22nd & 23rd June 2013: Odawara and Hakone {Japan, summer 2013}

One of the few perks about a tectonically-active area is the volcanic landscapes, and Hakone has plenty of those. We headed off to Odawara [小田原] early on Saturday morning to visit the local Castle, Odawara-jō [小田原城].

Then we headed off to Ashi no Ko [芦ノ湖], Ashi Lake, which formed in the caldera of a supervolcano after a huge eruption millions of years ago. We crossed the Hakone Sekisyo [箱根関所], the Hakone Checkpoint, which back in time prevented undesired people from moving around – which meant anyone who was not friends with the shogun.

We made it to the city of Hakone [箱根] later in the day. There, we visited Hakone Jinja [箱根神社], which has a torii set within the lake itself. This torii is called the Torii of Peace, Heiwa no torii [平和の鳥居]

Then there was onsen – Japanese hot springs. No pictures of that XP.

The following morning we went up one of the mountains, to an area called Ōwakudani [大涌谷] via murderous device called the Hakone Ropeway [箱根ロープウェイ] to watch the sulphur mines, the volcanic gases eruptions and to eat the famous black eggs, kurotamago [黒卵], which are normal eggs cooked in naturally-boiling sulphurous water puddles.

Finally, we crossed the Ashi no Ko in a “pirate ship” before heading back to Tokyo [東京] to karaoke the last hours of the weekend away. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see the supermoon.