Hakone is located inside the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, just less than 100 kilometers or a couple of hours south from Tokyo. The area is well-known for hot springs, natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji. A popular destination among local Japanese and international tourists alike, its perfect for a day trip for people looking for a break from Tokyo.
Tamura Ginkatsutei is a traditional style pork katsu (crispy battered pork) specialist in Hakone. Located just a mere 100m from Gora station its one of the most convenient restaurants to drop by on your travels around Hakone.
They specialise in katsu but have many variations on the menu with the most popular being the Tofu Katsu in a special broth. Served in dish with a flame underneath you watch it bubble and cook right in front of you! If you want to try something a little different, the katsu sandwich is delish!
1300-739 Gora, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
With a name like Panomimi (literally "the bread's crust) you know you're for something a little quirky. With first glance of the restaurant it's kind of hard to tell what kind of scrumptious treats inside... but do not be a strayed. This place is pack with let me say, cheesy goodness! It's located a short 8 min walk from the station across the river. If you're feeling lazy just grab a taxi which will cost less than 800 yen for one-way fare.
If you're like me and eat with your eyes then you've come to the right place. Order the Pannomimi Gratin - trust me, you'll have no regrets! I think you'll thank me later!
What else is there to say... YUM!
170 Miyagino, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Also located across the river and about a 10 min walk is Yamahikozushi. Don't be deterred by the distance though, lunch here is seriously cheap for the quality of sushi you get! Dinner gets a little more pricey so if you want some sashimi or sushi then hit this place for lunch with the average fare around 1000 yen per person.
Try one of the Kaisen-don (Fresh seasfood sashimi rice bowls) or a nigiri sushi plate. Either way you'll walk away a happy chap! They quality of seafood here is something special and so is the presentation. Makes sure to try uni (sea urchin), its delicious!
635-1 Miyagino, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun. Kanagawa-ken
Popular with visitors to Hakone is the Gyoza Center. Located about a 5-6 min walk south of Gora station is a restaurant that, you guessed it, specialises in gyoza! Pan-fried to perfectioin, the gyoza here go smashingly well with a big bowl of shoyu ramen (ramen with soy sauce broth). The servings are reasonable and prices are fair dinkum too!
The shopfront and interior is quite fitting for the Hakone, using natural wood as one of the main features in the restaurant. Whatever you end up on deciding on, maybe wash everything down with a special edition Hakone Sapporo beer. Pretty hard to resist on a hot summers day!
1300 Gora, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken
Last but not least is Kirakusou, a traditional and long running soba restaurant serving up daily hand-made soba noodles! Kirakusou is very close to the station which definitely adds to its popularity for the lunch-time crowd. Don't wait til the last minute get here though if your keen on getting your soba fix, they close up shop when they sell out of noodles!
One thing to note is that the noodles are extremely fresh compare other soba restaurants you may have been to, as they make they each day. Expect soft but firm beautiful long soba noodles to slurp your heart out!
A big positive about Kirakusou is the fresh wasabi that you get with the soba. You get to grate it fresh at the table and add to your cold tsuyu broth. Unlike most of the wasabi that you find elsewhere, fresh wasabi is much more mild if spice levels, but with a bold flavour! Enjoy!
1300-10 Gora, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken