Hakone Gora Park

Japan's first French-style garden

Kim   - 2 min read

With a history dating back to 1914, Hakone Gora Park in Kanagawa is a fantastic destination to enjoy year-round floral beauty. Laying claim to being Japan's first French-style garden, the grounds are filled with an array of blooms in every season – there are cherry blossoms and azaleas during spring, hydrangeas in the summer, vibrant fall foliage during autumn, plus poinsettias and illuminations in winter.

Photo: Jinny / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Another floral highlight at the park is the rose garden, which blooms in both spring (late May to late June) and autumn (mid-October to early November). Over 1,000 roses in approximately 140 varieties are planted here, and the rose tunnel walkway is particularly scenic.

Along with all of the flora to enjoy, the park offers a range of different hands-on activities for visitors to get involved with. There are classes held for ceramics, glass blowing, sandblasting, and more, plus an on-site tea house to experience an authentic Japanese tea ceremony (an additional fee of ¥ 700 applies). For those who work up an appetite exploring the park grounds, there is also a café and restaurant on-site – the Gora Park curry is the most popular dish on the menu, and is made using a variety of locally-sourced ingredients. If you're more of a sweet tooth, try the rose-flavored soft cream.

Admission to the park is priced at ¥ 550 for adults. Elementary-aged students and below receive free entry.

Getting there

Hakone Gora Park is located just a minute on foot from Kōen-Shimo Station on the Hakone Tozan Cable Car Line, or around five minutes on foot from Gora Station, which is served by the Hakone Tozan Line and the Hakone Tozan Cable Car.

For those who opt to drive, the park is around 30 minutes from the Tomei Expressway's Gotemba IC. On-site parking is available and is charged at a rate of ¥ 300 per hour.

Kim

Kim @kim.b

Perma-expat, fan of gardens, flowers, teahouses, cute food, road trips, and writing lists. 📝