POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Tue 2006/02/07 07:59 JST in Places to visit in Japan

Sometimes you'll want to get away from the hustle n bustle of Tokyo and what better to spend some time in Hakone which is just about an hour away.
Hakone is out in the sticks which means a ton of trees, fields, mountains and a huge lake - Lake Ashi to be precise.
Mount Fuji can be visible clearly when its not too cloudy and when you dont have mud in your eyes. I'm still not sure why folks over here go crazy when they see Mount Fuji - they all start pointing and whipping out their mobile phones.
Spent two days in Hakone recently - the first day had tons of snow but the second day had crisp n cold air with blue skies. You can get to Hakone by taking the Odoriko from Yokohama - its only a 30 min ride.

Stayed at a traditional Japanese hotel or "Ryokan". After checking in and lazing around in your room, you go off for dinner at the ryokan which has been prepared and waiting for you in the dining hall. Then when you get back to your room, you will usually find that the room has been cleared and the beds taken out of the cupboards to be made up by the maid. Many Ryokans have elderly maids but this one had rather young ladies who looked rather cute.

Just a sample of what awaited us in the dining hall. The food served at a ryokan is usually traditional Japanese food - a lot of raw stuff which has been painstakingly decorated. If you are not into this sort of grub - you can order a kids meal which has all the usual health stuff in it (fries, sausages etc).
Much of the food you have to cook yourself by frying on a tabletop pan or boiling it - and in some cases, you have to kill the food too - some of the dishes may come so fresh that it moves.

Outside the ryokan.

Lake Ashi.

More lake Ashi.

Even more lake Ashi.

Trying to master the art of levitation.

Lake Ashi. It was a nice day but Mount Fuji was covered in clouds...
Anyway, the next bunch of snow pictures should be Trooper in Naeba. Naeba is well known for it ski resorts at this time of year ^o^/~