Kanto Maigo – Day 7

Hakone day.

 

箱根日。

 

This morning was to see one of the toughest challenges. Getting from Shinbashi to Hakone-Yumoto in just an hour.

 

今天早上將會是一場嚴峻挑戰。從新橋在一小時內到箱根湯本。

 

To backtrack a little.

 

說一下原由。

 

A day trip to Hakone was quite pressed for time, more so that it was imperative that we arrive at Moto-Hakone by the lakeside before at least 10 am if we wished to have a chance at seeing Mount Fuji.

 

箱根要一天來回算趕的,尤其是我們若想看到富士山的話必須在10點前到湖畔的元箱根。

 

Mount Fuji is also called the shy mountain because its peak is often shrouded by clouds. The best time to have a clear view of it is during the early morning or evening when the temperature is cool, during the day clouds often form and like a hat obscure it from view. Studying the live cameras over several days it appears clouds most often start to form after 10am.

 

富士山被稱作害羞的山,因為山頂常被雲霧圍繞。要清楚看到山景最好是一大早或是傍晚天氣涼爽的時候。白天山上容易起雲像戴帽子般把山頂遮住。研究幾天web cam影像,大多是10點後開始起雲的。

 

There’s also a bottleneck crossing Lake Ashinoko from Motohakone on the south side to Togendai in the north, with one boat every 40-50 minutes, catching just one boat earlier can make a huge difference in the schedule down the road. This means getting to Hakone as early as possible. Even half an hour can make a lot of difference.

 

另外是跨越芦之湖,從南岸元箱根到北邊桃源台的海盜船是個瓶頸,每40-50分鐘才一艘船,若能搭上早一班船對之後的行程有很大幫助。也就是說越早到箱根越好,就算只有半小時也差很多。

 

The earliest train from Shinjuku is an Odakyu express departing at 7am and takes an hour and 40 minutes, arriving at Hakone-Yumoto at 8:40.

 

從新宿最早的班車是小田急的特急列車,7點發車,車程約1小時40分,8:40到箱根湯本。

 

If one then first take the mountain railway to Kowakudani (since it may be dark by the time we descent, taking the railway in the morning ensures we get to enjoy the sights), then transfer onward to the bus, one should reach Moto-Hakone at 9:45.

 

若先搭登山鐵道到小涌谷(下山時可能天已黑了,先搭鐵道確保有欣賞到風景)再轉巴士,到元箱根是9.45。

 

7am is quite early especially for a station as large as Shinjuku. Assuming one’s hotel is at Shinjuku, accounting for walking time and navigating the station, this means leaving the hotel at latest around 6:30~6:40. Earlier if one did not stay at Shinjuku.

 

早上7點的車很早,尤其是如新宿這樣大的車站。假設旅館在新宿,考慮走路和車站內上下樓移動的時間,至少要在6.30~6.40離開旅館。若不住在新宿的話要更早。

 

The next express out of Shinjuku is 7:27 and arrives at Hakone-Yumoto at 9:01, which gets to Moto-Hakone at 10.

 

新宿晚一班車是7.27發,到箱根湯本9.01,到元箱根約10點。

 

This was a source of headache when choosing where to stay. 7am train is really early and there’s a risk of oversleeping it. If it’s the next train then arrival in Hakone will be a bit late.

 

在決定住哪裡時為這點煩惱了很久。7點的車挺早的,很容易睡過頭。若搭晚一班到箱根時又會太晚。

 

Until I found an alternative. Before that though it’s worth looking into why departing from Odakyu is considered the default.

 

後來找到了另外一個選項。不過在說是怎樣的選項時要先解釋一下為何小田急是一般認知的標準方案。

 

Transport around Hakone is dominated by the Odakyu group. Odakyu is one of the major private railways in the Kanto region, its main line connects Shinjuku to Kamakura and Odawara, Hakone. In addition, the group also owns the Hakone Mountain Railway, Hakone Cable Car, Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise and most of the local bus in Hakone region.

 

箱根地區交通基本上是小田急集團一手包辦。小田急是關東地區的大手私鐵之一,主幹線從新宿連結鎌倉和小田原,箱根。另外集團也擁有箱根登山鐵道,箱根空中纜車,箱根登山纜車,箱根海盜船和大部分的地方巴士路線。

 

The Hakone Pass issued by Odakyu allowed tourists unlimited access to all transports in the Hakone region for just 4000Y, and for another 1140Y also included a single regular return ticket from Shinjuku.

 

小田急發售的箱根周遊卷只要4000Y就可無限搭乘箱根區的交通工具,再加1140Y附一張新宿來回車票。

 

A small trap with the pass is that the return ticket is only valid for non-express trains which required transfers and takes about 2 hours. To take the express trains one has to purchase another 890Y to get an express ticket, 890×2 (1780) for return. All up this means 2920 extra or about 1460 each way.

 

有一個小陷阱,那就是來回車票只包含區間車,車程需2小時。若要搭特急需要另外加890Y買特級卷,也就是來回1780Y。加起來等於多2920或單程1460。

 

Going to Hakone effective means having to get a Hakone pass, the natural outcome is to also get the return from Shinjuku as one single simple solution. Since most people chooses this way, various guides and blogs also discusses only this way when concerning how to get to Hakone.

 

既然去箱根一定會要買箱根周遊卷,很自然的也就加價新宿來回了,省事方便。既然大多人都是這樣買,導覽和部落格在介紹箱根交通時也只解說小田急這選項。

 

But while Odakyu is the only choice within the Hakone region, it is not the only choice getting from and to Hakone from Tokyo. There is also JR East whose local train (there are no expresses) takes about 70~80 minutes between Tokyo and Odawara, and the shinkansen which can cover that distance in just 35 minutes. From Odawara one can use the basic Hakone pass up to Hakone-Yumoto (another 20 minutes) and onward.

