This has just been sitting in my drafts and is LONG overdue, so I'm bringing it back for #throwbackthursday! See parts 1 and 2 down below for Tokyo and Kyoto! This is part 3 of my 2017 trip to Japan!
Hakone is known for it's lush green forests and many onsens (bath houses). We were concerned that because most of us had tattoos, we wouldn't be allowed in the public onsens (In Japan, tattoos were often associated with gangs, although I'm not sure if they've become more normalized recently). To be safe, we opted for a wonderful accommodation with a private onsen in the room - Hakone Suimeisou. Between the balcony overlooking a powerful mini waterfall and the authentic Japanese breakfast and dinner taken in yukata (robes), I absolutely loved this place and would repeat in a heartbeat!
Hakone Open Air Museum
After breakfast, we traveled up the mountains via trolley to the Hakone Open Air Museum. Although the sculptures were really cool, my strongest memory was the peace I felt being among the clouds - it was almost ethereal!
Well said, cousin. Well said....
Next, we took a cable car up and across a volcanic valley with active sulfur vents - Owakudani. This is not for the faint of heart, but the views are cool if you can manage to get a glimpse of the ground through all the smokey fog. At the top is a gift shop where you can buy the popular black eggs that were boiled in a hot sulfur spring.
Cruise to Mt. Fuji
Wow, I can't believe we did all this in one day...Following the volcanoes, we came down from the mountain and took a "pirate ship" tour to see Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately it was too foggy to see it. Guess I'll have to try again another time!
Our second day in Hakone was spent relaxing in the onsen, exploring the local area, and mentally preparing to leave this wonderful place to head back to Tokyo. For more photos from Hakone, see the Japanese Excursion gallery!