Attraction Hakone Gora Park, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan Published on: 26-02-2016
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Why Gora Park is special ?
Gora Park (強羅公園, Gōra Kōen) is a western style landscape park located on the steep slope above Gora Station. It is a relaxing place to unwind and enjoy the scenery and views of Hakone.
Opened in 1914, this park was Japan's first French-style garden with a design focused on factors such as symmetry and geometric shapes. Visitors can enjoy cherry blossoms, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and other plant life throughout the four seasons. The park's "craft house" offers hands-on activities such as pottery and glassblowing.
The park also has two greenhouses, one housing a tropical botanical garden while the other contains a flower garden. Additionally, there is a restaurant overlooking the main fountain, as well as the Hakuun-do Chaen teahouse.
What to explore at Gora Park?
Going through a little stone pathway, you can come across the Haku-undo Tea Garden, where one can experience a traditional japanese tea ceremony.
Gora Park Crafthouse is a hands-on crafthouse in the grounds of Gora Park. Here you can try glass blowing, sandblasting, pottery, dry-flower arranging etc. You can find a unique souvenir at the shop or take a look at the artists gallery which changes its exhibits every month. There is always something new here at the crafthouse.
At the Tea Room Pic, you can try a very special Mt Fuji cake and chat with your friend after visiting.
How to get to Gora Park?
From Gora Staion of the Hakone Tozan Line, walk for 5 minutes.
From the Kouen-shimo Station of the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, walk for 1 minute.・By car
From Tomei-Gotemba IC, toward Gora via Otome-touge and Sengokuhara for around 30 minutes.
From Odawara-nishi IC of the Odawara-Atsugi Road, toward Gora via Hakone-Yumoto and Miyanosita for 30 minutes.
- First French Style Garden in Japan
- A little oasis in the mountains
- Wonderful small park
- Fresh and stunning park
- A pleasant walk through scenic grounds
Hakone Gora Park, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Tips for you
Gora Park was the first attraction we visited upon setting foot in Hakone. It is only a few minutes walk from Gora station. Entry is free if you have the Hakone Free Pass. As we were carrying our overnight bags, we were thankful for lockers located near the entrance. The garden is very well manicured, and although we were a little late in the season, we managed to catch glimpses of autumn leaves. As the garden is situated on hilly terrain, the walking path can be a little undulating. The highlight should be the beautiful big round fountain in the centre of the garden. Next to the fountain is a tea house. As it is on higher ground, the view looking down from the fountain is simply lovely. A visit to the Crafthouse near the entrance is a must. You can learn to make little gifts from blow glass, pottery etc. Within the Crafthouse is a section selling souvenirs. The souvenirs are not the usual run-of-the-mill touristy types. They are interesting, unique and beautifully made - I bought a pair of blow-glass snowmen and lacquered jewelry boxes.
Magnificent park. Spectacular view of the mountain background in tranquil atmosphere. Rather small but worth a short visit for pics.