I often mention in my Japan travel blog that once you get out of the major cities in Japan, self-driving is really the best way to explore what Japan has to offer. One of my favourite regions to drive in Japan is around Hakone and Mount Fuji. If you have a rental car in Hakone, I recommend you take a drive up Ashinoko Skyline in the evening if the sky is clear.
Ashinoko Skyline is a privately owned toll road running parallel to Lake Ashinoko, hence its name. It is not very long, just about 10km long and had a toll fee of 620yen to access.
Along Ashinoko Skyline, you will find a resthouse with a large parking lot. From there, it is about 3 minutes walk to the ‘Panorama Viewpoint’.
Just follow the boardwalk to the top.
And you can enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Ashinoko!
And of course, you will also be able to see Mount Fuji on a clear day.
Shortly after passing the resthouse, there was an observation deck called Shakushitouge (杓子峠) with an amazing view of Mount Fuji. Shakushitouge marks the halfway point of Ashinoko Skyline and is at an elevation of 1030m.
There was another observation deck called Mikuni Pass but it was too dark by the time we reached there to get a good view. But you can check it out the view on Google Map Street View >HERE<.
We enjoyed the drive along Ashinoko Skyline despite the toll fee of 620yen. Hakone is an extremely popular tourist destination, but Ashinoko Skyline was very quiet and relatively undiscovered. If you have a rental car and would like to escape the tourist crowd when in Hakone, drive up to Ashinoko Skyline on a clear day and you will be well-rewarded!
Map code (what is this?): 50 478 674
Fee: 620yen – 2260yen per car, depending on size (click here for details)
Official Websites: Homepage
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Get off the beaten track in Japan
This post is part of my ‘Japan Off-the-Beaten Track‘ series, where I feature some of my favourite spots in Japan that are less commonly visited by tourists!
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