A beautiful hot spring town nestled on a hillside, Gora is one of the more newly developed areas of Hakone. It was nothing more than a barren wasteland filled with rocks until the beginning of the 1900s. The name Gora is said to come from these rocks, as they resemble tortoise shells, or “kora” in Japanese. However, with the discovery of a hot spring and the construction of a railway, Gora transformed into a famous hot spring town.
Gora is accessible from Tokyo via train. To get there, you can take the JR Tokaido Line from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station, which takes about 80 minutes on the local train. From Odawara Station, Gora Station is another hour away via the Hakone Tozan Railway. The journey to Gora is not only convenient but also scenic, as the train passes through picturesque landscapes and offers glimpses of Mount Fuji on clear days.
Once you arrive at Gora Station, you will find yourself at the final stop of the Hakone Tozan Railway. Gora is commonly considered the best of the area’s hot springs due to the variety of spring waters available. Each hot spring in Gora has different colors and effects, providing visitors with a unique bathing experience. The Hakone Gora Hot Spring offers five different kinds of hot springs to enjoy, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate in the healing waters.
However, Gora is not just about hot springs. One of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the area is Gora Park, which is located close to Gora Station. This French-style park is a hidden gem that features beautiful fountains, rose gardens, three greenhouses, and a teahouse. Visitors can take leisurely walks in the park, admiring the vibrant colors of the flowers and enjoying the tranquil atmosphere. Additionally, Gora Park has a craft house where visitors can try their hand at glass blowing and pottery, creating unique souvenirs to take home.
Gora offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Surrounded by lush greenery and mountains, the town provides a serene and peaceful environment for visitors to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The hot springs in Gora are not only known for their healing properties but also for their stunning views. Imagine soaking in a warm bath while gazing at the majestic mountains and feeling the cool breeze on your skin – it’s a truly magical experience.
Apart from hot springs and Gora Park, there are other attractions and activities to explore in the area. The Hakone Open-Air Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, featuring a vast collection of sculptures and artworks displayed in an open-air setting. The museum also has indoor galleries, a Picasso Pavilion, and a beautiful garden where visitors can relax and appreciate the art surrounded by nature.
For those interested in history and culture, the Hakone Sekisho Exhibition Hall provides insights into the Edo period and the role of the Hakone Checkpoint, which was a vital checkpoint on the Tokaido road during that time. The exhibition hall showcases historical artifacts and provides a glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to learn about the region’s rich heritage.
Nature lovers can explore the nearby Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, which is home to a diverse range of plant species, including rare and endangered plants. The garden offers walking trails and observation decks, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and learn about the importance of wetland ecosystems.
In addition to these attractions, Gora is also known for its traditional Japanese inns, or ryokans, where visitors can experience authentic Japanese hospitality and indulge in kaiseki meals. Staying at a ryokan is a unique cultural experience that allows guests to relax in tatami rooms, sleep on futons, and enjoy traditional hot spring baths.
Overall, Gora is a hidden gem in Hakone that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and relaxation. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat in nature, a rejuvenating hot spring experience, or a cultural immersion in traditional japan, Gora has something to offer everyone. Plan a visit to this beautiful hot spring town and discover the charm and tranquility that await you in Gora.
Address And Maps Location:
Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken