New Japanese blog is live at Purpurpurpur.co.uk: explore Hakone, devil valley, Ashi lake (and get a glimpse of Fuji), Odawara and our stay at Hyatt Regency 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 #purpurpurpur_guides🔎🌎 #purpurpurpur_hotels
Hakone town in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is famous mainly for two things: views over Mount Fuji (if you’re visiting in clear sunny weather, which is more likely to occur in winter) and onsens. It’s definitely an area to consider visiting in Japan: it’s best to reach from Tokyo or Osaka.
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is a large natural reserve not far away from Mt Fuji. Once you reach Ashi Lake (a crater lake also known as Ashinoko), you can choose your water vehicle for a lake ride. We took a so-called ‘pirate ship’ from Hakone Sightseeing Cruise and had a smooth ride with beautiful views over the forestry hills, and occasionally, you can see red torii on the shore. Unfortunately, we didn’t get lucky with a view as in spring, the air is quite often misty, and we barely saw Mt Fuji.
After the pirate ship ride, we took the Hakone ropeway that frames Ashi Lake. It goes all the way to another unique natural sight: Owakudani, a volcanic valley with a sulphur pool and vents. Once you arrive at the station, you get a small wet towel if you need to get your nose covered: yes, the sulphur springs have a pretty strong aroma that you won’t mix with any other smell, so this towel might be really useful.
You can walk around the designated area, and there is a shop and cafe near the entrance to the site. The one thing not to miss there are Black Eggs, or Kuro tamago 黒卵, boiled in sulphur water that turns their shell black. Make sure you try one just for an experience!
Where to stay in Hakone?
We stayed in Hyatt Regency Hakone, Gora (Kanazawa prefecture), and this was probably my most memorable stay from my first trip to Japan. The hotel is a perfect combination of traditional and modern, with the rooms overlooking the National Park.
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