November 17, 2008

Hakone in the Autumn - Part 1

I've been to Hakone a couple of times before, previously in the winter or spring, but I hadn't experienced a Japanese autumn there, so I decided to pay a visit while the leaves were still full of colour.

I arrived mid-morning on Sunday and took a bus on a rather circuitous route round to Moto Hakone port and from there took the boat across Lake Ashi. It was a cloudy day and there was some light rain so it was an uneventful crossing Mount Fuji was completely shrouded. On reaching the port at the other end, it was time to join the queue for the cable car up to the top of Owakudani. Whilst there was no real view of the neighbouring mountains, you did get great view of the seasonal colours with splashes of yellow, red, orange and brown on the slopes below. At the summit I had an early lunch at the Skyview Restaurant, trying out the Owakudani curry, which was pretty good. After lunch, I took the cable car down the other side and then the funicular railway down a couple of stops to visit the Hakone Museum. Now the museum itself is no great draw, having a fairly small exhibit of pottery and scrolls, but the main attraction is the garden. The ground is covered with different types of moss and you walk around on cobbled paths. The maples trees were in full autumnal colour, with some leaves having fallen already adding some reds and browns to the deep green moss carpet.

I spent a fair bit of time enjoying the view in the garden with the mist hovering just over the trees. It was mid-afternoon by then so I decided to head back to Hakone Yumoto to check into Masutomi Ryokan, where is was staying for the night.

It's a small, recently refurbished place with just ten guest rooms, but boasts its own private spring, with a couple of baths and a roof top private bath. Whereas some places serve food in the rooms, this ryokan had a trendy, separate restaurant and the food was wonderful.

The main was tonyu nabe (soymilk stew) with an assortment of side dishes including sashimi, roast beef and tempura.


  1. Beautiful pictures!!

  2. Thanks. Genki desu ... nice and relaxed after a couple of days in Hakone. You?

  3. Genki kana...
    You complained to me in my dream a week ago!

  4. Hehehe ... obviously a dream. It's not like me to complain ... and anyway, why would I want to complain to you?

  5. A ra so???
    Jya oshie nai!

  6. Hahaha ... I'm completely confused now.

  7. Masaka mada??!

  8. nice pics, had a quick question... what does genki kana mean? I understand genki desu... but what difference does genki kana mean...?

    let me know on my contact page if you could