A stone’s throw away from Mount Fuji, Hakone is a popular hub for visitors of this world-renowned volcano. Unfortunately it’s a notoriously shy mountain so we didn’t get to see it this time, but we had a great tour of the surroundings areas of Hakone. We used the Hakone Transport Pass and followed the set route, which was exhausting but allows you to get lots done in one day.
Take the winding train up the mountain, with stunning views as you pass popular landmarks such as the Open Air Museum.
The Cable Cars
The first cable car will take you up to the starting point of the Mount Owakudani cable car, which is the world’s second longest cable car. This distinctive journey not only allows for views of Mount Fuji during clear weather but also a journey over sulphurous fumes and hot springs. At the halfway point, the peak of the mountain, we got out to take photos of the fumes and were greeted with THE STRONGEST SMELL OF EGG. It was unbelievable, but surprisingly I didn’t pass out – worth it for some impressive views though! A stunning view of luscious green ensued as we descended the mountain, which was so bright that it almost didn’t look real! As we neared the bottom we could see a pirate boat in the distance… Our next mode of transport.
All Buccaneers Aboard!
After a delicious katsu curry at the terminal, we boarded a huge replica pirate ship to take us across Lake Ashinoko, which was formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. I can’t say that this was one of my highlights of the trip as it was swarming with tourists rushing to the sides for photos, but had some lovely views nonetheless.
The Last Leg…
Docking at Hakonemachi-ko, we had a browse in the souvenir shops and bought some very tasty iced mochas to slightly alleviate the build-up of heat throughout the day, before waiting for the return bus to the Hakone-Yumoto. We walked back to our hotel, the traditional Pax-Yoshino, and bought snacks for dinner on the way because our energy levels were seriously dwindling…
One train, two cable cars, a pirate ship, and a bus later, we’d completed the tour of Hakone.