[Hakone Area] Enjoy Kanagawa through art, nature, and hot springs
Located in the southwestern corner of Kanagawa Prefecture, Hakone has flourished as a favorite spot for resort villas and hot spring cures since ancient times. There is a wide variety of ways to have fun, including Hakone’s 17 Springs (a hot spring area with 17 springs of different types), art and history museums, leisure facilities, and more. There are also various festivals and events held throughout the year, and the beautiful scenery as it changes through the seasons is highly appealing.
Here we introduce art museums and recommended local cafés in the Gora area of Hakone.
Gora, Hakone is a hot spring district centered on Gora Station, the last stop on the Hakone Tozan Line. A prosperous resort area since the Meiji period (1868-1912), it has hot springs of many different types. There is excellent access to famous art museums and leisure facilities, etc., and it has plenty of hot spring inns and gourmet restaurants to choose from.
〈Okada Museum of Art〉
>>>See facility information here
Okada Museum of Art exterior view (Image source: Okada Museum of Art)
The Okada Museum of Art has five floors in all, boasting the largest indoor exhibition space of any museum in Hakone with around 5,000m² total exhibition space, and it displays approximately 450 works of art at any time, including Japanese and Asian ceramics and paintings. The facade of the museum is adorned with Kaze–Toki (Wind and Time) (2013), a 12m tall by 30m wide mural of the gods of wind and thunder painted by the modern Japanese painter Kotaro Fukui. After admiring the art, visitors can enjoy the café with a 100% natural spring-fed foot bath filled, or a stroll in the gardens.
Kaze–Toki (Wind and Time). Kotaro Fukui, 2013 (Image source: Okada Museum of Art)
A café with a 100% natural spring-fed foot bath on the museum grounds (Illustration) (Image source: Okada Museum of Art)
Visitors can enjoy coffee, sweet red bean soup, and sweets, etc., while soaking in the 100% natural spring-fed foot bath in front of the mural of the wind and thunder gods. (Bath admission fee required *Museum visitors enter free of charge)
*Alkaline hot spring...Effective for relieving fatigue and promoting health.
Ride about 18 min. from Hakone Yumoto Station on the Hakone Tozan Bus (Route H), disembark at Kowaki-en bus stop, and walk for about 2 min.
(Museum) General and university students: ¥2,800, Elementary, junior high, and high school: ¥1,800, (Garden) Garden admission: ¥300 (Foot bath only) Admission: ¥500
*Museum visitors can enter the foot bath free of charge.
《Enjoying this art space at one with nature》
>>>Experience a full course of art, nature, and relaxation at the Okada Museum of Art!
《Another recommended café near the museum》
>>>See shop information here
This café has its own foot bath, and it is located near the exit from Miyanoshita Station on the Hakone Tozan Line. It was created by renovating the employee dormitory of Naraya, a Hakone hot spring inn of long standing that was in continuous operation for 300 years going back to the Edo period. The foot bath is filled directly from the spring source from the time when it was a hot spring inn, and it is always full of tourists from Japan and abroad. Enjoy pizza, sweets, and more while you soak in the foot bath.
〈Access〉15 min. from Okada Museum of Art to Hakone Tozan Line Kowakidani Station on foot, 5 min. to Miyanoshita Station, located near the exit
《After a day full of fun, relax at Gora Onsen》
>>>See Gora attractions here
Gora Onsen has springs of 5 different colors: clear, milky white, pale yellow, pale reddish brown, and pale green. Each has its own different effects and feel on skin, making this a leading hot spring spot even in Hakone, where all of the different types can be experienced in the same region.
Accommodations range from resort hotels surrounded by nature to pure Japanese-style hot spring inns with a focus on fine dining, and there are also places that allow day use bathing.
Gora Onsen (Illustration) (Image source: Hakone-Gora Tourism Organization)
〈Access to Gora〉Ride the Hakone Tozan train from Hakone Yumoto Station for about 40 min., and disembark at Gora Station.
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