6-20-2012 8:54:59 AM
Wednesday, June 20th
Finally. We made it to Hakone. But it turns out that the storm caused landslides, which restricted bus and train travel. Our hotel was on the side of a mountain, but we could not reach it. We found a nearby hotel, Hotel Asuka, and we were able to change the booking through booking.com to the hotel that was close to the downtown area. By this time, it was about ten in the morning and we hadn’t eaten a real meal since lunch of the day before (not to mention our lack of sleep from being stuck on that train). We left our luggage at our hotel and began to explore the area. We found a nice resort nearby that had a lunch buffet filled with many scrumptious treats. Since it opened at 11 and we had been walking for a while so we were able to eat- and we did. We were too hungry to take pictures, but Garden Restaurant Himeshara’s buffet was amazing.
Update: We finally reached Hakone after a terrible night in the typhoon. The pictures show the train station in Hakone and a bridge across the rushing river that separates the city in half.In Hakone, they had a localized tram that ran around the mountain. One of the stops was the Venetian Glass Museum. They had an outdoor garden with crystals decorating each bush and flower. This made the entire outdoor area sparkle, which was really enjoyable after the typhoon.
The pictures for the museum: The Glass Museum grounds. The white tree on the island is made completely of blown glass. They put crystals in flowering bushes for a neat effect.
A close-up of the crystals on the bridge. When the sun lit this up, it was amazing, but hard to catch on camera.
One of the open areas in the massive museum. We loved the marble fountain.
The ceilings, the light fixtures, the fountain… the whole place was beautiful.
6-21-2012 9:09:18 AM
Thursday, June 21st
Ichinoyu Ryokan was the most expensive place we stayed the whole month- but it was worth it! It was a traditional ryokan with a private onsen on our balcony. A onsen is a hot spring and it is what Hakone is famous for (like Hot Springs, Arkansas). The water is amazing and my skin was incredibly soft after this little trip.