Another excellent place to take a day trip from Tokyo is Hakone (箱根). It’s only an hour and a half or so from Tokyo and feels more traditional Japanese than the metropolitan Tokyo. Hakone is famous for Onsens, Lake Ashi, and black eggs from Sulfur. As a goodbye trip, we took a very late train at 2:30 from 新宿 shinjuku to Hakone. We had an excellent time, but I wouldn’t recommend such a late train for travelers because main sights such as the Hakone Ropeway and Museums close at or before 5pm! Anyway, we weren’t bothered!
We stocked up on snacks and drinks from Family Mart to enjoy on the ride. You can spin the chairs around to make a four seater area like that.
Once we arrived, we decided to take a little 散歩 or stroll to a local temple Sounji Temple. We loved seeing the river flowing through the little town. I love the traditional Japanese architecture too. Notice the thatched roof, and wooded walls!
There weren’t any people trekking this way. For good reason to, seemed to be a long indirect way to get there. We went up, down, around and ended up on the local streets. Haha.
But the temple was very nice when we arrived. Traditional Japanese style. Again, empty, but peaceful.
Next to Sounji Temple was a cemetery. The cups of offering were empty. Seems the spirits had drunken the sake!
After that litrle excursion we yearned for an onsen. We saw this beautiful ryokan and asked if their onsen was public but we were out of luck! The place was so nice looking though, I wanted to stay there. Later, we saw an add for the same ryokan in a magazine! It looked very proper indeed.
The owners were very friendly though and gave us a map to the popular day use onsen Tenseien. We walked 20 min to get there.
We put our shoes in the locker and exchanged the shoe locker key for another key for the lockers in the changing room for the onsen. They had two indoor onsens I think, and at least 5 outdoor onsens. Of course, is private and no one can see you, but you can see the ridges of the mountains and the stars above. When we ate dinner, they charged us on our locker number, and we paid when we gave back the yukata and towels. The day use was 2,200 yen. Women were on the 6th floor, men on the 7th. It was a good time for Sachi and I to talk privately. After the relaxing soak, we were starving and enjoyed a nice dinner from the ryokan! I got sashimi and tempura!
After that we walked back to the train and got a anther few drinks in an izakaya in Shinjuku.
We didn’t do much, but it’s the great people you spend your time with that counts! Next time I’d love to spend the night in Hakone, see the lake and the Open Air Museum. I didn’t realize how close it is to Tokyo! Ah, o well! More memories to come!
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