Take in the Mountains, Hot Springs at the Palace Hotel Hakone
When my sister and her family visited last year, we decided to crowds and commotion of central Tokyo for a night and enjoy a bit of nature. We chose to stay at the Palace Hotel Hakone for its beautiful scenery and onsen, or hot springs.
Situated in the Sengoku-hara Highlands, the hotel is only a short journey away but it couldn't feel any more different from all the concrete and skyscrapers of the city. We took the Odakyu Romance Car, which made very a comfortable ride of only 90 minutes from Shinjuku Station. While the weather was a bit rainy and cloudy when we stayed there, on a clear day, you can see both Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi.
The hotel is quite grand in size, with multiple restaurants and banquet facilities as well as a shop for picking up your omiyage to take back for your friends and colleagues. The staff was very attentive and accommodating, especially since we brought a baby along.
But the real draw of this hotel is its separate men's and women's spas with a hot spring and open-air bath in each as well as a sauna and traditional showers. The water for the baths is sourced from the Owakudani hot springs and is said to be rich in calcium and magnesium to promote health. Once you're done enjoying the water, you can utilize the spa's massage and reflexology equipment before preparing for the next activity with the provided grooming products the hotel keeps stocked. It was a very relaxing way to end the day, indeed.
With a variety of attractions close by, it's a wonderful spot for all ages to spend some time in the mountains and explore Japan's beautiful scenery.
You can read more about my trip to Hakone on my blog, www.100tacks.com.
Palace Hotel Hakone
1245, Sengokuhara, Hakone-machi
Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, Japan, 250-0631