Hakone 箱根

Hakone Open Air Museum
Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone Open Air Museum

First, have a little wander in the Open-Air Museum with lots of sculptures. Then, head to the smokey sulfury Owakudani 大涌谷 valley for some black eggs where you might catch a glimpse of good old Mount Fuji. The ropeway is pretty damn scary.

Owakudani Mount Fuji
Owakudani valley
Owakudani egg Owakudani cable car
We stayed at Ashinoko Ichinoyu Hotel 芦ノ湖一の湯, just a few minutes walk from Togendai Ropeway Station 桃源台駅/Pirate Boat boarding place: go downhill with the lake on your right and turn left by cutting across any passable parking lot you see then go up hill again. It'll be on your left with a big wooden sign.

The indoor public baths (male and female separated) are open all throughout the night from 4 pm until 10 am, and the small outdoor hot spring pools can be reserved for private use for 40 minutes from 4pm to 1am at no extra charge - this was why we chose this place and made it a very worthwhile experience as a hotel room with its own private bath would cost a lot more!
Nice Japanese style dinner (all-you-can-drink including beer and canned cocktails) and breakfast included in the price we paid. Although not the most amazing food, both meals were quite decent. If you don't like fish, you might not be able to eat all the dishes, but there would still probably be some stuff you can eat since there are so many things in the sets.

The room was spacious with an ensuite bathroom including amenities and a lovely tatami seating area with tea and small snacks. A tv, a fridge and a safe as well as comfy Japanese yukata robes can also be found in the room. Wifi works without a password. A very relaxing place for a getaway - even though there's construction going on next door, we couldn't hear it at all.

ake Ashino
Lake Ashino 芦ノ湖, no sign of Fujisan today
Lake Ashinoko
from the pirate boat
Hakone Shrine
Hakone Shrine

Take the bus to Hakone Kowakien Yunessun 箱根小涌園 ユネッサン, which is more like an amusement park packed with kids on a Sunday, but pretty fun for an hour or two - just don't expect too much as the "flavored" tea/coffee/sake/wine hot springs smell more like chlorine. All the pools are very shallow (60-90 cm). There are a couple of water slides! Bring your own towel or rent one for 100 yen each on the 4th floor before you enter the locker rooms on the 5th floor. I didn't see any hairdryers around so bring your own if you need one. The H bus drops you directly in front of this place (ユネッサン : Yunessun). We got a coupon from Rurubu Hakone magazine and got in for 2000 yen each just for Yunessun. Even though it's obviously a gimmicky tourist trap, it was entertaining just to check it out once. I suppose if you got kids, they'll probably love it!