 

但是呢,雖然小田急是箱根區域內唯一選擇,他並不是東京來往箱根唯一選擇。另外有JR東日本的區間車(沒有特急)從東京到小田原大約70~80分鐘。還有新幹線,只需35分鐘。到小田原後就可用箱根周遊卷上到箱根湯本(20分鐘)和其他地點。

 

The JR East train costs 1490 one way, which is actually comparable to Odakyu.

 

JR東日本的車是單程1490,跟小田急差不多。

 

The shinkansen on other hand while being extremely fast, costs 3220 each way.

 

新幹線則快很多,但單程就要3220。

 

The JR East train can be an alternative but did not solve my problem of getting to Hakone early enough.

 

JR東日本是另外選項但並沒有解決我想早點到箱根的問題。

 

The shinkansen was too expensive, until I found that JR Central sold a special outing ticket called Shinkansen Odekake-Kippu, where one can purchase returns to Odawara for 2 people travelling together for just 4630 per person, or effectively 2315 each way. It’s still >800Y more each way compared to Odakyu but brings it into the bounds of reasonable trade-off worth considering.

 

新幹線則太貴了。直到我發覺JR東海有賣一種おでかけ(出遊)的特別套票,雙人一起出遊時小田原來回一人只要4630,也就是單程2315。比小田急貴800多但落入值得考慮取捨的範圍。

 

Once I discovered this possibility I started charting out possible timetables. Catching the shinkansen from Shinagawa was the best choice since compared to Tokyo station it would shave ~10 minutes off again from the time one has to leave the hotel in the morning. That left any stations close to Shinagawa (there are very few hotels around Shinagawa), such as Shinbashi.

 

發現這可能性後,我開始計算可能的時刻表。從品川上新幹線是最佳選擇,可比東京站上車更晚10分鐘離開旅館。也就是任何接近品川的車站(品川附近沒什麼住宿),如新橋。

 

I charted out every train for each segment of the transfers. Shinbashi>Shinagawa, Shingawaga>Odawara, Odawara>Hakone-Yumoto, Hakone-Yumoto>Kowakudani, Kowakudani>Moto-Hakone. From the table a precise transfer could be worked out. Based on the station layouts it was very tight but definitely doable.

 

我列出了到元箱根間每一段轉車的班次。新橋到品川,品川到小田原,小田原到箱根湯本,箱根湯本到小涌谷,小涌谷到元箱根。利用表格準確抓出了一個轉車方案,按照車站平面圖會有點緊湊但絕對可行。

 

7:15 Shinbashi departure, 10 minutes transfer at Shinagawa, 5 minutes at Odawara, arrive at Hakone-Yumoto at 8:21. Then 3 minutes to walk up the platform onto the mountain railway (once this transfer is made the trip is safe), with arrival at Moto-Hakone at 9:25. The transfers are too tight to show up on transfer apps like Jorudan or Ekitan, have to be worked out manually.

 

7.15新橋出發,在品川轉車10分鐘,小田原5分鐘,8.21到箱根湯本。然後有3分鐘朝月台另一頭走一點轉登山電車(只要搭上這個就安全了),到元箱根9.25。這轉車間距太緊湊了在轉乘app如jorudan,ekitan是不會顯示的,只能土法煉鋼手工排出來。

 

Compared to Shinjuku departure on the 7am Odakyu express, we can leave at least 15 minutes later (more since Shinbashi station is small, only need to account for time from the hotel) but will end up at the lakeside actually 20 minutes earlier.

 

與新宿7點出發的小田急特急比,我們可晚至少15分鐘出發(新橋車站很小,只用考路旅館間走的時間)但至少早20分鐘到湖邊。

 

Now back to the trip.

 

回到旅遊上。

 

The day began with Super Hotel’s breakfast. Breakfast here started at 6.30, I went down right on the minute. We had agreed to meet in the lobby at 7, until then it’s up to each when to have breakfast and anything else to do.

 

一天從Super Hotel的早餐開始。早餐6.30開始,我很準時的下樓。我們約好7點在大廳碰面,在那之前各自決定何時吃早餐和其他想做的事。

 

One thing I love about Super Hotel is that their breakfast is always familiar but never the same. The food is very consistent no matter which location, one knows exactly what to expect yet won’t know what one might get.

 

我喜歡Super Hotel的一點就是他的早餐總是令人很熟悉但從不一樣。菜色種類不論地點有一致性,知道可期待什麼但仍不知道會有什麼。

 

There’s a few things that are certain. Selection of coffee from the machine, organic salad with range of Super Hotel’s signature sauces, yoghurt, fruit, bread, rice and sides that go with it such as nato, pickles, miso soup.

 

有幾樣是絕對的。咖啡機供應的各種咖啡,有機沙拉配上Super Hotel自家口味的醬料,優格,水果,麵包,白飯和配飯的小菜如納豆,醬菜,味噌湯。

 

There will be a fish dish. The fish may not be the same nor may it be cooked the same way. I don’t know whether it’s company policy but I have yet to have one without fish.

 

會有一道魚。不一定是同一種魚,料理方式也不一定相同。我不知道這是不是公司規則但我還沒一次沒吃到魚的。

 

There will be an egg dish. The egg also may not be cooked the same way but there will be eggs.

 

會有一道蛋料理。料理方式也不一定相同但一定有蛋。

 

Then there will be a meat dish. Plus one or two other dishes that varied.

 

然後一道肉。另外一兩道變化菜色。

 

Many branches tend to also have a “local” dish, a dish unique to that Super Hotel or Super Hotels in that region. It could be curry, miso topping…etc. The specialty of this Super Hotel was Fukagawa-Meshi, a clam rice stew.

 

許多分店還有一道地方特色菜,那家Super Hotel或那地區Super Hotel才有的菜色。可能是咖哩,味增醬之類。這家的是深川飯,一種貝類煮粥。

 

Super Hotel’s breakfast leaned on traditional Japanese breakfast, this requires comparatively more effort. Other business hotel usually provided just scrambled eggs, weiners and maybe hashbrown or potato, items that can be much easily prepared. It’s one reason why I chose Super Hotel since Y is not used to western style bread or sandwiches.

