For the second day of our trip, we headed to Hakone. Hakone is about an hour outside of Tokyo via train (close to Mt. Fuji), and is popular for its onsen (hot spring) resorts. We wanted to stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), and as mentioned, I booked one called the Hakone Ginyu. It was nothing short of extraordinary.
I have a LOT of Hakone photos, so here we go!
Waiting for the “Romance Car” to Hakone. Yes, it’s really called that.
Reading kanji is hard, but luckily the sign is in English too!
It’s the Romancecar!
Inside the Romancecar was pretty roomy, and the seats could be swivelled around to face each other in groups of four if you wanted. There were even vending machines onboard!
There was someone who walked around, selling food and drinks. Mike got this ADORABLE bento shaped like the train.
And train chopsticks!
Inside the bento was sushi, tempura shrimp, egg, fishcake, and spaghetti and meatballs.
As we headed towards Hakone, the view outside began to get more rural.
A brief stop at Odawara Station before continuing on to Hakone-Yumoto Station, the final stop.
Downtown Hakone, just outside the station.
The sign says “himono” which means dried fish.
Super cute fish cake with a squid design!
Sometimes the Japanese approximation of Western food is really weird. Like these giant hot dogs.
Looking back towards the station — Hakone-Yumoto Station is the yellow building.
We had some time to kill before check-in at the ryokan, so we went for a walk around the station.
Looked for a Totoro, but didn’t find one.
We saw this scary but colourful kind of spider everywhere in Hakone. Apparently this spider also features in Japanese folklore. Transforming into a seductive woman or not, spiders are kowai (scary) and I ran away from them. (As you might have guessed, Mike took this photo, not me.)
Escaped the spiders and had some lunch back at the station, in the train-themed restaurant.
We took the Hakone Tozan Railway up the mountain to get to the ryokan. The railway is cool because it has a bunch of switchbacks so it can climb up the mountain. There are some amazing views as it heads upwards.
Found the Hakone Ginyu!
This was the view when we got inside.
You take your shoes off when you get inside and get them back when you leave. You never wear shoes or slippers on tatami mats.
I felt relaxed already.
Walking towards our room. Ooooooooh.
This was the view from inside the room, looking outside. It was just… wow.
The bath in the bathroom.
Inside the bathroom. The room came with a lot of toiletries!
The washing area. You’re supposed be clean before getting in the onsen.
The ryokan had asked our sizes in advance and had yukata waiting. This is the pants-style yukata. You’re expected to change into yukata and wear them the entire time you’re at the ryokan.
I wore the regular style yukata.
Mike relaxing while I was taking photos of the room.
The outside onsen. It was REALLY HOT.
The room key.
This was the living room area. After dinner, someone came by and put out the futon so it also became the bedroom.
The cutest can of Sapporo ever!
After a dip in the hot spring, we decided to go for drinks at the bar, which had these couch-things outside.
The bar at night.
The room at night.
The dinner menu, in Japanese and presented nicely. Dinner was served in our room.
They also gave us a copy of the menu in English. Note that it is VERY LONG. It was kaiseki style, which means that the meal was composed of a lot of tiny, beautifully presented courses made with seasonal ingredients. The fall theme was very obvious, there were lots of leaves and autumn colours. I took photos of the food, but I can’t possibly caption them all. I will say that it was all REALLY DELICIOUS, however.
After eating that spectacular meal, we crawled into the futons that had been laid out and went to sleep.
If you read this far, Hakone day two is here!