Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Yokohama
Population
8,489,932

Lake Ashinoko

Surrounded by forest, mountains and clear blue sky, Lake Ashinoko is a picture-perfect retreat.

Often depicted with its characteristic bright red torii gate and Mount Fuji standing imposingly in the background, Lake Ashinoko, in the heart of hot spring haven Hakone, is nothing short of iconic.

Although easily accessible from Hakone-Yumoto station by a short bus ride, Lake Ashinoko is nestled between many quaint onsen towns that reside on its expansive shores.

Shiver me timbers!

Hop aboard a sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashinoko in Hakone.
Boat tours that leave from Moto-Hakone’s main port and the town next to it, Hakone-machi, offer a half-hour cruise around the lake complete with a guide speaking Japanese, Chinese and English.

Alternatively, if exploring on a speedboat (with a valid licence) or on a swan paddle boat (they have top hats!) sounds more enticing, these can also be rented from the ports for a fee of around 1000 yen.

Hakone-Machi and Moto-Hakone are both found on the southern shores of Lake Ashinoko. Sightseeing tours can also be boarded from towns on the northern shore, such as Togendai and Kojiri.

Hakone Barrier

The reconstructed Hakone Barrier in Hakone-machi was once an important checkpoint along the old Tokaido route which linked Tokyo to Kyoto in the Edo Period.

Each of these towns has their own local flavor; Hakone-machi merits a visit as it features one of Japan’s oldest checkpoints. This huge gate used to mark the way of one of the main trading routes during the Edo-period. You can browse many a shop selling traditional crafts here too.

Hakone Shrine is just a short walk away from Ashinoko’s main bus station and leads you into the depths of the Hakone National Park’s majestic forestscape, buzzing with wildlife. The small dojo connected to it can often be seen showcasing groups practicing various martial arts – it’s like stepping into an early scene of an action movie. The famous torii gate is a five minute walk from the shrine, directly on the lake’s shore.

Topics: , , ,

Trivia

Hop aboard a sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashinoko in Hakone.

Shiver me timbers!

One of the tour boat options is a pirate ship-esque Galleon. Nothing will shiver your timbers more than gliding past Mount Fuji looking like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Hakone Free Pass is also valid to use on this sightseeing boat only.

Things To Know

Hakone Free Pass

The Hakone Free Pass is a discount pass that gives unlimited use of Odakyu transport in Hakone, as well as discounted entrance fees to some tourist attractions. It is valid on Hakone Tozan buses but not on Izuhakone buses. Please check with the bus driver before boarding for Ashinoko.

How To Get There

Address

144 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0522, Japan

By train

If you have time, a scenic route to Lake Ashinoko from Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto involves taking the Hakone Tozan Railway to Gora, followed by a cable car and ropeway ride to Togendai at the northern end of of the lake. From Togendai you can take one of the sightseeing boats to Moto-Hakone or Hakone-machi. The whole journey is covered by the Hakone Free Pass.

By bus

From Odawara, frequent buses connect via Hakone-Yumoto with Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi at the southern end of Lake Ashinoko. There is also a frequently served Hakone Tozan Bus line from Odawara via Hakone-Yumoto to Togendai at the northern end of Lake Ashinoko. Hourly buses also run between Atami and Hakone-machi and between Mishima Station to Hakone-machi or Moto-Hakone. From Gotemba, buses run twice per hour between Gotemba Station and Togendai. The Hakone Free Pass should be valid on all of these journeys except for those travelling from Atami.

Where To Stay

The Prince Hakone Lake Ashinoko
  • Motohakone 144 250-0592
  • 8.4/10
  • 0.0 km
Powered by Booking.com
Ryuguden
  • Motohakone 139 Ashigarashimo-Gun Hakone-Machi, Kanagawa 250-0522
  • 8.9/10
  • 0.5 km
Powered by Booking.com
Odakyu Hotel de Yama
  • Motohakone 80 Ashigarashimo-Gun Hakone-Machi, Kanagawa 250-0522
  • 8.9/10
  • 1.6 km
Powered by Booking.com
Hakone Kuranju
  • Motohakone 133-19 Ashigarashimo-Gun Hakone-Machi, Kanagawa 250-0522
  • 9/10
  • 2.0 km
Powered by Booking.com