When we prepared the trip, today we had decided that it would be a "kit-kat" along the way. That is, that day you need to regain strength before entering the final stretch. In this case, after a first stage in the Kyoto area and southern Japan and this second touring the mountainous areas of the interior through the Japanese Alps, this DAY 10 was presented as the best opportunity for rest in the middle of nature. What better place than one chosen by the Japanese themselves as their main tourist destination within the country? Well no, it has let us down, since the main attraction of the day ended up being the ryokan with private onsen We had chosen.
How to get to Hakone from Takayama or Tokyo?
We start the day early at the station Takayama (Although arriving from Tokyo is as simple as taking the shinkansen high-speed train from Shinjuku to Odawara directly) with some breakfast that we buy in a supermarket (599 Y) while we wait for our train (included in the Japan Rail Pass). From there we go to Nagoya at the local JR (2h and 20 min from tunnels and more tunnels to get out of the Japanese Alps) and link with the Shinkasen until Odawara (1h and 10 min, a couple of juices 290 Y) where We bought the Hakone Pass for 2 days (3,900 And each one) that gave us the right to all the transports of the day (more than compensates in comparison with the individual tickets)SPANISH TOURS FOR THE MOST ORGANIZED:
Although we always give you all the information to organize the trip on your own, if you have little time or prefer to forget about preparations, you have the following option COMPLETELY IN SPANISH and with VERY GOOD OPINIONS from other travelers. This is a guided excursion to Hakone and Mt. Fuji (in search of its panoramic views) from Tokyo by bus with pick-up at hotels including transportation in Hakone, tickets and food
Excursion to Hakone and Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
We start with an electric train zigzag (or switchback as they say) "climbing the mountain" and later funicular (or "cablecar"), cable car (or "ropeway") and the traditional bus.
Before we will leave the mini-backpack in our "particular whim" of the day, the Mikawaya Ryokan (You can read our Mikawaya Ryokan review), which we came to stop at Kowakidani Station and a small bus ride between Kowakidani Station and Kowakidani Onsen.
The Japanese woman who attends us is very very kind (it seems that they have put a double charge of alkaline batteries because she does not stop "parriba, pabajo, parriba, pabajo", hehe). We leave our belongings and get ready to start our route.
After the short break and with the clear things of today's plan, we get back on track.
Hakone, sightseeing in Japan (a little more)
Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and, next to the also famous Five Lakes region, one of the points where you can best see one of the symbols of the country, Mount Fuji. However, being completely honest, Hakone has let us down a little although the day did not accompany much (and it is rare because since we have arrived it has been a great time and just one day for 2 hours while we ate a downpour fell). We just got down 300 m to the bus stop that would take us to Gora, start of the tour, from there on funicular up to Souzan Where we will take a cable car. We leave you all the details of the means of transport in
In Souzan (where there was nothing remarkable) we took the cable car up Owakudani, we keep going up and up ... there comes a time when the fog completely surrounds the cabin and we barely see beyond our window. It is a curious effect since for a moment it seems that we are floating in the middle of nowhere as if we were in a time warp or something similar
Even weirder was reaching our destination and finding it clear. There is nobody that understand this! Although everything was worth it when we bought the famous black eggs boiled (500 Y with drink and some potatoes for 240 Y) in the natural onsens of hakone at more than 80º. We go one more tourist although at the same time it is curious to see the effect of the hot springs and their vapors coming out of the mountain.
We took the whole trip commenting that we didn't find almost tourists just in a couple of particular places. The rest of the trip has been very comfortable and without stress, now we understand the reason. They were all in Hakone !! (and in the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Hahaha)
Owakudani, very close to Mt. Fuji, is a volcano whose last eruption was thousands of years ago, today it is a tourist attraction and a sulfur mine. It is well true to contemplate those "natural onsens"It is something we had not seen before.
They cook the eggs right there and transfer them via "mini-cable car" to the base of the station ... Mmmm, technical stop !! How delicious! From there to Togendai, again in cable car and that when climbing there were times when it was wrong to look down and see ... NOTHING!
We take advantage of the arrival at the port to eat (3,555 Y) and make time for the departure of the ashinoko lake cruise (There are at 3:00 p.m. and 3:40 p.m., but we decided to take it easy and take the second one). With the Hakone Free Pass they give us a 10% discount on food and give us an electronic device that whistles when our food is present (UPDATE: it was the first time we saw it on our trips and at that time it was a surprise). We also take the opportunity to buy a gift (1,100 Y)
!! Another tourist! A Pirate Ship It takes us through what at another time must have been a beautiful area although too visited, the Ashi Lake. The boat is also included in the Hakone Pass
The day continues without accompanying us to see a cool panoramic view of the lake. It is a shame because the environment seems to be beautiful. Those looking for Mt.Fuji that point from the peak of Owakudani or on the cable car (but not days like today), from Lake Hakone-Machi, the southern part of the lake and from the viewpoint of Onshi-Hakone Park- Koen, as the best points to do it. We laughed at the pirate ships ... what a GPS they gave it to Barbaroja !!!
Well, enough of Japanese tourists, let's what really interests us, our whim.
A charming ryokan that includes a private onsen in the room
We have returned to the hotel by bus, thus completing a circular route of all types of transport. He Mikawaya Ryokan (You can read our Mikawaya Ryokan review) is an attraction in itself and our second whim of the trip after the Miyajima ryokan where we spend the night. Care to the smallest detail, including its location between the mountains, just missing the reception with all the hotel staff bowing from the entrance to the room with great detail such as the succulent kaiseki dinners and breakfast in the room (with the detail of anticipating it so that we were not so fair towards Tokyo). What more could you want??? It also has public thermal baths ...¿DON'T YOU WANT TO GO TO HAKONE BUT IF YOU TRY AN ONSEN? (UPGRADE):
In 2012, during our trip to the South Seas, we finished our trip around the world through Japan and tried an onsen in Odaiba that is very worthwhile. Expand your information in
But best of all comes without leaving our own room, Japanese style, where A private onsen fed by the hot springs coming down from the mountain is available to us. What else does it take to disconnect from the world?
At the requested time they bring us dinner and wine that we have ordered (3,500 Y). We catch even flies with chopsticks !! (well ... ahem ... almost)
The temperature is ideal, what a night it is in Hakone. The dessert, in fact, we take it inside the onsen itself where we had a good time while, almost without realizing it, they have entered the room to prepare the futons
Tomorrow to the capital, Tokyo, what a final stage of the trip awaits us !!! Sayonara babys from our private onsen on the other side of the world after having enjoyed the main attractions to see and do in Hakone, although they have not been as we expected. Mount Fuji will have to wait for future trips ...
Isaac, from Hakone (Japan)
CHAVETAS GUIDE: DAY10(use "SAVE AS" from the browser to download) | Download the whole guide of Japan in PDF
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 16,484 Y (approx. 102,19 EUR) and GIFTS: 1,100 Y (approx. 6,81 EUR)