Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ropeway Owakudani Station

We arrived in front of JR Hachioji, a suburban area of ​​Tokyo at 07.00 after a distance of 461 km. An hour before, I had woken up just in case the bus arrived ahead of schedule should be. Indeed, since 05.30, bus stops several times to drop off passengers. It turns out the bus arrived promptly at 7:00 as scheduled.

There are interesting things that got me noticed. On the way I was peeking out from behind the curtain bus when entering the highway. At toll booths, toll road operators turned out to make a special toll booths for car users who use the steering wheel to the left. A good idea and I think gives freedom to its citizens to buy cars in the country or imported cars that use the steering wheel on the left

Although we had arrived in Tokyo, we will check in tonight and explore the city the next day. Today we will spend time in (Hakone), one of Japan's most popular resort town. Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture is located adjacent to Metropolitan Tokyo, and can be reached by train from Shinjuku Station, Tokyo and takes about 1.5 hours drive. Hakone flanked by Mount Fuji in the west and the Izu Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean in the east. Feudal past, Hakone is a checkpoint that is very important to check the entrants who will enter the city of Edo (Tokyo) where Shogun domiciled.

If I can draw a conclusion, Hakone similar to the peak, in the area of ​​Bogor - Cianjur, West Java. Only difference, the trip to and during Hakone can be done entirely by public transport and the environment here is still largely unexploited and shady by trees, unlike Peak filled with villas and roadside vendors.

From Hachioji Station we boarded a local train to the JR Yokohama Line Machida Station (¥ 290) for further change to the express train Odakyu Odawara Odawara Station (¥ 570). Here I feel how life commuters in Japan. Since in Machida station, the train was quite full. I then took the position of standing in the corner near the door farthest. However, in some next station passenger numbers actually increased.

Though it was already daylight, around 08:10 hours. Perhaps because the working hours here which started at 09.00 which makes such time as the busiest time. Fortunately, in Isehara Station, most of the passengers get off, and I and friends can breathe. We smiled because it was greeted with a flurry of Tokyo, known as the world's most populous metropolitan city.

At about 8:33, we arrived at Odawara Station. The station is the gateway to the Hakone area. We left the suitcases and bags in a coin locker, and only carrying a small bag. We also bought the Hakone Free Pass. With this pass we can ride for free throughout the public transport in Hakone. If you buy a pass at Odawara Station, the price is ¥ 3,900 for two days.

We were told how to buy a Hakone Free Pass by a salesman stationed in front of the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center, if you use the cash we can buy them at ticket vending machines are numerous. Indeed, it seems quite expensive because we are only visiting here all day. But lately I feel grateful to have visited Hakone.

Hakone Yumoto
First goal is Hakone Yumoto Entrance to Onsen Resort Town. From our Odawara Station Hakone Tozan Railway train ride. As far as 6.1 km journey takes 15 minutes. Hakone-Yumoto, we tried the hot water bath, onsen, in one of the inn there, Kappa Tengoku. It costs ¥ 750 per person.

Onsen hot water is obtained by drilling rocks hundreds to thousands of kilometers underground. This is the first time I bathe in the onsen. The trick is slightly different from the usual way of bathing, namely first cleanse the body in one of the small booth, and after rinsed clean newly allowed to soak in hot tubs. I think an optimum temperature, up to 38º Celsius. Feeling tired after a few days walking through the cities in Japan seemed to follow evaporated.

Out of the shower and feel refreshed, we went back to the Hakone-Yumoto Station to catch the train to Hakone Tozan Railway Gora. Travelling a distance of 8.9 km to take 39 minutes. The length of time is because the track is quite steep, and the train had to take turns using a single track with a train coming down from Gora Station toward Hakone-Yumoto Station. But the journey is not felt because the conductor explains interesting places during the trip as he jokingly quipped with a passenger. One of the main goals in Hakone tourist train route through which this is (Hakone Open-Air Museum), get off at the station Chokoku-no-Mori, which contains a collection of late 19th century art and 20th century There is also a Picasso Museum which contains a collection of maestro Pablo Picasso. The entry fee is ¥ 1,600. At 12:04, we arrived at Gora station.

Because it's time for lunch, I ate at one of the family restaurants are well known in the area Gora, namely (Tonkatsu Rikyu), which is run by a husband and wife. I ordered the sirloin rosu katsu or costing ¥ 2,400. While waiting for the meat is fried, pickled cucumbers, and cold tofu served as appetizers. About 10 minutes later, the main meal is ready. I was quite surprised because the flesh is soft and although fried but not much oil. Portion is also very filling with sliced ​​cabbage abundant. In addition savory sauce containing shells into a sweet surprise. If you are still hungry, the buyer can add the rice for free.

Once full, we went on a trip to the train station Sounzan Hakone Tozan Cable Car. Despite its name funicular (cable car), but the physical manifestation is the funicular train as I ever ride in Penang, Malaysia. Travel as far as 1.2 km to within 9 minutes. Our in-Koen station on this route there Hakone Art Museum which contains a collection of crafts and porcelain from Japan. In the courtyard of the museum there is a garden of bamboo and moss. The museum entrance fee is ¥ 900.

