Travel Blog – 2006/03/28 – Hakone, Japan


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Originally uploaded by cloneofsnake.

Woke up 5:30, check out 6:15, (phone charge ¥90), Oedo-sen opens at 6:30, we had to wait for gate to open. To Shinjuku (¥170 x 2), found Odakyu-sen (at South Gate) but needed lockers for our luggages. Asked Odakyu’s staff and he said their lockers are inside but couldn’t fit our luggages, told us to go to JR next door. Asked JR dude if I can go in to use the lockers, got in, bought milk (¥110) at conbini to get ¥1000 change for lockers (¥500 x 2). 7:00am, we still have time for breakfast, went out Southwest exit to Yoshinoya 吉野家, got 2 納豆定食 (natto ¥340 x 2), surprisingly, it was pretty good! Perhaps I’ve finally gotten used to the taste. (Compare this to the packaged natto we get from Family Mart in NYC, this was pretty good!)

Rode 7:30 Romance car to Hakone, a Taiwanese family sat behind us, Taiwanese are so much better than tourists from mainland China… they didn’t talk loud or make a scene. Arrived at 9:02, switched to Gora tozan densha 強羅登山電車 platform 4, up to Miyanoshita 宮ノ下, out and took a small walk (早川(堂ヶ島)遊歩道) down to the river. Nice and quiet, no one else came down here, strange thing about the traffic on the main street though, nobody would stop to let u cross the street!

Took the next train up to gora 強羅, soooo many people! It’s a lot different from the last time we came… (5 pm in mid Feb., dark and foggy, it was like Silent Hill!) I saw Onsen Manjuu at the shop right outside the gates and I bought 1 for ¥105, turns out if we had walked outside first, other shops were selling them at ¥105 for 2!! That bitch!

Queenie wanted to go to the Little Prince museum (Museum of SaintーExupery and The Little Prince), so we took a really cramped #2 Hakone tozan bus toward Sengokuhara 仙石原. The curves were wild and I don’t know what the fuck the old lady behind me was thinking, but she really stuck herself to my ass! (She was like about 4’8″).

Cute place, this Little Prince Museum… (Lockers ¥100, entrance ¥1350 x 2), miniature European buildings, like a fake Disneyland,except this is Japan and they have full copyrights! (The merchandise stated you can only sell these in Japan.) Afterwards, took bus toward kowakidani 小涌谷 back to Gora.

Hakone tozan cablecar up to Sounzan 早雲山, nothing to see or do here except for the stamp. Hakone ropeway to Owakudani 大涌谷, famous for their ゙Black eggs” 黒たまご, it was about 3pm and we were hungry, bought sweet bun, こんにゃく, milk (¥640) and 6 black eggs (¥500). We were lucky enough to run into 5 tourbus of mainland Chinese tours, what a plague! I doubt any of my pictures came out good b’coz there were so many of them. I asked a Japanese Dad to take a picture of Queenie and me in broken Japanese, and he was clearly annoyed at it! This was the first time I had encountered such a reaction, normally they are really friendly and curtious, they would take your picture and then ask you if the picture was OK! Sigh… that’s why I hate those mainland Chinese, I’m proud of my Hong Kong Chinese culture, but I hate to be associated with those Chinese from the mainland.

Rode ropeway gondola down to Togendai 桃源台, then pirate ship to Hakone machi. One weird thing about today, I saw at least 3 pairs of Japanese men with white girls… normally it’s the other way around. Is Hakone a center for “reverse inter-racial couples”? Walked left and saw the sign for our ryokan – Yugiriso, walked in and was slightly surprised by the extremely curtious service! The old lady explained everything from onsen time and family bath to Karaoke room and food. She took 6 yukata for Queenie to choose from, then helped her dress up. Dinner was at 6 but she had to come in 1/2 hr early to prepare. We had an hour before dinner time so we went for a quick onsen as we were both very tired. Fell asleep afterwards, woke up at 9:30, the TV was playing a scary program, which reminded me of that kid from Juon, I was expecting to see some dead white faced kid to come out and scare me. More onsen at 11pm, then write diary and sleep.

(Just saw a Suica commercial with penguin and cell phone, really cute, reminding myself to try to find it online when I get back.)

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Posted in Japan, Travel
4 comments on “Travel Blog – 2006/03/28 – Hakone, Japan
  1. nahikari says:

    Hi! we are a spanish couple travelling to japan and we would like to stay 2 days on a tipical ryokan…we have been looking a lot and we finally decided about yugiriso but we dont know how to book the room 😦 can u please help us telling how did u reserve ? tx a lot

  2. cloneofsnake says:

    Hi Nahikari,

    I actually booked from the Japanese website jalan.net ~ http://www.jalan.net/jalan/jweb/yado/YADS_331833.HTML
    Details of Yugiriso here. The reservation was done in Japanese, it includes choices of rooms and dinners! There’s an English site that can do reservation for you, I’ve heard that they’re really friendly, so may be you can ask them about those choices ~ http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/hakone/yugiriso.htm

    You can see my planned itinerary here.

    When are you going? Japan is have a warm winter this year, so their cherry blossoms are blooming early. In Tokyo, the predicted full bloom date is Mar.18th!! Hope you guys can make it. http://gojapan.about.com/cs/cherryblossoms/a/sakurafestival.htm

  3. Donna says:

    hello.
    I will be going to Hakone March 26-27th. I am trying to find a good Ryokan to stay in that is good for exploring Hakone. Did you go to the open air museum? How did you like your stay at Yugiriso, how were the baths and food. Thank you so much for your help. There are so many Ryokans to choose from hard to know which one would be best. Thanks heaps.

    Donna

  4. cloneofsnake says:

    No, I didn’t get to go to the Open Air museum because we girlfriend wanted to go to “The Little Prince Museum” instead. 😛

    Yugiriso was nice, it was priced reasonably, easy to get to, had a small outdoor onsen / hotspring but at least it looked pretty natural unlike one of those big indoor pool. The food was good, albeit the portion is a little small, but that’s the case with most Japanese food. You might want to bring some extra snacks for the night.

    We were about 3 blocks away from the shore of the lake and the view was blocked by a hotel right at the shore… OK, I just looked up Google maps, it’s called the Hakone Hotel – http://www.hakonehotel.jp/en/index.html. If you would consider hotels instead of ryokans, this would be a great choice!! Remember to get the lakeview suite room, you’ll wake up to the glorious view of Mt. Fuji!!!

    Hope you’ll have a great time in Hakone.

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