Recommended Autumn Spots in Hakone with Money-Saving "Hakone Freepass"
Hakone is one of Japan's leading hot spring tourist destinations, which can be reached in about 80 minutes from Shinjuku in Tokyo. In the fall, the Hakone Mountains turn red and yellow, and there are many spots where you can enjoy the unique Hakone fall scenery, such as Lake Ashi and the Hakone Museum of Art. Plus, the breathtaking fall scenery from the Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields and the Hakone Ropeway is breathtaking!
For a memorable Hakone autumn foliage tour, we definitely recommend getting the "Hakone Freepass.” This pass allows you unlimited rides on eight different types of transport and discounts at various facilities.
Hakone Museum of Art
The Hakone Museum of Art is the oldest Hakone museum with a long history, exhibiting mainly ancient Japanese ceramics. The museum is also a famous place for its fall foliage and the orange, yellow, and deep red leaves in the garden are spectacular. The contrast between the warm tones of the leaves and the moss garden is beautiful. At the garden tea room “Shinwatei", you can enjoy the autumn leaves while having Japanese matcha green tea and sweets. In November, a part of the normally closed garden becomes open to the public. If you present your Hakone Freepass, you will receive a discount on the entrance fee to this museum.
Sounzan, Owakudani, Ubako, Togendai
The Hakone Ropeway connects a distance of about 4 km from Sounzan to Togendai on the shores of Lake Ashi, a one-way trip taking about 30 minutes to complete. The Sounzan and Togendai Stations are over 700 meters above sea level while the Owakudani Station is 1,044 meters above sea level. The sides of the gondola are entirely made of glass, so you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the volcanic plumes of Owakudani from the sky.
The fall scenery seen from the ropeway is exceptional. On the way from Owakudani to Togendai, you can intake the full scenery of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi along with the red, orange, and yellow mountains.
Located in the Hakone Sengokuhara area, Choanji Temple is a temple with a rich history which was founded in 1356. In the precincts and in the woods behind the temple, there are many stone Buddha statues called “Gohyaku Rakan” with expressions of joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness. Here, you can feel the quiet spiritual atmosphere surrounded by nature. The best time to see the autumn foliage in Choanji Temple is usually from early November to mid-November, and you can enjoy a spectacular view dyed in red and yellow. Only here can you experience the unique atmosphere created by the 500 Rakan statues with slightly different facial expressions and emotions and the fall leaves.
Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields
These fields are one of the most famous spots for Japanese pampas grass in the Kanto region. Along with the exhilarating blue sky and sunshine, the beautiful scenery of golden ears swaying spreads out before you. The best time to visit Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields is from late September to mid-November. In early fall, the slightly greenish pampas grass contrasts beautifully with the blue sky and deep green mountains in the background. In late autumn, the mountains and golden Japanese pampas grass glisten in the sunlight. Depending on the season and time you visit, you can enjoy the different stages of pampas grass’ natural beauty, a fact that makes this place a popular photo spot.
This delightful cafe is located on the 2nd floor of "Chaya Honjin Hotoriya" in front of Hakonemachi Port on the shores of Lake Ashi. From the window seats in the restaurant, you can enjoy your meal while gazing at the scenery of the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise touring Lake Ashi and the autumn leaves.
In addition to the lunch menu, we also recommend the sweets such as the “Hotoriya Special Pancakes” served on a hot iron plate and the “Shichifuku Dango” which you can bake by yourself on a charcoal brazier.
Hakone is dotted with countless autumn foliage spots beside the five listed here. Another way to enjoy the area includes soaking in the famous hot springs while viewing the autumn leaves. Plus, your travel gets even more convenient and budget-friendly with the "Hakone Freepass," a ticket that allows you unlimited rides on eight different types of transport to tour around Hakone.
Don’t miss out on welcoming the arrival of fall in Hakone!