And then it was morning in Hakone.
We chose the Wafu-breakfast. Which I warned T meant waaaay too Japanese. Which she didn’t quite understand. Anyway, we started with 2 kinds of tofu, including the alternate grey kind, like the Incredible Hulk.
If you can properly identify everything here, more power to you.
Kaiyu, miso shiru, very good oranges, and tea.
Morning dip in the inside onsen.
Okay, time to explore Hakone. This was The Hakone Open-Air Museum which was one stop away from our hotel. I suspected it was going to be very cool. And it should be pointed out that there are like 10 or more museums and galleries and parks to explore in the Hakone area.
Okay, enough of the arts. On to travel on the Hakone crazy-ass circuit of fun. Not its true title but we just got off a train and are about to embark on a mountain cable car.
Note the stairs on this bad boy, because we are on something of a slant.
Next: the Hakone Ropeway.
The Ropeway opens up to what only can be described as a scene out of a James Bond film. I kept looking for the Jaws character to hop on the top of the cabin to start gnawing on cables. Ropeway cabin rooftop fight! Yes!
Exiting the Ropeway, here we pause to view Mt. Fuji emerging from the clouds.
This area of Hakone is known for its sulphur-boiled blackened eggs and other foods dyed black so they can be sold to tourists.
Pictured: one of those tourists peeling a blackened egg. It’s also said that for every egg you consume you gain 7 years of life. I ate 3, T ate 2.
Also pictured: the best damn 400 yen cheesecake your money can ever buy. If you find this particular dessert, you will be very, very happy.
On to the sulfur whitened stream.
Overcome by the sulfur fumes.
Seriously, this guy needs a hazmat suit while he boils eggs.
Even the blackened eggs get a Ropeway trip down this miniature version to the awaiting sales force below.
T notes that Mt. Fuji has fully emerged from the clouds.
Returning to the Ropeway: what the hell is that? A pirate ship?
This is the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, taking passengers between the Ropeway and the far shore (destination: either the Hakone Shrine or the Hakone Checkpoint.
But before we board: lunch. Udon, a salad, and hamburger steak.
And now back to the pirate ship. Scanning the horizon ahead.
This is Lake Ashi, by the way. And it’s damn cold in this area what with the mountain snows and winds.
And another pirate ship sails past.
Now on to walking part of the circuit, Hakone Sekisho – a restored Edo-era checkpoint and museum along the Old Tokaido Road.
Cedar lined roads along the original route.
All funneled travelers through gates where movements could be tracked and duties could be collected.
Unless you were a master ninja. Here, I show off my mastery at disguise.
A bus ride later and the circuit was complete. We’re back at the hotel with a spot of tea and sweets.
Followed closely by a Hakone regional beer.
And then it was time for dinner. Again, the night’s menu.
Now to the baths. Here, T displays the bandages she must employ to cover her tattoo as we are attempting to use the public onsen in the ryokan.
It was dark. You must imagine the scene. As is common for many onsen, some baths are reserved for men, and others for women. Some days they switch. It was late, so I had the onsen to myself.
Oh, the majestic beauty.
A trembling vision.
And the Ryokan Sauna. It was okay, but we preferred the baths in our rooms. Good night.
- Japan 2012 – Introduction, Day 1
- Japan 2012 – Day 2, Part 1 – Tsukiji and 3 Breakfasts
- Japan 2012 – Day 2, Part 2 – Asakusa, Kappabashi
- Japan 2012 – Day 3 – Tokyo Disney Sea and a Journey to Nostalgia
- Japan 2012 – Day 4 – Odaiba and Hometown Tonkatsu
- Japan 2012 – Day 5 – Ueno, Meiji Jingu, Yoyogi, Omotesando, Shibuya
- Japan 2012 – Day 6 – Travel Day by Shinkansen, Kyoto
- Japan 2012 – Day 7 – Kyoto and Nara Day Tour
- Japan 2012 – Day 8 – Bicycling through Kyoto, Turtle Dinner
- Japan 2012 – Day 9 – Kyoto Imperial Palace, Ginkakuji, Travel Day to Hakone
- Japan 2012 – Day 11 – Travel Day Return to Tokyo and Sushi at Kyubey
- Japan 2012 – Days 12-13 – Akihabara Craft Beer Festival and Our Goodbyes to Japan