171 Tounosawa, Hakonemachi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, Japan
One of the experiences most important to me was to stay in a traditional style Japanese home or hotel (ryokan). This ryokan was amazing and depending on your budget, you could really live in luxury for a few days. Tonosawa hot spring is one of the seven great hot springs of Hakone. The Yamanochaya hotel can be found by the bridge that crosses over the Hayakawa River. Tatami floors and futons, balconies with forest and mountain views and open-air deep soaking tubs filled with hot spring water. Bathing in an onsen (public bath house) was another experience I did not want to miss out on. Now, that being said, I am a very modest person and once I was there I really started to second guess my onsen plans. However, at this ryokan, we could reserve a private hour.
You were provided with yukata (cotton kimono), and tabi (socks) which you were to wear throughout in the ryokan.
Restaurants & Food
Breakfast and dinner, served in-room, were included and amazing. Our dinner was eight courses and presented with incredible detail and color. Our breakfast was just as colorful and delicious.
One Day Itinerary
After hauling our luggage up what felt like a never ending hill, we dropped it off at the hotel and rode a bus to Lake Ashi. From Hakonemachi-Ko (pier) we went on a sightseeing cruise on the Royal II (Hakone Pirate Ship), passing by Hakone Shrine’s lakefront torii, and Mt. Fuji, that we unfortunately did not get to see due to clouds. Once we reached the opposite side of the lake at Togendai-Ko (pier), we grabbed some matcha and milk swirl soft serve ice cream and then hopped on a bus to Owakudani Station. Owakudani was created roughly three millennia ago by steam explosions. “Great Boiling Valley” is an active volcanic zone that sources Hakone’s hot springs. This is also where they boil eggs in hot spring ponds. The eggs turn black and do not need any salt. From Owakudani we got on the Hakone Ropeway to Gora and then headed back to the ryokan.
I highly recommend purchasing the Hakone Pass which allows you to use all modes of transportation throughout Hakone. We bought ours at Odawara Station on the way to Hakone from Tokyo.
Day 3 (Day of Arrival)
Viewing Mt. Fuji From Lake Ashi
Owakudani Hot Springs
The Hakone Ropeway from Togendai-ko and Owakudani was closed due to volcanic activity and because it was the weekend, Hakone was very busy and traffic was heavy. We were unable to see most of the things on our list before 6:00 p.m. which was when we had scheduled our private onsen appointment.
Our next trip, I will allot for at least two full weekdays in Hakone so that we can include more of the tourists attractions. Hopefully it will not be so cloudy and we will be able to see Mt. Fuji as well.
- Open Air Museum
- Pola Museum of Art
- Hakone Glass Forest Venetian Glass Museum
- Viewing Mt. Fuji
- Latique Museum
- Hakone Shrine
- Check Out Of Ryokan
- Leave For Kyoto (233.22 miles)
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