Where To Find Lake Ashinoko
Lake Ashinoko is located in Hakone, which is part of the very expansive Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park located in Kanagawa Prefecture on the Honshu island of Japan.
This lush park offers some incredible sights, learning opportunities, and experiences in nature that are unforgettable for any tourist to indulge in.
Hakone is a burgeoning hotspot for tourists coming from all areas of Japan, as well as for international tourists who are learning just how dynamic Japan truly is.
Not only does Japan offer some of the most modern, technologically-driven learning opportunities and ample spots to learn about the culture, but the naturally occurring destinations within Japan are truly remarkable.
Outside of Lake Ashinoko, Hakone is home to many hot spring baths, temples, gardens, and museums. The architecture throughout Hakone is also expansive and diverse.
The Formation Of Lake Ashinoko
This serene and picturesque lake was actually the result of a volcanic eruption from Mount Hakone. This eruption occurred over 3000 years ago, which resulted in a crater opening that developed into a caldera.
The opening is now filled with water, creating Lake Ashinoko along the southwestern part of the caldera.
From Lake Ashinoko, the water flows towards the adjoining Hayakawa River. This river leads down to Odawara Port, which sits along the Pacific Ocean.
The lake water is crystal blue, and fish can be seen swimming throughout the glistening water.
Take A Cruise Through The Lake
One beautiful experience to indulge in when visiting the lake is a sightseeing cruise. These boat rides will take you along the lake and offer some great views of the natural beauty of the park.
There are two companies that offer these cruises; Izuhakone Sightseeing Boats and Hakone Sightseeing Boats.
Lake Ashi Cruise Via Japan Deluxe Tours
The cruise is somewhat short, taking about a half-hour to see all the sights along the cruise’s path.
These cruises are also quite affordable, so it’s worth adding to your list of things to do when visiting the lake. Many boats have their own theme, including a very popular boat modeled after a pirate ship.
You can also take a trip along the lake in a swan paddle boat; you can pay to have someone take you along the lake on these.
It takes a little longer to travel along the lake this way, but this gives you even more time to appreciate the surrounding natural environment.
Partially immersed within Lake Ashinoko’s waters, the Hakone Shrine is one of the most popular tourist destinations within the national park.
You can see it when taking a cruise through the water, but there is also a bridge that brings you to the shrine.
The shrine has a very visible red torii gate. Within the surrounding forest just past the bridge, you are able to see the rest of the shrine burrowed within the trees.
Hakone Shrine Official Website
Walking down the path towards the shrine is like walking into a fairytale. The shrine itself is a magnificent structure and is surrounded by a stand of tall trees.
Views Of Mount Fuji
There are a few vantage points around Lake Ashinoko that offer some lovely views of the famous and sacred Mount Fuji.
Not only do the cruise boats allow you to see Mount Fuji from a distance, but there’s the Moto-Hakone that offers a good place to look out in the distance to see the mountain.
Even just simply walking the paths along the lake offers you views that you’re bound to remember for a long time.
While Mount Fuji may be a little bit harder to see, a clear day will offer a glimpse, even when you’re walking around.
The views are typically the best in the early mornings or later in the afternoon before evening arrives.
If you are visiting the nearby Hakone Detached Palace, you can look out from the area and see both the lake and Mount Fuji. Keep in mind that the weather has to be somewhat clear in order for you to see the mountain.
If the day is foggy or rainy, it may be a little more difficult to see. If your hopes are to see Mount Fuji when you visit the lake, you’ll have a better chance if you’re visiting Japan during the Fall or Winter months.
Hakone Detached Palace
This palace was once a summer home for the Japanese Imperial Family. It’s open to the public, so you’re able to walk through the palace, though what remains of this amazing summer vacation spot is just one building.
While it’s no longer modeled after how the Imperial family enjoyed it, it still offers a small glimpse into how this family enjoyed their summers.
Hakone Detached Palace Gardens
The palace sits in the middle of the Onshi Hakone Park, a natural wonder full of trees, flowers, and hiking trails.
Walking along these trails can also give you some unique views of Lake Ashinoko and Mount Fuji when the weather is clear.
This ropeway can be caught from the shores of Lake Ashinoko, and it can take you all the way up to the Komagatake peak of Mount Hakone.
This ropeway car, which allows you to sit inside while it glides along a sturdy cable, offers some breathtaking views of the scenic area around and above the lake.
The peak of Komagatake allows for some gorgeous hiking opportunities and is also home to a myriad of sightseeing opportunities.
The original Hakone Shrine, now known as the Hakone Shrine Mototsumiya can also be found at this peak and is worth a visit.
If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll enjoy following the trail that leads from this part of the mountain back down to the lake.
Staying At Lake Ashinoko
Lake Ashinoko sits in the middle of the national park, but close by are various onsen towns where you are welcome to stay when visiting the area.
You can also find a plethora of ryokan inns and hotels in Hakone. It’s worth looking for one that has one of Hakone’s famous hot spring baths so you can relax and replenish yourself after a long day of sightseeing.
Yoshimatsu in Hakone is one of the many ryokans located nearby Lake Ashinoko. As such, the ryokan offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding natural vistas.
Within this luxurious ryokan, you’ll find clean and spacious rooms adorned with modern and traditional Japanese wares.
You can also relax after a busy day in one of their outdoor hot spring baths. There is even more natural beauty to take in when strolling around the koi ponds and gardens that encapsulate the inn.
Getting To Lake Ashinoko
There are multiple public transportation methods that will bring you to Lake Ashinoko. One of the easiest methods to get here when visiting Hakone is to take the bus from the Hakone-Yumoto station.
This ride will take just over half an hour, and will bring you to the shores of Lake Ashinoko.
If you are spending time in Hakone for a few days, it’s worth looking into the Hakone Free Pass.
This pass allows you to take various transportation routes by simply showing this pass. Just be advised that it doesn’t let you on every single bus or train in the area for free.