This wonderful small city is a mere 1 1/2 hours from Tokyo. It seems light years away. We had a whirlwind two night stay, in a super-nice hostel called Ks. It had a great triple room with floor mats - which we will definitely get used to for the rest of the trip. A big common room, morning coffee, a fab deck to hang out on made it an easy transition from the insanity of Tokyo Station.
Leaving from Tokyo was a bit more hectic than we anticipated, or at least than I did. This was the "Labor Thanksgiving Day" and therefore there were tons of travelers on the rails. So we ended up standing on the Shinkansen to Odawara - which was definitely my fault 😒. The next step is the obtaining the 2 or 3 day Hakone Free Pass - they have tons of travel options in the region: buses, boats, trains, gondolas, funiculars - and the pass made it simple to get around. I would definitely advocate for purchasing this, even though it's a bit pricy.
Boats and Sulfur and Cable Cars and Gondolas
So many sights! The trip to Lake Ashi on the bus was easy, and then the boat ride was spectacular! Mt Fuji in the foreground and mountains rising from lake's edge. Sulfur from the ever-present volcanic activity, and black eggs cooked with the hot water from it.
Day 2: Hakone Open-Air Museum!
This museum is a total gem, not to be missed. The Picasso building is chock full with great art, and the outdoor pieces are fab. The vertical structure is colored glass, very cool. Loved this part of the trip!