What's the most scenic place your child has lost a tooth? I think my younger boy has set a family record that may be hard to beat. He'd been wiggling it back and forth for days. All of us were gazing around while suspended high in the air on the Hakone Ropeway. Suddenly, out popped the tooth.
Here's the view out one side of the gondola.
|Mount Fuji from the Hakone Ropeway|
Here's the view from the other side.
|Owakudani Great Boiling Valley — Volcanic activity resulting in sulfur vents|
Can you spot the little, yellow hut at the bottom right?
Great views and the promise of a tooth fairy visit. How cool is that? I put away the tooth for safekeeping and then hopped out at Owakudani station to take a look around.
|Hakone Ropeway gondolas continuing across the valley|
The winds were quite gusty and cold up at Owakudani (elevation 3,132 feet), and the kids decided that the gift shop was a much better option than braving the elements. Leaving hubby with them, I took off to get a closer look at the sulfurous fumes. Who got the better deal?
Some inventive Japanese person figured out that the best way to make use of all that volcanic activity was to.... drumroll, please.... boil eggs! You won't find that recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I could see cages of eggs traveling along a cable between the steam vents and a little yellow hut, ready for hungry tourists to purchase.
|Smelly black eggs cooked in a sulfur vent, anyone? Anyone?|
When I got my eggs, they were still warm from their close encounter with Mother Nature. They were stinky, too. But once peeled, it tasted and smelled like a regular, hard-boiled egg. Eating one egg supposedly adds seven years to your life. By breakfast the next morning, I had eaten five whites but tossed the yolks, so I'm not quite sure where I am on the Longetivity Scale.
Then, it was back on the toasty tour bus for a ride back down the mountain to Lake Ashi, an old volcanic crater filled with water. There were numerous options for crossing, but we got a rather run-of-the-mill ferry boat.
|Waiting on the pier at Lake Ashi|
|The mate was a mighty sailing man,|
The skipper brave and sure
|Ahoy there mates! Me spy pirates ahead!|
Sailing across the lake was smooth and even, without a sign of the winds that buffeted us higher up the mountain. On the other side, it was back on the bus once again for the journey to Odawara Station on the Shinkansen bullet train line. Most of the tour took the speedy train back to Tokyo, but we returned to Hakone to spend the night and enjoy the hot springs.
|Picturesque mountain tram at Myanoshita Station|
After spending the day on a tour bus, ropeway gondola and boat, this charming train was the perfect ending to the day. All the tourists were long gone from this part of the park, and we practically had the train to ourselves. It made its way uphill through forests and switchbacks. Spring blossoms were just beginning to bud, and the landscape still had a touch of winter starkness. Finally, we reached the town of Myanoshita where we spent the night at the historic Fujiya Hotel.
In Awe of Mount Fuji
This post is part of Travel Photo Thursdays on Budget Travellers Sandbox and Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom? Check out these sites for more around-the-world travel inspiration.