Hakone, a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park in Kanagawa Prefecture, is a mountainous area to the west of Tokyo. Known for having multiple resorts and hot springs, ranging from the modern Western-style accommodations to the traditional Japanese Ryokan, visitors flock to the area to appreciate the views of the mountainside and of Mount Fuji. Hakone is one of the most popular destinations for travelers–both local and international.

Hakone Onsen

 

The hot springs in the area are not just visited in the more recent years, the area has been a favorite vacation area for hundreds of years, with its 17 hot spring resort towns–one of which is Yumoto Onsen. Yumoto Onsen is the oldest among the 17 resorts in Hakone, its discovery dating back to the Nara period (710 to 794 AD). The hot spring town is known for its large number of hot spring baths.

There are shops lined up outside Hakone-Yumoto Station to accommodate the flocks of tourists crowding the area, called “shotengai” which means shopping street which spans 200 meters long. Here, visitors can shop for souvenirs and try the street food stalls serving specialties like fried fish balls and manju filled with red bean paste. Outside Hakone-Yumoto station, one can also find Hayakawa, a wide river with a beautiful red bridge crossing it, called “Ajisai-Bashi”. A walking distance from the bridge, one can find the ancient Sounji Temple, built in the Edo Period (1603-1868) and named after Hojo Soun–a samurai who ruled over the Kanto Region. Yumoto is also known as the gateway to Hakone as it is the first town before entering the rest of the district. 

Hakone Yumoto Onsen in the cherry blossom season (Hakone Town, Kanagawa Prefecture) by Quercus Acuta

Hakone Yumoto Onsen in the cherry blossom season (Hakone Town, Kanagawa Prefecture) by Quercus Acuta

As a part of the Hakone tourist area, Yumoto is home to a number of quality accommodations to complete the Japanese cultural and onsen-ryokan experience. The tourist destination hosts both luxurious and budget-friendly ryokans and hotels, each of which with its own set of charms and unique personality.

Hakone Hoeiso Ryokan, also referred to as Kijitei Hoeiso, is a traditional Japanese inn tucked in a river valley amongst the mountains, its rooms fitted with tatami mat flooring and futon bedding. The ryokan features a Japanese garden and a number of public baths, along with private hot-spring baths. Breakfast and a kaiseki meal are served to the guests in the dining area. Nearby, guests will be able to make a visit to the Kitahara Museum and the Hakone Open-Air Museum. Overlooking mountain views and the stunning natural environment is Hakone Yumoto Onsen Yaeikan, a traditional Japanese inn with classic-style rooms and en-suite meals. The onsen baths are the perfect place to unwind and take in the views, followed by a walk in the Japanese gardens to commune with nature. To offer a change of perspective, the riverside Fukuzumiro Ryokan features suites with views of the property garden or Haya River, depending on the selected accommodation. The traditional inn also has communal baths for visitors to enjoy, along with private hot spring baths for its guests to reserve. Nearby, more curious guests will be able to explore the Amida-ji Temple or hike to the Yusaka Castle Ruins.

Nearby, Aura Tachibana offers guests a luxurious stay with balconies looking out into the landscape and wide windows by the private dining areas in their suites, where kaiseki meals are served. Each room boasts of a private open-air bath with waters sourced from the natural hot springs, along with the large indoor and outdoor communal baths. For a more modern stay, Hakone Pax Yoshino offers its guests modern Japanese-style rooms fitted with tatami mat flooring and futon beds. The staycation destination has a small cafe that serves a variety of buns and local specialties, a reading area, and a tennis room. It’s also child-friendly, with a playroom present while caretakers can unwind in the relaxation room. Guests are also encouraged to explore the nearby tourist attractions like Lake Ashi and the Hakone Glass Forest.

Since Yumoto Onsen is located in a National Park, locals and tourists can enjoy the view of the mountainside and the fresh air if they opt for using open-air baths, or a relaxing time in private baths with their own views of nature. Yumoto Onsen can be accessed from Tokyo Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station.

 

Hakone Yumoto Video

Hakone Yumoto Location

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