Hakone Ropeway 箱根ロープウェー
Take to the Skies
You can find the best vantage point to observe Mount Fuji from the crater of Hakone, taking one of Hakone Ropeways to the top.
Two funitels or cable cars are in service on the slopes of Mount Hakone, each with its specific interests and above all a great view of Mount Fuji.
The cable car from Lake Ashi Owakudani
Directly linked by ferry cruises on Lake Ashi, the Owakudani funitel offers the best view of Mount Fuji. It is via this ropeway that the Owakudani hot springs fed by volcanism can be accessed.
In 2015 volcanism resulted in the closure of the ropeway along its entire length for safety reasons. The dreaded eruption has not occurred since, and the risk level declined steadily to the point where the ropeway was partially reopened.
We still can not access Owakudani and everyone will need to get of at Ubako station to take the bus to Sounzan. You will then still have opportunity to do the usual Hakone circuit: see Mount Fuji and smell the sulfur of the sources.
The Hakone-Komagatake ropeway
There is however an alternative solution less known. A second older cable car provides access to the summit of Mount Komagatake, an old fireplace in the Hakone volcano, from the shores of Lake Ashi.
After driving two kilometers you will reach a windy summit where you will find an isolated Shinto shrine, which was the original location of Hakone-Jinja Shrine.
Owakudani fumaroles are visible from this view, as well as Mount Fuji. From here you can also admire Lake Ashi in its entirety.
Plus: Mount Komagatake is covered with a short vegetation medium mountain which gives it the appearance of a real park.
If you're up for the walk, it is only 2 short kilometers between the ropeway and the present Hakone Jinja. Alternatively, buses are also an option.
Whether for the photo opportunity, nature, a breath of fresh air, or simply for the beauty of the site, Hakone's ropeways remain one of the key activities around Mount Fuji.