Sometimes travel days are pretty intense. We made the transfer from Okinawa Island to Hakone and it went something like this:
Walk to the Naha Monorail – fly Naha to Tokyo Haneda – hand off luggage to delivery service – monorail to train station – train to Shinjuku train station – another train to Hakone/Yumoto Station – bus to Hakone Village at Lake Ashi. Arriving before 3:00 pm check in time!
We visited Hakone on our first trip to Japan in 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. But there was one thing we didn’t have time to do – take a boat ride on Lake Ashi. But this time we were ready. It is just over an hour from Shinjuku to Hakone – Yumoto on the direct train. It is called the Romancecar. It’s not like it was painted pink or decorated with hearts…. But we did get a pretty nifty bento box:
Yes, I know that it is the kiddy bento. Still good!
Hakone is in a national park that contains, among other things, a volcano. From Hakone-Yumoto there is a trip on a scenic railway, a funicular railway and then a gondola to get to the top. And, if you have time, a gondola ride down the other side to the lake. This time around we took the bus around to the lake and perched for the night. And in the morning:
Is that a pirate ship? Oh yes it is!
That is the Victory. Her sister ship arrived in the morning with a full load of scurvy mates:
The ‘Captain’ dropped by for a photo shoot:
And then we went up on deck to check things out:
Once we had made it safely to shore (no gun battles between ships today) we headed back up and over.
The thing to do at the top is hop off to observe the works and have volcano eggs.
Of course Hello Kitty is there, getting her egg on. Crates of eggs are lowered in wire baskets into the hot water emerging from the volcano where they are boiled up – and their shells turn black!
The egg theme is big up there! As you can see it was raining quite briskly – time to catch the next gondola and continue on our way.
Funicular (or cable car). Followed by another train ride on a very old electric train. And then the Romancecar back to Tokyo.
I mentioned earlier that we used the luggage delivery service. It is quite common for people to use the service to move their luggage about, especially when travelling by train. We left our luggage at the airport and took our knapsacks with overnight items. Our original plan had been to go to Lake Ashi, take the round trip lake excursion and then take the bus back for the train. Once we got there we realized it made more sense- and more fun – to go the route we did. Which we couldn’t have done with our larger suitcases. And when we got to our hotel in Tokyo our bags were waiting for us in storage. Worked like a charm!