17 Must-Buy Souvenirs from Hakone
After enjoying a day or weekend trip to Hakone, you will definitely want to buy a few local souvenirs and gifts to bring back! If you're not sure where to go or what to buy, no need to worry. Here is a list of 17 popular Hakone souvenirs and where you can buy them!
Apr 05 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Yumochi (Chimoto)
Chimoto is a store in Hakone that has been around for over 65 years and is known for making high-quality wagashi (Japanese sweets). Yumochi is one of the many wagashi available here; it's a unique mochi (rice cake) that's only made in Hakone. The mochi is made from Japanese rice, combined with rice powder, and is then gently kneaded. Delicately carved pieces of yokan (sweet, gelatinous red bean paste) are inside the mochi, and you'll get a whiff of yuzu (citrus fruit) and mandarin. It is one of Hakone’s most famous and delicious confections.
Fun fact: The Chinese character for “yu” (湯) in "yumochi" means "hot water," and it is named this way because of how the softness of the mochi resembles soft skin after taking a hot bath in an onsen.
2. Nuts Vessel (Sagamiya)
Sagamiya is a Western-style dessert store near Hakone Yumoto Station that sells a variety of snacks made with nuts and caramel. One of their specialties is the Nuts Vessel, which is a sweet chocolate bar filled with tasty nuts. There are various sizes of chocolate bars available with prices that vary from 165 yen to 1,290 yen, and the chocolates last for approximately 90 days, so you can take this long-lasting souvenir back home with you without worrying about it expiring too soon!
3. Tsuki no Usagi (Nanohana)
Nanohana is famous for their Tsuki no Usagi ("Moon Rabbit" in Japanese), which is a popular wagashi filled with sweet red bean called "manju." True to its name, it was made with the image of the moon and rabbit in mind; inside you'll find a large and soft chestnut that goes great with the flavor of the surrounding bun. This delicacy will melt right in your mouth!
4. Hakone Rusk (Grand Riviere Hakone)
This Hakone Rusk at Grand Riviere Hakone is made by baking an original blend of dough into a hard, dry biscuit, which is then sliced thinly and seasoned with butter. They have a variety of flavors available, like matcha chocolate, raspberry chocolate, earl grey, sakura, and garlic. It will definitely make for a great gift to give to friends and family since you can only get it in Hakone!
5. Hakone Silver Maple Pancake (Hakone no Ichi)
At Hakone no Ichi, you can get your hands on a truly delicious dessert called the Hakone Silver Maple Pancake, which is a very fluffy pancake made with soy milk from the Gindofu ("Silver Tofu") shop in Gora, Hakone. (Despite its name, the silver tofu shop has regular tofu and doesn't actually sell silver tofu.) The inside of the pancake has a delicious custard and maple filling!
6. Hakone Mori no Baum (Hakone Lucca no Mori)
Hakone Lucca no Mori is one of the shops under the aforementioned Nanohana. One of the baumkuchens at this store is called the Shonan Gold Soft Baum, which uses a jam called Shonan Gold made from a local citreae (a type of citrus fruit similar to a clementine). It's a tasty, great souvenir that you can share with many people!
7. Castella-Yaki Hakone Manju (Kikukawa Shoten)
Kikukawa Shoten sells a manju called "Castella-Yaki Hakone Manju," which has the word "Hakone" in Japanese and a cute onsen (hot spring) symbol branded on it. Since it's baked castella-style, it has a slightly Western taste infused with traditional Japanese flavors. It is baked fresh in the store so if you want the freshest manju, make sure to try it there too instead of taking it straight home.
8. Hakone no Uribo (Chayahonjin Hotoriya)
This manju snack can be purchased at Chayahonjin Hotoriya. It's made in the shape of a cute, little uribo (baby boar). How can you say no to that face? There are two different flavors, milk butter and chocolate banana. Depending on the flavor you get, the color of the boar will be slightly different. One box normally contains around 10 manju pieces and it has a shelf life of 135 days!
