Hakone 箱根: Sightseeing in Hakone Day 1

By Cubie - February 27, 2015

Source: Odakyu model sightseeing website
I borrowed this map from the Odakyu website because our travel follows this route. We departed from Tokyo in the morning, to make it in time for our baggage to be forwarded to the hotel. For day 1, our transportation mode was bus, foot, ship then bus again. This was where that map that I borrowed from Hakone Tozan Bus works wonder. Here goes, in travel order.

Hatajuku Yosegi Kaikan (Wooden Craft Hall)
Station: Hatajuku bus stop

It displays and sells wooden items made in "Yosegi-zaiku" style. This handicraft is an art where pieces of wood are joined together. We didn't take any photo inside the craft hall but I got myself a little magnet, the rest of the things are not cheap. Granted, good art are expensive.

Amazake-jaya (Amazake Chaya)
Station: Amazake-jaya bus stop

Little P said we will have tea break at Amazake-chaya (Tea House). I heard the word tea break and food, I'm sold. We hopped on the bus again, and got off at Amazake-chaya bus stop.

It was a beautiful tea house by the road side. After we took enough photos at the front of the tea house, we went inside and feed our tummies. The popular dish on menu are of course, Amazake and Chikara-mochi. It was said that the traditional tastes has been unchanged since historical times.

Four cups of Amazake 甘酒 and iced green tea 冷たい抹茶 for Little P
Chikara-mochi 力餅 in 3 flavours. From furthest away: 'Isobe' - soy sauce flavour, 'kurogoma' - 'uguisu' mixed with black sesame and 'uguisu' - sweet young soy bean powder
L: Miso-oden 味噌おでん - Konyaki balls with miso and sesame.
R: Tokoroten ところ天 - agar-agar in noodle like strips with seaweed and sesame topping

Next to Amazake-chaya (teahouse) is an Old Thatched Wooden Traveller's Rest House. Though I think part of it could be Hakone Kyudo Shiryokan 箱根旧道資料館 as there were some exhibits portraying times in Edo period.

We even crossed the road and check out what was behind some trees / bushes, which was a dead end but nice trees. :P

Thereafter, we started our walk on the Old Hakone Highway.

Old Hakone Highway
Hakone was once a checkpoint on the Old Tokaido Highway in the Edo period. This highway connected the shogun's capital in Edo (now Tokyo) with the imperial capital Kyoto. I was glad we did at least parts of this highway on foot.

It was a fairly short trail as we only do a small part of it, from Amazake Chaya to Moto-Hakone bus stop which is approximately 45 minutes, according to this map. If we had started the walk from Hatajuku or Hakone-Yumato, we would have to go through a much more ascending course.

I enjoyed the walk, it was good to have a good trail walk and enjoy the greenery.

Moto-Hakone is located by Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), I think if fengshui is as easy as having both mountain and sea, this must've been a prime spot. Lake Ashi with Mount Fuji sitting at the end of it.

It had passed 3 pm by the time we reached Moto-Hakone and time for a late lunch. We walked along the street and went in one where all agreed they can find something they would eat.

View from the food place

Tempura Moriawase - to share

I opted for yuba soba (buckwheat noodles with tofu skin) - somehow it sounds much better if you don't breakdown what it means...
The initial idea was to walk all the way to Hakone-machi and take the ferry there but after our leisure walk and late lunch, it might be a little risky to get there timing wise. If we missed the ferry, we will need to find other ways to get across the lake because it was the last ferry that we aimed for, so we get nice sunset along with lake and mountain. Timetable for ferry can be obtained here.

It really wasn't hard to spend about 15-20 minutes at Moto-Hakone, but it also means I'm going to put more photos to make this post even longer. :P

Quack quack quack
Then came the ship, it looks very much like any touristy ship but it was a very enjoyable cruise, to top it off we did have a very good weather day.

The day ends with a bus ride to the lodge we made reservation prior to arriving in Japan. Dinner was simple izakaya affair, I had a tonkatsu curry rice though it was a pleasant surprise to hear Mongol 800's Chiisana Koi No Uta during the midst of dinner, over CD player of course.

Side note: Where can I find thin kuih kapit...?

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  1. I think I should check the old Hakone highway when we visit Japan this November. :)

    1. ooh.. you going back to Japan this November! NICE!

    2. Yup. Gonna run in the Fujisan Marathon again. :P

      Then I'll move on to another Japan marathon (or ultra... hihihi) in 2016. ;)