A visit to the hot springs, or onsen, is something that one shouldn’t miss out on when visiting Japan. Imagine soaking in open air baths with geothermally heated ground water, making your skin soft and supple and leave you feeling 10 years younger–just the idea of it sounds enticing! Japan is vast, and onsens are found in many areas, but the mountainous town of Hakone arguably has the best hot springs when it comes to scenery. Away from the bustling metropolitan cities like Tokyo, the neighborhood in Hakone is peaceful and will provide you with all the tranquility you need. Listed below are some hot springs with the best scenery in Hakone, Japan.
Hotel Harvest Koshien Hakone is a hotel in Sengokuhara, known for its superb view of various kinds of plants and natural surroundings. A distinctive feature of this hotel is the Healing Pond, which is known to help calm the mind. The hot springs are nestled on the banks of the pond where surrounding it are plants mainly of the Miscanthus species. At the top level of the hotel, there’s a lounge where guests come and relax or get a massage after soaking in the hot springs. The view there cannot be overlooked: There’s a fantastic view of mountains and ponds from the hot springs and hotel room, also said to promote healing. Convenience also comes easy for guests as the hotel is also situated near tourist areas such as Hakone Lalique Museum and The Little Prince Museum. Guests can also contact the reception as there would usually be discounts for tourist activities in the vicinity.
The Gora area is known to be a quiet and calm spa town. When you first enter the hotel, you will be required to remove your shoes, enabling you to feel at home. This means that you will also enter the restaurants and rooms with bare feet. The lobby is faintly scented with incense, giving off relaxing vibes. In winter, the corridor will be laid with tatami mats. Part of your experience will be a multi course meal which serves Japanese fusion. All of the rooms have open air hot springs and they are decorated with brown furniture and wallpaper. There is also a washroom, shower room, and open air bath. The beds are semi-double in size. Out of the 44 rooms, there are 6 rooms in which dogs are allowed but do note that you need additional certifications in case you’re planning to bring one along.
A key attraction of Hakone is its breathtaking view of Mount Fuji. Hotel Green Plaza is a highly recommended place as its rooms have direct access to the view of this majestic mountain, which guests can enjoy as they soak and relax in the hot spring. There are a total of 123 rooms in Hotel Green Plaza. The rooms are unique and are either furnished in Japanese, Western, or Asian style. Also, you can choose from the different variations of room types such as the “Open Air Bath” and “Fujimi View”. The hotel is also kid-friendly. The public baths comes with baby chairs, making the place safe for children. Guests can also enjoy a buffet. There’s also a souvenir shop, a launderette, and massage.
The Ichinoyu chain is the leading chain of hot spring inns in Hakone, and they’re known to providee good quality and yet still keep rates affordable. A sub chain of this large company is the Tonosawa Quatre Saisons, which is known for their rustic scenery. Similar to traditional Japanese-style rooms, guests are required to take off their shoes before entering. Rooms are clean and carpeted. A large-screen LCD TV is attached to the wall of the room and there is also a comfortable sofa for guests to sit on. The view from Tonosawa Quatre Saisons is amazing. There is a large landscape of mountains and guests can hear the sounds of water flowing from the streams. In spring and summer, green trees will line the river, while in autumn, it will change into a scene of red and golden shades.
Hoshino Resort Community Hakone is located along the old road of Yumoto in Hakone. Unlike other resorts, this resort has other activities such as making traditional Hakone crafts which guests can experience in the Gotochi Room. With this feature, it differentiates itself from the others as its a sophisticated mix of modernism and traditional culture. Guests can keep their craft work as souvenirs. At the resort, there are a total of 31 guestrooms, and all rooms have views facing the river. The hot springs can be found in a semi-open air atrium. The water is clear and transparent. You’ll be soothed by the sound of nature along with the amazing scenery that comes with it.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone
Address: Yumotochaya, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Price: from 591 USD
Access: From Hakone-Yumoto Station (Odakyu Line): Take a Hakone-Tozan Bus bound for Motohakone-ko via Hatajuku and get off at the Kuzuhara bus stop (8 min). It is about 1 min from there on foot.
Hakone is relatively near Tokyo so it’s easy to get there by the railway train. Hakone boasts a stunning view of mountains and streams. Maille Coeur Shougetsu is located on a hill, which is about a 10-minute walk from the Yumoto station and away from all the hustle and bustle of Yumoto. Before checking in, guests will be welcomed with a drink and baked pastries. The hot springs are separated according to guests’ gender, and there is also a large public bath, a Jacuzzi, and open-air bath which is of a Japanese garden theme. The hot water is transparent and colourless and it is of a weak alkaline, making the skin soft and beautiful. It’s also said to cure gynecological disorders, muscle pain, and neuralgia. The selling point is indeed the hot water which has so many benefits on the skin. The rooms are spacious and is decorated in Japanese style. There is also a bath tub in the room where you can soak longer. If you have time, you can also visit the aromatherapy salon within the hotel. You are sure to have a relaxing time.
Hotellerie Maille Coeur Shougetsu
Address: 468 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Access: By car: Exit the Odawara-Atsugi Road at Hakoneguchi IC and continue along National Route 1 for about 10 min (about 5 km), then Prefectural Route 732 (former highway) for about 5 min (about 1 km). Turn right at Yumoto Nakajuku Bus Stop. From Hakone-Yumoto Station (Hakone Tozan Railway): About 15 min on foot, or 5 min by taxi.
Located a six-minute walk from Tonosawa Station is Tonosawa Ichinoyu Shinkan. It’s nestled on a quiet hill surrounded by mountains and there are no convenience stores nearby so it’s recommended that you do the necessary shopping beforehand. Uphill, about a 100 meters (328 ft) away from the inn, you will pass by the Zeniarai Benzaiten shrine. You will enjoy the walk uphill as there are mountain trails and you’ll be able to take in the natural surroundings. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi from Yumoto station–the journey will be about three minutes. The water from the hot springs are alkaline and flow from the mountains. There are a total of 20 guest rooms which are furnished in Japanese style. 15 of them have open-air baths where guests can comfortably soak. A basic room accommodates to two people but there are also options to accommodate an additional person.
Scenic and relaxing Hakone
When in beautiful and exciting Japan, you’re sure not to run out of places to see and things to do. But if you’ve come to relax, then the best way to do it is by visiting these hot springs with the best scenery in Hakone. Enjoy not only the most relaxing hot spring baths you’ll ever come across but also gorgeous views of Hakone’s picture-perfect landscape you’ll remember long after.
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