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The crater – which was formed in the last vaporous eruption of the Hakone mountains, when the highest mountain in Hakone, Mt. Kami erupted 3,000 years ago – has spouted out hot vapor and sulfide to this day. The grand view of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed from this spot (50 scenic areas in Kanagawa).
Lava from the crater of Mount Kami divided Lake Ashi into two, with the south half staying as Lake Ashi and the other half becoming a marshy region. Such rare marshy plants as nohanashobu and mizugoke form communities there, and a part of the region was designated as natural monument in 1934 (50 scenic areas in Kanagawa).
Lake Ashi is a placid lake surrounded by mountains and dense forest. The view from the lake on the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise gives a completely different perspective than from land. Walking paths along the lake, Hakone-jinja Shrine, Onshi-Hakone-Koen Park and other points of interest around the lake await visitors.
Mt. Komagatake, a peak of the central crater hill in the middle of the Hakone caldera, is 1,357 metres (4,452 foot) high. The panoramic view, including Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashi and the mountains surrounding the caldera from the summit, which is a gentle prairie, is breathtaking.
Hakone Shrine, built in 757, used to be worshipped by many generals. Inside the treasure vault is the portrait of Priest Mangan. It is known as an important cultural property, for pictures, old books and art objects.
In 1521, Ujitsuna Hojo built this temple dedicated to his father, Soun. Inside the temple are such cultural properties as Godai Hojo's grave and Soun Hojo's portrait.
Hakone Checkpoint Exhibition
For the purpose of preventing feudal lords from rebelling against him, Hidetada Tokugawa placed this checkpoint in 1619. Guns were not allowed to be brought in and women were not allowed to get out of Edo. In 1869, the checkpoint was abolished and demolished. Since then, the ruin has been a noted place in Hakone, designated as an important cultural property in 1922.
One of the better-known small towns surrounding Lake Ashi and only a leisurely 20 to 30 minute walk from Hakone-Machi is Moto-Hakone. This area has a diverse range of small eateries, restaurants and cafes, almost all of which afford exceptional views of Lake Ashi, and Mt Fuji in the distance.
The Hakone Open-Air Museum
Located two minutes walk from Chokoku No Mori Station, (one stop from Gora Station) the Hakone Open Air Museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan and exhibits over 100 outdoor masterpieces by world-renowned contemporary artists.
Pola Museum of Art
The Pola Museum of Art blends into the rich natural landscape where 300-year-old beech trees and gregarious Hime-syara stewartia grow. The collections of the Pola Museum of Art number more than 9,500 works, which were assembled over some forty years by the late owner of the Pola Orbis Group, Suzuki Tsuneshi (1930-2000).
Lalique Museum Hakone
Rene Lalique, a jewelry designer and glass maker/craftworker was a forerunner of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco era. Depicting his life, “Lalique Museum Hakone” is a place where you will feel the richness of the spirit, blending with nature and art. The garden is surrounded by the seasonally blooming trees and flowers that Lalique loved.
Venetian Glass Museum
The building of this museum, featuring glass craftwork, is designed based on an image of a villa belonging to a medieval European nobleman. Mainly exhibiting art pieces related to historically famous families like the Medicis and the Rothchilds as well as Venetian glass products from the 15th to 18th centuries, there are also modern works from the late 19th Century to the present.
Daihakone Country Club
Set in the stunning landscape of Hakone, the Daihakone Country Club provides exciting challenges with signature 18-hole courses. The 17th hole is well known, as it is a difficult hole surrounded by a bunker called "the Lotus flower".
Hakonekohan Golf Course
Hakonekohan Golf Course, located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park blends into the rich natural landscape and offers panoramic views of the course. You can savour superb resort golf, getting away from the bustle of everyday life.
Sengoku Golf Course
Built in 1917, with a long history and tradition, this is one of the finest golf courses in Japan. This course provides exciting challenges by making use of the natural landscape. It is 6,651 yards in length, with 18 holes and a par of 72. There is also a 300-yard driving range, where players can enjoy practicing their swing.
Miyagino Tennis Courts
Botanical Gardens and Parks
Hakone Gora Park
One of the most popular parks in Hakone, it features various flowers blooming in season. Summer and Christmas seasonal lighting displays are an added attraction. It's one of a handful of parks in Hakone that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands
This botanical garden is the first of its kind and keeps representative plants growing in marshes in Japan. In the botanical garden, visitors can see 200 kinds of marsh plants which grow in marshy regions with 1,300 kinds of alpine plants, and other overseas plants – 1,700 kinds all together.
Onshi-Hakone-Koen Park is a very big park made in 1886 (mid-Meiji era) on the site of Hakone Rikyu (vacation palace in Hakone). It is located on Togashima, an island that juts into Lake Ashino. In the centre of the park stands the western-style Observation Building, which used to be a vacation palace for the imperial family where documents from those days are on display.