Hakone

So the weather here in Kanto has been slowly sputtering and lurching towards balmier conditions week by week. The fact that it has been an unusually warm winter – it didn’t snow even once! – means that we can enjoy spring traveling a little earlier than usual. With that in mind, the lovely Kazumi – making her first appearance here on the pandablog – and I headed over to nearby Hakone for a day long vacation that included cable cars, pirate boats and even a half dozen magical black eggs.

hakone trip

Hakone is a resort area located up in the mountains west of Tokyo and centered around beautiful lake Asahiko. It is famed for its onsens and ryokans, as well as lush nature and fresh mountain air. Easily accessible from Shinjuku station via the private Odakyu Odawara train line, it is very popular with stressed out Tokyo-ites looking for a quick getaway from the daily grind of big city life. It is normally quite crowded on the weekends and during peak travel times (oh the irony) but during the slower periods – such as when we went – it is entirely possible to lose yourself amongst all the green trees and quiet mountain surroundings. On particularly clear days, you can even catch glimpses of the majestic Mt. Fuji rising up from the trees and ridges in the distance, looking particularly grand if you view it from the pirate boat (err) while crossing the central lake.

hakone trip

The closest we got to an onsen…

There’s not much else to say about Hakone other than it’s a beautiful place and if you’re ever in Tokyo and want a quick day trip change of pace, this (or else Kamakura) would be high on my list of recommendations. As for this entry, it’s mainly just a bunch of pictures. Enjoy!

hakone trip

The view from the ropeway

hakone trip

Little dolls lined up for sale

hakone trip

Kazumi wanted to steal this dog…

hakone trip

The lovely Kazumi

hakone trip

They had employee uniforms to try out and pose in for some reason…

hakone trip

Train conductor panda…

hakone trip

Minerals give the hotspring water this distinctive white colour – and distinctive sulfur smell.

hakone trip

Steamah steam!

hakone trip

Kazumi dubiously considers eating a black “onsen tamago” (eggs boiled in the mineral springs)

hakone trip

Each egg you eat is supposed to add 7 years to your life…

hakone trip

Reflecting on what to do with her recently extended lifespan…

hakone trip

Being regarded suspiciously by little children…

hakone trip

Pirate ship on right, steam ship on left. Which shall we take?

hakone trip

Oh c’mon now, you didn’t think I’d pass on a chance to ride with PIRATES, did you?

hakone trip

My hair doing crazy things.

hakone trip

I wanted to be a pirate when I was younger. True story.

hakone trip

But my ship would have been crewed by decidedly less bored looking people.

hakone trip

Land Ho!!! Kazumi excitedly spies the end of our journey.

hakone trip

And what better way to end a day out than with some fried squid?

Now listening to: “Arcade Fire – Ocean of Noise”
(Thanks bethann!)

arcade fire - ocean of noise

In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Ringing like a bell
As if I had a choice, oh well!

Left in the morning
While you were fast asleep
Into an ocean of violence
A world of empty streets

You’ve got your reasons
And me I’ve got mine
But all the reasons I gave
Were just lies to buy myself some time

In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Now who hear among us
Still believes in choice?
Not I!

No way of knowing
What any man will do
An ocean of violence
Between me and you

You’ve got your reasons
And me I’ve got mine
But all the reasons I gave
Were just lies to buy myself some time

I’m gonna work it out
Cause time wont work it out
I’m gonna work it out
Cause time wont work it our for you
I’m gonna work it on out

5 Reactions

  1. momo

    MAGIC BLACK EGGS? THAT PROLONG YOUR LIFE? THAT DESERVES TYPING IN CAPS!
    Seriously, do they taste like an eggy rainbow explosion of goodness? Or like farts?

  2. kitty

    my one trip to hakone i decided against the black eggs. now i kick my ass for not eating it. but i was sure theyd taste of egg ass.

  3. moritheil

    I laughed aloud with mirth. “The closest we got to an onsen,” indeed. Is that a kid dressed up like a pirate in garish colors, or is it a statue? It’s hard to tell at this distance.
    As always, your pictures are spectacular. The ropeway view in particular is stunning.

  4. bellish

    I never made it to Hakone, but I might have if I’d know they have pirate ships! Love that ropeway view – good old Japanese countryside.
    Saw the Arcade Fire a couple of weeks ago. Much fun!
    Hope you’re well and avoiding earthquakes and murder :(

  5. Ben

    You are so frickin lucky! Enjoying your holiday at such a wonderful place. We only have Banff and Lake Louis in Canada and I only saw a *wild* bear once near the highway.
    And those fried squid looks SO GOOD!!