 

Super Hotel的早餐偏傳統日式。準備上比較費事。其他商務旅館通常是提供炒蛋,熱狗,然後薯餅或馬鈴薯,這種比較好弄的菜色。選Super Hotel的原因之一,Y比較不習慣西式的麵包或三明治。

Super Hotel Breakfast

Super Hotel Breakfast

The transfer went smoother than planned. At Shinagawa we had to wait for the Nozomi currently on the platform to clear out first before the Kodama showed up. I had already checked the best car number for transfer and we boarded car number 7.

 

轉車比預期的順利。在品川還必須等月台上的Nozomi班車開出後等Kodama進月台。我已經查過轉程位置,坐第7節車廂。

Shinkansen

The tightest transfer was Odawara, with just 5 minutes to go up the platform, exit the Shinkansen gate, up the main concourse then through the Odakyu gate and down to the platform and board the train. It’s my first time to Odawara, though I had checked the station layout on youtube things could look different on arrival.

 

最緊湊的是小田原轉車,只有5分鐘從月台上樓,出新幹線閘口,上樓到車站大廳,入小田急閘口下月台上車。這是我第一次到小田原站,雖然youtube上看過車站內走法但實際到了後長什麼樣子很難說。

 

We made it with about a minute to go. Had no need to run. But would not have made it if I had not purchased ticket beforehand.

 

上車時剩大約一分鐘。還沒需要跑的程度,但若沒預先買好票的話是趕不上的。

 

On the train from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto we met a pair of Chinese old couple who came from the States. They seemed to have bought the Hakone mountain railway+bus pass at a whim and had not yet looked at what to see and do at Hakone. So they asked us what was our plan and whether we had any suggestions.

 

在小田原到箱根湯本的車上遇到一對從美國來的華裔老夫妻。他們似乎臨時買了箱根鐵道+巴士卷,還沒考慮太多過在箱根要玩什麼。他們問我們打算怎麼玩,有沒有什麼建議。

 

I outlined our plan of taking the railway up to Kowakudani and transferring to the bus, doing a clockwise loop around the area. They seemed to like the idea and followed us up till Moto-Hakone.

 

我大略說了一下要搭電車到小涌谷轉巴士,順時鐘繞箱根一圈。他們對這主意似乎覺得不錯,一路跟我們一起坐到元箱根。

 

Once we got on the mountain train at Hakone-Yumoto we no longer had to worry about transfers and the sightseeing begins.

 

在箱根湯本上了登山鐵道後就不用擔心轉車了,放輕鬆開始遊玩欣賞風景。

Hakone Yumoto

The Hakone Mountain railway is the Japan’s oldest mountain railway and the steepest railway in Japan without a rack rail. In less than 10km it climbs from Hakone-Yumoto at 108m to Gora at 556m.

 

箱根登山鐵道是日本最古老的登山鐵道,也是日本沒有齒軌的普通鐵道中坡度最陡的。從箱根到強羅不到10km的軌道從108m爬升到556m。

 

The leaves close to Hakone-Yumoto was still green, which I took to be a good sign that there were bound to be red leaves along the way up.

 

靠近箱根湯本的樹葉還是綠的,這算是好事吧,代表一路往上總會遇到紅葉。

Hakone

Along the tracks there are 3 turnbacks to navigate the steepest inclines.The turnbacks also doubled as a passing stop for trains coming the other direction, there was plenty of time to take in the view as we waited for the descending train or for the poor driver to run to the other end to drive the train in the other direction.

 

沿途有3個Z字反折攀爬最陡的山側。反折點同時也是電車會車處,讓反方向的車輛通過。在等下山的車輛或是駕駛跑去電車另一端開車時有充足時間看外頭山色。

Switchback

Hakone

The train winded through narrow tunnels and bridges over steep valleys. Only in the old days could a railway be built through terrain as difficult as this only for access to tourist destination.

 

電車穿過窄小的隧道和陡峭的溪谷。只有在從前才有可能為了一個觀光地如此翻山越水興建一條鐵道。

 

Two stops from Gora we got off at Kowakudani. This was the station where the railway and the bus route headed for Moto-Hakone diverged.

 

我們在到強羅兩站前的小涌谷下車。這裡是鐵道和往元箱根巴士路線分道揚鑣之處。

Kowakudani

Originally the bus was not due for another 12 minutes and Y had begun to wander off when a H route bus turned around the corner. Is the bus early or the previous one late? No matter, I hurriedly called Y back.

 

原本巴士應該要等12分鐘,Y正要附近晃晃時一輛H路線的巴士就轉過彎來。是早到還是上一班晚到?管他的。我連忙把Y叫回來。

 

Since the bus came early we now had time to go to Onshihakone park instead of just Moto-Hakone. Onshihakone was about 500m further down the Lake Ashinoko south bank and used to be the Emperial family’s vacation palace. It’s a small peninsula jutting out into the lake and from its higher elevation offered a fantastic view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashinoko.

 

巴士早到,時間也就多了一些,可以去恩賜公園而不只是元箱根。恩賜公園在芦之湖南岸再走500m處,曾是皇室的渡假宮殿。是個突出湖面的小半島,從公園內高處是看富士山和芦之湖的最佳地點之一。

 

The poor weather over the last few days had cleared up, in the distance Mount Fuji loomed over the pristine lake. I had been very worried about whether we would be able to see Mount Fuji today and was very relieved.

 

前幾天的天氣轉好了,遠處的富士山聳立在潔淨的湖上。

 

Thanks the the early bus we were by the lakeside at 9:15.

 

感謝早來的巴士,我們9.15就在湖岸了。

 

The main structure in the palace grounds is a western style hall. There used to be an Japanese style Hall adjoining the western Hall but after destruction in multiple earthquakes had been reduced to a small wooden building.

