Hakone Mizuki

This lovely tree flowers in the late spring and early summer and is the representative flower of the Hakone region.

Hakone Daimonji-yaki

The Kanji near Hakone is visible on the far hill when taking the ropeway to Owakudani hot springs. Hakone Daimon-ji yaki is one of the biggest traditional summer events of Hakone. A huge fire with a shape of kanji character “大” will appear at the hillside of Mount Meijogatake. There will be also fireworks to be launched on the day in order to live up the atmosphere of the event.

Sky Hole Selfie

My Sky Hole by Bukichi Inoue is one of the many installation pieces at the Hakone Open Air Museum. It’s mirrored ball, suspended high above the beautiful terrain, provides an interesting selfie opportunity.

Standout Woman

Niki de Saint Phalle’s colorful piece stands out against the vibrant green hills of Hakone. See this, and more, at the Hakone Open Air Museum.

Hakone’s Enormous Torii Gate

There are probably millions of torii gates around Japan, some of them more famous than others. This one in the center of Hakone is a brilliant vermilion color and enormous. Those are full size tour buses underneath.

Today’s Tokaido Road

The Tokaido Road was one one of the primary routes between Kyoto and Tokyo during the years when daimyo were required to travel to old Edo (Tokyo) bi-annually to pay obeisance to the Emperor. Today, one of the remaining sections of the old road is found in Hakone. While part of the road is paved, the towering cypress trees still stand to guide the path of the modern traveler.

Open in Hakone

The tunnel entrance to the Hakone Open Air Museum gives a glimpse of the art awaiting you in the expansive museum filled with contemporary installation art and sculpture. It features both Japanese and western artists and is often a highlight of a trip to Hakone.

The Sound of Wind

Sound of Wind by Takao Tsuchida is one of the many, many contemporary art pieces beckoning you into a fuller exploration of the Hakone Open Air Museum.

Lake Ashi in the Rain

June is the rainy season in Japan. The sound of softly falling rain over Lake Ashi creates a backdrop for the beautiful fog-covered mountains so often depicted in Japanese ink drawings (sumi-e).

Hakone Open Air Museum

The Hakone Open Air museum features installation art from around the world in a natural, mountain settings.

Getting on the Gondola

Taking the Gondola ride to Owakudani Hot Springs in Hakone is one of the many family fun activities in this tourist destination. This video shows one of the cars coming up to the boarding area.

Shinkansen Window

The view out the train window on the Nozomi Shinkansen, which reaches speeds of 186mph (300kph). We’re going so fast that the houses look sideways in the video; we’re pretty sure they are not really this slanted!