At the foot of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a town of 13,500, known for its hot springs and is a National Geopark. The town embraces its culture, history and craftsmanship balancing charm and authenticity with modernity. 

Hakone Ropeway ferries passengers from Gora to Lake Ashi. On the ropeway you travel over Owakudani. The volcanic activity continues to generate gas and smoke which kills all wildlife and turns the rock into clay. Mt. Fuji is an active volcano and the country’s tallest peak. Considered one of Japan’s three sacred mountains Mt. Fuji has been a pilgrimage site for centuries and inspired artists since the Edo period.  Often hidden in clouds we were lucky to catch a glimpse of the peak. Even through the glass of our gondola the view was breathtaking and explains its significance and inspiration. 

The volcanic gas mingles with the clouds. 

“Mountain-rose petals
Falling, falling, falling now…
Waterfall music”
― Bashō
Lake Ashi is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano that last erupted in 1170 at Owakudani. 

Hakone Shrine, a Shinto shrine, was founded in 757 and originally located at the summit of Mount Hakone. It was relocated to the shores of Lake Ashi, its current form dating back to 1667.