 

離宮的主建築是個西式宅邸。從前旁邊也連著一棟日式宅院但幾遭地震摧毀,現在只剩下一個小小的木造房。

Hakone Palace

 

From the 2nd floor balcony of the Hall one had a clear view of the lake and the far shores. A pirate cruise ship leaving Moto-Hakone glided into view before turning north toward Togendai.

 

從宅邸二樓陽台看出去,眼下湖面延伸到遠岸。一艘離開元箱根的海盜船滑入視野,在湖心轉往北方的桃源台。

Mount Fuji

There was another small viewing platform in the park where high magnification binoculars were installed. Through it we could see the smallest valley on Mount Fuji, the snowy slopes glistening in the sun.

 

公園內還有一個聊望台,有免費的高倍數望遠鏡。透過他們連富士山上最小的山坳也可看的一清二楚,還有在陽光下閃耀的雪坡。

Mount Fuji

Between Onshihakone and Moto-Hakone is a length of forest path which used to be the old Tokaido postal road. The ancient road is lined with 400 years old giant cedar trees. Hakone had long been a vital town due to its status as a major checkpoint controlling travellers heading in and out of Kanto.

 

恩賜公園到元箱根間有條曾是東海道驛道的林間小路。古道兩旁是400年的老杉樹。箱根從古就是驛道上的重要小鎮,作為掌控進出關東旅客的主要關卡。

 

The old checkpoint that had been reconstructed is at Hakonemachi, not far in fact from Onshihakone, unfortunately it was one of the many placed that had to be left out due to the tight schedule.

 

重建的箱根關所就在附近,離恩賜公園很近,因時間上的問題而被刪除的無數景點之一。

 

Cedar Avenue was actually less exciting than it sounded, being a stone throw away next to the main road with cars constantly whizzing by definitely took away its atmosphere.

 

杉樹道實際上不如導覽介紹上吹捧的壯觀,跟車道只有拋石之隔,來往車子的聲響把氣氛都吵不見了。

Cedar Avenue

We got back to Moto-Hakone and continued along the waterfront to Hakone shrine. The Hakone shrine used to be on the summit of Komagatake, related to mountain worship. It was later moved down to the foot of the mountain. The shrine is best know by its torii the stood in the lake at the bottom of the stairs.

 

我們回到元箱根,沿著湖岸往箱根神社前進。箱根神社原來是在駒岳山頂,與山神信仰有關。後來被移到了山腳下。神社出名在石階底端立於湖水中的鳥居。

Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine

 

Hakone Shrine

 

Hakone Shrine

 

Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine torii

The tourists were out in force now, plenty of traffic going to and from the shrine.

 

一般遊客們到上山了,往神社的路上人來人往。

Moto-Hakone

I had taken some measures to avoid the two main bottlenecks in Hakone. The cruise ship and the ropeway. The cruise ship departed to a fixed timetable and if there were more people than allowed it was a 40min wait for the next one. The ropeway similarly had limited capacity. It’s said that sometimes traffic gets so backed up it could take an hour just to get on the ropeway.

 

我在行程上做了些許措施,避開箱根的兩大瓶頸。海盜船和纜車。海盜船班次有限,若坐不下就需要等上40分鐘等下一艘。纜車的運量也很有限。傳說有什麼等纜車需要等上一小時。

 

Coming on a weekday avoided the most heavy traffic, and doing the Hakone circle in a clockwise direction (official recommendation is anti-clockwise) means we go against traffic and can manage time more effectively in the afternoon since we would already be past the bottlenecks. I’m actually not sure why the recommendation is anti-clockwise since Mount Fuji is best viewed in the morning.

 

選平常日來避開大部分的人潮,然後走順時鐘(官方推薦逆時鐘)與人潮反方向,在下午已經過了瓶頸路段,時間上必較好掌握可有效利用。我不知道為什麼官方推薦逆時鐘,看富士山最好是在早上不是。

 

We had to hurry for a bit on the way back to catch the 10:50 cruise ship. At first I was a little worried as there were already quite a few packed on the pier. I needed not worried, the ship was maybe 1 /2 full, based on the licensing plaque the boat had a capacity of over 500 people, not sure if they would actually pack that many people onto it in peak season, the boat already a little crowded today.

 

回頭時稍微快走了一段,趕10.50的船。一開始看到滿滿的碼頭還有點擔心上不去的。結果多慮了,船大概只有半滿,依照船上的證照牌子載客量是500人,不過不知道實際在旺季會不會真塞上500人。光今天的遊客量船上已經有一點感覺擠了。

Pirate Cruise ship

The boat had 2 levels plus an open top deck and also partitioned into front and back. The front was the first class section which required an extra 500Y one way. From the photos it didn’t look like it was much of an improvement other than the front view. In peak season it may be a way to get away from the crowd in the back.

 

船有兩層座艙加一甲板,另外又分前後半。前半是頭等艙,單程需要令花500Y升等。照片上看起來沒什麼特別,只有可看前頭景色這點。旺季時大概可不用在後頭人擠人吧。

Deck

Pirate ship interior

Shrine from ship

The journey from Moto-Hakone on the south bank to Togendai on the north takes about 30 minutes. From the boat one could see all the sights around the lake, like Hakone shrine, the ropeway climbing up Komagatake and various hotels and resorts dotted along the banks.

 

從南邊元箱根到北邊桃源台要30分鐘。在船上可沿路欣賞湖兩側的景點,如箱根神社,往駒岳山頂的纜車,還有點綴岸上的各個旅館和度假村。

Ashinoko

By now the clouds had gathered on Mount Fuji and its peak had disappeared. Fortunate that we had come early. The autumn leaves had passed for the forests on either side of the lake, only a smattering of lingering red left amongst the brown barren woods.

