Located within Hakone National Park with the mighty Mt Fuji as its backdrop, Lake Ashi, also known as Lake Ashinoko, is a scenic spot to take a boat ride and take in the lush mountain views. Considered sacred by the Japanese, Lake Ashi features the famous Hakone Shinto shrine, easily seen from the trails around the water frequented by nature lovers and avid walkers.
Many travelers opt to visit the lake on a day trip via bullet train from Tokyo, although coach tours and overnight options are also available from the city. Tours often combine a Lake Ashi boat cruise and a ride on the Komagatake Ropeway with a visit to Mt Fuji’s 5th Station. Families can take a lake cruise on the popular Hakone pirate ship replica.
Insider’s Tip: The best views of Lake Ashi with Mt Fuji in the background can be seen from Moto-Hakone (just south of the sightseeing boat pier) and from the Hakone Detached Palace Garden. Visibility tends to be better in the early mornings and late afternoons, especially during the colder winter months.