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
Little Japanese school girls we met saw on the train.
Japan, also known as the “land of the rising sun”, a place where we always wanted to visit over recent years but due to commitments were not able to put a trip together. With the economic downturn and dropping of fuel prices, 2009 just felt like the right year to make our virgin trip to Japan. And on Aug 11, the sign came, when Singapore Airlines dropped airfares for many of their routes for the end of the year. It was a deal hard to resist, and so we took the plunge and booked at 8 days 7 nights trip to Tokyo for S$625/pax in November. Because it was our first ever trip to Japan, we decided to not rush and spend most of the time exploring Tokyo and maybe taking 2-3 day trips out of the city.
The next 2 months after that was spent researching our itinerary and searching for an affordable place to stay(a decent 3/4-star hotel or a backpacker’s hostel). Since we will be out most of the day, needed a place which was convenient to do laundry, we short-listed Khaosan Tokyo Guesthouse (albeit the small rooms) which costs around S$80/night, and decided if we make an overnight trip out of Tokyo we could put our luggage in the lockers in the train stations. Unfortunately, the rooms for November could not be booked until mid-September, and so maybe it was a blessing in disguise as we stumbled upon the Weekly Mansion website, which costs around S$110/night and had better locations.
Finally, we decided to do an overnight trip to Hakone/Kamakura. Since we were not going to be in the hotel long for this trip, we decided on getting an affordable hotel rather than an elaborate one with lots of facilities and services. We ended up choosing Hakone-no-mori Okada which costs around S$150/pax which is considered decent as the prices of hotels in Hakone can be as high as S$300/pax.
And so our adventure begins…