My friend Yvonne and I left on the Romance train from Tokyo to Hakone. Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 100 kilometers from Tokyo. Famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji across Lake Ashi.

Lake Ashi

Arriving at Lake Ashi

A glimpse of Lake Ashi on our walk

A glimpse of Lake Ashi on our walk

It was a lovely hot sunny day and we could make out the tip of the mountain in the distance.

We took a bus to the lake and then intended to take a ferry across. It took us a while to find the dock as we missed the turn off and walked a 2km detour next to the lake and up the mountain.

Finally found the right pier from where to cross the lake

Finally found the right pier from where to cross the lake

The "pirate ship" we took to cross Lake Ashi

The “pirate ship” we took to cross Lake Ashi

Lake Ashi is crisscrossed by cartoonishly decorated “pirate” ships for tourists and we couldn’t resist also going on one of these. Lake Ashinoko was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano’s last eruption 3000 years ago. Today, the lake with Mount Fuji in the background is the symbol of Hakone.

This boat cruise from one end of the lake to the other took us roughly 30 minutes and gave us enough time to admire the beautiful lake and its surroundings.

View of Lake Ashi from the cable car

View of Lake Ashi from the cable car

I would definitely recommend the cable car ride across the mountain for the beautiful views!

I would definitely recommend the cable car ride across the mountain for the beautiful views!

Waiting line for the cable car

Waiting line for the cable car

Once we reached the other side we had a long cable car ride across the mountains. From the cable car we had fabulous views of the countless hot springs dotted all over the area and the huge forest expanse.

No trip to Hakone would be complete without a dip at a Japanese hot spring (onsen)We ended our Hakone trip by relaxing in one of these natural hot springs. We went to a small place named “Kappa Tengoku”.

It had lovely outdoor baths and was situated very close to Yumoto Station. The wooden bath house was slightly run-down but was very atmospheric. The mist that rolled in with dusk gave the baths a very relaxing and calming atmosphere.

The Hot spring we relaxed in at  Kappa Tengoku

The Hot spring we relaxed in at Kappa Tengoku

 I just loved relaxing in these hot springs!!