TOP5 Rankings in Hakone, Japan
Where to stay in Hakone
Hakone is a traditional hot spring resort town and is popular because of its proximity to Tokyo. If you want a convenient place to stay, you may want to stay near Hakone-Yumoto Station. Restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and souvenir shops are only available around the station. When you get off at the station, you will find a small shopping arcade. Most local stores, including restaurants, close in the evening. There are no fast food restaurants, etc.
On the other hand, if you want to stay in a place surrounded by the mountains of Hakone, want to see magnificent natural scenery, and love hot springs, then we would recommend the Gora, Sengokuhara, and Lake Ashi areas. The quality of the hot springs is much better than those around Hakone-Yumoto Station.
Then, if you are traveling with small children, I would recommend staying at accommodations near Hakone-Yumoto Station. In our experience, it is quite cumbersome to transfer from Hakone-Yumoto Station to Hakone Tozan Train or take a bus, in addition to having a baby stroller and a lot of luggage.
Then traffic jams often occur around Hakone-Yumoto Station, Owakudani, and Hakone Shrine. Traffic congestion is especially notorious on weekend afternoons from May to August and in November. It is best to avoid taking buses and cabs during these periods. It is also recommended to travel in the morning. If you are staying in the Hakone-Yumoto Station area, please be aware of the above.
Best time to go to Hakone
Hakone is a popular hot spring resort all year round, but it is most crowded in early summer and autumn when it is best for sightseeing. Winter is the best time to visit if you love hot springs. Summer is cooler than Tokyo, but it is hot during the day. Summer festivals and fireworks displays are held here, so there are many families here.