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Hakone – Day 2

Continuing off of my post about Hakone, I woke up the next day at 6am. I was determined to do my best to explore and experience all that Hakone had to offer, so I stayed up until 4am the night before trying to plan out the day. I didn’t want to drag my friends around in a foreign city, so I had to plan out multiple transportation routes and timetables in case we got lost.

When the alarm rang at 6am and I went downstairs, the sight I saw was absolutely beautiful. The sun came through the windows and lit up the living room in such an aesthetically pleasing way. My friend managed to snap an incredible picture of it:

Please ignore our mess on the table.

We ended up leaving the AirBnb at 7:20am to catch the bus into the city central. We had to go down the same hill we saw the boars at, so that trip itself took another 20 minutes. When we finally managed to get to the bus, we ended up waiting 40 minutes out in the cold because the bus schedules in Hakone were different thanks to the recent typhoon. As much of a struggle as it was, I look fondly back on that day because of how funny it was to see everyone panic and jump around in the cold.

Walking down the steep hill.

When we finally got onto to bus, we headed to Gora Station where we dropped off our luggage and went to Gora Park. Because we had the Hakone Free Passes, entry was free. At the park, there was this cozy cafe next to a pretty fountain that gave you a nice view of the park. Glassblowing activities were offered, but they were expensive (I think the most expensive one was ¥6,000 for a 15 minute session), so we didn’t partake in any of that. However, we did go to the cafe. My two friends got the tea set – I don’t remember how much it costed, but the set itself was cute and dainty. It was from there on that they decided they needed to visit as many tea houses as possible while they were in Japan. In contrast to their dainty, cute tea sets, my other friends got a regular toast and coffee set – a completely Western breakfast. I ended up getting just pumpkin soup because it too cold and I wanted something warm.

The tea sets that my friends got.
The fountain near the cafe.

After spending a good 2 hours there, we moved onto the next thing on the list: the Hakone Ropeway. There, we saw Mt. Fuji. The view was as clear as it could possibly get – there were no clouds in the sky and nothing blocking Mt. Fuji from being seen:

Mt. Fuji from the Hakone Ropeway Car!

Aside from Mt. Fuji, we also got to see the natural sulfur deposits and its billowing smoke. We got to eat the famous pork tonkatsu curry (¥1550) when we reached the top, as well as the famous black eggs (5 for ¥500) that is rumored to extend your life by 7 years.

Hakone’s famous black eggs!

After we finished taking all the pictures that we could possibly take, we headed to our last destination: Lake Ashi. At Lake Ashi, we took a cruise in first class (ooh, fancy, right? It costs us only an extra ¥400 since we already had our Hakone Free Pass. My friends and I talked about how this would be the only time we’d ever be able to take first class unless one of us won the lottery).

There, we got to see part of Mt. Fuji from a different perspective and the sunset. It was super cold outside, so we couldn’t bear to stay outside for too long, but it made for a nice experience.

When our last activity ended, we made our way back home to Tokyo with a Romancecar.

That said, this was a very, incredibly, condensed version of my Hakone trip. Even so, the point is that it was super fun. It felt amazing to get away from all the busy city life for once.

Look at how empty it is!

Hakone, along with Nikko, should be one of the few places people should visit when they come to Japan. Experiencing Japan in the more rural areas was the most refreshing thing I have done in a while. Despite all of the problems that I’ve faced, I would still strongly recommend visiting!


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