Taiwan and Japan - Day 12

The Culture of Hakone

After a relaxing if not hard sleep we awoke to get ready for breakfast. At 8 o’clock we got a phone call from Mama-san telling us “Good morning, breakfast OK”. We knew that was our queue to get our butts downstairs. Breakfast was in the same room and was the same setup as dinner. I will see I did not eat much because Fish for breakfast is not really for me. After breakfast we got ready to start our trip around Hakone.

Our first stop was a walk back to the station to catch a train to Gora. This was the part of the trip where we lost Sarma. One second he was standing with us so we all walk on the train, the next second we look around and he has dissapeared. This resulted in Drew, Dani and Chris waiting for Sarma while the rest of us took the first train. The train goes way up the mountain to Gora, having to use 2 switch tracks so it can continue its way towards the top of the mountain.

We got off the train at the Gora and waited for the others to catch up as they had found Sarma. We had a browse through the shops while we waited. We then had to take a cable car up the mountain to the top. I wouldn’t really call it a cable car it was a tram. Nevertheless the ride up was steep and a little scary. We arrived up the top of the mountain and normally the next step would be to take the cable car across to Owakudani. However the cable car was only operating from further down because of volcanic activity in the area. So Owakundai was off limits for everyone. We fully 100% blame this on Steve. So instead of the cable car we hopped on the bus and as we traveled down to the available cable car station we had our first views of Fuji.

Fuji is a very difficult mountain to see as it spends most of the year hiding behind clouds. It is normally only visible for 120ish days a year and most of the year. Out of those 120 days often people will only see a snippet. We were extremely lucky today with Mt Fuji is full view with a clear sky around it. It is a beautiful mountain. As we loaded onto the cable car we were able to see Fuji better and took many pictures. Even though we could only do a section of the cable car it was pretty fun and the view was amazing. As we arrived down the bottom we could see Lake Hakone which would be where our next stop would be.

The look on Drew’s face when he saw the pirate ships was priceless. We lined up to board and drew played with the pirate ship dress ups. The voyage on the pirate ship was freezing we had decided to stay at the back of the ship to get photos and we managed to stay outside for the whole boat ride but the wind was soooooo cold. We at last got to see Fuji from the boat which was pretty cool. We got off the boat and found a Ramen place for lunch. We got our lunch and some Sake and has a rest. The meal was amazing well worth the stop and the money. We decided to walk up to Hakone Shrine. The shrine has stairs leading from the water to the shrine and is pretty cool.

Drew got Dani an arrow which she put in her bag so she walked around with jiggling coming from her bag from the bells on it. Rob, Anthony and I all got a fortune for the year. We asked some Japanese girls for help and then the told Rob and I that our fortunes could be better so we tied them up to the line. We explored the temple for a while and then decided to catch the bus back so we could take the train to Tokyo. 2 normal trains and 1 bullet train later we arrived at our hotel. We were thrilled to see our bags were here. We settled in and then went to explore Shinjuku and ended up at an arcade again.