An area in Hakone called Owakudani valley

Hakone Onsen is hands down the best natural hot spring area in Japan, a perfect getaway for families, couples, and friends groups.

Most of the natural hot spring baths are owned by hotels, so you can experience them by staying in one. If you are just visiting for a day trip, many public hot springs baths offer a Day Trip plan as well.

If you have tattoos…

While many public hot springs baths in Japan nowadays are tattoos friendly, some still don’t allow tattoos. If you have tattoos, the best way to enjoy the onsen experience is to go for a private onsen. Another way around is to ask the hotel staff for sticker patches for covering your tattoo as some places offer them.

In this guide, I will be breaking down the best hot spring area in Hakone and the best place to stay.

This post contains affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links in this blog post at no additional cost to you. These earnings will help maintain the website.

Best Hakone Onsen Areas

5 different areas to enjoy the best onsens in Hakone
Map of Hakone Onsen Areas

There are 5 major onsen areas in Hakone. I have compiled the highlights, hotels, and key information of each area in the list below.

Hakone-Yumoto and Tonosawa Area

Photo of one of the ryokan in Yumoto Onsen
Yumoto Onsen (Photo Source: Flickr zama_zama)


  • Hakone Yumoto Station
  • Tonosawa Station

Yumoto / Tonosawa area is the oldest and the most well-known hot spring area in Hakone. It is also considered the gateway to Hakone. 

There are two important landmarks: Hakone Yumoto Station and Tonosawa Station. The hot springs and hotels can be found around these two stations. 

Yumoto is the busiest area with the most hot springs and places to stay. It is also packed with restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops where you can enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine and culture.  

Miyanoshita and Kowakidani Area

Fujiya hotel, a symbolic location in Miyanoshita area.
Fujiya Hotel, a symbolic location in the Miyanoshita area. (Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons)


  • Miyanoshita Station
  • Kowakidani Station

If you want a more low-key getaway location, then this location might be better for you. Miyanoshita is located halfway up Mt. Hakone at an altitude of 430m. 

This area was developed as one of Japan’s leading resort areas during the Meiji period. The area offers different experiences in each season. You can hiking in the valley and enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, fireflies in summer, and autumn leaves in autumn.

Gora Area

Owakudani Valley


  • Gora Station
  • Hakone Ropeway

Gora is a great location if you want quick access to the Hakone Ropeway. The area is located in the center of Hakone and is surrounded by famous tourist attractions, restaurants, and souvenir shops. 

If you decide to stay here, make sure to take the ropeway up to Owakudani Valley. This is a great place to enjoy the magnificent scenery that represents Hakone, with volcanic smoke and the smell of sulfur that makes you feel the breath of the Earth itself.

Sengokuhara Area

This is Susuki Grassland where the colony of Japanese pampas grass grows on the slopes of the mountain. (Photo Source: Flickr Seiya Ishibashi)


  • Take a bus from Odawara Station bound for Kojiri Togendai and get off at Sengokuhara

Sengokuhara is a perfect getaway if you want to spend a peaceful time and enjoy nature. This highland area sits at the outer rim of Hakone, closest to Mt. Fuji. 

The area is best known for “Susuki Grassland” where the colony of Japanese pampas grass grows on the slopes of the mountain.

Aside from highland resorts, restaurants, and cafes, this area is also known for several unique art museums as well. 

Lake Ashinoko Area

A view of Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashinoko
A view of Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashinoko


  • Take a bus from Odawara Station bound for Hakone-machi Port
  • Hakone Ropeway
  • Hakone Komagatake Ropeway

If staying in a lakeside resort surrounded by Mt. Hakone and a view of Mt. Fuji is your kind of place, then this is the area for you. 

Aside from many unique hot springs to choose from, this area is unique from the others because it is packed with activities you can enjoy. Here are some activities offered in this area: sightseeing boats, water skiing, and helicopter tour.

Interesting fact, Lake Ashinoko is actually a caldera lake of the Hakone volcano.

Best Hotels in Hakone with Private Onsen

For me, the best way to get the most out of the hot spring experience in Hakone is to go for a private hot spring bath. It’s just you, warm soothing natural hot spring water, and a stunning view of nature. This way, you can really let go of yourself and achieve a maximum relaxing state.

There are many other great hotels that this list does not include such as Fujiya Hotel, Hotel Green Plaza Hakone, and Yoshiike Ryokan. This is because this list focuses only on hotels that feature amazing private hot spring baths.

In this list, I have compiled the best hotels that feature private hot spring baths in the room.

Hakone Ashinoko Hanaori

Area: Lake Ashinoko

  • Private open-air hot spring bath with a lakeside view
  • Great location 2 minutes walk from Togendai Station (Hakone Ropeway)
  • Can choose a room with a lake or mountain view
  • Features on-site restaurants and shop

Key Information

  • Address: 250-0522 Kanagawa, Hakone, Motohakone Togendai 160
  • Access: 2 minutes walk from Togendai Station, Hakone Ropeway
  • Website:

Hotel Okada

Area: Yumoto

  • Traditional Japanese Inn-style accommodation (Ryokan)
  • Indoor and outdoor hot spring bath
  • Karaoke room and game corner available for guests

Key Information

  • Address: 250-0312 Kanagawa, Hakone, Yumoto Chaya 191
  • Access: 5 minutes by bus from Hakone Yumoto Train Station
  • Website:

