Hakone is a great place for hiking as it offers many different and interesting options. Mt Ashigara is the northernmost peak of the area. It is also the closest peak to Mt Fuji. The summit is located at the border between Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures.
Starting from Kintoki Shrine, located north of Hakone, the hike begin in a beautiful forest to reach Ashigara pass on the ridge. The climb is steep but very practicable. Once on the ridge, the view opens up to Hakone Valley to your left and Odawara Valley to the right. Tall grass has replaced the trees. The vegetation is magnificent, especially in autumn. The hike continues on this ridge to the summit, located at 1212m altitude. It takes from 1h30 to 2h to reach Mt Ashigara. The panoramic view at the top is breathtaking. The whole valley is revealed from up there !
There is even a small restaurant at the top where you can eat good comforting Japanese food. Everytime I hiked in Japan, the Japanese were eating instant ramen once at the top, it seems to be a thing here ! Then, you can either take the same way down, or keep walking on the ridge that surrounds Hakone.
From Kintoki Shrine, it takes from 1h30 to 2h to reach Mt Ashigara