 

這時富士山上已經消失在集結的雲霧後了。幸好有早來。兩岸的紅葉時期已經過了,一片光禿林間只剩零落點點紅。

 

On the open lake the wind blasted across the decks. I gripped onto the camera tightly for fear of it being blown overboard. Y had already retreated below to safety and warmth. Despite my struggles I too had to go downstairs.

 

開闊的湖面陣陣強風刮過甲板。我緊緊抓住相機,深怕一陣風颳洛水中。Y早就逃到下面尋求溫暖了。經過一番掙扎我也受不了,投降下樓。

 

Togendai is the western terminus of the Hakone ropeway. The ropeway goes from Togendai up to Owakudani, active geothermal area at the top of the crater.

 

桃源台是纜車西端的終點站。纜車從桃源台上到大涌谷,山頂地熱活躍的火山坑口。

 

The ropeway had one of the largest gondolas I’ve seen, able to seat 18 passengers at maximum. Since it’s not a particularly busy day the staff chose to fill each with only 10-11 people.

 

纜車的車廂是我看過最大的了,可坐18人。今天遊客不算特別多,站務人員每個車廂只分配大約10-11人而以。

 

The ropeway had a steep and exciting climb, rising quickly up into the air and gave great views of the lake. The ropeway also offered a majestic view of Mount Fuji on good days, today the mountain was shrouded and all we could see is the wide rolling foothills beneath the sea of clouds, which is also very impressive in its own ways.

 

纜車爬升的很快,像雲霄飛車似刺激,一下就升入半空,俯瞰湖色。好天時從纜車上可看到富士山全景,但今天山頭被壟罩,只能看到雲海下廣闊的山腳,以很壯觀。

Ropeway from Togendai

Mount Fuji from ropeway

We reached Owakudani and was immediately greeted by the cold and sulfuric air.

 

到大涌谷後撲面而來的是冷空氣中的硫磺味。

 

Owakudani was still under level 2 alert, meaning the area was experiencing more volcanic activity than usual and the geopark trails around Owakudani was off limits to tourists. A year ago the ropeway was even closed due to too much noxious gas spewing out the crater.

 

大涌谷還在二級警界,也就是這地區的火山活動異常活躍,大涌谷周遭的地熱教學步道禁止遊客進入。一年前因為坑口噴出的有毒氣體連纜車都被迫停駛呢。

 

Since it was nearing 12 we decided to have lunch. Food options in Hakone is fairly limited. Outside of cafe and eateries there were only 2 good places to eat around Gora and those usually had lines outside, so anywhere was as good as any. Having lunch here allowed the most flexibility overall, there was no need to backtrack and no pressure to eat quickly to get to the next spot.

 

快要12點了,趁這時先吃午餐。箱根吃的選項不多,除了咖啡店和食堂外只有強羅附近兩家比較可以吃的,那會需要排隊,所以基本上哪裡吃都沒有差。在這裡吃相對上比較有彈性,不用走回頭或趕著吃完去下個地點。

Owakudani eatery

The eatery attached to Owakudani ropeway station has a very simple menu, probably due to its hard to access location. Curry rice or chips and fried chickens. The price is on the expensive side like most places in Hakone. It’s still before proper lunchtime, we were able to pick a window seat overlooking the crater energetically spewing steam, a view worth the extra price (probably).

 

大涌谷纜車站的食堂的菜單很簡單,或許是不容易送太多材料上來吧。咖哩飯或薯條和炸雞。價錢跟這裡大部分地方一樣偏貴。還不到正式午餐時間,我們選了個窗戶邊的位子,可以看外頭很有精神分著煙的坑口,能有這景色貴一點也是值得(可能)。

View from table

 

Owakudani eatery

The crater is also where ryokan and hotels in the area make their onsen water.

 

這坑口也是旅館製造溫泉的地方。


Many of onsens in the Gora and Senseki area actually gets their onsen water via manufacturing. By directing water over/into the crater’s steam vents minerals are dissolve in the water, the infused water is then piped down to the ryokans. Whether these qualify as natural onsen is up for each. Just something nice to know.

 

Personally this makes it possible to control the mineral concentration which leave me a little wary.

 

Beitou onsen in Taiwan also uses the same method to produce onsen water.

 

許多強羅和仙石地區的旅館的溫泉水其實是人工製造的。將山泉水引到坑口內的噴口,讓其中的礦物溶解入水中,再將溶解水抽到山下的旅館。至於這樣還算不算真的溫泉見仁見智。多留意就是。

 

個人而言這樣可以控制溫泉的礦物濃度,讓我比較不放心。

 

題外話,台灣北投溫泉也是用同樣的方式製造溫泉。

Owakudani

Owakudani

When we left the restaurant there was at least 6-7 groups waiting, having wrote their name on a list and have to wait for the staff to call them.

 

當我們吃飽離開時餐廳外有6-7組人在等,只能在排隊列表上寫名字後在一旁慢慢等服務員來叫。

Owakudani

Owakudani

A specialty unique to Owakudani is the black eggs. They’re regular hard boiled onsen eggs but the egg shell reacts to the volcanic water and turns into a charcoal black. It’s said that eating one of the black egg will add seven years to your life.

 

大涌谷的一特產是黑蛋。其實是普通的白煮蛋,只是蛋殼與火山水起反應變成碳黑色。說是吃一個可延命7歲。

The black egg

They’re sold in bags and 5 and I am very glad Y is around since there’s no way I am going to eat 5 eggs by myself (we ended up eating it over 2 days).

 

他們一次賣就是一袋5個,幸好有Y在不然我怎麼樣也不可能一個人吃5個蛋(我們花了2天吃完)。

 

When the trails were open one could walk up to the original black egg shop and one can watch how they dip the eggs go into the water white and come out black. For now though just have to buy them at the store next to Owakudani station.

 

當步道還開放時可以走到黑蛋本店看他們把蛋白淨的放入水中,變黑的提上來。現在只能在大涌谷旁的店裡買。

Owakudani

I secretly hoped the clouds on Mount Fuji might move off during lunch time, alas no such luck.