Hotel Kyuan

Area: Kowakidani

  • Contemporary Modern Japanese Style Hotel
  • Private hot spring with an amazing mountain view
  • Shuttle service and free parking are available

Key Information

  • Address: Kanagawa, Hakone, Ninotaira1297- 248
  • Access: 20 minutes bus ride from Kowakidani Station
  • Website:

Kinnotake Tonosawa

Area: Tonosawa

  • Stylish modern Japanese-style Hotel
  • All rooms come with a private open-air bath and a mountain view
  • Great location near Hakone-Yumoto Station

Key Information

Hakone Suihoen

Area: Kowakidani

  • Luxury 5-star hotel
  • All rooms come with a private open-air bath and a mountain view
  • You can enjoy traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner

Key Information

Tensui Saryo

Area: Gora

  • Private open-air hot springs bath with Hakone’s mountain view
  • Great location near Gora Station
  • The restaurant here serves traditional Japanese cuisine with local seasonal ingredients

Key Information

Hakone Kowakien Tenyu

Area: kowakidani

  • Modern Japanese-style room with tatami flooring
  • Public hot spring bath here has a stunning view of the mountains
  • The cuisine here offers Japanese-Western fusion

Key Information

  • Address:  250-0407 Kanagawa, Hakone, Ninotaira 1297
  • Access: Free shuttle available, 12 minutes walk from Kowakien Bus Stop
  • Website:

Hakone Gora Karaku

Area: Gora

  • Spacious room with private outdoor hot spring
  • Additional large private onsens that you can reserve for a limited time
  • Large indoor and outdoor public hot spring baths with a full view of Mt. Hakone
  • Various food options: Western and Japanese

Key Information

  • Address:  250-0408 Kanagawa, Hakone, Gora 1300-8
  • Access: 5 minutes walk from Gora Station
  • Website:

Gora Kadan

Area: Gora

  • Abundant options for a private onsen to choose from
  • Rooms with beautiful mountain view
  • Shuttle bus service is available upon request

Key Information

Centurian Hakone Bettei

Area: Sengokuhara

  • Private onsen with a killer view (my favorite is the autumn view)
  • Spacious room and comfy beds
  • People say this hotel has exceptional services

Key Information

  • Address:  250-0631 Kanagawa, Hakone, Sengokuhara 1285-389
  • Access: the closest bus station is Kozuka Entrance (小塚入口)
  • Website:

Fun Things to Do in Hakone

There are so many fun places and activities you will find enjoyable in Hakone. In this list, I have gathered some of the places and activities that I believe will give you unique experiences.

For the well-known major tourist attractions, you can find more details from Hakone’s official tourism association

Go for the Forest Adventure

Forest adventure facility in Hakone

If you love outdoor activities and want a more active activity, then give this forest adventure a try!

Key Information

  • Business hours: 9:00-16:00 (last reception 15:30) *Varies depending on the weather and season.
  • Address: 749-1 Chanohana, Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Website:

Visit cu-mo Hakone

A view from observatory on top of Mt. Hakone

Cu-mo Hakone is an observation station that sits at an altitude of 757m on Mt. Hakone. You can get here by using Hakone Ropeway. The best way to enjoy this place is by dipping your feet in the foot onsen while enjoying the breathtaking view of the entire Hakone.

Key Information

  • Access: From Hakone-Yumoto Station, take the Hakone Tozan Line for about 40 minutes, transfer to Gora Station, and take the Hakone Tozan Cable Car (bound for Sounzan) for about 10 minutes and get off at Sounzan Station.
  • Website:

Journey through Owakudani Valley

Hot stream seeping out at Owakudani Valley in Hakone

You can see the Earth itself breathing in this place. Owakudani Valley is the aftermath of a phreatic explosion (steam-driven explosion) in the past. You can visit this location using Hakone Ropeway and get off at Owakudani Station.

Have you ever thought what would happen if you use this “breath of the Earth” to steam an egg? No? Well, these people did. And you can try them here as well.

Key Information

Visit Susuki Grassland

Japanese Pampas grass growing at the Susuki grassland

This is the most famous pampas grass destination in Japan. In my opinion, the best season to visit this place is in Autumn when the grass usually changes its color.

Key Information

  • Access: From Odawara Station, take a bus bound for Kojiri Togendai and get off at Sengokuhara.

Visit the Skyshrine (Hokane Motomiya Shrine)

Motomiya shrine sits at the summit of Mt. Komagatake

Hakone Motomiya shrine sits at the summit of Mt. Komagatake at an altitude of 1356 meters. You can reach here by hiking up the mountain or taking the Hakone Komagata Ropeway.

Key Information

Where exactly is Hakone?

Map showing Hakone and its neighbors

Hakone is an area around Mount Hakone situated between Yokohama and Shizuoka facing Sagami Bay. Hakone is located in Kanagawa prefecture. With many exceptional hotels and ryokan in the area, you can find many natural hot spring baths with views of Mount Fuji.

The hot springs water here is rich in minerals, and there are hundreds of bathes to discover in the area each with their own qualities, history, and appeal.

Have a great Hakone Onsen Trip!

What sets Hakone apart from other Onsen spots in Japan is the quality of the natural hot spring, the stunning view of the mountains and the lake, and many exciting places to visit.

Choosing the right place to stay and planning what to do are crucial to making your trip a meaningful and memorable one. 

I hope this guide helps you in planning your journey to Hakone, and best of luck on your Onsen Trip!

Related Articles

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *