Blog: Destination – Japan (Hakone) by Leon Matigian
This beautiful part of the world, Hakone, deserves 2 nights and 3 days. We bought Odakyu’s 3 day round trip Hakone Free Pass, which covered different modes of transport (train, tram, cable car, bus and the Ropeway, which was unfortunately closed while we were there) for the duration without needing to fork out any more money. In addition, we bought the Romance car ticket to reserve our seats on the train.
After checking into our hotel, we hopped on the delightful 3 car electric tram, which wound itself through the forest and over streams as it travelled upwards towards Gora, making several switch backs along the way. We went to the open-air Museum, which has around 400 sculptures spread-out in spectacular settings of glens, formal gardens, ponds and even meadows. There are also a couple of pavilions containing artwork by Picasso and others. Luckily, we struck a beautiful warm sunny day to wonder in this magical setting in the mountains.
From Gora we caught a cable car up to Sounzan and then by bus (instead of the Ropeway) down to Togendai to catch the pleasure boat (Yes, they do look like pirate ships) across Lake Ashi. It’s a beautiful 40 minute boat ride with mouth-watering views all around to the other end of the lake. Best views of Mount Fuji can be seen from Hakone Machi, especially on a clear day. We had a misty day so we did not get a very good view of the mountain. There is a wonderful easy walk between the 2 villages (Hakone Machi and Moto Hakone) with several interesting attractions like Hakone Checkpoint and the detached Palace Gardens, which has spectacular views of Lake Ashi and the shimmering reflections of the surroundings in the water. After a mouth watering dinner late that evening we caught the bus back to our accommodation.
All images by Leon Matigian. All rights reserved.
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