A short post of pictures from my weekend running in beautiful Hakone.
With a last minute decision made to join a friend for a weekend in Hakone, I was happy to have discovered a very pleasant half marathon distance run half way around Lake Ashi . The run includes a reasonably steep climb at the halfway point and takes you to a peak of the Hakone Skyline which rewards you with magnificent views of the lake and surrounding mountains. I also rediscovered the sheer bliss of a soothing hot spring Onsen for post run recovery and relaxation!
If you are looking for an energizing weekend away from the buzz of Tokyo city, then I highly recommend Hakone as a destination for you to run free among the trails of the mountainside, to enjoy the cool country air, the relaxation of the hot spring Onsen baths and the to take in the spectacular countryside views.
Tips on Hakone
- Hakone is a short 1hr trip on the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station or around 2hrs by regular rail on the Odakyu line
- Consider staying in a Ryokan as I have done previously, many of which have their own private Onsen and not to mention the warm local hospitality provided
- Stay a night or two and improve your chances to catch views of Mt.Fuji. Sadly this trip I did not as it was covered by clouds the whole time.
Tips for Onsen
- When taking Onsen be sure to scrub yourself silly using the soap and showers provided before hopping into the hot tubs, it’s an important part of the culture to be pristinely clean
- While they are separated male and female, be prepared for full nudity as swimming wear is not generally acceptable in the Onsen and the little towel provided doesn’t offer you much to cover up with!
- You may be asked to cover up tattoos if using a public Onsen
- Enjoy! Nothing beat’s hot Onsen for recovery after a long cool run in the mountains.
Tips for running in Hakone
- I will be researching and returning to Hakone for more running, so this will become a separate post sometime in the future
- Take a running backpack with hydration capacity for longer runs as you might want to head off the beaten path and need your own supply of hydration & food
- Ensure you check the weather forecast and take warm gear as the mountains can get cold and change quickly despite the sun being out
- It gets dark quickly, plan your timing and ensure you are safely done before night falls
Hakone, in Japan’s Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park west of Tokyo, is a mountainous region known for hot springs resorts and Mt. Fuji views. It also encompasses Hakone Jinja, a Shinto shrine with a red “torii” gate; Lake Ashi, which can be toured by boat; and the boiling sulphur springs of Owakudani valley, seen from the Hakone Ropeway cable car.