 

我偷偷期待著吃午餐時富士山上的雲會散具,看來是無望了。

Fuji from Owakudani

Time to continue onward on the ropeway toward Sounzan. The station was packed with people. The line heading to Togendai/Lake Ashinoko had completely filled that side of the station, across the walkway and was spilling into the main station foyer.

 

該繼續坐纜車往早雲山。車站裡滿是人,往桃源台/芦之湖的隊伍已經把車站那一側填滿,跨過天橋溢入車站大廳了。

 

Goodness, thankfully we’re going the other way.

 

天啊,還好我們不是往那一側。

 

The ropeway to Souzan flew directly over the crater. For safety reasons they gave out medicinal towels to cover one’s mouth and nose incase people felt overwhelmed by the smell.

 

往早雲山的纜車將飛越坑口上方。安全起見站務人員給每個人發一個藥物濕巾,若感覺味道太濃不舒服時可用來遮住口鼻。

Ropeway down to Souzan

At Souzan there were even more people waiting to get on the ropeway toward Owakudani. I think people start to move toward Ashinoko after lunch to leave enough time to visit Hakone shrine.

 

在早雲山等著上車去大涌谷的人竟然更多。可能是大家當想午餐後往芦之湖移動,好預留時間去箱根神社。

 

Between Souzan and Gora is one of the core areas of Hakone. There are many hotels and ryoukans, and the bus routes connects out from here to nearby parks and museums.

 

在早雲山和強羅間是箱根的核心地帶。這裡有許多旅館,還有巴士路線通往附近的公園和美術館。

 

Despite just 1.2km as the crow flies between the two locations, there is an elevation difference of over 200m, requiring cable towed cars to climb the steep slope. Yet another reason to travel clockwise. It is possible to walk downhill in the direction of Gora, while going uphill from Gora is going to work up a sweat even in the cold winter.

 

雖然兩地間直線距離只有1.2km,但高低差有超過200m,需要靠登山纜車才能攀爬這陡坡。走順時鐘再多一個理由。往強羅下坡走是可行的,但反過來從強羅走上坡可會累死人。

 

The cable car is single tracked with a passing track in the middle. The towing cables runs down the middle of the track and I was very intrigued by how at the passing tracks the cables are directed down the respective sides without getting entangled.

 

登山纜車是單軌,中間有個會車處。托引的纜繩在軌道中間通過,讓我非常好奇在會車處纜繩是如何導入各自的軌道而不纏在一起。

 

On either side of the track lined autumn leaves in full bloom of red and orange.

 

鐵道兩側是旺盛的楓葉,鮮豔的紅橘色。

Hakone Mountain Cable Car


The main attraction for the afternoon was Hakone Museum of Art.

 

下午主景點是箱根美術館。

 

Hakone Museum of Art ironically was not most known by its collection but by its impeccably maintained moss garden. In autumn the red leaves in the moss garden is one of the most poster perfect scene of Hakone.

 

箱根美術館有名反而不是因他的收藏,而是精心整理的苔庭。在秋天苔庭的紅葉是箱根最常刊登上海報的完美景色之一。

 

The entrance was just across the road from Koen-Kami station. I had already bought the tickets electronically so we headed straight in.

 

入口就在公園上站前馬路對面。我已經買好了電子門票所以不用等直接入內。

 

The museum grounds consists of roughly 4 parts in a loop. Going anti-clockwise, the museum building overlooks the entire garden, followed by the rock garden, the tea house, and the moss garden.

 

美術館園內有4區,反時鐘分別是俯瞰整個庭園的美術館主樓,石園,茶庭,苔庭。

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

The moss garden was the main reason for scheduling the trip at this date and I had watched the online photos intently for the past few weeks, checking the progress of the autumn leaves. For a while it looked as though we might miss the autumn leaves, even when they proved much more resilient I worried they might be half barren.

 

苔庭是在將旅行定在這日期的主因,在出發前已經緊密跟隨網上照片幾個星期,確認楓葉的變化。有一陣子楓葉轉紅的情勢看來我們可能會錯過,即便楓葉比我預期的耐,還是很擔心見到的是散洛一半了的楓葉。

 

My eyes widened at the sight of the fiery tree tops. In rolling green seas winded stone paths like shallow reefs. Fallen maple leaves laid quietly on the soft carpet in tranquil sleep. The burning canopy contrasted with the green moss below formed a beautiful dreamlike landscape.

 

眼前烈火似的樹梢令我目不轉睛。和緩綠色波浪間的繞著如淺灘礁石的步道。掉落的楓葉安逸的躺在柔軟的地毯上沉睡著。火紅樹冠對比底下深綠的苔皮如夢如幻。

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

 

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

There was a constant stream of other admirers lost in the beautiful world like us. Just enough to not feel alone, not too many to be intruded.

 

庭園中魚貫走過同樣迷失在美景中的尋秋者。少不感寂寞,多不感煩心。

 

Since this place is ostensibly an art museum, one should definitely still check out its collections regardless of how mesmerized one is by its garden.

 

這地方總是個美術館,再怎麼被庭園著迷不去看看展出總說不過去。

There are 4 exhibition spaces, each about the size of a small auditorium room. The collection is quite varied, being the personal collection of the museum founder Okada Kimochi. Okada was the founder of a new Japanese religion in the early 20th century.

 

有4個展示廳,每個大概有一個小講堂的大小吧。展出物品項很多,原本是美術館創建者岡田茂吉的個人收藏。岡田是日本一個新興信仰的創教者。

 

On display were many ukiyo-e, traditional paintings. Part of the ukiyoe featured scenes of the tokaido which Hakone as mentioned before was an important checkpoint on it.

