During the some what turbulent trip from Tokyo to Hakone, I wondered several times why, oh why, we where doing it? Tokyo is so cool, why didn’t we just stay there? As we were looking for the shuttle bus to take us to the hotel it was late afternoon and God (or who ever’s in charge up there) decided to
1) suddenly remove all vending machines and all Seven elven stores from the map. (In Tokyo there was one vending machine with drinks every three steps you took, and one seven eleven in every street corner – no joke) I think my family suffers from an extreme ratio bad attidue // low blood sugar. My parents have lived long enough and are luttrade enough to stay calm and carry on, but the rest of us… We become 7 years old again. We snap at each other for no reason, we “accidentally” drive our luggage over each other’s feet and we give up all hope of ever finding that shuttle bus. Especially since this God – person in heaven also decided to
2) open up the skies. It was already 24 degrees C and 75% humidity but now we were truly soaked. As we were standing still in the middle of the road (giving up hope), a shuttle bus came along and asked if we were going to Hakone hotel kowakien tenyu. We were.
As we entered our room, thirsty, sweaty, soaked, soar and angry from low blood sugar, our moods instantly changed. We were welcomed by a huge room and a huge balcony with a bathtub on it. Shaun Vegaun and I were checking the beautiful view from the balcony. We were standing there, both quiet, watching the mist caress the forest dressed mountains. Below us ran a stream, which was the conclusion of the surrounding waterfalls – all smoking of their own heat. We looked at each other, teary eyed from these stunning surroundings.
The night view from our balcony
Shaun Vegaun took my hand, I leaned against him, we got closer to kiss and “MAMMA! PAPPA! Bubble bath!” The child had collected as many specially made healthy spa products as he could find around the room and had poured it all in the bathtub to make a bubble bath. He had also figured out which button to press to fill the bath with hot spring water. Good thing we had time for a bath before dinner. When we met in the lobby before dinner, everyone looked like freshly boiled lobsters. As we entered the dining room, we noticed that everyone except us were wearing suits. Not jacket and a tie, but a kimono or a kind of pyjama, and slippers. Another fail from our side, as we were nicely dressed in a western world point of view.
The second night we had learnt how to dress appropriately for dinner
The next day was excursion day. Igge planned a trip for us where we would go by bus, cable car, ropeway in the sky (or helicopter according to Igge) over the mountain and then a pirate ship back to the hotel. We left at 11 am so we could be back for 2 pm to do some spa-ing as well. Excellent plan and it started out perfectly. Then the fog came and that was the end of sightseeing. From this point on the goal of the trip was to get back home as quickly as possible, but due to the bad weather, all connections were put on a “bad weather” – schedule, meaning that they collected as many fat tourists as possible before heading to the next connecting dot. We had a good time though, and even if we didn’t see much, we laughed a lot.
Cable car, ropeway up, ropeway down (stunning view, ey?) and the pirate ship, which Igge slept through
Back at the hotel I tried out onsen; the hot spring bath hall. It was a bit awkward at first, since you have to be completely naked and I went there with my stunning sister and our brother’s gorgeous girlfriend. I probably weigh the same as them put together, plus that I’m shorter. I’m uncomfortable wearing a swimsuit on our private beach at the summer house so guess if this was a mental challenge for me! One reason why I never show my legs is because they are so dry that they crack, and they itch constantly. I scratch back in my sleep and some mornings I wake up with zebra-patterned legs from dried blood. Dry skin, as well as dry hair, is a massive problem for me and I’ve tried everything. When I got back from the onsen, I noticed that my legs were healed. I looked at my arms – the dry spots I usually have were gone. I looked at my face – the red, inflamed patches around my nose and in my eyebrows were gone. My hair… No flakes from a dry scull, and it had volume. It was wavey. It was luminous. I’m still in shock from this experience, I have to go back. Very, very, unfortunately, there was nowhere to buy the gel I used after bathing, I looked. It was made for the spa only, by the people in Hakone, from the nature in Hakone. If I believed in magic this would be it. All of my body turned radient and soft, and for the first time in years I felt still. Can’t say it any other way – I was still. Two days bathing in Hakone did more and better than 20 years in the outer world.
Imagine a waterfall with water so hot you can’t put your hand in it without getting cooked. This water filled up onsen, which I could sit in for hours whilst sucking in this view
After almost 3 days in Hakone, we headed for Kyoto. It took one day in the city and I was back to my normal, dry, skin-crackling self.