Explore Hakone
Explore Hakone
5
Cultural ToursHistorical & Heritage ToursWalking ToursHiking & Camping ToursPrivate Tours
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Explore Hakone specializes in 100% customized private tours. You can visit many places in just one day with a licensed local guide. Reservations are required for all tours.
Hakone-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

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Tours and Tickets by Explore Hakone
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
114 reviews
Excellent
112
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Nic1998
Strongsville, OH46 contributions
Jun 2023 • Family
Hands down, my teenagers agree that Shin is the best tour guide we’ve ever had. He’s a great storyteller. I can’t believe how much we crammed into one day…but at the same time we never felt rushed! Highly recommend. Will most certainly be a highlight of our trip.
Written June 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting my hometown and having me as your guide. It was a great opportunity for me to meet all your lovely family members and spend a day in the area. We were lucky to have lunch at the restaurant! I hope you've spent exciting days in other areas as well. Please send my regards to everyone. I'm very much looking forward to serving you again!
Written July 2, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lois
1 contribution
We spent an excellent day in Hakone with Shin as our guide. It was a great experience and our kids (aged 13 and 9) loved it. They talk about it as one of the highlights of our trip.

Shin’s English is fluent and his communication when planning our day was excellent. We tailored an itinerary that included some of the main tourist sites around Hakone as well as some of Shin’s favourite hidden gems. It made for a varied, informative and enjoyable day capped off with a visit to a beautiful onsen hot spring.

Shin grew up in the area so for us to see these sites with the benefit of his knowledge and insight was a privilege. He was great company and has seen a lot of the world, having lived in Europe and The US. He has his own kids and was very relaxed and engaging with ours.

We were lucky to enjoy beautiful weather with views of Mount Fuji from the cable car ride in the morning. We ate eggs boiled in volcanic vents (said to extend your life by 7 years!), took a trip on the famous Lake Ashi galleons and more.

Shin met us at the hotel and we travelled the short distances between sites on the local buses, which worked fine. Not having to work out any timetables, transfers etc ourselves made it so much more relaxing.

We came with a fair bit of knowledge about Japan but still learned a huge amount from Shin about the historic locations and the way people lived there over the different periods of Japanese history.

We would highly recommend spending a day in Hakone with Shin: we’ll be treasuring the memories. Thank you!
Written May 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Lois, thank you so much for visiting my hometown on the other day and having me as your guide. It was really nice meeting all of your lovely family. I am so happy to hear that your kids liked the tour and I enjoyed the day as much as you did! As a local guide, I want to show not only our beautiful nature but also history, culture and people within. Thank you very much again for visiting Japan and Hakone for your family trip and I'm looking forward to serving you again. Please send my regards to everyone :)
Written May 11, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

