Only an hour by train from central Tokyo, Hakone is a favored day-trip and weekend destination. The area has a range of activities that can accommodate trips at any time of the year, no matter the weather. While Hakone is often a go-to for open-air museums and hiking trails, it also offers high-end retreats for those looking to disconnect, relax and refresh.
As one of Japan’s top small luxury resort brands, FUFU is best known for its impeccable service and luxurious accommodation. In just three days and two nights at two FUFU’s Hakone locations, you can experience a blissful fusion of tradition and modernity in just one visit.
A Glimpse Into the Past: Hakone Suishoen
Hakone Suishoen is FUFU’s very first location. The hotel very much embodies a retro vibe, from the reception’s interior decor to the ryotei restaurant, built in the Taisho Era (1912–1926), at the center of the resort. For a smooth and swift arrival, Hakone Suishoen offers in-room check-in so guests can jump right into decompressing and disconnecting.
The 23 rooms are individually customized. Bedrooms are furnished with two beds – which can be switched or a queen bed – and spacious dining rooms. Some select rooms also include one tatami space, which can be adapted to accommodate families.
Characteristic of this hotel is that every room comes with a private rotenburo (outdoor bath), where guests can bathe while enjoying the surrounding vistas. The resort also has its very own public onsen with men-only and women-only baths. For extra pampering, head to Hakone Suishoen’s spa, which is run in collaboration with French luxury skincare brand Sisley. Here you can receive exclusive treatments to soothe the body and soul.
Mirroring service at traditional ryokan, Hakone Suishoen offers breakfast and dinner with select plans. Guests can enjoy both meals at the ryotei restaurant at the center of the resort. The structure, an original from the Taisho Era, was once used as a vacation villa by the Mitsui family. The restaurant was updated with modern wiring, but other than that the historic atmosphere is very much intact.
Guests can request a Western table or a horigotatsu table. Certain rooms also offer stunning views of the surrounding garden and flora. For a one-night stay, guests can opt either for the kaiseki course, which is made with fresh local seafood and vegetables, or a teppanyaki dinner. Breakfast includes fresh coffee brewed on the premises to jump-start their day.
Check-out is completed at the reception, where you’ll also find a gift shop with a curation of original FUFU products such as seasoning, body care and Hakone crafts such as yosegi-zaiku for guests to take home.
Become One With the Mountains: FUFU Hakone
After checking out from Hakone Suishoen, head to FUFU Hakone for your second day and night of relaxation. Where Hakone Suishoen provides period architecture and ambiance, FUFU Hakone serves up its take on modernity.
Located only a 5-minute car ride away from Hakone Suishoen, FUFU Hakone is the latest addition to FUFU’s range of accommodation, which opened in January 2022. The concept of this resort was inspired by the surrounding mountains, which you can notice in the design of the stone-like reception desk and in the artwork scattered throughout the lobby. Behind the bar, you’ll find a set of photographs by Taiji Matsue, a Japanese photographer known for his topographical pieces.
FUFU Hakone offers two onsen experiences. All 39 suites come with a semi-outdoor bath with clear chloride hot spring water and a view of the surrounding forest. The water is so pure you won’t need to moisturize afterward. The public onsen’s milky white sulfate hot spring water exfoliates the skin. At the hotel spa, guests can also reconnect with nature via a fermentation-heated wooden powder bath and body treatment.
Much like at Hakone Suishoen, plans at FUFU Hakone include dinner and breakfast. The restaurant on the premises, Yamanoe, offers a unique prix-fixe menu where guests can personalize their meal. Using an array of mountain vegetables, fresh fish and high-grade meat, the menu takes guests through a multi-dish journey. The highlight? A hot plate that guests can customize not one, not two, but three ways.
In the morning, guests can enjoy breakfast at Yamanoe, where they can indulge in a unique Japanese breakfast. The many small dishes include pickled vegetables, rice, fish, delicious curry and more. A wide selection of flavors to enjoy before checking out and heading back to the city.
Don’t forget to check this gift shop, where you can pick up the chef’s special dressing from the FUFU Japan Selection lineup, carefully selected tableware, coffee cups and stone interior decor items.
519-9 Kowakudani, Hakone
1320-807 Gora, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun
FUFU Resorts offer a courtesy car service to take guests directly to the hotel from the nearest station to both Hakone Suishoen and FUFU Hakone.
Photos by Lisa Knight