As spring makes a grand entrance, the entire country wakes up from hibernation and is greeted by the astounding views of pastel pink that sweep away the winter landscape of Japan.
Hakone, home to impressive numbers of premium onsen sites and tourists attractions, raises the bar when the natural virtues of the sakura (aka cherry blossoms) brighten the landscape of the region through late March and April.
Ride on the Tozan Line to Ohiradai Station
One of the charms of Hakone is the great selection of its scenic rides, which range from local trains, cable cars, ropeway and cruises. These rides not only provide accessibility around tourist sites but offer magnificent sceneries to Hakone’s wilderness in between transportations.
The Hakone Tozan railway, which runs from Hakone Yumoto Station to Gora Station, allows you to experience a pleasant ride through the dense greenery of Hakone accompanied with splendid sceneries that differ across all seasons.
During spring, on the way from Hakone Yumoto to Ohiradai Station, you are greeted to a superb view of 100 shidare sakura trees (weeping cherry blossoms) which extensively line along the track.
The gorgeous shades of pink which overtake the view of your window are one otherworldly sight you need to witness when you next visit Hakone.
Ride a Pirate Ship on Lake Ashi
While there are so many beloved features of Hakone worthy of mention, it isn’t a big call to state that the view of Lake Ashi and its surrounding mountain ranges are its prime shows.
The pirate ship that sails across Lake Ashi from Hakonemachi Port to Togendai Port is a particularly popular mode of transport as it offers visitors to rejoice in Hakone’s nature.
In spring, the surrounding mountains are dotted with marvelous colors of cherry blossoms and you are able to indulge these amidst your sail on Lake Ashi’s pristine water. Spotting some famous sakura trees from afar, including the extravagant oshima sakura of Hakone-en and the mame sakura of Onshi Hakone Park is another highlight of this cruise.
• Board the pirate ship from Hakonemachi Port. Admission is ¥1,050 one way.
Sakura at Onshi Hakone Park
Another iconic feature of Hakone you cannot ignore is the impressive view of Mount Fuji offered from various settings around the region.
Located at an island named Togashima on south of Lake Ashi, Onshi Hakone Park is a former summer retreat of aristocrats and a state guest house during the 19th century.
Onshi Hakone Park covers an enormous area of approximately 15.9ha, and during spring the premise is teeming with various types of sakura trees, predominantly mame sakura: wild cherry blossoms with petite flowers that grow around the region of Mount Fuji and Hakone.
One of the top shows of the park is the epic view of the fabulous mame sakura and gotenba sakura amidst the superb backdrop of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.
For the ultimate way to experience this sensational view, you should definitely make a visit to Ryokushian located on the second floor of the observatory. Here, you are able to indulge this otherworldly landscape accompanied with some delicious treats and beverages.
• To access Onshi Hakone Park, board the bus for Hakone Machi iki from Hakone Yumoto Station and get off at Onshi Koen Mae bus stop. Admission to the park is free.
Hayakawa River at Miyagino Onsen
One of the most popular sites for Hanami in Hakone is most definitely the row of sakura trees along the Hayakawa River.
Located, a 15-minute walk from Gora Station, Miyagino Onsen district is one of the prestigious onsen springs of Hakone.
Approximately 120 trees of someiyoshino, some of which are as old as 70 years old, line the river bank. This beautiful setting beckons many modern day visitors to enjoy a lovely springtime stroll throughout April.
The landscape of Hayakawa River is illuminated at night during the Sakura Matsuri (aka Sakura festival) held from April 1–15. A nighttime view of the twinkling blossoms is a magical moment you will soon not forget.
• Board the bus from Hakone Yumoto Station bound for Togendai and get off at Miyagino bus stop. Also you can ride the Hakone Tozan Railway to Gora Station and walk about 15 minutes to the venue. Admission to view the row of sakura along the Hayakawa River is free.
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