JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 1 Japan
Back to Listing


Less than one hundred kilometres west of Tokyo, in the foothills of Mount Fuji, lies the sleepy town of Hakone, the perfect blissful escape from the bustle of the big city.

Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, a serene pocket of Japan, famous for its hot springs, traditional inns, world-class art museums, outstanding natural beauty and spectacular mountain scenery. Ashino-ko Lake lies at the centre of it all, the setting for the iconic image of Mount Fuji, crowning the vistas, with the red torii gate of the Shinto shrine, Hakone-jinja, rising from the glassy water in the foreground.

The area clearly lends itself to picture perfect scenery, and there are a variety of hiking trails around Hakone, by which one can discover some of its offbeat gems, or for those feeling more languid, capture the ‘shy’ mountain while enjoying the ride by mountain railway, cable car or even pirate ship. However, travellers mainly come here for the onsen – Hakone has been one of Japan’s most popular hot springs resorts for centuries, and bath houses and ryokans scatter themselves amongst the numerous hot springs all along the green forested valley and the shores of Lake Ashino-ko.

Hakone is also home to Japan’s first open-air museum. The sprawling Hakone Open Air Museum creates a harmonic balance between art and nature, breathing life and mountain air into the art. The impressive collection of Henry Moore, Picasso, Taro Okamoto, Yusuo Mizui, Rodin, Miró and other large-scale sculptures, are spread creatively across the undulating landscape of manicured lawns and intricate water features, all beautifully framed against the spectacular backdrop of the surrounding scenery. The Okada Museum of Art is the latest addition to Hakone’s notable artwork endorsements and was built to house industrialist Okada Kazuo's personal treasures from Japan, Korea and China. Both in scale and substance this incredible museum impresses, and much like the city's open-air museum, hours can be lost exploring the various works here.

Hakone is within two hours of Tokyo's Shinjuku Station on the Odakyū line, and is ideal for either a day trip from Tokyo or as an overnight stop to break up an itinerary.

Hakone Japan 2 Hakone Japan 2
Hakone, Japan (7).jpg Hakone, Japan (7).jpg
Hakone, Japan (8).JPG Hakone, Japan (8).JPG
Hakone Japan 5 Hakone Japan 5
Hakone Japan 9 Hakone Japan 9
Hakone Japan 3 Hakone Japan 3
Hakone Japan 10 Hakone Japan 10
Hakone Japan 11 Hakone Japan 11
Hakone Japan 1 Hakone Japan 1


When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller

We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India

From our Instagram

Wander the vibrant streets of #Mozambique like our client @adrianyekkes to join welcoming locals and experience its lively atmosphere
Beautiful portrait photography by @adrianyekkes 📸
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Travel to #Burma (#Myanmar) with us to be welcomed by  friendly locals like the ‘longneck’ Kayan (also known as Padaung) 🇲🇲
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Ampersand’s ‘Top 10 Swimming Pools’ hotlist - 2019 ✨
Check our #Stories to be tempted to dive into the hottest hotels’ new pools, as well as some of our firm old favourites across Asia... 🏊🏻‍♂️💧
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Treat yourself to a stay in #Amangalla - the stately grand dame of #GalleFort while in Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
Not only will you step into a bygone era here, but you’ll also have all the surrounding sights right on your doorstep 🏰
☀️ Hazy sunlight bathing the #TempleOfTheTooth in #Kandy 🇱🇰
Beautifully captured by @pradeep_gamage 📸
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Step into #SamodePalace to walk colourful mirror-tiled halls & pass beautiful mural-lined walls 🇮🇳
This heritage property located in the romantic Aravalli Hills is also home to a marble swimming pool - the perfect place to take a cooling dip in the Rajasthani sun ☀️
It’s all about razor-sharp Japanese design at the @ritzcarltonkyoto - our absolute favourite hotel in the Imperial capital #Kyoto 🌿🎌
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🇱🇰Explore #SriLanka’s coast to witness spectacular sunsets like these ✨
Travel down the #IrrawaddyRiver to #Mingun 🇲🇲
Admire the pristine pagoda modelled after the mythical Buddhist Mt Meru & keep an eye out for the local saffron-robed monks
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences