Mount View Hakone Review: Traditional Ryokan Experience in Japan

If you are visiting Japan and looking for an authentic Japanese experience, then we would strongly recommend staying at a ryokan. For those that don’t know a ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn.

As part of our trip around Japan, we visited Hakone – a popular hot spring (or onsen in Japanese) destination in Japan, known for its scenic views of Mount Fuji and traditional Japanese inns called ryokans.

We stood at Mount View Hakone and share with you our experience. The hotel is a hot spring ryokan where you can enjoy a milky-white nigori-yu open-air bath.

Each room is decorated in the traditional Japanese ryokan style with tatami mats, and the meals are all prepared using seasonal ingredients.

The customer service was great and all staff members were friendly and polite. Find out why you should stay at Mount View Hakone and how to enjoy your visit.

Why We Chose Mount View Hakone

We searched a lot for the perfect ryokan in Japan to fit our requirements and budget. The most important factors were the hot springs (onsen) and a good quality kaiseki dinner.

In terms of accommodation, we would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator to get the best rates. We booked very early on through Agoda and closer to the time noticed that the price on Booking.com was significantly lower, so we cancelled the first booking and made a new one.

Searching for the best ryokan in Hakone wasn’t easy, here are some of the reasons why we chose Mount View Hakone:

  • Public and private onsen with rare volcanic hot spring water (called Nigori-yu)
  • Half board (HB) option serving traditional kaiseki dinner
  • Traditional Japanese rooms with tatami mats and futon beds
  • Very good reviews on Booking.com and on TripAdvisor
  • Fit our budget
  • Good transport links to the hotel

Overall, we had a great experience and would certainly recommend the hotel, especially if you are searching for accommodation in Hakone. To see why, read more about the hotel and our experience below.

Location and How to Get to Mount View Hakone

Mount View Hakone is located in Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, about 2 hours away from Tokyo. The hotel is easily accessible by car and there is a bus stop in front of the hotel from where you can get buses to Odawara and Yumoto, including highway bus to Shinjuku.

If you are exploring Hakone (as you should be), the hotel is a 15-minute walk from the Venetian Glass Museum and a 15-minute drive from Hakone Open Air Museum.

We traveled from Tokyo to Odawara station by train, explored Hakone and then made our way to the hotel by bus. In the morning, after breakfast, we checked out and made our way to Odawara station (by bus) and from there took the shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto.

Around Japan, we travelled by train using the JR Pass and around Hakone we used the Hakone Freepass which includes unlimited rides to 8 transportation systems in the Hakone area.

Address: 885 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan

Reception and Lobby

The check-in experience was great! We were greeted by the receptionist who provided a great customer service and explained all we needed to know about our stay, especially as this was our first time stayin in a ryokan.

During check-in, we were also asked to choose our preferred time for dinner and a time for breakfast. We were also given the option to book a private onsen (which we did).

All staff members spoke good English and it was easy to understand each other.

The lobby area is spacious and with very comfortable chairs. Whilst waiting for our Hakone private onsen booking, we enjoyed some chill time at the lobby.

We were impressed by the spacious and cosy area available to hotel guests to use including secluded rooms with sofas and table, dining tables, kitchen area with microwaves etc. If you book a room but don’t really want to stay in the room, you can certainly use this space as well.

Room Overview

The hotel offers different types of rooms to suit the needs of their guests. There are Japanese-style rooms with tatami floors and shared bathrooms and Japanese/Western-style ones with en-suite bathroom. You can choose a room to suit your preferences.

We stood at the Fuyo room which is one of the more spacious rooms of the hotel. The room was super large (especially in comparison to the other hotel rooms in Japan) and had a separate bedroom and spacious living room.

The room had a nice en-suite bathroom which we didn’t use as we used the onsen and the shower facilities there.

As you enter the room, you leave your shoes by the door. Generally you would leave your shoes in the room and would use the provided slippers around the ryokan.

The hallway was a good size with a bench and storage space for your luggage. Next to it, we had a fridge, kettle and a beautiful Japanese tea set.

Overall, we had a very comfortable stay. The accommodation was nice, clean and bright.

Bedroom

The bedroom included two large futon beds and plenty of storage space by the side. We also had a TV, air conditioner and humidifier.

It was our first time sleeping on futon beds and they were more comfortable than expected but not as comfortable as the mattress beds we are used to. There wasn’t much furniture in the bedroom and in general we noticed that Japanese interior is rather minimalistic.

Living room

The living room was exactly as expected – tatami floor, low table and chairs and neutral minimalist décor. The tatami floor is both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to walk, sit, or lay on.

In contrast with hotel rooms, the rooms at traditional ryokans typically lack much of the furniture we’re used to, apart from a low central table with zaisu (legless chairs).

We enjoyed some quality time sitting low on the floor and sipping green tea from the beautiful Japanese tea set. I will be honest, this totally completed our experience in the ryokan at the end of the night.

What we didn’t expect was a massage chair. The massage chair felt a bit out of place but I personally spent over 30 minutes at the end of the day enjoying the full body massage and relaxing. You would usually pay to use a chair like this so having it in the livingroom was a nice touch.

There was plenty of storage space in the living room too, with additional futons and cushions provided. Easily the Fuyo room can accommodate more people as the living room can double as additional sleeping area.

The living room also offered a TV and a safe box as well as a dressing table with mirror. In the wardrobe, additional yukata (a casual version of the kimono) and two yukata coats were provided.

We really liked the baskets with towels, Japanese socks and amenity kits for the onsen including a small towel. In fact, we used the baskets to go to the onsen but also to carry personal belongings around the ryokan.

Bathroom

By the bedroom, we had a sink with a full size mirror, toiletries and a hairdryer. Two sizes of yukata were also available – they were nicely folded and presented.

I was really impressed by the toiletries and amenities that were provided – hair brushes, hair bands, razors, facial and body cosmetics, cotton pads, toothbrush and toothpaste kits etc.

In general, a selection of these are provided at Japanese hotels but are often placed at the reception area, so you can pick and choose what you need.

The bathroom was great too with a specious bath and a washing area with a mirror, stool and a shower head. As we used the onsens and the shower facilities there, we actually didn’t use the bathroom in the room but were impressed by the size of it.

Next to the bathroom, there was another little hallway where more towels were provided.

The toilet was separate from the bathroom. It was at the end of the hallway and as expected, it was a smart toilet. Additional slippers were provided for the toilet. Next to the toilet, we had another sink with a mirror.

Side note … we absolutely loved the Japanese smart toilets with heated seats, shower, bidet, dryer and all the extra functionalities. They are brilliant!

Food and Drinks

The food at the ryokan was a real highlight of our stay and we absolutely loved the experience. We were served a kaiseki dinner and also had a kaiseki-style breakfast.

A kaiseki dinner in a ryokan is a traditional multi-course Japanese meal that emphasises seasonality, presentation, and craftsmanship. Kaiseki is typically served in a private dining room within the ryokan or in a communal dining area, which is what we had.

Dining area

Breakfast and dinner are served in the communal dining area. The tables are separated with partition walls which creates a more private dining experience.

When you enter the restaurant, you need to leave your shoes at the entrance. You are then welcomed by one of the friendly staff members who would take you to your table.

Dinner at a Ryokan

Before our stay, we did some research on what a kaiseki dinner is and what we should expect. We were truly impressed by the presentation and the taste of the food, which was a real delight.

Kaiseki meals consist of multiple courses, often ranging from 8 to 12 or more, each highlighting different cooking techniques and seasonal ingredients reflecting the changing flavours and colours throughout the year.

As an aperitif, we had plum wine which was really nice. Alcohol is usually not included so if you want to order wine, beer, sake or something else, this is charged extra.

Appetisers consisted of things like cauliflower mousse, salmon roe, surf clam salad, octopus, pollack roe salad. We also had shrimp sushi, apple and sweet potato pie, roasted chestnuts, pumpkin castella and smoked duck.

Some of the other courses included a sashimi plate, beef stew and delicious mix of tempura – shrimp, sweet potato, eggplant and green chili.

The steamed dish was delicious and beautifully presented. It consisted of pork, muzina greens, green onions, mushrooms, pumpkin and broccoli.

When we sat down for dinner, our server turned the heat on so the dish can cook over the next 10-15 minutes whilst we were enjoying the other courses.

Rice, miso soup and some pickles were served as standard and you could ask for more rice with the press of a button.

For dessert we had a custard pudding. Water and green tea were available as well.

As you can see from the photos, presentation is a crucial aspect of kaiseki. Dishes are arranged to enhance visual appeal, often reflecting the season or a theme. Traditional utensils like lacquerware, ceramics, and bamboo are commonly used, adding to the aesthetic experience.

The service was also great and in general in Japan we experienced great customer service in most places. Our server was attentive, took time to explain each dish and was very polite.

We were given enough privacy but also had a buzzer at the table to call the server if we needed anything.

Kaiseki dining is a leisurely experience, meant to be savoured and enjoyed. Take your time and appreciate each course.

When experiencing a kaiseki dinner, be open to trying new flavours and appreciate the attention to detail in both preparation and presentation. It’s a unique and immersive way to explore Japanese culinary traditions and we truly enjoyed this experience.

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Breakfast at a Ryokan

I will be honest, I was worried about breakfast. Based on my research, the breakfast was very different to what I am used to eating in the morning and I thought I might leave hungry. This was not the case!

Similar to the dinner service, breakfast was beautifully presented and had a variety of meals to choose from. Not all of them were to my liking but I absolutely loved the crab soup with locally sourced crab.

A selection of courses including ham, salad, different greens, salmon, rice were available and some other goodies that I don’t even know their names.

Dessert was a coffee jelly. Water, tea and coffee were available as well.

Once again, the service was really good and we were looked after by the team members.

Onsen (hot spring) at Mount View Hakone

Visiting an onsen (hot spring) in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) is a unique and culturally rich experience and we both enjoyed it a lot! To make the most of your onsen experience and adhere to cultural norms, it’s essential to be aware of specific rules and etiquette.

Public Onsen

Mount View Hakone has milky-white nigori-yu hot springs. There are separate open-air baths for men and women, and private onsen. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the onsens were open 24 hours a day, so you can enjoy a relaxing bath in a hot spring anytime.

Before entering the hot spring, you must wash and rinse your body thoroughly. There are showers and stools equipped with handheld showers for this purpose as well as changing rooms with lockers.

It’s important to know that you must not wear bathing suits or any clothing in the onsen. It’s customary to enter the hot spring completely nude.

You may wear a small towel to cover yourself while walking to the bathing area, but this towel should not be brought into the water.

Visiting a Japanese hot spring is therapeutic, relaxing, and culturally fascinating, although it can be a little confusing the first time.

Private Onsen

Paul and I used the public onsen but we also wanted to use a private one in the ryokan and share this unique experience. If you are looking for a Hakone ryokan with private onsen, then Mount View Hakone could be a good choice.

The hotel offers a choice of three private onsens which are bookable for 45 minutes on a first come first served basis on the day of check-in. These are paid with prices ranging from 2000 to 3000 yen.

We wanted to book the Kaguya onsen (the largest) but the only available slot was after midnight which was too late for us. Instead, we booked the Kingyo onsen which has two separate baths with a view towards the bamboo garden.

The third private onsen (the cheapest) is Medaka which also has two separate baths but smaller ones than what we booked.

The private onsen has a small changing room (enough for two people) and a shower which is outside where the onsen is.

Although you don’t need to book a private onsen experience, it offers a great experience to share with your other half. If this is important for you, we suggest booking a ryokan with private onsen facilities.

Hotel Amenities and Services

In addition to the above-mentioned facilities, the hotel offers a range of amenities and services. Parking is free of charge, so if you are coming by car, this is great perk.

There is also a souvenir shop on site with a wide range of souvenirs you will only find in Hakone, including Japanese-style accessories. You can even purchase the same yukata that the ryokan offers.

In the lobby area, you will also find vending machines with plenty of drinks and ice-cream to choose from. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

As with most Japanese hotels, you can leave your luggage before you check in or after you check out at the hotel. Card payments are also accepted but there is a minimum spend, so make sure you have cash on you as well.

Final Thoughts

Overall we really enjoyed our stay here and felt welcomed by staff members. We wished we could stay longer as the hotel was indeed what we were looking for and even exceeded our expectations.

We believe Mount View Hakone is an excellent option for anyone looking to stay in a Hakone ryokan and live this experience. Its scenic location, excellent food, great customer service and comfortable rooms make it a great contender for your next trip to Hakone and Japan as a whole.

In all fairness, the hotel felt a bit tired but we expected this for 3-star establishment. Having said that, we were truly impressed by the Japanese hot spring (onsen) and the traditional ryokan food experience at this Hakone ryokan.

If you are looking for one of the best ryokans in Japan, Mount View Hakone certainly is a great contender for your next trip.

Check Prices: Mount View Hakone

Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:


  • Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as Booking.com or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.

  • Transport – consider Rentalcars.com for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.

  • Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide, Klook or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.

  • Travel money – we have Starling Bank accounts (UK residents only) with 0% fees on FX and a good Mastercard exchange rate. Revolut is another good option.

  • Internet abroad – with Airalo or Nomad you can access a wide range of eSIMs (digital SIM cards) available for different countries and regions.

  • Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.

As an Amazon Associate and member of various other affiliate programmes, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to our blog by adding your email address below. You’ll be the first to hear about new destinations and articles we publish!

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. Read our full Privacy Policy.

Are you interested in travelling? Check out our Facebook page and other social media for regular tips and recommendations on how to travel and where to go!

Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:


  • Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as Booking.com or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.

  • Transport – consider Rentalcars.com for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.

  • Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide, Klook or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.

  • Travel money – we have Starling Bank accounts (UK residents only) with 0% fees on FX and a good Mastercard exchange rate. Revolut is another good option.

  • Internet abroad – with Airalo or Nomad you can access a wide range of eSIMs (digital SIM cards) available for different countries and regions.

  • Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.

As an Amazon Associate and member of various other affiliate programmes, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to our blog by adding your email address below. You’ll be the first to hear about new destinations and articles we publish!

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. Read our full Privacy Policy.

Are you interested in travelling? Check out our Facebook page and other social media for regular tips and recommendations on how to travel and where to go!

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