The Great Outdoors: Breathtaking Hakone

So Tim and I never made false pretenses that we were super outdoorsy or anything. I spazzed out when there was a small bug caught in my hair, and Tim screams bloody murder when a mosquito is near him. That being said, my favorite spots in Japan have been outside the big cities. Even though Nikko was freezing at night, Lake Chuzenji was beautiful and walking through all the shrines in the woods at the World Heritage site was amazing. Also, in Sakurajima I was super giddy being on the island and checking out the active volcano. Sure, the cities have been fun too but after living in cramped NYC for 5 years its great to be somewhere with some scenery! And some trees! So naturally when Tim and I were trying to decide where to take a mini-day trip, I was pretty excited to check out Hakone. Hakone is a beautiful town an hour west of Tokyo (kind of on the way to Osaka) that is supposed to have some killer views of Mt. Fuji.

Ok, we didn’t see Mt. Fuji. It was too overcast. But to give us some credit we did know that ahead of time and decided to go anyway. Hey, some of the best photos are taken when there’s lots of clouds in the sky! I woke Tim up at 7am (FYI, if you are ever trying to get Tim up quickly, just tell him there’s breakfast and he’ll pop right up and say “Eggs??” and run out the door.) We had to be in Osaka by evening so I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to explore Hakone. And I’m so glad we got up early and went: Hakone is gorgeous! It has a huge lake called Lake Ashi where Tim and I chilled with some ducks and took in the surroundings. Then we proceeded to explore this island and climb up a HUGE flight of steps to get to top for some more great viewing sites. We spent about 3 hours following random signs, looking at creepy bugs and taking lots of photos. We were too poor to take the pirate ship (yes, I said PIRATE ship, arr!) through the lake or do the ropeway, but we ended up doing enough exploring on our own where it didn’t matter. The only letdown of the day was that it was too early in the year to see all of the trees with the leaves changing colors, but I hope at least Neefs is able to go in a few weeks and get some photos! I highly recommend this spot for anyone looking for a day trip close to Osaka/Tokyo, Tim and I both give it two peace signs way up.

 

 

Cedar Avenue is a small segment of a road built hundreds of years ago that connected Kyoto to Tokyo.

 

Quote Book:
::While walking though Cedar Avenue::
Me: Tim, that was a snakeskin.
Tim: Are you sure? It could have been a Chinese finger trap.

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