and transfer to the Hakone Tozan tram to Sounzan Station. From there, take the cable car to the top of Komagatake and enjoy the panoramic views of the Hakone mountains.
Visiting Odawara Castle
11:00am: Return to Sounzan Station and take the train to Odawara Station, then take a bus to Odawara Castle, a historic Japanese structure with beautiful architecture and profound spirituality.
2:00pm: Return to Odawara Station and experience the unique taste of Odawara ramen at a local eatery.
4:00 pm: Return to the hotel to get your luggage, then walk to the station, catch the train back to Shinjuku Station – Tokyo.
Conclusion: Although I spent only 2 days in Hakone, it is still possible to experience the basics of famous attractions in Hakone. But if you have time, I highly recommend you to stay longer, stay at a resort with hot springs of Hakone, experience a real vacation in one of the most peaceful and relaxing spots in Japan.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Tokyo you can refer to
- Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Airport Limousine Bus Transfers from/to Narita and Haneda International Airport (Free Wifi Onboard)
- Tokyo Amazing Sightseeing Bus Day Tour
- Tokyo Highlights Private Day Tour
- Nikko Day Tour from Tokyo
- Mt Fuji & Hakone Day Tour: Lake Ashi & Ropeway Day Trip from Tokyo
- Nikko Cultural Day Tour from Tokyo
- Tokyo Subway Ticket (24, 48, or 72 Hours)
- Tokyo Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket
- Shuttle Bus Transfers (One Way/Round Trip) from Shinjuku/Ikebukuro to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea
- Sky Hop-on and Hop-off Bus Pass
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (JP Airports Pick Up) for Japan
- 4G WiFi (Japan Pick Up) for Japan
- JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)