Hakone Ropeway takes 24 minutes and has 4 stations. The time on board is short, but as a way to see the important spots of Hakone, it is indispensable. The view is so wonderful that on sunny days, you can see as far away as Tokyo Sky Tree. Take the ropeway from Lake Ashi to Owakudani, riding up the Hakone mountain cable to Sounzan Station through every station.
There is Lake Ashi with a circumference of 19 km that was created from volcanic activity about 3000 years ago. You can take a walk while viewing Lake Ashi at Kojiri Fureai Park 5 minutes from the station. Within the park, there is a mysterious atmosphere with the many twisted trees. If you are going to Hakone or Old Hakone from here, take the sightseeing cruise ships on Lake Ashi for an elegant tour.
There is the Ubako onsen, Shumeikan which is said to have healed the eye disease of Kintaro who often appeared in Japanese folk tales. The station is a place which feels as if it went back in time due to the abundant nature and the retro feel to the buildings. In back of the buildings are the rows of jizo statues with their calm expressions. These Buddhist stone statues have been compared to the Edo Era’s Sai-no-Kawara, the riverbed of the netherworld (the Japanese limbo for children). They silently stand still among the thickly-growing vegetation.
Owakudani is located within a national park. It’s the smoking area of the Hakone volcano which is currently showing the volcanic activity from about 3000 years ago. The tea house black eggs over there are famous since eating one of them is said to prolong your life by 7 years. The smell of hydrogen sulfide is intense, but you can get the feeling of the power of the great nature. A wide landscape unfolds in front of you as you go up the steep slope from Sounzan to Owakudani. You wonder if you are actually walking in the sky. Do not miss out on this moment.
There is Soun Temple where a famous military commander slept during the Sengoku Era. The observation terrace in front of the station is a wonderful spot to take pictures. On a clear day, you can take a photo of the kanji character for “big” (大) in the back during the Daimonji Yaki festival.