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"No matter how many postcards, pictures or paintings you see, nothing compares you for that first glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Mt Fuji. With hot-spring baths, beautiful scenery and a vital historical role, Hakone is a fantastic place to relax, explore and experience."

Harry Sargant - Tailored Department Manager

Hakone has been a popular resting post since the Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered a natural bath to be built here in 1590 enabling his battle-weary men to relax in the natural hot spring waters of this volcanic area.

Set in the mountainous countryside just to the South of Mt. Fuji Hakone offers a curious mix of different attractions. Onsen houses proliferate throughout the region providing plenty of opportunity for relaxing in the revitalising natural hot spring waters. The region is criss-crossed by a collection of ropeways, cable-cars and funicular railways which link the many small communities and a wide variety of museums, from the outdoor sculpture park with works by Henry Moore, Miro, Maillol and Rodin to a Ferrari exhibition hall.

On clear days the ropeways provide spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and of course, away in the distance the imperious Mt. Fuji - one of the world's most famous mountains, the most recognisable symbol of Japan there is. Pictures of the majestic Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest mountain at 3,776 meters, still adorn most of Japan's public bath houses, the mountain and its spirit looking over the Japanese even as they bathe.

If you fancy the challenge of the climb, the season runs from 1st July through to the end of August and there's the option of doing it by day or by night. The views from the top are stunning and a sunrise from the summit of 'Fuji-san' is a never-to-be-forgotten sight. The hike is pretty tough but you're sure to be accompanied by a steady stream of Japanese undertaking the pilgrimage to the top.

Once you get there it can be quite cold, often hovering around freezing even at the height of summer, so come prepared if this is what you’re planning on. Alternatively, you can simply sample the view from the surrounding hills and lakes, and enjoy a less strenuous stay. Whatever you decide, you cannot help but to be impressed by this near-perfectly symmetrical volcano.


Perfect plan for first time visits to Japan - cities, countryside, hot springs, great food, history and culture. Stays include the historic capital of Kyoto, Tokyo with its bright lights and excitement, the Fuji-Hakone National Park, Takayama in the Japanese Alps and Miyajima Island.

14 Nights: £1810

Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009