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Sulphur pool Owakudani Hakone Japan

Japan: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Date: 31 March 2015

After a very relaxing bath at the Hotel Green Plaza onsen, I moved on to my next stop — the host springs of Ōwakudani. But these hot springs are not safe to soak yourself in due to high sulphur content.

Lake Ashi from Hakone ropeway
Lake Ashi, from the ropeway
Hakone ropeway Owakudani station
Ōwakudani station was the very next stop
Owakudani mountain Hakone Japan
This was the view from the ropeway station
Owakudani sulfur wells Hakone
There is a lot of volcanic activity deep underground
Steam production well Owakudani Hakone
But they are making the most of it
Owakudani trekking trail Hakone
This was a hiking trail
Owakudani hiking trail Hakone mountain
But I did not venture far as I saw no one trekking… plus I had no time for trekking
Owakudani natural hot springs Hakone
So I walked towards the hot springs
Qwakudani mountain height Hakone
1050 metres above sea level
Owakudani sulphur warnings Hakone
The sulfur content is too high so there were signs asking people not to touch the water
Owakudani hot springs Hakone
Before walking towards the sulphur springs, I went inside the building housing the restaurants and souvenir shops
Black egg Owakudani Hakone Japan
I was curious to find out the significance of this black egg was
Black eggs Owakudani Hakone
Inside, you can buy eggs. You take the egg and boil it in the sulphur-rich water and the shell turns black it seems.
Owakudani sulphur hot springs Hakone
You could feel the heat as you got near to the sulphur pools… and you could smell it too!
Sulphur pool Owakudani Hakone Japan
Sulphur-rich water was murky and bubbling hot
Mount Fuji viewing point Japan
The other reason why Owakudani is a popular draw is for the viewpoint
Mount Fuji from Owakudani Japan
A view of Mount Fuji being the main draw, of course
Planes flying over Mount Fuji peak Japan
I swapped lenses to catch these two airplanes flying over Mt. Fuji
Man photographing Mt. Fuji Japan
Unfortunately, from this distance, you can’t really get a good photo of yourself with Fuji-yama in the background especially with clouds in the way

One thing I have experienced time and time again on my travels is that, when fellow tourists see me with a DSLR, they assume that I’m better at them at photography and ask me to take their photos using their cameras. I oblige sometimes but the problem is, when one reacts positively and compliments me for taking a good photo, then other tourists hear that and approach me with the same request. This went on for a while here. Continue reading “Japan: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo” »

Hotel Green plaza onsen view

Japan: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Date: 31 March 2015

After the cruise across Lake Ashi on a pirate-themed ship, next I was going to take the Hakone Ropeway (cable car) to get to Ubako Station.

Hakone Ropeway Togendaiko station Japan
The ropeway is one of Hakone’s main attractions
Hakone Ropeway queue Japan
The Hakone Pass I was holding covered the ticket fares for the ropeway

If you would like to know how much the one-way and round trip fares for Hakone Ropeway are, click here.

Cable car Hakone ropeway Japan
This would be be my 3rd cable car experience, after Langkawi and Hong Kong
Inside cable car Hakone Ropeway Japan
It’s definitely not as impressive an experience as the one in Langkawi or Lantau Island (Hong Kong), but I guess maybe it’s because the ‘wow factor’ has been lessened after being on other cable car rides now
Hakone ropeway cable car Japan
The views are alright
Views from Hakone ropeway Japan
You get decent views of Mount Fuji along the way up
Hakone machi ropeway tower station
My stop was the very next one
Green Plaza Hotel Fuji view Japan
I walked to Hotel Green Plaza which is very close to Ubako Station

The lady who sold me her half-used Hakone pass recommended the onsen at Hotel Green Plaza, for its splendid views of Mount Fuji as you bathe in the hot springs. Continue reading “Japan: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza” »

Mount Fuji Lake Ashi Hakone Japan

Japan: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Date: 31 March 2015

The second to last day on Japan soil. I had to make the most of it and accomplish a few more things. Experience a proper, natural outdoor onsen (hot spring), see Mount Fuji from closer up, — and eat sushi at a proper sushi restaurant.

Today I was going to be spending the whole day at Hakone, a popular getaway for Tokyo’s residents. Famous for offering great views of Mount Fuji, many hiking trails, resorts and many natural hot springs.

Yesterday, I bought a Hakone pass off a hostel mate who had purchased a two-day pass but only used the benefits of the pass yesterday. I could make use of the pass to avail buses and local trains within Hakone today. But first I had to get to Hakone from Tokyo station.

Tokyo station Odawara platforms
At Tokyo station, platforms 9 and 10 have trains going to Odawara (Tokaido Line)
Tokaido line Okachimachi eki Japan
I forget exactly which stations I had to get down at and transfer trains, but eventually I had to stick to the Tokaido line to get to Odawara station
View from train to Odawara
It was time leave the urban sights of Tokyo
Shinagawa station platform Japan
I think this was Shinagawa station, the second station I had to switch trains from
Odawara station Japan
It took just over an hour because of all the transfers
Bus depot Odawara station Japan
But from Odawara station, I now had to take a bus to get to the docks at Lake Ashi from where the sightseeing cruise departs
Odawara river stream Japan
You could see right away why city-dwellers come here

Continue reading “Japan: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise” »

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