Wednesday 13 May 2015
Highlights: Mt Fuji, Lake Ashino-Ko, Hakone Gore Park, Kaiseki meal, Karaoke.
We left Kyoto early to a beautiful morning, it seems we have seen the last of the rain. We gain send our main bags onto Tokyo and packed our day bags for one night’s stay.
To get to Hakone we used several forms of transportation, a bullet train, a normal local train and local buses. Our accomandation was at ryokan style, very traditional with bamboo flooring in the room.
With volcanic activity in the area we had to miss the ‘ropeway’ climb / cable car up Mt Owakudani to get a better view of Mt Fuji. Luckily for us Mt Fuji was visible today and not hidden by clouds.
We started with a pirate boat ride across Lake Ashino-Ko that gave us great views of the high altitude lake which never freezes due to it’s location near a volcano.
At the end of the ride with got to watch a master craftsman make lock boxes, basically wooden boxes that you need to solve puzzles or complete a number of steps to open. Apparently this traditional craft is dying which is a shame.
Another bus ride got us to Hakone Gore Park, well after a steep walk / climb. The park has a nice fountain, many colourful flowers and old style Japanese huts.
For dinner we changed into traditional Japanese clothing and ate a Japanese multi-course kaiseki meal while sitting on the floor. It was like a sample meal, a little bit of everything, some I liked but others not so much. This meal was included in the G Adventure package.
Now for the embarrassing but fun part. Most of the group agreed to a karaoke night 🎤☺️. My playlist was:
- A Hard Day’s Night
- The Eye of the Tiger; and
- Hotel California
We even got Ted to sing the last song. Beers, sake and singing, how can you go wrong? Well a lot based on our efforts LOL.