Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Japan Nov 2009 Day 4

On our 4th day in Japan, we went on a side-trip to Hakone 箱根, a  town at the foot of Mount Fuji world-renowned for their hot spring resorts and related onsen activities. We set up from Tokyo really early, embarking on the Odakyu Odawara Line from Shinjuku to Hakone Yumoto Station

Hakone

Little Japanese school girls we met saw on the train.

Hakone

Fujiya Hotel overlooking Hakone Yumoto Station.

Hakone

Transfering to the Hakone Tozan Line, literally meaning a “mountain-climbing” railway. All transport within Hakone is covered by the Hakone Pass. How cool is that…

Hakone

Spotting a heron in a nearby stream.

Hakone

Bridge co-joining Hotel Fujiya and Hakone-Yumoto Station.

Hakone

Man-made cascades

Hakone

in b&w

Hakone

Hakone

Hakone

A man-made waterfall along the same stream with the foliage along the banks showing a tinge of red. This filled us with anticipation on what lies ahead of us!

Hakone

Gora Station 強羅駅, where we transfer to the Hakone Tozan Cable Car. We were very early and human traffic was relatively sparse.  We took a short hike to Gora Park

Hakone Gora Park

Entrance to Gora Park was also covered by the Hakone Pass. A small crowd enjoying hot tea under a beautiful maple tree which has turned a brilliant red.

Hakone Gora Park

A small walkway leading to slightly more elevated grounds within the park.

Hakone Gora Park

Koyo!

Hakone Gora Park

Many of the trees are in a magnificent display of their autumn colours, the last show they’d be presenting before sleeping through the long winter months.

Hakone Gora Park

Hakone Gora Park

So pretty!

Hakone Gora Park

Hakone Gora Park

Hakone Gora Park

Hakone Ropeway

After getting back from Gora Park to the station, a long queue has already begun to form to take the Tozan ropeway, which is essentially a cablecar that goes from Gora to Togendai, passing Owakudani along the way.

Hakone Ropeway

The “Hakone Ropeway” which is actually a cable car.  Ironically we took a “Hakone Tozan Cablecar” from Hakone Yumoto to Gora but that looks more like a tram!

Hakone Ropeway

Hakone Ropeway

View from the Hakone Tozan Ropeway

Hakone Ropeway

Smoulderin’ and smokin’ hills from the volcanic activity that’s brewing below.

Hakone Ropeway

View from the Hakone Tozan Ropeway, bird’s eye view of Owakudani’s famous sulphur pits. Strong pungent whiffs of hydrogen sulphide gas began to overwhelm the cabin as we approach the station.

Hakone Ropeway

Owakudani 大涌谷

Hakone Ropeway

Owakudani Station

Kurotamago aka black sulphur eggs for sale at the shops in Owakudani Station. However, the best place to get them is right at the sales counter just next to the sulphur pits where they are cooked, using hot volcanic water piped in from underground.

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Someone selling roasted chestnuts outside the station. Pricey at close to 10 bucks for a small handful of 7-8 pieces. One couldn’t fully appreciate the rich aroma of roasted chestnuts with the smell of volcanic gases lingering in the air.

Hakone

Fuji-san at a distance from the carpark at Owakudani

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Mount Fuji, more affectionately known as “Fujisan” to the Japanese, in a far distance. View from Owakudani Station.

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Another short walk up to a pitstop where more kurotamago is sold.

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Eating one is suppose to prolong one’s life by 7 years! What an effective marketing strategy!

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

A huge crowd at the pit stop, a mixture of both locals and tourists.

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

A worker preparing kuro-tamago, where ordinary eggs are placed in a metal cage and soaked into the boiling hot spring water. Sulfur deposits causes the shell to turn black.

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

6 for 500 Yen. very pricey!

Hakone Ropeway - Owakudani Station

A wooden Hello Kitty at one of the gift shops.

Hakone Ropeway

From Owakudani, we continued our way along the Hakone Ropeway cablecar to Togendai. The journey offers a panoramic view of the undulated terrain of northern Hakone.

Hakone Ropeway

Some places look simply breath-taking with the locals mutterly “Sugoii-ne!”…. “Kire!!!”…

Hakone Ropeway

Hakone Ropeway

Togendai Station, the terminus station for the cable car.

Hakone

From the sky, we take to the water! More koyo along the banks of Ashinoko.

Hakone

A restaurant at Togendai Station where one can rest and be fed and watered before continuing the Hakone circuit. The “window seats” offer a wonderful view of the lake.

Hakone

on-board the pirate cruise ship! Hail captain!

Hakone

Fair weather with flurry clouds but only if it was a bit more sunny!

Hakone

Hakone

Pirate cruise on Ashinoko aka Lake Ashi at Hakone, transiting between Togendai and Hakone Machi.

Hakone

Hakone Hotel by a remote side of Lake Ashi

Hakone

Lake Ashi aka Ashinoko from the cruise ship

Hakone

Hakone

Cruise Ship from Togendai to Hakone Machi

Hakone

The reconstruction of the Hakone Tokaido Checkpoint completed in 2007.

Hakone

Hakone Tokaido Checkpoint

Hakone

Hakone

Detached Palace Garden Grounds at Hakone Machi

Hakone

Hakone

The last of autumn

Hakone

Detached Palace at Hakone Machi

Hakone

view of Ashinoko from the top of a small hill where the Detached Palace is situated

Hakone

Torii of the Hakone Jinja, situated at Moto Hakone. Photo taken along road next to Cedar trail between Hakone Machiko and Moto Hakone. Our legs were totally spent when we reached here and thought that it would be best if we get to the hotel. Hakone Tozan buses transit between Moto Hakone and Hakone-yumoto.

Hakone

From Hakone-yumoto station, there’s a shuttle service which runs through the onsen resorts and hotels in this area. The place we booked was quite weird. We had to alight at Okada Hotel, take the lift within the hotel to the 7th floor and walk through a maze of corridors to get to an adjacent building where our lodging for the night is located.

Hakone

Room @ Hakone Okada no mori

Hakone

Towels for onsen, Yunasato

Hakone

Automated toilet bowl

Hakone

Automated toilet bowl control. How cool is that…

Hakone

dinner @ Okada no mori.

3 entrees consisting of a cold boiled foods dish(west), a ham and cured foods dish(southwest) , a sashimi dish(southeast), pickled daikon(south), a instant grill dish(central), potato salad with shitake mushroom and shrimp in sweet agedashi sauce embellished with edaname, poached salmon and dessert of cake and orange. Rice and miso soup to go.

Hakone

poached salmon in sweet sauce, possibly made from dashi sauce base with mirin, sugar and soy sauce

Hakone

starters at dinner.  shrimp, squid and broccoli were lightly blazed with a blowtorch before adding the creamy egg and mayonnaise-base sauce. Small wedge of boiled potato in the background.

Hakone

mini grill of pork, scallop, pumpkin, onion, capsicum and mushroom. After that went back to our room and proceed to the onsen! It was so relaxing… kimochi-desu!

Hakone

Breakfast @ Hakone Okada no mori

Hakone

Japanese breakfast @ Okada no mori

Hakone

various salads and entrees for the Japanese breakfast @ Okada no mori. Green salad, potato and egg salad, pickled radish, tamagoyaki, different types of pickled and fermented soya, onsen tamago, miso-jiru etc. It was essentially buffet-styled but we each got a serving of a small grilled sanma 秋刀鱼.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – The taste of Spring 岚山 竹路庵 和菓子 « travellingfoodies

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