17 Mar 2019
Imperial Hotel, 1404, Tokyo
On our last day in Japan, we went to Hakone, 30 minutes by train from Tokyo. This place is more known for its Fuji Mountain view from the volcanic lake. In fact, Mount Fuji is rather shy. Most days t hides behind the clouds. Just as it was hidden today. Fortunately, we were able to clearly see this mountain during our high-speed train journey from Kyoto to Tokyo.
There are many more activities to be done in this city, which is incredibly cold. The most recent volcanic eruption was 3 years ago. There is still an intense smell of sulphur coming from the volcanic gases. This place is famous for its black eggs. It is claimed that each black egg adds 7 years to life when eaten.
A ferry can be boarded on the volcanic lake of 40-degree water, which was formed after the volcanic eruption of 30 thousand years ago. A samurai checkpoint can be visited on the opposite bank. As in all Japan, the colours that nature takes in the spring and autumn months are epic. Narrow and winding mountain paths are climbed by train. Quite an interesting experience.
But for me, the most unexpected and wonderful experience in Hakone was the open-air museum. It contains more than 300 works of Picasso. If it weren’t as cold as the Arctic, many hours could have easily been spent visiting this open air museum. They also have very nice activities for children. Another impressive aspect was the sculptures positioned carefully as to have the forests and mountains as their background.
Japan is most impressive because of its culture, people, principles and disciplined nature, simplicity and modesty, hygiene, and respect for nature. If they didn’t insist on whaling and keeping animals away from the natural environment, so that people can be entertained by them in shops like slaves, they would be a thousand more steps ahead.