This visit to Hakone was part of a day trip I planned for Eric when he visited back in April :)
Hakone is a small town in the neighboring prefecture of Tokyo, Kanagawa. Hakone is about two hours away from Tokyo and is famous for views of Mount Fuji.
Although it also has its own charms without having to rely on the aforementioned world-famous mountain, as you will see in this post. I say this mainly because on the day we visited, Eric was blessed with cloudy weather and we didn’t even get to see Mount Fuji’s shadow lol.
Here’s what we did at Hakone!
1. Chillax at Lake Ashi
During my research, I came across a restaurant that has a nice view overlooking Lake Ashi, so we headed there first!
Unfortunately, due to the weather, we had to sit indoors :(
I ordered a dessert platter and the way they served it was quite a nice surprise. Let me show you the platter before I explain:
See the yellow circles of flower patterns on the right? It wasn’t there when the waiter first wheeled out the trolley.
He introduced the various flavors of the little pots in his trolley – orange, pistachio, blueberry, to name some – and then proceeded to elegantly open the orange pot, scoop out a tiny amount and spread it on the plate in a circle.
Then he proceeded to take another flavor and dotted them in the orange circle.
He continued to dot different flavors in the circle, seemingly randomly.
At that point I was thinking, “What on earth are you doing?! Fasterly gimme my dessert leh!”
And then with a finishing stroke, he dragged the tip of the spoon across the random dots in a circle and they transformed into flower petals and leaves. LIKE MAGIC.
I was pretty sure my face was one of shock because I thought he was just messing around with my food LOL.
It’s quite a nice place to chill and they have pretty interesting teas and desserts. It would be even more enjoyable if the weather was better!
The restaurant is Salon de the ROSAGE in Hakone.
This place was just a few minutes drive from Hakone Shrine, which is our next destination!
2. Hakone Shrine
I was a little hesitant about coming to Hakone Shrine because Fu is allergic to Japanese Cedar trees. His eyes will become very itchy and he will also develop hacking coughs. The cough until don’t even have time to breath kind >_>
And Hakone Shrine is completely surrounded by these exact same trees.
I asked him if he wants to stay in the car instead, but he said it’s ok, so he ventured out…
We stopped for a quick meal after exploring Hakone Shrine:
Owakudani (大涌谷) is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone.
It’s probably most famous for the local speciality, kuro tamago (黒卵, lit. black eggs) that are cooked in the hot springs and said to increase one’s lifespan by 7 years. But apparently one can only eat a maximum of 2 eggs. So cannot eat like 10 eggs and hope to live an additional 70 years. Damn.
The eggs are sold in packs of 5 (for 500 yen) and there were 4 of us, so Fu quickly snatched up the last one to get another +7!!! (haha no la, nobody wanted to eat and he loves eggs)
We ventured out to the
stinky area valley, and I wondered if I was losing the +7 years I just gained by breathing in all these poisonous gases…
Owakudani is actually off-limits now because of recent increase in seismic activity in May. Thank goodness it didn’t erupt or anything while we were there!
So yup, that’s our day in Hakone! There are other places of attraction in Hakone, but I think we did pretty good for one day. Enjoyable and not too rushed :)