As Rob and I arrived in the afternoon our first day in Hakone (a town up in the mountains close to Tokyo), a valid option might have been to just take it easy. We couldn’t check in though and we really wanted to see some nature. We decided to do a boat cruise on lake Ashi, way way up in the mountains. To get to the lake, the first mode of transportation was the old Hakone railway. This is a really charming little system of old trains that have to change direction at every other station in order to get to Gora, the final stop. From Gora we had to take the monorail, before changing to a ropeway system. By the time we got to the start of the ropeway, it was about 4 in the afternoon, the guy working at thea station told us to be careful as the last boat was leaving in about 40 minutes. We went on the ropeway anyways, hoping to make it to the last boat.
As it turned out we even had to change gondols once before arriving at lake Ashi and the cruis boat terminal. We did rather enjoy the ride though, as we got to see Owakudani (vulcanic valley) and mount Fuji from the gondol that we had all to ourselfs since it was already late and even the ropeway was about to stop going.
As the time the last boat would leave got closer and closer we started to get a little worried, but luckily we arrived at the boat terminal about 10 minutes before the boat left. We managed to get tickets and get in line just in time and got on the boat that looked like it had run away from Disneyland.
The views from the boat was simply amazing, clear blue sky, mountains and temples 🙂 It was slightly cold up on deck, but nothing we couldnt handle. It was a really cool experience and Im very happy we made it to the first stop in time 🙂
At the last stop, Hakone-maci, there was a bus stop where we could easily get a bus back to Hakone-yumoto where our hotel was. This trip is what I would cal lthe Hakone loop, and I recomend it to anyone going to Hakone, but try to leave a little earlier than we did in order to avoid too much stress.