Hakone ~ 8 Nov 2008 ~ My Birthday

25th Birthday @ Tokyo. Oh yeah.. today is my birthday and this is the first time I’m not in Malaysia during my birthday.

 Our default plan for today is actually Fuji Five Lakes. But, we decided to go to Hakone the night before. We did the planning after we went back from DisneySea.  😛 .

We took one & a half hour of train from Shinjuku (10am) to Hakone. We bought the Hakone Freepass which cost ¥5000. (valid for 2 days, you can get a 3 days pass @ ¥5500) This pass allowed unlimited ride for all types of transportation in the Hakone area.

Shinjuku ~ Odawara ~ Hakone-Yumoto ~ Gora ~ Saunzan ~ Owakudani ~ Togendai ~ Hakonemachi ~ Hakone-Yumoto ~ Odawara ~ Shinjuku

We arrived @ Hakone-Yumoto Station around 11:30am and transit straight away to the Hakone Tozan Line.

Hakone Tozan Line is the Japan’s first mountain railroad where it is capable of climbing one meter vertically for every 12.5 meteres of horizontal distance. (max slop of 8%). The line was designed to limit the impact on scenery as the line is traverses Fuji-Hakone_Izu National Park. This line is actually perform 3 switch-back where the train actually travel in zig-zag manner front-back 3 times.Therefore, the front & back train captains will switch their places 3 times throughout the journey. Switch-back manner is actually a way of climbing hills with a minimal need for tunnels & heavy earthworks.

We arrived @ Gora around 12:15pm (40 minutes journey).

We stopped @ Gora for about 20 minutes for quick lunch.

After that we took Hakone Tozan Cablecar from Gora to Sounzan which takes about 10 minutes.

From Sounzan, we took Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani.

Owakudani is the area around the crater created in the last eruption of Mount 3000 years ago. Sulfurous fumes, hot springs & hot rivers can be experienced on a walk around the area.

Of course, we never forget to try the special black eggs ~ Kuro-tamago(黒玉子) which is boiled in the naturally hot springs, are said to prolong one’s life by seven years. The boiled eggs turn black & smell slightly sulphuric. Eating one adds seven years to your life. haha.. since one packet contains 5 eggs, thus, I ate 2.5 eggs which should prolongs my life up to 17.5 years? unbelievable.. 😛 We only realize eating a third 1 is actually highly unadvised after we finished all the eggs.  😛 . 1 package is selling @ ¥500.

You should know why I was wearing the rain coat. 😛

We were advised not to stay here long as a lot of volcanic gas are drifting around this Owakudani trial.

We spent some times for souvenir. Of course the cake is not our souvenir, is for our supper. 😛 Our souvenir is the 箱根清酒 which cost ¥2400. The packaging is nice right?

Wow… finally we managed to get the view of Mt. Fuji after we came out from the Souvenir Shop. Even though its still a bit blur.. but we were lucky enough as the weather is bad today.

Finally, we took Hakone Ropeway down towards the Togendai to catch the Ferry trip @ 5pm. We took Hakone Sightseeing Cruise to Hakonemachi. This Ferry ride is one of the main attraction of Hakone where you will be able to get a fine view of Japan’s most famous peak ~ Mt. Fuji & enjoy Hakone’s rich scenery relected the lake’s calm surface if the weather is good. However, the time we took the ferry is already sun set. Thus, we were not able to enjoy the nice scenery.  🙁 . This ride took us around 40 minutes.

We took Hakone Tozan Bus from Hakonemachi back to the Hakone-Yumoto Stations

 ** Tips for hakone trip:
~ Please remember to check the weather forecast, else you won’t able to get the nice view of Mt. Fuji.
~ if you plan to go for 1 day trip, please start your trip @ 8am. We started our trip @ 10am is actually too late because sun set @ 5pm in Autumn. Do not skip the hot spring if you have time.  😛
~ Recommended Route @ Hakone:
Shinjuku ~ Odawara ~ Hakone-Yumoto ~ Motohakone-ko ~ Hakonemachi ~ Togendai ~ Owakudani  ~ Saunzan ~ Gora ~ Hakone-Yumoto ~ Odawara ~ Shinjuku

As we will back to M’sia (actually is I because chen hoong is going back to Singapore) the next day, we stopped by at Ueno to find the way to go to Kensei Line from Hibiya Line in order to avoid we lost again. Because flight will never wait for you.  😛  .

We got back to hotel around 10pm and enjoyed our supper @ the living room ~ Cheese cake (we bought from  owakudani) & a cup of 3-in-1 Coffee (of course we brought it from M’sia) after done with our packing.

Next day ~ we took Kensei Line from Ueno to Airport (¥1000) early in the morning. Blur thing happen again ~ I only realize my flight should departed from Terminal 2 five mins before I reach Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is the last destination of the train.  😛 . Of course, I shopped around in the airport after I check in. My flight departed on time ~ 10:30am (Japan time) & reached KL @ 5:05pm (M’sia time). I met Tokosui Maeda (new japanese friend) on the flight & we chat through out the whole journey (roughly 7 hours). He told me a lot of thing regarding japan including their culture & spot of interest in Japan. In fact I should met him on the way to Japan. 😛