Hakone Open Air Museum and the Hakone Free Pass

Visiting the Hakone Open Air Museum was a Pinterest inspired part of our trip. I remember seeing pictures of the Symphonic Sculpture and thinking that this place must be amazing. I knew it was full of outdoor art and seemed like a nice way to spend a few hours.

Hakone Free Pass

Admission cost almost $20 CAD each. You can get a discounted price if you buy the Hakone Free Pass which I do recommend if you plan on riding the cable car and taking the ferry later. The pass covers all of this and any Odakyu rail lines. You can also get an extended pass that covers a trip from Shinjuku station in Tokyo to Odawara station. We did not get the extended pass but got the basic one as we took the ropeway, the ferry across Lake Ashinoko, and a few tram rides. The pass is valid for either 2 or 3 consecutive days depending on what you buy. They aren’t cheap though, and come in at around $50 CAD each. So it’s best to figure out what your plan is and calculate it yourself to see if it’s worth it.

The Museum

Moving on from the Hakone Free Pass now, I will talk more about the museum. It is basically a large park with paved walking trails and pieces of abstract art scattered throughout. There are various interactive pieces of art (mostly for children) and an area where you can soak your feet in hot spring foot baths. There is an indoor exhibit that housed a large selection of Picasso art when we went.

Overall Impression

To be honest, I don’t really think it was worth the $20. The art was nice but I would have rather had more time up around Lake Ashinoko instead. The Symphonic Sculpture was probably my favourite art piece but ultimately looks cooler in pictures then in person. I think whether or not the Hakone Open Air Museum is worth the money depends on what you are into. I do like art, but ultimately would have rather had more hiking time. I’ve been to many museums now, and this one just didn’t pique my interest the way most do.

Have you been to the Hakone Open Air Museum? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

-Rachel

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