Three days ago, I got an opened love letter from one of my best friends, Neng Uchan. She tagged me a picture of Mount Fuji which was beautifully taken from Hakone. Both Mount Fuji and Hakone have a special place, somewhere in my heart. Back to the call, it was a sweet reminder of our first anniversary trip to Hakone. Yeaaaahhh \^0^/ (clapping my own hand for my own achievement). Even though we just spent a night there and it didn’t work as what we had planned before, I still had few good memories about it (I do hope this is not only me who had good memories, I would feel bad otherwise).
I had this mixed feeling about Hakone. Besides the general amazement of having holidays there, something stills weighing on my heart; the bad feeling which was caused by including Hakone to our itinerary. Hakone wasn’t in both of my friends itineraries at first. I was the one who suggested insisted having it. I convinced both Neng Uchan and A.K.A that Hakone was one of the best spots for descrying the magnificent view of Mount Fuji, especially in autumn. I told them that even if I, myself, had never been in Hakone, neither in autumn. Somehow, in the end, we put Hakone on the list. Yippie. I didn’t have any idea whether Neng Uchan and A.K.A were really convinced by my crap or they were tired of hearing it. However, I was satisfied and full of optimism about Hakone.
We arrived in Haneda Airport Tokyo at midnight, but we went to Hakone on early morning the next day.
Skip the brief moment in Tokyo, to the day when we arrived in Hakone.
Arriving in Hakone wasn’t as easy as what we’d thought before. It wasn’t very difficult either, just slightly.
It was around 9 a.m when we reached Oohiradai Station, a tiny station close to the center of tourist attraction in Hakone, after half and an hour train ride from Shinjuku Station (accompanied by a little bit mess).
If only spoke English was a big help while in Hakone, we would not have wasted about 40 minutes in searching Asuka Hotel that actually located not far from Oohiradai Station, less than 500 meter. Duh.
There were no sufficient non-Japanese signs for finding the hotel and also no one to talk to. It’d lasted more than 30 minutes, until this bicycle guy suddenly appeared from quite steep road, and then kindly explained to us where the hotel was, with all his might. After few minutes of frustration of explaining on the bicycle guy’s side and giving up of deciphering on our sides, he finally decided to escort my friends and I to our hotel. I was really thankful for his help. We would find our hotel much longer if he wasn’t there.
That was my second time in Japan, but I still faced that moment when English wasn’t a big help, even in a metropolis like Tokyo, and it was getting lesser helpful in the rural area like Hakone. It made me wondering where did all the ‘Easy and helpful daily Japanese conversation’ that A.K.A diligently had learned during our preparation to Japan and also long trip from Indonesia to Hakone. I really wondered. 😀 😛
We went to the center of attraction area of Hakone after finishing everything related to administration of the hotel, which once again the moment when speaking any other languages but Japanese or body language wasn’t any help.
We took the classic routes which were provided by Hakone Pass, the routes that first I thought as one of the most convenient ways of exploring Hakone and also the Mount Fuji things. However, the three of us might be run out of luck while in Hakone. That day was one of Japan’s silver weeks, which meant holiday’s time. It made Hakone really crowd with people of all ages; kids who spent one day tour together with their schoolmates, youngsters who spent holidays with their friends or lovers, and elderly who enjoyed relaxation times mostly with people of their ages. It was really crowd. It’s even hard to move. The queues for attractions were all long. But, holidays in Hakone had to go on. We had no other choices, but to enjoy what Hakone could offer to its visitors. So, there we were, in each queue, enjoying all of the rides.
Started in Gora Station, we aimed for Owakudani, the center of attraction in Hakone. The view from ropeway to Owakudani was amazing, although the foliage color of autumn hadn’t been at its peak yet. It’s still striking.
Arrived in Owakudani, I guessed all three of us were really excited because we were arrived at the nature laboratory of one of our class back in collage. However, we did what the visitors might be expected to do like tasting Owakudani most famous black egg, which later I knew its taste was not different with my daily hard boiled chicken’s egg. It was just okay. Took as many pictures as we wanted, tasted another black food; onion filled black bun, and bought any interesting souvenirs.
Skipping few attractions here and there, we directly went to Lake Ashi. The destination where we put all of our hopes for descrying the striking peak of Mount Fuji, both from ropeway and boat ride, as what all Hakone’s brochures had promoted. However, once again, that day was not our days. The haze, smog, fog, and whatever it was, covered the white peak of Mount Fuji. Duh. Counted on our last resort for catching up the Mount Fuji’s peak by cruise, we rushed into the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, into another 30 minutes of unproven trace of Mount Fuji. I was done.
Thanked for Both Neng Uch’s and A.K.A who didn’t show me any disappointment of not being able to see Mount Fuji when they should have, and when I was the one who gave them hope to see it in Hakone. I was so sorry, I was so upset, but I couldn’t say that the fault was on the weather. No, I couldn’t say that. It was me who allured them to Hakone. I was so sorry, even now. They were busy taking pictures and enjoying the cold breeze of autumn from the deck, instead of showing the disappointment. I really thanked them for that. (That’s why I love you more Neng Nong). ❤
It was 30 minutes cruise ride that finally brought us to Hakonemachi-ko, where our highlight activities in Hakone met its end. And then, we took the bus and went back to hotel. We needed a good sleep after all of the exhaustion of long journey from Indonesia, transited in KL, slept over in Haneda Airport, and last, the failure of having a glimpse of Mount Fuji in Hakone. We just needed few hours of nice sleep for the next journey in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.
Even though pursuing Mount Fuji resulted nothing, I enjoyed the whole Hakone trip. Hakone was actually enchanting. If I have another chance of visiting the country, I will make another stop in Hakone. Another stop which not only for Mount Fuji, but also many other tempting attractions like various kinds of museum, sightseeings, walking tours, culinary, springs dipping, and may be shopping. 😀
Until then, just let me write what has happened. With so much love. ❤ 🙂