Hakone Fall Foliage – 17 Stunning Spots And Area Guide

2019.09.04

The mountains in Hakone start to change colors around mid-October. There are various spots, such as gardens and museums, to enjoy the autumn leaves in the area. The fall foliage can also be admired while onboard various vehicles. The following is a list of spots located in various areas of Hakone where you can enjoy the autumn colors.

Hakone-Yumoto Area

The leaves in Hakone-Yumoto reach peak foliage a little later than other areas. Visitors can enjoy the harmonious beauty created by the colorful leaves along the townscape. Hotel Hatsuhana, Sukumogawa Best Season: From mid to late November Visible from the hotel, the colors of Mt. Yusaka’s surface turn red and yellow from the summit to the base while facing the Sukumo River during autumn. The onsen (hot spring) in the hotel is an alkaline bath with a high pH value known as “Bijin no Yu” (or “Hot Spring of Beauty”). The source of the onsen is privately owned by the hotel. There are seven bathing facilities exclusively for women, which makes this hotel popular among female guests. 【Hotel HatsuhanaHakone Yuryo, Tonosawa Best Season: From mid to late November Surrounded by the Tonomine Mountains, this is an day trip onsen facility. The wooden interior is unobtrusive and the hot spring water, flowing from a privately-owned source, will gently relax your mind and body. A seasonal fish menu alongside dishes cooked on the irori (a sunken hearth) is another distinctive feature to your trip. 【Hakone YuryoTamadare Falls and Hien Falls at Tenseien Inn, Hakone-Yumoto Best Season: From late November to early December Located in the garden of the ryokan Tenseien, Tamadare Falls (8 meters high, 11 meters wide) and Hien Falls (20 meters high, 10 meters wide) are stunning waterfalls. Adored by Japanese haiku poets, such as Seisensui Ogiwara and Yosano Akiko, this is also a great spot to view the autumn leaves. You’ll reach Tamadare Shrine if you head atop the path located between the two falls, which are also known to have mystical powers. It is the only existing branch of Kuzuryu Shrine, which enshrines famous deities of matchmaking and guardians of water. There is a teahouse in the garden where you can savor the season while viewing the waterfalls surrounded by colorful leaves. Inside, a pond where ducks and carp swim makes it an ideal place to visit with family members, too. The best time to visit would be from late November to early December. Visitors can enjoy the garden for free. 【Tamadare Falls and Hien FallsSuzuhiro Chowaro, Hakone-Yumoto Best Season: From mid to late November Chowaro, situated in Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village, is a restaurant inside an old house built during the Edo Period (1603 - 1868) that was relocated and reassembled to its current location. The main building is constructed in the shoin-zukuri style (an architectural style that developed around the 14th century) while the warehouse is extravagantly painted in lacquer. They are both registered as cultural properties by the Japanese government. There is also a separate cottage built in the gassho-style architecture (with a steep, thatched rafter roof). These three works of architecture all exemplify the building techniques of the period. From the stone arrangements to the bountiful trees and flowers, this beautifully maintained garden exudes Japanese beauty. The maple trees begin to change colors from mid to late November, and visitors can enjoy dining while peering out on the garden. The garden is open to the general public. 【Suzuhiro Kamaboko MuseumThe Path between Tonosawa Station and Hakone Yuryo Best Season: From mid to late November It is about a five-minute walk to Hakone Yuryo from Tonosawa Station. Along the way, pedestrians can view the streetscape through the trees. Only the flow of the Hayakawa River and the sound of chirping birds can be heard. Taking this stroll in early summer is also refreshing. Hakone Tozan Train While aboard the Hakone Tozan Train, passengers can look out of the train’s window to view the autumn leaves and gorges down below. The photograph shows Deyama Bridge.

