Take to the Skies to Admire a Scenic View of Lake Hashi, Fujisan and the Izu Peninsula
Starting from the shore of lake Hashi, take the Hakone Komagatake Ropeway to reach the summit of Mount Hakone. This might be the most impressive panoramic view I have seen in Japan. At an altitude of 1438m, the view is breathtaking, and the star of course is Fujisan !
As you stand on top of the highest point of Hakone, you can get a good view of the area, including lake Hashi and the two pirate boats that crosses it. Further on is the Izu Peninsula, the Tokyo bay, the Sugura Bay (next to Shizuoka) and the south of the Japanese Alps.
I went there for the first time in Autumn, so I could enjoy an early sunset at take the last cab down to the lake. The area, covered with autumn colors and the golden sky was magical. But beware, it’s freezing up there !
There is an hiking trail that leads to the summit that I would have liked to take but, both times I went there, it was closed due to the gas emanating from the volcanic activity.
How to access the ropeway ? I would recommend to hike along the shore, from either side of the lake. Otherwise you can take a bus from the companies Odakyu Highway Bus and Izuhakone Bus.
The ropeway is open everyday from 9:00 to 16:50 for 1600 yen (round trip). You can get discount with the Hakone Free pass (10%).
At the top of Mount Hakone is located the original place of the Hakone Shrine, called Hakone Shrine Mototsumiya. Nowadays, the main shrine is located down by the shore of lake Hashi. It’s an impressive shinto complex, especially known for it’s Torii in the water, that is worth visiting !
The original place on top of the mountain was erected in 757 and was relocated in 1667. Up there, the shrine is really small but as impressive, as it looks like a shrine lost in the sky as you can see on the first picture. You can feel like you are in a sacred place, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the Ghibli univers as there is always a strong link with nature !