This is a pleasant (if long) walk around Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) 芦ノ湖. With views of Mt Fuji 富士山, and access to transport to many other sightseeing places in the area, it’s quiet scenic. The trail is mostly flat and well-defined and signed. Usually very quite, as most tourists use the boats to cross the lake, but a good option if the weather is fine and you have the time. Suitable for anybody who can walk long distances. Also has a few beaches along the way to stop at and have a picnic lunch (but no shops or toilets).
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Season: April to December
Starting point: Hakone Machi 箱根町
Finishing point: Togendai 桃源台
Note, the last few kilometers of this trail won’t show on the embedded map, but you can access the whole map on googlemaps!
A full map of the hike can also be viewed at GPSies
The Mapple 山と高原地図 map series number 29, which includes Hakone 箱根 and it’s surrounds, can be bought on Amazon.co.jp. Note, these maps are in Japanese, but have some English and furigana.
From the bus stop at Hakone Machi 箱根町 follow the edge of the lake around to the left. You will have to walk along a couple of streets, but as long as you stick to the route closest to the lake edge you will be able to pick up the trail.
Initially you will walk on a service road around a small mountain. There are a number of different short trails on the mountain if you want to do some extra exploring. If you keep to the service road you will come to a picnic area with some public toilets and a large gate. This is the last toilet until the end of the walk. Next to the gate is a smaller gateway for people. Just pass through that and you will be on the path to Togendai 桃源台.
The path follows the edge of the lake, and the only deviations are little paths that lead down to the lake edge. Occasionally you will be able to access a stone beach next to the lake, so bringing a picnic lunch and something to sit on is a pleasant way to spend some time.
Towards the end of the hike you will join a bitumen road nearby a flood gate and boat ramp. Here, again, stick to the path closest to the lake’s edge. After a kilometer or so, you will come to a large river crossing the path. You will have to cross the river on the main road. On the other side of the river is a large camp ground. Follow the road around the camp ground, and keep going until you reach Togendai Ropeway station 桃源台ロープウェイ駅.
To and From
From Tokyo 東京, you can either catch the JR line or the Odakyu 小田急 line. The JR Tokaido line 東海道線 leaves from Tokyo Station 東京駅, and takes 86 minutes and 1,450 yen. Or you can catch the Kodama Shinkansen to Odawara 小田原 from Tokyo Station 東京駅, costing 3,640 yen and taking 36 minutes. The Odakyu 小田急 line leaves from Shinjuku Station 新宿駅 and goes to Hakone Yumoto Station 箱根湯本駅. You may have to change at Odawara 小田原 to continue further on. The Odakyu 小田急 line either costs 1,150 yen and takes approximately 110 minutes, or if you catch the Romance Car (reserved seating) takes 89 minutes and 2,020 yen.
From Odawara 小田原 or Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本 catch the Odakyu 小田急 bus to Hakone Machi 箱根町. From Odawara 小田原 this takes about 60 minutes and 1,150 yen. From Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本 it takes 45 minutes and 790 yen.
Departing from Togendai 桃源台 you have a few options. There is a bus back to Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本 and Odawara 小田原 taking 45 or 60 minutes respectively, and 840 or 1,200 yen respectively. Or you can take the scenic route over Owakudani 大涌谷 by catching the Ropeway. The other option is to catch the boat back to Hakone Machi 箱根町 or Moto Hakone 元箱根, and then catch the bus from there.
If you are staying in the Hakone 箱根 area for a few days Odakyu 小田急 has a Hakone Freepass, which covers return trip from Shinjuku 新宿, and many of the other forms of transport around the area. The 2 day pass is 5,000 yen, and the 3 day pass is 5,500 yen. Details can be found here.
Odakyu Hakone Freepass – http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html
Hakone Zenzan, some other hikes in the Hakone area and weather reports- http://www.hakone.or.jp/english/osusume/hike_list.html
HakoneNavi, tourist information site for Hakone – http://www.hakonenavi.jp/english/
Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) 芦ノ湖
Hakone Machi 箱根町
Hakone Yumoto 箱根湯本
Hakone Yumoto Station 箱根湯本駅
Moto Hakone 元箱根
Mt Fuji 富士山
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
Togendai Ropeway station 桃源台ロープウェイ駅
Tokaido line 東海道線
Tokyo Station 東京駅