A Area around Gora, Kowakudani, Miyanoshita, and Ohiradai

All located in this area, the beautifully maintained gardens in Horaien, Hakone Gora Park, and Hakone Museum of Art simultaneously reach peak foliage. Horaien at Hakone Kowakien, Kowakudani Best Season: From early to mid-November Horaien was built by Kyozo Enomoto, the founder of Mikawaya Ryokan, and boasts a history spanning over a hundred years. Various types of maple trees, displaying vivid colors, reach towering heights in this garden. The view of the clear, blue sky beyond the trees is breathtaking. 【Horaien at Hakone KowakienHakone Gora Park, Gora Best Season: From early to mid-November Hakone Gora Park is a symmetrical, French-style garden with a fountain in the center. While there are plenty of deciduous trees, the maple trees vividly turn red in autumn. 【Hakone Gora ParkHakone Museum of Art, Gora Best Season: From early to mid-November This is one of the most beautiful fall foliage spots in Hakone. In autumn, the garden will be tinged in orange, yellow, and crimson leaves. The contrast between the foliage and the moss on the ground is also striking. Visitors can take a break at the teahouse Chaya Shinwatei while enjoying the fall foliage. 【Hakone Museum of ArtOkada Museum of Art, Kowakudani Best Season: From early to mid-November “Channelling the vitality of springs and trees, this garden space is brimming with the blessings of nature.” This is the design concept of the garden of the Okada Museum of Art, which changes to picturesque autumn colors. There is also a trekking course along a mountain stream where visitors can enjoy a short stroll. 【Okada Museum of ArtHakone Tozan Cable Car From the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, passengers can enjoy the autumn leaves along the route, including the view of Mt. Myojogatake which is famous for the Daimonji-yaki, a bonfire event in August.

The Area around Owakudani, Togendai, and Sengokuhara

The autumn leaves can be viewed from the Hakone Ropeway and spots surrounding the Hakone Lake Hotel. This area offers a grand view of the red mountains alongside Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji. View from the Ropeway Route, Togendai Best Season: From late October to mid-November From Owakudani, located on the mountainside of Mt. Kanmurigatake, visitors can take in the view of Mt. Hakone, a volcanic mountain. While its mountainside is barren, the ridgeline leading to Mt. Kamiyama is the earliest spot to catch the autumnal leaves. This spectacular view creates a striking contrast with Mt. Fuji. *For information regarding the Hakone Ropeway’s operation status, please check the following website: https://www.hakoneropeway.co.jp/foreign/en/ Togendai-ko and Hakone Lake Hotel, Togendai Best Season: Early November Maple trees are lined up along the lakeside area by the Hakone pirate ship port, creating an ideal spot to view the glistening Lake Ashi amidst the autumn leaves. This view from the pirate ships is equally fantastic with the majestic colors of the mountains reflecting on the lake’s surface. You can also enjoy the red maple trees near the Hakone Lake Hotel. 【Hakone Lake HotelHakone Betsuin of Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple, Sounzan Best Season: From early to mid-November The Main Temple of Daiyuzan Saijoji Daiyuzan Saijoji, a Zen temple located in Minami-Ashigara, was founded in 1394. This is a betsuin (branch temple) of Saijoji Temple, later founded in 1916. Since the betsuin is located on the mountainside of Sounzan, the grounds offer a wonderful view. While surrounded by the vastness of nature, this is the ideal spot to enjoy the autumn leaves. Inside the spacious, serene temple grounds, there is an enshrined tengu (long-nosed goblin) statue alongside its geta (wooden sandal), making this a unique place to visit. Mt. Myojogadake where the Daimonji-yaki summer bonfire event takes place can be seen clearly from the grounds. The betsuin is a great location to enjoy this spectacular seasonal event. Choanji Temple, Sengokuhara Best Season: From early to mid-November Choanji is a temple of the Soto Zen sect. It is also one of the premier viewing spots to enjoy fall foliage. There is a solemn beauty in the sight of several hundred arhat statues on the grounds against the backdrop of the autumn leaves. Be sure to offer prayers at the main temple before viewing the autumnal leaves. 【Choanji TempleHakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, Sengokuhara Best Season: From early to mid-November While the weather tends to be foggy in November, Sengokuhara is famous for its vividly colored kusamomiji (colored autumn grass) and berries. (*Please note that the botanical garden will be closed during the winter from December 1 to March 19.) 【Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands】  

The Area around Kyukaido, Motohakone, and Hakone-machi

This area is where you can enjoy the autumn leaves surrounding Lake Ashi from pirate ships and neighboring hotels. While enjoying the fall foliage, we recommend tasting the amazake (a traditional non-alcohol sake) at Amazake Chaya and feeling the history of Hakone. Odakyu Hotel de Yama, Motohakone Best Season: From early to mid-November The hotel garden has two types of maple trees: one with crimson-colored leaves and another type with leaves changing from yellow to red. After a stroll in the garden, we recommend viewing the fall foliage onboard a pirate ship cruise. Surrounded by mountains covered in breathtaking colors, the sight of Hotel de Yama is truly exquisite. 【Odakyu Hotel de Yama