Hakone Day 2 – Actually Leaving the Resort

In November 2019, I took my parents to Japan for their first time – and my seventh – over two weeks. This series is to be read as a diary, and serves as a place to showcase the pictures taken and preserve the memories made.

Hakone Lake Ashi
Arrr matey avast ye, for we plunder today! Wait, we’re in Japan, aren’t we?

Date of trip: 14/Nov/2019 – 28/Nov/2019

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All experiences – food, accommodation and activities in this post were independently paid for.

Series Contents

Day 1 – Hiroshima (introduction)Day 2 – Okayama/Kurashiki
Day 3 – OsakaDay 4 – Mount Koya
Day 5 – KyotoDay 6 – Kyoto
Day 7 – ArashiyamaDay 8 – Kyoto
Day 9 – Uji & NaraDay 10 – Hakone
Day 11 – HakoneDay 12-14 – Tokyo

Japan Day 11 – Hakone

  • Hakone - Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara
  • Hakone - Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara
  • Hakone - Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone

I was prepared for to never leave our resort for the full two days we spent at Hakone – you can see why – but it’s autumnal allure and a rare few hours of clement weather on the second day was a whole kind of mood. Resistance was futile.

Hakone Lake Ashi
Do try a sightseeing cruise while touring Lake Ashi. Do try not to question the ships.

Notwithstanding obsequious praise for our lodging, even the best in the world could not have kept me inside. While my first few visits to Hakone were spent around the town and its various onsens, this was my first opportunity to visit Lake Ashi (AKA Ashinoko), the number one scenic destination in the area (step aside Ōwakudani). So you know, I was pretty determined to see it. Sure, I don’t have the best pictures to back up the assertion as a fog as thick as pea soup enrobed the entire area for much of the time, but I’ll let them do the talking anyway.

  • Hakone Lake Ashi
  • Hakone Lake Ashi
  • Hakone Lake Ashi
  • Hakone Lake Ashi

Did I say clement weather? Whelp.

Hakone Lake Ashi
Davy Jones, is that you?

Postcard-perfect pictures these ain’t, but I have a funny feeling you already know what I’m trying to sell you – either you’ve already been (as almost every other tourist to Japan has), or have already done your own research – and don’t need this choir preacher overplaying his Japan-is-the-greatest sermon. As I’ve said many times, Hakone is boundlessly beautiful, with Lake Ashi an ineluctably connected part of this beauty.

Hakone Shrine
Not a good sign for what’s coming.

I’m going to hazard a guess that you’ve come across Hakone Shrine. It’s undoubtedly famous, though is now perhaps becoming infamous, given its alluring floating torii gate draws tourist crowds of up to an hour for That Social Media Post. How do I know this? Uh….

Hakone Shrine
Okay, guilty.
  • Hakone Shrine
Just so you know, the line got around 50% longer than this at its peak. Yikes.

If you can’t beat them, join them! [I swear I’ll never line up here again. Promise!]

After around four hours, the rain began to pummel down once more, so our short time at Ashinoko was at an end. It was back to Kai Sengokuhara, partaking in its excellent kaiseki dinner, and one of the best sleeps of my life. Is it just me, or does rain really buff up the experience of snoozing?

  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone
  • Hoshino Kai Sengokuhara Hakone

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