Sounzan from the station, we changed the mode of transportation into a cable car heading (Owakudani). Just like when I ride Tempozan Giant mill, in a cable car there is also a description of the area that passed through audio recordings. I must admit, the view from the top of the cable car is extraordinary. In the distance visible mountains and forests are green while the cable car through the forest below. 5 minutes later we arrived at Owakudani. Owakudani an ancient crater of Mt. Kamiyama. The whole slope in this area emit sulfur fumes and hot water. Most of the hot water flowed to another place as a source of water.

At first glance, similar to Owakudani attractions Tangkuban Perahu in Lembang or Kawah Putih in Ciwidey, West Java. Here, a lot of snacks sold boiled eggs are heated in water coming out of the crater. Due to high sulfur content, egg shells turned into black. 5 eggs sold for ¥ 500. To attract visitors, there is a myth that if someone takes an egg then age will grow up to several years. Visitors can also walk to the boiling of eggs within about 1 km of Owakudani Station.

Satisfied at Owakudani, approximately at 14.15, we continue to ride the cable car station on the shore of Lake Ashi Togendai. If the weather is sunny, Mount Fuji can be seen clearly from this cable car. However, because of Mount Fuji was covered with clouds, although the weather around Hakone was sunny, we could not see the sacred mountain. The journey from Owakudani Station towards Togendai takes about 15 minutes, and approaching the goal from a distance we can see the blue of Lake Ashi.

Station Togendai, we half ran after tourist ships that made similar bimfuspar, old-fashioned sailing ship in the past. Fortunately we are not left behind. To be honest, this is a tourist ship healers disappointment and an ideal replacement after a couple of days before we failed to rise ship Santa Maria in the Port of Osaka. This tourist ships sailed the Lake Ashi, located at an altitude of 725 meters above sea level.

Ashi lake with an area of ​​21 square kilometers and has a water area covering 680 hectares is one of the main destinations in Hakone area. This lake contains many fish black bass and salmon make fishing activities into one excellent activity here besides the activities explore the lake by boat. If the weather is sunny, the shadow of Mount Fuji looks on the surface of the lake water. Unfortunately, that day the clouds enveloped Mount Fuji and we just enjoy the scenery around the lake.

The trip to Hakone-machi ship this tour takes 30 minutes. Although it looks like a sailing boat, but in fact this is a very attention-engined ship maintenance. Fast moving ship sailed the calm lake. 15:30, we have arrived at Hakone-machi.

Hakone Sekisho
Here, there (Hakone Sekisho). In the Edo period, the national road network is developed massively by the government. Along with that, many Sekisho (checkpoints) built with the purpose of inspection of people traveling and their cargo. Hakone Sekisho which is located south of Lake Ashi is one of the most important checkpoints. Appropriate restoration efforts have been done in the history of a place that once stood Hakone original Sekisho.

Here stands a small museum that displays artifacts of the period, such as travel documents, records officers and samurai weapons. A few minutes walk to the north, visitors will find These I, namely the remaining ancient route that was used by a passer-region in the Edo period. On the right side there is a row I left These cedar trees are 350 years old. To go into here, visitors are charged ¥ 500.

Our trip in Hakone ended already, and we will go to Tokyo. Hakone-machi, we used the bus to the Odakyu Odawara Station. Traveling the same route to take when leaving, only difference is we now use a bus pass highways. Finally we arrived at Odawara Station after a time of 1 hour.

After taking a suitcase and bag in a locker, we headed (Asakusa), Tokyo venue we were. From Odawara Station, we boarded the train Odakyu Limited Express with the ticket ¥ 850. Because of fear of the experience this morning when passengers crammed in the Tokyo area, I put the suitcase in a place to put stuff on top. Fortunately, the afternoon train was not as busy as the morning. About 1 hour and 15 minutes later we arrived at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo

I was minded to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in the afternoon, but because of fatigue due to sleep less soundly on the overnight bus, we went straight to the train to Asakusa. However, I have difficulty because they can not ensure the train what to use and how the ticket should be purchased from ticket vending machines as a network map is written in kanji, without furigana or romaji. Fortunately, a young girl I saw the confusion and asked him where I used English with an American dialect perfectly.

After I explained that we wanted to Asakusa, he then swiftly asked to route the train to Asakusa station officers stationed there in Japanese and ask for a map of the subway network are written in English. The girl then explain again to me in English, and gave me a map as a guide. After I say thank you very much, he then left us. I must admit, it is very attractive and very helpful. He gave me a good first impression on the city of Tokyo.

From Shinjuku, we ride the subway Toei Shinjuku Line up Bakuro-Yokoyama Station, and proceed with the transfer of the subway Toei Asakusa Line from Higashi-Nihombashi Station. The price of the ticket from Shinjuku to Asakusa ¥ 260. Around 20:00, we finally arrived in Asakusa.

After me and Erick check-in at Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki, we deliver Mark staying at K's House Tokyo Oasis, about 5 minutes walk from where we were staying. After that we had dinner and end the trip today.