Tokyo is a fantastic city — there’s no doubt about that. It also has way too many people, like most major cities. A trip there is always a good idea, but one can only take on too many Shibuya crossings before feeling exhausted by the sheer amount of people. That is when you need a trip out of the city and into the countryside. Where better to rejuvenate one’s self than staying in luxury ryokans in Hakone?
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn. Some of these establishments are so old, they’ve been in existence since the eighth century A.D. These inns are the perfect place to experience not just the traditional Japanese way of living, but also omotenashi: the best Japanese hospitality. While most traditional ryokans still use tatami mats as beds, there are also newer Japanese ryokans that use modern beds. Pick the former for a more authentic experience.
You will also find that luxury ryokans will provide private hot springs that are connected to each room. Soak in them at your convenience, and you won’t have to worry about unconsciously staring at a stranger’s junk. The pinnacle of staying in luxury ryokans is perhaps the kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner that utilises the season’s freshest local ingredients.
Why stay in luxury ryokans in Hakone? Other than it being in fairly close proximity to Tokyo (less than a two-hour train ride), it’s also a national park that is known for its number of ryokans and onsens. On days with clear skies, you’ll also get a picturesque view of the majestic Mount Fuji. Below, you’ll find six of our favourite picks of luxury ryokans in Hakone.