9. Hakone Owakudani Kuro Choco (Hakone no Ichi)
At Owakudani in Mt. Hakone, there is a big statue of a black egg, which has become a famous symbol of the area. The Hakone Owakudani Kuro Choco (black chocolate) is made to portray this very black egg. The “yolk” of the egg is made out of white chocolate and it even has an almond inside! It is a unique gift that people will definitely remember you by!
10. Shiokara Senbei (Chayahonjin Hotoriya)
This senbei (rice cracker) sold at Chayahonjin Hotoriya is the perfect balance of salty and spicy. Unlike other rice crackers, each individual rice cracker is baked in thin slices, making it much easier to eat. It's a perfect gift for those looking to find something light to carry home, but be careful about them breaking in your suitcase!
11. Hakone no Saka (Hakone no Ichi Kotohogi no Ki)
Hakone no Saka has been introduced by many media outlets as one of Hakone's most popular souvenirs. This gateau au chocolat bar (chocolate cake) takes 2 days to make! Since this snack is so popular, it is sold in many stores, and you can even find it at some of the train stations in Hakone. A single box contains 5 individual servings of gateau au chocolat, so don't worry about eating it all in one go. It's also a great souvenir to get even in the summertime as it can be stored at room temperature.
12. Fujiya Hotel's Traditional Beef Curry (Fujiya Hotel)
Fujiya Hotel’s restaurant serves one of the most delicious Japanese curry rice dishes and many tourists make reservations in advance just to try it out. People love it so much that they buy it as a souvenir on the way back! Right next to the hotel is the Fujiya Hotel Bakery and Sweets store PICOT, where you can buy their famous Fujiya Hotel curry to take home.
Note: The Fujiya Hotel is currently under construction until 2020. However, the PICOT shop will be open during renovations.
13. Kamaboko (Suzunari Market)
If you're in Hakone, you absolutely have to try the kamaboko (boiled fish paste) at the Suzunari Market! Fish paste may not sound so appetizing, but it is such a popular item in Japan that you simply must try it at least once. There is a variety of kamaboko for sale at this market, and you can even find cute little colorful ones like those in the photos above.
14. Mt. Hakone Ryujin-Anpan (Hakone Bakery)
At Hakone Bakery, you can have one of many homemade pastries like the Mt. Hakone Ryujin-Anpan (sweet bean paste bun). The bread is made from natural yeast and water from Hakone Shrine and is said to bring good fortune. It is much tastier to have this anpan fresh, so even if you decide to buy it as a gift for someone, make sure to have one yourself as soon as possible to really enjoy the freshness of the bun!
15. Yosegi Zaiku Crafts (Yosegi Zaiku Specialty Store Issa)
Hakone is famous for yosegi zaiku, which are handicrafts that are made from a variety of trees and designed to utilize the beautiful variations of the colors. You can find all kinds of neat items at this store including dishware, boxes, and picture frames.
Fun fact: The trophy given out at the annual Hakone Ekiden Race (long distance relay race) is a yosegi zaiku-style trophy.
16. Reversible Coin Purse (Kisetsu no Zakka Oriori)
At Kisetsu no Zakka Oriori, there is a variety of Hakone souvenirs as well as general goods such as book covers, towel, onsen goods, socks, stationary and more. Like the photos above, they have souvenirs like Japanese-style coin purses with manju patterns or handkerchiefs with Mt. Fuji prints! The store also makes their own manju and kamaboko!
17. Hakone Pudding (Bakery & Delicatessen Hakone Cafe)
At Bakery & Delicatessen Hakone Cafe, you can find one of the best puddings in Hakone. Made from fresh local eggs, once you take a spoonful of this deliciously rich pudding, you will be overwhelmed with joy. It's definitely a gift that you should get while you are in Hakone, but be careful, since you may just end up eating it all yourself instead!
There are plenty of stores where you can buy Hakone snacks as well as long-lasting souvenirs! Why not purchase one of each to remember your trip by? You don't want to miss out on the delicious confections nor the Japanese handicrafts, so drop by some of these stores to find the best gifts to take home with you!
Header Image: Thiti Sukapan / Shutterstock
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.