 

展示中有許多浮世繪和傳統墨筆畫。一部分浮世繪描繪的是箱根曾經是重要關口之一的東海道景色。

 

Funny painting of kappa fishing

Upstairs were the ceramic exhibitions displaying buddhist statues and bowls, plates, jars, including flame jars from the Jomon period.

 

樓上是瓷器展出,有佛像,碗,盤,壺,還有縄文時代的火焰壺。

Pottery collection

There was still light, though the sun had fallen behind the peak and we were in the shadows. Our next stop was the nearby Gora park, free entry with the Hakone pass. I got a little confused with the map, despite there being an entrance on the topside right next to the art museum we ended up going down to the bottom main entrance.

 

天還沒黑,但太陽落到山頂後,山背這側籠罩在陰影下。下一站是強羅公園,有箱根周遊卷免費入內。我地圖弄錯了,結果上頭美術館旁就有入口的,結果一直走到下側的主門。

 

The park was a western style garden best known by the giant fountain at its centre.

 

公園是個西式花園,中間的大噴水池很好認。

Gora park

It was hard to get a good judge of the gardens in the fading light. Other than the gardens, there was a restaurant/cafe overlooking the fountain and several craft houses where one could participate in glass blowing, dried flower arrangement, glass etching.

 

在陰暗光線中不太看得出花園好壞。除了花園外還有一家餐廳咖啡廳在噴水池旁,另有幾間手工體驗工作室,遊客可體驗吹玻璃,裝置乾燥花,或是玻璃刻畫。

Glass blowing

The craft activities takes from 30 min to an hour and a few thousand yen, though some have to be delivered to the hotel a few days later due to the need to either put it through the kiln or additional processing.

 

手工體驗需30分鐘到一小時,收費幾千,有些由於需要燒窯或另外處理加工需要幾天後才能快遞送到旅館。

 

The garden is better visited in spring and summer when flowers are in bloom.

 

花園大概要春夏花開時來會比較好。

 

Time starts to slip in the twilight. It was still about 3:30pm but was starting to feel like 5 or 6pm. We wandered down to Gora station.

 

日落時分,對時間感受有很大差異。雖然才3.30感覺已經5點還6點。我們晃下至強羅車站。

 

There was a tofu shop behind the station that was somewhat well known. I mulled over whether it’s worth the trouble going there. Y wasn’t that interested either so we only looked about the station front then lined up to head down to Hakone-Yumoto.

 

車站後有家豆腐店小有名氣。我猶豫著值不值得繞過去。Y也不是太有興趣於是我們看了看站前的店就排隊準備下去箱根湯本。

 

I had known that the trip down would be problematic. Normally the bus trip would be 20min faster than the mountain train but during the autumn leaves season the road gets backed up all the way from Odawara to Kowakudani. I however did not expect the train to be also so packed that we were not able to get on the first train and had to wait another 15min for the next one.

 

我原本就有預期下山會比較麻煩。一般來說搭巴士是最好比登山鐵道快20分鐘,但在楓葉季道路會從小田原一路塞到小涌谷。但我沒想到電車竟然也會擠到我們上不了第一輛車,必須再等15分鐘搭下一班。

 

Travelling in Hakone during peak season requires a lot of patience and lead times in the schedule, potentially queues everywhere.

 

在箱根旺季時移動需要耐心和在行程中預留空間,到處都可能需要排隊。

 

The street of Hakone-Yumoto was a little disappointing. The main issue was that the busy road was filled with cars and the sidewalks was too narrow for the number of people and became difficult to walk or to see the shops ahead. The street was not very long, maybe just a hundred metres, more of a shopping street than an onsen street, much less souvenir shops than would have thought. Part of it may be that Hakone isn’t known for any local specialties so the shops are more croquette shops, sweet shops, cake shops…etc.

 

箱根湯本大街有點令人失望。主要問題是主街上滿是車子來往,人行道對人潮來說太窄了,不好走也不容易看到前頭的店面。

 

主街沒很長,大概幾百公尺而以,要說溫泉街的話可能一般商店街比較貼切,沒有太多土產店。可能是箱根本身沒有什麼在地特產,店家主要是什麼炸肉餅,甜點,蛋糕之類的。

Hakone Yumoto

Hakone Yumoto

We tried to look for a place to eat but did not find anyplace too appetizing. There are eateries in the backstreets, though I was not keen on possibly wasting effort looking. I think both of us were getting a little tired.

 

我們沿路找地方吃晚餐,但沒看到什麼好吃的。後街有幾家食堂但我不是很想可能浪費時間的去找。我們兩人都有點累了。

 

The original dinner plan was Curry Cocoro, that only opened at 5:30pm, still some time to go. The alternative was to head back and see what we can get at Odawara or even back in Tokyo at Shinagawa.

 

原計劃是咖哩一心,要5.30才開,還要好一會。備用計畫是看小田原有什麼吃的或是乾脆回東京品川吃。

 

We ended up eating at Odawara station while waiting for the next shinkansen train.

 

結果是在小田原等新幹線時吃。

 

Inside the shopping arcade at Odawara station there’s a small foodcourt specializing in noodles. There’s ramen, udon, sobas. We ended up getting yakisoba.

 

小田原車站內的商店街有個麵街,有拉麵,烏龍,蕎麥麵。我們結果選了家炒蕎麥麵。

 

The portions was quite large, the taste a touch too salty though that was probably expected in Japan, otherwise quite happy with. (I regret not researching more, the same tofu tonkatsu shop in Gora has a branch here, so should have gone to that instead)

 

論份量很多,味道偏鹹但在日本而言可說是想當然爾,不然還算滿意。(我很後悔沒有多花點心思研究,強羅的豆腐豬排在這有家分店,真應該去那裡的)

Noodle street

Yakisoba

We whizzed back to Shinagawa in less than 30min. Along the way we decided since it was still early, we’d go to Shibuya to see the Blue Cave illumination there.

