I am exhausted, and my wireless keyboard died, but I know if I don’t write up each day as it happens I’ll fall behind and never catch up and totally forget what we did on each of these amazing days! So please excuse brevity, typos, incoherence.
We started out today with with lots of packing. Then Logan, Ami and I headed to Shinjuku station to catch the Odakyu Romancecar to Hakone.
The train ride was wonderful, with views of Mt. Fuji! Ami lost interest quickly, but I stared out the window, enthralled. When we arrived at Hakone-yumoto, we found a display of train personnel gear we could put on for pictures. Ami got to dress up just like Mr. Conductor!
We dropped our luggage off with a luggage forwarding service that would bring our bags to our hotel (which worked GREAT) and headed off to a tofu and mountain yam restaurant called Shika-Jaya for lunch.
After lunch, we went back to the station to catch a train up the side of the mountain. This train track is so steep that the train actually goes through a series of switchbacks, where the driver and rear engineer trade places and the train changes direction as it climbs!
Destination: the Hakone Open Air Museum. This museum has a large sculpture collection, several areas for kids to play on/in, and a beautiful hillside setting.
Ami liked this one a lot, too.
Since it was getting late in the afternoon, we headed back down the slope to our ryokan, Yama no Chaya. The three of us skipped our nap today, which might not have been the best idea. Ami was pretty punchy this afternoon and evening, and both Logan and I were just wrung out.
The ryokan is AMAZING. I will try to get more pictures tomorrow. We have an onsen hot spring in our room! The place is pretty traditional, so when we arrived the main area of our suite was set up like this.