Tenseien sits beside the Sukumo River. (Photo: Sandra Isaka)

Hotel Hakone Tenseien

Crowd-pleasing accommodation and day-visit hot spring

Tenseien sits beside the Sukumo River. (Photo: Sandra Isaka)
Sandra Isaka   - 4 min read

Although the renowned mountain resort area of Hakone has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, Tenseien stands out as a hotel that has something for everyone. It offers amazing open-air rooftop hot springs, various types of rooms, tasty meals that can accommodate both adults and children and an impressive garden filled with many things to see and do.

For those who want a more upscale stay, choose from futons or beds, with a separate tatami seating area and a balcony containing your own private hot spring bath. There are also standard Japanese-style and Western-style rooms, as well as rooms that combine tatami seating areas with a separate bedroom, and 'universal twin' rooms that have wider doors for accommodating wheelchairs. In addition to this, if you are traveling with a dog, the hotel has a kennel where they can stay for free, with advanced reservation.

Meals at Tenseien are served buffet style with professional chefs working at a ‘live kitchen corner’ where they constantly prepare tempura, sushi, teppanyaki and other dishes. The buffet is filled with a wide variety of Japanese, Western and Chinese-style cuisine in the evening and a combination of Japanese and Western in the morning. The breakfast buffet also offers the ‘live kitchen corner’ where omelets, pancakes and French toast are made to order.

One of the main reasons to visit Hakone is to soak in a hot spring bath. In addition to the higher-end rooms that have their own spring baths, the hotel has two 17-meter-long rooftop open-air male and female ‘sky baths’ and 12 rentable private baths that cost ¥2,000 for 60 minutes. For guests who want to really relax, there is a variety of reasonable massage services and a relaxation room filled with 50 reclining seats with their own TVs. It is also possible to ‘day visit’ Tenseien’s onsen bath area. The entry fee includes the use of a locker, yukata, bath towel and hand towel.

Although the rooftop bath is amazing, what sets Tenseien apart from other hotels is its lovely garden. The land on which the hotel was built was once the villa of a clan that ruled Odawara Castle and one reason they choose this location are the two waterfalls that cascade out of the forest there. One of them, the Tamadare-no-taki, is decorated by a sacred straw rope due to a small shrine, Tamadare Jinja, that sits within the trees above it.

Beside the waterfall is a tea house that serves simple meals and tasty sweets. The tea house also has a large outdoor table where guests can eat and drink while soaking their feet in a foot bath and enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden. Children can participate in a stamp rally of garden sites and can feed the hotel’s resident ducks and fish. At night, everything is illuminated and in summer, they often have an open-air beer garden.

The Premiere Cafe, which serves tea/coffee and original pastries in the lobby lounge, overlooks the garden. The Taki Lounge Annex, a bar with a karaoke stage, does too. Also on the premises are a souvenir shop and a convenience store.

Room rates vary depending on the type of room you choose, whether or not you include meals, and the day/season. When two or more adults are in the same guest room, elementary school students cost 70 percent of the adult rate, while smaller children (sleeping with an adult) cost ¥5,000 exclusive of tax.

Getting there

Tenseien is a 12 minute walk from Hakone Yumoto Station, or a five-minute ride by taxi or bus.

Sandra Isaka

Sandra Isaka @sandra.isaka

As an intercultural consultant & Japan travel specialist with 20 years in Japan, I love sharing my favorite places with others.