Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
78Trip End May 07, 2010
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But our trials weren't in vain - we were headed to Hakone, a tranquil, lake-side spot with a cable car boasting stunning views of Mount Fuji. As we're unable to climb Fuji-san (as it is known here) due to the weather, taking in some views would be the next best thing... we thought.
Naturally, when we arrived in Hakone, the town was enveloped in a fog thicker than a seafood chowder. But with dumb optimism, we forked out a hideous amount of money in the hope that the cable cars would take us above the clouds to crystal-clear visibility.
We blinked dolefully at the windows which for all intents and purposes could have been whitewashed. We couldn't see the treetops, let alone Mount Fuji.
To make up for our disappointment we hopped off the cable car and went for a beautiful lakeside walk. The freezing rain poured down and by the time we returned to the cable car we were soaked to the skin and chattering at the teeth.
Then we enjoyed free evening drinks around a crackling log fire before taking a dip in the onsens. Onsens are public (or shared) hot-spring, mineral-rich baths which are said to have all sorts of beneficial affects, none of which I had the slightest conviction in. In fact, I was not at all certain I would even go in what with the compulsory nakedness and all, but I'm glad I did. All I can say is the waters must have magical properties - I've never felt so relaxed. Really, there's something in the water...
You might think a blog post for one night is over the top, but the Hyatt at Hakone is worth it. Next time we'll just make sure to book way in advance for a longer stay...