How can a small town be big in something? Well, Hakone-Yumoto is not only big as one of the favorite destinations for those who want to soak in some of the best onsen near Tokyo, but also those who consider themselves as true fans of the anime Evangelion.
Since Hakone-Yumoto is the first stop on the Odakyu Line from Odawara it is the transfer hub to explore all the area has to offer, making it an ideal stop-over before or after heading of into the endless nature of Hakone. For those who want to stay in the area for a bit longer, why not stay over at one of the town’s hotels and ryukans with their very own hot spring? Even if you don’t stay overnight these onsen (as they are know in Japanese) are also open to other people for a minor admission fee. One of the most popular and affordable onsen is Hakone Yuryo Hot Springs, which has been previously reviewed here.
This brings us to the second big thing in Hakone-Yumoto, Evangelion! Let me first introduce the anime to those who are not yet familiar with Evangelion (エヴァンゲリオン). The story goes as follows: In 2000 a “meteor” stroke Earth in Antartica and led to the extinction of half of the human population around the world. The Earth becomes overrun by immense powerful beings known as Angels forcing what remains of humanity to hide in subterranean cities. From here a secret organization called NERV fight back against the Angels with mankind’s last hope: Evangelions, or Eva. These giant cyborgs born from samples of the first angel are piloted by children born after the meteor strike. The story follows Shinji, son of the estranged commander of NERV Gendo Ikari who abandoned his son several years ago. As you see him struggle to pilot the seemingly reluctant Eva and cope with the tragedies around him, a hidden war is taking place behind the scenes. Perhaps the Eva are more than just fighting the Angels?
The Eva-ya (Evangelion Shop) in Yumoto opened in July 2013 after the success of the themed Tokyo-01 store in Harajuku. You may wonder why open a second shop in Yumoto out of all places? Well, the anime-series partly takes place in Hakone and the anime has already helped promote tourism as part of a campaign to promote the area a few years ago. While the shop in Harajuku looks modern and contemporary the shop in Yumoto is more traditional and exclusively sells Evangelion inspired traditional sweets and crafts.
|Address||707-1 Yumoto, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0311, Kanagawa Prefecture|
|Access||[map]707-1 Yumoto, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0311, Kanagawa Prefecture[/map]|
|Price Range||500 yen and upwards|