Japan // Around Tokyo //

Hakone-Yumoto

HAKONE-YUMOTO (箱根湯元), the small town nestling in the valley at the gateway to the national park, is marred by scores of concrete-block hotels and bessō, vacation villas for company workers – not to mention the usual cacophony of souvenir shops. It does, however, have some good onsen which are ideal for unwinding after a day’s sightseeing around the park. Up the hill from the station is the Kappa Tengoku Notemburo (かっぱ天国野天風呂), a small, traditional outdoor onsen, which can get crowded. More stylish is Tenzan Notemburo (天山野天風呂), a luxurious public onsen complex at Oku-Yumoto, 2km southwest of town.