Tokyo guzzler: February 2015, part 3 – Day trip to Hakone

It’s been nearly 7 months now since we moved to Japan. Before Christmas, we’d pretty much stuck to sightseeing in Tokyo (with the exception of a short trip to Hiroshima). Being the biggest city in the world, there’s plenty to see and do here. Even now I’d say we’ve barely even scratched the surface. However since Christmas we’ve started to visit different parts of Japan. Toyko is great, but it’s good to get out of the city and explore. We’ve recently been to Yokohama, Hakuba, Kamakura and Kyoto. We’d been waiting for a clear sunny day for a while now so we could visit Hakone. Yesterday it came, so down we went:

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Lake Ashi. Famous for its views of Fuji on a clear day and the red Shinto torii gate.

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The view was stunning. This time of year is perfect to see Fuji covered in snow. You can’t climb Fuji currently, which is a shame as it’d be great fun to toboggan down from nearly 4km high!

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So basically for roughly ¥6,000 (about £35), you get return train travel from Tokyo to Hakone, unlimited trips on this boat around the lake, unlimited cable car trips to the volcanic hot spots, all local buses, and the train going down through the mountains. Such a bargain, especially as the pass is valid for 2 days. For anyone coming over I’d strongly recommend it.

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And we’re off! “I’m the king of the world!”

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So we got off the boat after a bitterly cold trip and got into the cable car to thaw out.

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Last week we had meerkats in a pram. Yesterday we had a dog in a handbag. Naturally. This isn’t a rare sight in Japan really.

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Good old self-timer function. The view of Fuji’s perfectly-formed cone from the cable car station at the top was breathtaking.

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We’re still planning on climbing Fuji when the season starts. You’re supposed to climb it during the night, making it to the summit in time for sunrise. Exciting!

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If and when Fuji blows its top again this would be an amazing place to watch from!

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Ōwakudani – “Great Boiling Valley”. This is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs. The smell of sulphur was incredible and reminded me of our front room after Christmas dinner.

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Basket of white eggs going in, 3 minutes on the clock….

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Basket of black eggs coming out. The shells are blackened by the sulphur and you could buy the eggs in the shop next door. This poor chap must have been totally immune to the nasty smell. It was so strong too.

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There were volcanic plumes coming from further up the mountain. There’s over 100 active volcanoes here in Japan.

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More plumes.

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How did the egg get up the mountain? Apparently it scrambled up! Ahem….I’ll get my coat…

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Back on the boat and king of the world again (sorry, I know…it wasn’t funny the first time!)

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No pirates in sight. They’ve all gone into hiding since the Gas got relegated last May.

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Back to the start and Fuji had started to attract some clouds, so I’m glad we went nice and early to see it properly.

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A great day out and a must for anyone who wants to see Fuji up close on a clear day.


3 thoughts on “Tokyo guzzler: February 2015, part 3 – Day trip to Hakone

  1. Absolutely tremendously wonderfully thoroughly exciting. Wow! From a mountain lass – hope there’s a clear day. Next week or the week after I’m seeing Marc my student from last year to work out a friend when I stay over in Hong Kong on the way to you.
    It is all looking great for you. Enjoy life!
    I loved these blogs. laughed out loud at the Christmas sulphur comment!


  2. Pingback: Tokyo guzzler June 2016, part 1 – Hakone Free Pass | Tokyo Guzzler

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