olivier f
16 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
beautiful and perfect experience, fare away from other tourists.
Shine and his time are looking for each details... and good local food wich is a must.
Written April 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for using our service for 2 days both in Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone. It was really nice meeting both of you after a couple of years because of COVID. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip to Japan. As we discussed, there are still many good places so I'm very much looking forward to serving you again! I can't wait to visit Switzerland again soon too :)
Written May 11, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kc6789
Houston, TX89 contributions
Jan 2023
Shin was an excellent guide, very knowledgeable about the attractions and their history and had lots of interesting side stories to tell. He grew up and still lives in one of the small villages in Hakone. He speaks excellent English since he went to a college in the US. We booked a full day tour and chartered a taxi for the day - highly recommended especially if you are trying to see all the major sights in one day. Excellent communication before the trip and easy payment via credit card through PayPal.
Written January 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting my hometown and having me as your guide. It was a really cold and windy day but it was worth it because we saw such a beautiful Mt.Fuji from the top of Mt. Komagatake! I'm also glad to hear that you enjoyed the hot spring at your hotel. Please come back to Japan soon and I'm looking forward to serving you again. Please send my regards to your son and daughter.
Written January 11, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BetsyGtx
Houston, TX9 contributions
Dec 2022
AMAZING! There is no recommendation big enough to show my gratitude and satisfaction with Shin Kaneko. I was giving his contact information from a friend who used him when their family traveled in Japan, and they insisted that we had to contact him. I did and he could not have been easier to communicate with including prompt and helpful responses, very detailed information, and a warmth that made me know he would be wonderful in person. Unfortunately, when covid hit and Japan closed it's borders, we had to postpone our trip for over two and a half years. During that time, Shin continued to answer my questions and help however he could as we cancelled and reschedule. He was truly wonderful and so helpful with his responsiveness. And, after all that time in limbo, we finally ended up in Hakone and absolutely loved our day with Shin. He was wonderful with my kids as a father himself. He was wonderful in putting together an perfect itinerary based on our interests and really helped us slow down and reconnect with nature after so many days in Tokyo. Everywhere we went, he knew people and had friends because he is a local and takes so much pride in his hometown and preserving the culture and history is has to offer. He provided tons of stories and history, introduced us to some remarkable people, showed us some local spots we could have never ever found ourselves that allowed us to gain an understanding of a different side of Japan we absolutely loved. Our time in Hakone was lovely because of Shin, and we hope that other people have the opportunity we did as a family to really have a wonderful time. Shin is also licensed as a mountain guide and would make for the perfect person to guide an outdoor adventure too. I high recommend him!
Written January 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you sooooo much for posting such a great review! I can't thank you enough for that. Almost 100% of my guests have read reviews before booking a tour and honest reviews like yours really help my business as well as our future guests. Well, thank you so much again for remembering Japan and Hakone for almost 3 years with COVID. I was very honored to host you and your lovely family. You are welcome back and I'm very much looking forward to serving you again. Please send my warmest regards to your family too!
Written January 11, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Susanne S
1 contribution
Dec 2022
Amazing three days! I`ve been living in Japan for about twenty years now and visited Hakone countless times. But Shin`s tour really changed my perception of Hakone. For many years Hakone was just a beautiful and convenient day trip destination for a nice hike and a relaxing Onsen bath. Walking along the old Tokaido and the old road that once connected Hakone with Kamakura Shin explained very vividly how, why and who has travelled these routes centuries ago. What I liked most about Shin`s stories was that I could imagine how these ancient travelors must have felt. Shin also introduced us to some of his friends who keep centuries old family businesses alive. It was very inspiring to hear what makes them carry on even in tough times like the Covid 19 epidemic. I gained many insights about what travel is all about! We had a lot of fun, incredibly good food and of course excellent Onsen at the end of every hiking day. I will definately come again!
Written December 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for sharing your great insights with us. All the people I introduced to you are the reason why we want to do our tours. Their passions and love for local communities have been passed down for centuries and that 's something we want to experience with our guests. Thank hou again for joining the tour and we look forward to serving you again!
Written December 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Active Travel J
1 contribution
Dec 2022
Shin is an amazing guide, I had an amazing time learning the history of Hakone, eating great food and staying in beautiful ryokans. I will definitely be back to visit Hakone
Written December 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. The weather couldn't have been better and I really enjoyed 3 days with you all. Hakone still has so much to offer so please come back in a different season. Very much looking forward to seeing you again!
Written December 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Adam Fulford
2 contributions
Dec 2022
What a great way to visit Hakone. I've been living in Japan for years and yet I was learning something new -- and interesting -- from start to finish, thanks to Shin's deep understanding of the local story and strong connections in the local community. We walked 5-10 km each day, and the second day (of three) was up and down along the rim of the big crater, with spectacular views. I'm in my sixties and so I was quite tired at the end of it all, but certainly not exhausted. On the contrary, I felt that I had been able to keep going comfortably from beginning to end.
Written December 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Hakone, and thank you for joining my tour for 3 days. My hometown is so rich not only in nature but culture and history and the communities that have supported these elements for centuries. It was my honor to show you those precious aspects of Hakone. I'm very much looking forward to serving you again!
Written December 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa D
8 contributions
Nov 2022
We had such an amazing day with Hiroko in Hakone! She is a wealth of knowledge and aims to please and provided us with an unforgettable day! She worked so hard for us with a detailed itinerary and accommodating our luggage at the train station.
We enjoyed a Japanese lunch and local Yosegi-zaiku woodcraft which we bought to take home as a memory of our wonderful day with Hiroko! She explained the history of the Tokaido Highway lined up with huge cedar trees. Being outside and enjoying nature and history was such a treat.We visited the Hakone Shrine and learned about the history of the 9 headed dragon.
She really opened up and shared so much about Japanese history, culture and the way they are.
The tour’s highlight was the 400 year old Amaze-Chaya tea house.
We got to meet Satoshi who's family has worked very hard to provide comfort and tea to visitors. We got to ask him questions and I was so touched by what he told us, and Hiroko translated his families story. Our tour was enhanced by his kindness and hospitality and he clearly has a wonderful friendship and respect for Hiroko. I will always remember this tour and the acts of kindness that we received. it was a life changing experience in getting to know more about the Japanese people and the memories will be with us forever.
Written November 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Joe and Lisa, Thank you so much for joining our tour the other day in Hakone. It was a shame that I couldn't meet you all personally but I'm very happy to hear that you all enjoyed the day with Hiroko. Satoshi is a big part of our community and we can't do our tour without him. I'm so glad to hear that your experience in my hometown stays in your memory. The following is the message from Hiroko. We hope to serve you again! Shin Thank you so much for visiting Hakone and having me as your tour guide. What a touching review you gave me! It was a great joy and honor to meet such a loving and caring family like you. I’m delighted you enjoyed my interpretation of Japanese culture, history, and nature. Without your incredible interaction, I couldn’t have shared my knowledge and love of my country correctly with you. I sincerely hope you'll come back again in a different season, and I look forward to serving you again. Hiroko x
Written November 30, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kentkt
87 contributions
Jan 2020
Shin is a Nationally Certified Tour Guide who lives and works in Hakone. He is knowledgeable, personable and friendly and clearly understands and exhibits the attributes of an excellent guide -- he listens, adapts and customizes your experience based upon your input and preferences. We spent a day touring from late morning to sunset. He picked us up at our Ryokan and we discussed our plans for the day. We proceeded to tour Hakone from Lake Ashi and several other historic sites including temples, gardens, cedar forests, the old Tokaido Road, a 400 year old Tea House that is still in operation and other hidden and quiet historic sites away from the crowded tourist areas. Shin did a great job of sharing his local knowledge with us, We thoroughly enjoyed our brief time together and believe he provides great value for his attentive services. Worth seeking out!
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting my hometown on the other day and having me as your guide. It was a shame that the weather was not perfect but I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the day. So did I! Every season is different in Hakone so I'm very much looking forward to serving you again in a different time of the year! I and my family love to visit Hawaii near in the future and we hope to meet up again. Fight On :)
Written January 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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