Hakone Photography Guide with the most epic photo locations
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Hakone Heiwa no Torii
Capturing Tranquility at Sunrise in Hakone
Best time: around sunrise, but sunrises are behind mountains
Photography Equipment: Wide angle lenses
Photo spot(s): directly at the Torii gate / small bridge for portraits
Entry fee: no fee
To reach this Hakone photo spot, start a photo journey to Heiwa no Torii, a wonderful gate at the water in Hakone, Japan, hidden away in the peaceful scenery. The photo spot is located directly beneath the shrine at the shore of Lake Ashi.
To avoid long lines at Heiwa no Torii, plan your visit for the hours around sunrise. The soft morning light casts a lovely glow on the torii gate and the area around it despite the nearby mountains blocking the sunrise. If you choose this time, you’ll have the place almost all to yourself, which will make for a more engaging photography experience.
For a good starting point for the entire area, make parking lot P3 your first pick if you want to save money on parking fees. P3 offers free parking throughout the day and is mostly available in the morning and afternoon.
Mount Fuji View Point
Capturing Sunset Backlight and Sunrise Glow of Mount Fuji
Best time: sunset for backlight / sunrise for light on Mt. Fuji
Photography Equipment: around 70mm recommended. You can use your tripod.
Photo spot(s): 35°11’59.5″N 139°01’54.8″E
Mount Fuji View Point is a hidden gem for photographers looking for the best place to catch Mount Fuji in Hakone. Finding the photo location is easy: just go to 35°11’59.5″N 139°01’54.8″E or follow this Google Maps link. The view from this spot is unbeatable, and your lens will be able to capture the beauty of Hakone Torii at the waterfront against the Mount Fuji background. Try out different compositions to show how the light and mood changes as the day goes on.
There aren’t any marked parking spots at the viewpoint. If you want to see the sunrise, you could drive up the hill and park on the street, but make sure not to block anyone or go onto private property. During other times of the day, you can park for free at lot P3 by the lake and take a 10-minute walk to the viewpoint. Watch out for the steep path if you are in a hurry.
Plan this photo spot in Hakone for the beautiful times of sunset and sunrise to see Hakone Shrine Viewpoint. Its most magical. Take pictures of the beautiful backlight at dusk. It has a dramatic aura that frames Mount Fuji as a silhouette against the evening sky. You could also enjoy the warm glow of the first light at sunrise, which gives Mount Fuji a golden hue and shows off all the fine details of the scenery.
For the best framing and accuracy, get a lens that is about 70mm. With this focal length, you can get a clear, detailed photo of Mount Fuji and the scenery around it. Remember to bring your tripod. It will keep your camera steady during long shots during low-light times like sunrise and sunset, making sure your pictures are clear and beautiful.
Symphony of Colorful Serenity
Best time: between one and two hours after sunrise
Photography Equipment: Drone
Photo spot(s): preferred spot not directly at the street
This Hakone photo location is located in the eastern area of Motohakone. This winding road leads to beautiful scenery that begs to be captured by a drone – especially during fall, when the surrounding trees are in full color. To get to this one-of-a-kind photo spot, you need a car. It’s more convenient, and it gives you the freedom to drive around and look at the beautiful twists and turns. One to two hours after sunrise is the best time to take a picture because the valley will be illuminated, but the sun will still be hidden behind the mountains. This ensures a lack of harsh contrast.
The best place to park is on the upper part of the winding road, which is easily located at 35°12’29.5″N 139°03’24.7″E. A great spot is in a small holding bay before the winding street starts. Be warned not to drive any further down the road, because you can’t turn around your car until you reach the valley.
Another option for photographers who like to take a hike is to park at the Amasake Tea House and start a 20-minute walk down.
The drone will give you an unique and interesting view of Hakone’s curvy roads, no matter which route you choose. It will add a new dimension to your photo journey in this beautiful Japanese paradise.
Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields
Nature's Palette Paints the Perfect Picture
Best time: afternoon in autumn, when grass turns yellow
Photography Equipment: I prefer here tele-lenses
Photo spot(s): no special photo spot
Entry fee: no fee
The Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields in Hakone are breathtakingly beautiful in the fall. This photo spot in Hakone is located northwest of Lake Ashi. When it comes to visiting, the peaceful autumn afternoons are the best as the fields are in the shadow from morning until noon. In the afternoon the grass is bathed in a warm golden light, making it a great photo opportunity.
For the best pictures at this photo spot, you might want to use tele-lenses to get all the features of the grass fields. By zooming in, you can compress the landscape, separate individual strands, and bring out the beautiful fall colors. The soft sunlight will make the scenery look magical, and you’ll be able to make pictures that make people feel warm.
For less money, park in the official city parking lot, which is only 8 minutes’ walk from the main road (coordinates: 35°15’51.7″N 139°00’07.4″E). There are more expensive parking lots along the main road, but this secret tip will keep your costs low. Grab your telephoto lens, check out the free city parking, and enjoy the beauty of Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields in the fall. It’s a photographer’s dream location, right in the middle of Hakone.
Capturing Serenity in Every Frame
Best time: great to spend time in between sunrise / sunset locations
Photography Equipment: full range of lenses work fine
Photo spot(s): at the temple / staircases / Dairokuten Torii Gate
Entry fee: no fee
The Hakone Shrine is a peaceful place for shooters to find inspiration and rest in the beautiful scenery of Hakone. This Hakone photo spot is always beautiful, which makes it a great place to take photos between sunrise and sunset. There is no fee to enter the grounds, so photographers can easily roam around and take pictures of the traditional Shinto architecture, the peaceful torii gates, and the overall peace and quiet of the shrine’s surroundings. Hakone Shrine is a beautiful place to take pictures, whether it’s early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the light is soft and warm.
Kamigawara Park at Sakura
Blossoms in the Breeze
Best time: morning during Sakura season
Photography Equipment: everything allowed
Photo spot(s): Main View from bridge / walk along river below cherry trees
Entry fee: no fee
Kamigawara Park in Hakone turns into a flower garden when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. During the cherry blossom season, this photo spot in Hakone looks like something out of a dream. However, because Kamigawara Park is so famous, the mornings are less crowded with people who have come to see this natural show. The cherry blossoms look magical as the sun comes up and paints the sky with dawn colours. They make a beautiful background for photography.
Pola Museum of Art
Every Stroke Tells a Story of Elegance and Grace
Best time: all day during opening hours
Photography Equipment: Wide lens
Photo spot(s): at the entrance and at the cafe. It is not allowed to take photos at the exhibitions
Entry fee: 1.800 yen + 500 yen for parking
The Pola Museum of Art in Hakone is set between the beautiful Sengokuhara Susuki Grass Fields and the charming town of Gora. It is a place to experience amazing works of art, modern architecture and beautiful nature.
The café stands out as a great place to take photos because of its wide windows enabling a view on an the red autumn scenary – which looks like a painting itself. It’s important to know, though, that photography isn’t allowed in the exhibition halls. For the price of 1,800 yen, you can see a lot of drawn art. Besides that, there is a 500-yen parking fee. Alternativly, a bus stop is directly in front of the museum.
If you like nature and want to do something different, check out the beautiful nature trail way right outside the building. There is no fee to walk along this beautiful trail, and it’s especially beautiful in the autumn when the maple trees paint the area with bright colours. For art lovers, the Pola Museum of Art is a great place to go, whether they’re interested in the works of art themselves or the natural beauty that surrounds them.