Fabulous Hakone, part I

Even though I heard about the beauty of Hakone, I didn’t plan to go. I decided to join some friends at the last minute for a day-trip, a bit worried about my (tight) budget. The Hakone free pass is 5000 yens and is valid for 2 days. However, it’s really worth buying it even for one day, because it includes all transportation.

I didn’t regret these 5000 yens : it was amazing.

We left very early and took the Odakyu line from Shinjuku to Odawara : it takes about 90 minutes. After, we need to transfer to a local train to Hakone-Yumoto, which is another 15 minutes. Then starts the real trip to Hakone : we board a small red train that will bring us in the mountains. I didn’t check how long it took because I was too busy looking around. The trip is really impressive : the train goes on really narrow tracks near the cliff, and the view is beautiful. Unfortunately the trees were still leafless : it must be even prettier in spring or fall.

We arrived at Gora station where we can take the cable car. The cable car station has a funny “european” look. There is only one rail, so we have to wait until the cable car goes up and down. There weren’t too many people, but I don’t even want to imagine how crowded it must be on weekends.

There are a lot of museums (I didn’t visit them) in Hakone, but I really don’t get why there is a museum about Le Petit Prince…

We got off at Koenkami station to visit Gora park. It must be a lot prettier in summer, because now there weren’t any flowers.

We can see a “大” (meaning big, or tall) kanji on the mountain.

We get back again on the crowded cable car and go up to the top. When we get off the car, the ground is so steep, it’s really hard to walk up to the station. Unfortunately we don’t see it on the picture, but it was really, really steep, almost a 45 degrees angle.

It’s now time to board the ropeway ! We’re in for a fantastic view.

We’re approaching what appears to be the top, and then there’s a small jump and everyone goes “oooooh !”. The mount Fuji appears in front of us, and we are now flying over the “hell valley” Owakudani, a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents.

We can go up close to the sulphur vents. Needless to say, the smell is quite bad ! But the view on mount Fuji is amazing. We tried the famous black eggs, which are boiled in sulphur water. They taste the same as regular boiled eggs.

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