Odakyu Hotel de Yama, Hakone

I was very fortunate that two out the three days I was at Lake Ashi, the weather was clear and beautiful, which allowed me to bask in the beauty of the lake and its surrounding including the view of Mt. Fuji.

This villa turned hotel resort has a 70-year history. I love how the hotel has maintained its charm and history. The hotel has two restaurants and a café. Vert Bois serves up French cuisine, Tsutsuji no Chaya serves Japanese kaiseki cuisine and Salon de Thé Rosage is a dessert restaurant with a premium shop located by the lake.

When you check in, you are asked to choose what cuisine you would like for each day of your stay and time. I decided on having French on my first night and Japanese Kaiseki on the second.

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I enjoyed my meal at Vert Bois. The table was beautifully set up. All waitresses were well dressed and mannered. There was a harmony between the waitresses that set a calm atmosphere to the restaurant.

I liked that each table had a menu. I personally like to know the name of each dish I’m having. Sometimes it is hard to make out what the waiter said especially if English is not their first language.

As I don’t like eating raw fish, they replaced the marinated tuna with abocado’s tartare with a Paté dish. All the dishes served were delicious. My favorite would be the fish of the day. It was really fresh and cooked to perfection. The fish was accompanied by a sweet red wine sauce, just the right amount that it didn’t overpower the natural flavor of the fish. The dishes were served at a good pace, I didn’t have to wait too long between each dish.


Tsutsuji no Chaya has a calm and soft environment with a violet-colored carpeted floor, wooden tables, and chairs, with soft lighting and neutral walls.

Sadly, I had to skip the kaiseki dinner as I felt quite sick after two cable car rides earlier that day. I am highly susceptible to motion sickness and it was quite windy that day. As I was looking forward to the kaiseki meal, when I felt a bit better, I made my way down to the restaurant. Shortly after having the first appetizer, I felt nauseous. So I told the waiter to just serve me rice and miso soup.

The menu was pretty impressive. As you can see from the picture on the right (excuse the blurriness), there is quite a variety.

For breakfast, there is the option of an American breakfast or Japanese breakfast. The American breakfast is served at Vert Bois and it includes a juice, coffee or tea, croissant, pickled vegetables, sausages with toast, salad, and your choice of eggs. It was so relaxing and serene to have breakfast with the stunning view of the lake. A great start to the day.

Odakyu Hotel De Yama

Website: http://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/

Telephone: +81 460836321

Address: 80 Moto-Hakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun,
Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0522



Itoh Dining by Nobu, Hakone


Itoh dining is a Teppanyaki restaurant in Gora, Hakone. It is stated on their website that the restaurant is in collaboration with chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa who is a Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur.

From the reviews I read about the restaurant, it seemed like a popular restaurant. I wanted a counter seat so I made reservations two weeks in advance. Upon entering, I was greeted with a warm welcome by a lady staff. The same lady also served my food and introduced each dish to me.

The only downside was that the room was smokey from the cooking. I’m not sure if it was usually like that, or that the ventilation system was not working well that day.

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There are lunch and dinner sets, and ala carte available. I decided on the Kuroge Wagyu Steak Lunch for ¥ 3,780 including tax. The set includes a soup, seasonal salad, A4 Kuroge Wagyu Steak, bread or rice, pasta, dessert, and coffee. For those who are not familiar, A4 is the grading for the Wagyu beef, with A5 being the highest.

My meal started off with a mushroom soup followed by a seasonal salad with sweet potato. Next, was the much anticipated Kuroge beef. As I was seated at the counter, I was able to watch the chef prepare the dish on the iron plate. The young chef first smeared the steak on both sides, then took it aside to the non-heated area of the iron plate, cut it into cubes, and placed back onto the heated area to cook the beef further as I requested for my steak to be well done. The beef was served nestled in black pepper sauce and garnished with thin garlic chips, accompanied with a bowl of rice (there is the option of rice or bread). I now understand the hype about Wagyu beef. The beef was juicy, tender, and melts in your mouth! There is no other beef like it! The garlic chips added a nice pungent and nutty flavor to the meat.

Next, I was served pasta with leek, beansprout, and small cubes of beef which was also cooked on the iron plate. The taste kind of reminds me of Aglio e Olio. Lastly, I had a matcha pudding for dessert followed by a cup of earl grey tea.


If you are in the area, this restaurant is definitely worth a visit!


Itoh Dining by Nobu

Website: http://itoh-dining.co.jp/hakone/index.html

Opening hours: 11:30AM – 15:00PM (Lunch), 17:00PM- 21:30PM (Dinner)

Telephone:+81 460-83-8209

Address: 1300-64 Gōra, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0408, Japan

Bakery & Table, Hakone


Bakery & Table is a cafe/ restaurant situated along the shores of the beautiful Lake Ashi.  The ground floor is the take-out bakery. There are varieties of bread and cakes, jams, dips, sauces, and drinks. There are also chairs and tables both inside and outside available.  The first floor is the cafe, where one can order drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. The restaurant is located on the second floor. Here you can order fancy sandwiches, crepes, beef dishes, and desserts.

All three floors offer a beautiful view of the lake. There is an elevator in the building, which is great for people with luggage.

I arrived at the lake around 2pm and decided to have lunch first then head over to the hotel. I thought I’d have coffee and a simple sandwich at the cafe. When I got to the cafe, it was packed. So I made my way up to the restaurant and there were plenty of seats available. I was able to get a counter seat facing the lake. The view was stunning!


I ordered the beef tendon and seasonal vegetable baked curry rice with cheese topping (¥ 2,600). It was my first time tasting Japanese curry in Japan and I have to say, this dish blew me away. It was absolutely scrumptious!  The curry had a lovely aroma. It tastes kind of like an English stew with curry. It was creamy, buttery, cheesy and savory. I liked that this dish had a variety of vegetables, which is hard to come by in Japan. There was shitake mushroom, avocado, broccoli, carrot, capsicum, and  The portion was quite big, I savored every bite.






Bakery & Table

Website: http://www.bthjapan.com/hakone.php

Opening hours: 8:30AM to 6PM

Telephone: +81 460-85-1530