A Weekend Vacation to Hakone Part I!!
Taking a break from busy Tokyo life costs a fortune. However, Hakone has always been a popular vacation spot for such busy people, as well as it has been a popular onsen/hot spring spot for family and elderly people. Taking Odakyu-line from Shinjuku, you can get to Hakone by not switching to any other trains.
A week passed my birthday, I took a weekend vacation to Hakone with my best friend. To be exact, I stayed at a traditional Japanese style hotel in Goura (Hakone is a broad area and Goura is one of the places in Hakone). The weather was perfect. I took a train to Hakoneyumoto by Odakyu-line and met a friend there. Driving up the hills of Hakone is rather tough for beginner drivers. The roads are steep and have many rough curves. It is well known for the steep hills that challenges many runners for Hakone-Ekiden; traditional college marathon festivals held every year. Below is a picture of Goura station.
Being in such rich green environment, I totally forgot the busy life that I always have. It made me want to come to Hakone every month to reset. I also have to admit that I was little jealous that my best friend works in Hakone where life is slow and the air is so fresh ( Not to mention the weekends traffic is usually really bad !!.)
Although I had always been not a strong onsen-lover, my best friend and I were in the onsen for over an hour. As the ryokan/Japanese style hotel only has 12 rooms, we had a huge bathroom for ourselves. I used to be really shy going to public naked, but only with my best friend, it was nothing. I even swam! I mean I think the real luxury going to Onsen is to swim in the huge bath tab as much as I want ^^