Weekend in Hakone
Last weekend, we spent two days in Hakone, a town in the Kanagawa Prefecture about a 1.5-2 hour train ride from Tokyo. It is a very popular local and tourist attraction, well known for its onsen (public hot bath) hot springs and its views of Mt. Fuji.
We bought the Odakyu Freepass, which includes a round-trip ticket from Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto stations, along with unlimited boarding for several types of transportation in the Hakone area. Our route info consisted of many different modes of transportation:
- Shinkuju station -> Hakone-Yumoto station (Odakyu Romance Car train)
- Hakone-Yumoto -> Gora (Hakone Tozan train)
- Gora -> Sounzan (Hakone cablecar)
- Sounzan-> Owakudani (Hakone cable ropeway)
- Owakudani -> Togendai (Hakone cable ropeway)
- Togendai -> Motohakone-ko (Hakone sightseeing cruise ship)
- Motohakone-ko -> Prince Ryuguden Hotel (Taxi)
Footnote: Homeward bound was a simpler route, we took a taxi from the hotel to Motohakone-ko, the Hakone Tozan Bus from Motohakone-ko to Hakone-Yumoto, then the Odakyu Romance car back to Shinjuku station.
At Owakudani, we visited the Great Boiling Valley, where you can find many active hot springs and sulfur vents, as well as eating a kuro-tamago – a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs is said to increase longevity (add 7 years to your life – I ate 2 :-). 6 eggs cost 500 yen.
We stayed at Prince Ryuguden Hotel, a Japanese style hotel in Hakone near Lake Ashi. It was a very nice hotel – we had a large room with a great view, the onsen was private, clean and empty, and had excellent service as well, as they served traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast in our room. It was certainly a very unique experience for us.
Finally from our hotel room, we had a great view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi. This picture was taken from my old Casio 4MP camera and I was surprised at the quality and sharpness of the shot (my son is using this camera now) – you will notice that this is my WordPress.com blog picture header.