Little Prince Museum
Hakone’s Little Prince Museum is a fun destination for kids and all fans of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic storybook from the 1940s. The museum includes a reproduction of a French village, gardens, and displays relating to the French author’s life and work, as well as a good French restaurant and a gift shop.
The Little Prince Museum is located in Hakone, a popular day-trip or weekend destination from Tokyo. With many natural and cultural attractions in the area, many travelers like to stay for at least one night to explore further. The Little Prince Museum can be visited independently or on a private, customizable tour of the Hakone area. It will be most interesting to fans of The Little Prince book or film.
Things to Know Before You Go
Most of the signage is in Japanese, but English (and other language) audio guides can be rented, or guidebooks borrowed.
There’s an on-site restaurant serving French-inspired food and a gift shop specializing in items related to The Little Prince.
Children below school age can enter the museum for free; everyone else must pay admission.
How to Get There
Hakone is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Tokyo and easily accessible by train or bus. From Hakone’s Yumoto train station, take the Hakone Tozan bus to Kawamukai, a journey of about half an hour. Driving is also a convenient way to getting to Hakone, and there is plenty of parking at the museum.
When to Get There
The museum is open every day of the week, but closes on the second Wednesday of every month, except in March and August. The gardens are at their best in the spring, summer, and autumn. Note that the Restaurant Le Petit Prince’s hours are slightly different from those of the museum.
Hakone’s Open-Air Museum
Another fun activity in Hakone that both kids and adults will enjoy is the Hakone Open-Air Museum, a large sculpture park with a collection of more than 1,000 sculptures, about 120 of which are on permanent display. Artists whose sculptures are exhibited include Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, and Constantin Brâncuși. As well as being a great place to go on sunny days, indoor galleries make the museum an all-weather attraction.