Hakone 箱根

 

Moss garden at Hakone Museum of Art

Moss garden at Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone is another popular scenic spot just outside (less than 100km) of Tokyo. We left early morning from Shinjuku station – the transport in Tokyo is so good for these nearby places making weekend trips from the city centre so easy and convenient . It was raining when we arrived at our first stop – the Hakone Museum of Art ( 箱根美術館, Hakone Bijutsukan). The building itself was situated in the middle of a garden full of foliage in spectacular autumn colours.

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Red, greens, yellow, vibrant contrast

Red, greens, yellow, vibrant contrast

Rain makes the leaves glisten!

Rain makes the leaves glisten!

We also visited Owakudani (大涌谷) which the area around the crater of Mt Hakone, a volcano which erupted some 3000 years ago. Similar to New Zealand, volcanic activity means an abundance in sulfuric smells and bubbling hot pools.

People outside food stalls and souvenir shops

People outside food stalls and souvenir shops

View from the ropeway showing the yellow colour of sulfuric activity

View from the ropeway showing the yellow colour of sulfuric activity, lots of digging and excavating it seems

A famous specialty here is the ‘black egg’, which is essentially  just a hard-boiled egg but boiled in the natural hot spring water from the crater. They say that eating one will extend your life by 7 years.

They look black on the outside but the inside is the same as a normal hard boiled egg. Tastes the same too, but apparently the natural spring water makes it more nutricious

They look black on the outside but the inside is the same as a normal hard-boiled egg. Tastes the same too, but apparently the natural spring water makes it more nutritious

Boiling the eggs one cage at a time

Boiling the eggs one cage at a time, they are really popular!

A great thing about mountains in Japan is that most of them have rope ways built-in – you don’t really need to do much ‘hiking’ but take the rope way up, such a great way to see the surroundings!


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We took a pirate ship (no kidding, that’s what it looked like!) to get to Hakone Checkpoint (箱根関所, Hakone Sekisho), a little complex consisting of gates, fences and housing for officers along the shore of Lake Ashi. Back in the Edo period this was an important checkpoint to control traffic along the Tokaido (東海道), the highway which linked Tokyo and Kyoto. The current buildings are a reconstruction from 2007.

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Cruising Lake Ashi on a pirate ship!

Hakone checkpoint

Hakone checkpoint

November is a great month to visit as the colourful leaves are really stunning.

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More information including major attractions in Hakone can be found here.

 

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4 responses to “Hakone 箱根

    • I know it’s quite a surreal feeling being up in the air like that, thanks for visiting! I was inspired to blog about my time in Japan after visiting Tokyo Republic!

  1. Definitely adding this to my list of places to visit during the autumn but not sure if I fancy those eggs – they remind me a little too much of the “thousand year old eggs” in China!

    • Hi David! Yes def worth a visit in Autumn, quite crowded though during this season. The eggs taste no different to a normal hard boiled one, the only difference is the black skin colour and the price..!

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