The Best Time to Visit Hakone
Hakone is the most popular spot in Japan for hot springs and locations with views of Mount Fuji. You can get a feel of the countryside as Hakone is around 90 minutes from Tokyo by train. Hakone provides a variety of scenic views that change year-round, season by season. Being aware of the climate in Hakone can help you decide when you may want to plan your trip to visit. Because Hakone is on a mountain, the temperatures can vary depending on the altitude of your location.
Springtime comes around late March when the cherry blossoms of the mountains start to bloom. The cherry blossoms take about a month to fully bloom in the surrounding mountains of Hakone. During March, the daytime temperatures tend to be lower, transitioning from winter. In April, the temperatures begin to warm up, but the weather from night and day can still vary. As time progresses, the temperatures continue to rise, but not as much as Tokyo. The temperature from March through May can reach between the range of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). Rain can be common, so be sure to check ahead of time what the weather will be like to pack accordingly. Based on the weather, it may be a time to avoid visiting Hakone as most of the time is spent outdoors or consider visiting late spring.
At the beginning of the summer of mid-June, the hydrangeas start to bloom depending on the altitude. But, visitors can enjoy the colorful view from mid-June to late July. The temperatures continue to rise from spring, as it may still be chilly in the morning and evenings. It may rain a few times during the summer, so be prepared in the case during the period of your stay it starts raining. The average temperature in July is around 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) and is also humid, which is around the same in Tokyo during May. In the higher altitude areas of Hakone, the ultraviolet rays may be stronger, so it is recommended to wear proper sunscreen and clothing. In August is when summer festivals pick up, during the hottest season of the year. Depending on the day it can reach 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), but temperatures can drop during the night and in the mornings.
As the summer ends, the cool breezes start coming across the Hakone mountains. Hakone during the fall is claimed to have the best fall color in Japan. As of late summer, the temperatures may still be high during the daytime in September, the mornings and evenings can still be chilly. The temperatures can differ depending on the altitude, so dressing in layers is recommended as you can take off or put on your clothes as needed. As fall progresses in October, the temperatures can drop to about 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), and with the humidity and wind, it can get chilly but also feel nice. During October it is the season of susuki, or pampas grass, which is a special feature of Hakone that turns into a silvery gold color during this time. It is also known to have the most rainfall during the year which can make temperatures feel even colder during this time. Late October to late November is when the colorful autumn leaves are seen beautifully. As the winter season is around the corner, the temperatures can drop as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). Please be sure to dress accordingly to the weather, as a heavy jacket may be needed.
Wintertime in Hakone is covered with snow which is the perfect time for hot springs and to get a glimpse of Mount Fuji decorated in snow. The weather is clear and crisp, making it enjoyable if you enjoy the cold weather. If cold weather is not for you, then it's not the best time to visit Hakone. It is important to make sure to dress accordingly against the cold winter weather. January is the coldest month with average temperatures of 33 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius), dropping to 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 degrees Celsius). The roads and grounds tend to freeze, so be careful of your footing, and be extra cautious when driving.