Confession: I rarely go to the hot spring town of Hakone. It’s busy and for someone with tattoos, there’s too much of a chance of being turned away to make it worthwhile, despite its proximity to Tokyo. Yet Hatsuhana is different. A short shuttle bus from bustling Hakone-Yumoto Station, it’s beautifully tranquil and seems a world away from all the crowds, so you get the hot spring benefits, without the stress of other people.

Hatsuhana has one large bath — beware, tattooed friends, this is not for us — and four private onsen. There is even a hot spring bath in every room, so guests are truly spoiled for choice. Each private onsen has its own distinct charm, be it the view of a secluded forest or barrier-free bathing. It means guests needn’t leave the peaceful hotel hideaway to experience different hot springs.

private onsen hakone hatsuhana

Exquisite Details

Hatsuhana is named after the first bloom of a cherry blossom. Throughout the hotel there are myriad touches to remind you that this is a peaceful space, away from the rush of city life.

The hotel has its own special liquor in several flavors, along with exclusive chopsticks and hotel-branded souvenirs to take home. At dinnertime, each guest receives their own set of Hatsuhana chopsticks as a memento of their trip. For maximum comfort, Hatsuhana even has a cable car between hot springs, which boasts breathtaking views as you descend and ascend.

Private Hot Spring Bath in Your Room

Every room at Hatsuhana comes with its own private onsen. There is no need to book, no time limit, and it takes no time at all from your bed to the bath. Not only does each room come with a private onsen, but each onsen has a fantastic view gazing out at the gorgeous forest ahead.

private onsen hakone hatsuhana

Kawato: Hakone’s Infinity Pool Onsen

Kawato private hot spring is tucked away in the trees. It’s a secret infinity pool-style hideaway, which feels like it is touching the forest. It is so expansive that it can comfortably fit several people. You can switch around from bathing in the deep end or lying down at the shallower part depending on your mood.

private onsen hakone hatsuhana

Minamo: Barrier Free Bathing

Something that isn’t given enough consideration: an onsen with wheelchair access. Even wheelchair users can enjoy Minamo with ease. The onsen lid is low, with a large ledge upon which to hoist yourself before getting in. It’s a shallow type of bath, ensuring that general users can enjoy it while lying down and gazing out at the mountains ahead. It also boasts an identical mirrored pool on the outside, which reflects the skies above.

Akari: Alive in the Nighttime

Come nightfall, the Akari hot spring is a winner, but it is best to book early. Bathe among twinkling lights, looking out at the stars. Because it’s a private onsen, we can tell you that this is perhaps the most Instagrammable hot spring out there (apart from the one in your room, perhaps). At night, the dark marble creates a dramatic contrast with the lighting. Lie back and listen to the sounds of the Japanese countryside, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be interrupted. It is a private bath, after all.

Shijima: Indoor Touches

Listen to the trickle of the onsen water through the hot spring room, for this private room excels at creating an atmosphere. Forget the sky outside. At Shijima, you gaze at the ceiling’s exquisitely customized latticed wood artwork. Experience the charm of an indoor onsen.

Note: our stay at Hatsuhana was a gifted experience.

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