 

回到品川花不到30分鐘。路上我們決定既然還早,去澀谷看看那裡的燈飾青之洞窟。

 

And.. right into Yamanote line during the evening peak hour. Should have seen that coming and planned accordingly.

 

然後正好撞入下班尖峰時段的山手線。早該知道會這樣,做出調整的。

 

The carriage was packed tighter than sardine. People gripped the top of the doorframe to give themselves leverage to push onto the train. Just when one thought the train could possibly fit no more, somehow another five people would skillfully push themselves in.

 

車廂比沙丁魚罐頭還擠。上車的乘客借抓住門匡上方使力硬擠上車。當覺得不可能裝下更多時就會有另外五個人手法熟悉的幾上來。

 

At the intermediate stations I have no idea how people squeezed themselves off the trains. The train had to pause for extended periods while the station attendants asked for people to stop trying to get on and wait for the next train.

 

在中間幾個車站我真不知道下車的人是怎麼擠出人群的。電車被迫多停許久,站務人員不斷廣播請大家不要再試圖擠上車,等下一輛車。

 

Thankfully we were getting off at Shibuya which was not too many stops away and plenty of people would be getting off that we only needed to go with the flow.

 

感謝我們是在澀谷下,不用太多站且大多人會在這裡下,我們隨波逐流就好。

 

It was an experience, though one me and Y both agreed best to never have again.

 

很獨特的經驗,我和Y同意這經驗無需再度體驗。

 

The Blue Cave was at Yoyogi park, where the trees along the main walk were strung up with blue christmas lights, and the pavement was covered with reflective boards to create a scene of mirrored lights.

 

青之洞窟在佐佐木公園,步道兩側的樹上掛滿藍色聖誕燈,步道則鋪上反光板,塑造倒影般景色。

 

The streets between the station to the park was also decorated with blue lights, creating a guideway through the busy shopping district.

 

車站到公園間的街道也掛出藍色小燈,導引人們穿過繁忙的市區。

Hachiko statue

Shibuya crossing

 

 

The Blue Cave area was filled with people basking in the luminescence. A little hard for the reflection to be seen in its full elegance.

 

青之洞窟的人好多,藍色的光澤暈染每個人身上。人有點多不好欣賞作品整體美感。                                                     

Blue cave

Blue cave

Blue cave

At the end of the Blue Cave was a food event called Oedo Japanese Feast, some 30 stores selling all kind of nightmarket foods like grills oysters, crabs, steaks, skewers..etc. Despite being sponsored by the Japanese Sake association there was no stalls selling sake in sight.

 

在青之洞窟底端有個大江戶和宴的活動,大概30幾家夜市攤販在賣烤生蠔,螃蟹,肉排,烤串的。雖然活動是由日本酒協會贊助現場沒看到賣酒的。

Oedo feast

Oedo feast

Time to head back to Shinbashi. Shibuya is connected to Shinbashi directly via the Ginza line, it also won’t be as crowded as the Yamanote line. The Ginza line station at Shibuya was under re-construction and we were led into climbing up 3 storey tall flight of stairs to reach the platforms. Tokyo stations is known to be terrible with accessibility but this was the first time I’ve thought things to be ridiculous. The least they could have done was show a map pointing to the elevator or escalators.

 

該回新橋。澀谷到新橋搭銀座線可直到,也不會如山手線班擁擠。澀谷的銀座線車站在重建中,結果我們跟著牌子爬了三樓高的階梯才到月台。東京的車站無障礙設計不好沒錯,但這是我第一次覺得太誇張了。至少貼個地圖說手扶梯或電梯在哪吧。

 

Still not very late, I suggested we go to Don Quijote nearby. I had alway heard a lot about the discount variety store but never did go to one, in part because of my habit of going to rural areas and also because I’m not big on shopping and saw no need to go to one specifically.

 

還沒有太晚,我建議去附近唐吉柯德逛逛。我久聞這家折價連鎖商店的名聲但從未去過,一半是我喜歡跑鄉下,一半是因為我不是很愛買東西,感覺沒必要特地去逛某家店。

 

The store, turned out to be nothing like what I had seen before.

 

這次才發現唐吉柯德是一種我從未見過的店。

Donquijote

It sold everything, from the expected sweets and cookies to some downright bizarre items like second hand Burberry bags.

 

Cosmetics, small electronics to appliances like rice cookers and the ever in demand hairdryers, strange toys, stationary, cameras.

 

這裡什麼都賣,從可預期的糖果餅乾到一些不知道為什麼會出現在這的東西,如二手Burberry包。

 

化妝品,小家電如電子飯鍋和仍很受歡迎的吹風機,奇怪的小玩具,文具,相機等。

 

While Y went to do some pricing research on alcohols, I lost myself in a strange world of exotic cookies, 10 different flavors of kit kat (sake kit kat??) and the unseen flavors of white pepsi and cherry coke.

 

當Y去研究酒品價格時我則迷失在奇異的零食世界,10種Kit Kat(日本酒口味?)和白百事和櫻桃可樂這種沒見過的口味。

Lots of flavors

Donquijote

Second hand bags

Couldn’t tell whether things here are good bargains or not like it’s said on the net, it’s very fun to just see what craziness gets concocted.

 

這裡不知道是不是真的如網上說的東西便宜,不過看各種莫名其妙的東西很有意思。

 

I ended up getting two cans of strange flavoured cokes (they were terrible), a bottle of juice cocktail (this one is okay) and a pack of mochi sweets to bring to work (surprisingly good).

 

結果買了兩罐奇怪口味的可樂(不好喝)一罐水果調酒(還算好)和一包要帶去公司的麻糬甜點(意外的好吃)。

 

All in all a very filled and exciting day. Could have spent a little longer at Gora, maybe even allocated some time to do some handicrafts. Got to saw Mount Fuji and the autumn leaves, very happy with that.

 

總結來說很滿足的一天。在強羅可以多待一會,會許可多安排一點時間去做手工藝。有看到富士山和楓葉就很滿足了。

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