Sunday, October 11, 2009


We had to see Hakone before we left Japan as it is a must for anyone staying here for a significant period of time. Hakone is a hot spring town spanning across the collapsed remains of a huge volcano that was active 3 or 4 thousand years ago. The result? Many fun attractions including some interesting hot spring amusement as well as views of Mount Fuji. Because of our enormous family we couldn't get 1 Western style room, but we could get 1 Japanese style room. Upon entering our room the kids were quite confused. "Uh, Mom, where are the beds?" Ah, yes, the beds - "Why they are in the closet!" The Japanese style room is made of Tatami mats and we had futons for sleeping. The argument was not about which bed to sleep in, but where on the floor would they sleep. Five foutons filled the floor.

A wonderful place to visit is the Hakone Open Air Museum which was our first stop.

Just about everything is outside. Modern sculptures and creations from artists all over the world that allow the kids to run, climb, play and best of all - make noise!

They kids are all in there.

Run Connor Run!

This reminded me of the Chicago Millennium Park Bean - but smaller, and a ball, and suspended.

Woods of Net - Fantastic.

We couldn't get in there -but the kids could. They climbed in and out of those holes.

Such a happy place - although I will admit I heard our kids enthusiasm above everyone else's.

There was a mini Picasso museum. I took the kids through here in about 2 minutes. It was a quiet place with no touching.

The Symphonic Sculpture. Connor preferred not to climb the steps and stayed at ground level.

Connor found this sculpture on the map and couldn't wait to see it. He was then slightly disappointed and declared it was a woman with big boobs.

One of my favorites was the bronze sculpture face down in the grass off to the side.

Curved space

More climbing through these honeycomb spacelike spheres

We took a cable car up a mountain and transferred to a ropeway that carried us across the remains of a volcano filled with sulfurous steam vents. We did this twice in hopes to get a good view of Mount Fuji. There were no views on day one. Day two was a bit better.

Kate not enjoying the smelly air.

Well, we saw it. Off in the distance, not the clearest view, but it's there.

From the ropeway we took a boat across Lake Ashi.

Connor is there playing pirate between the bars.

For the kids, the highlight was Yunessun, something like a hot spring theme park. Before heading there we had to put on our special robes and lovely vinyl slippers.

Loving the outfits.

Yunessun is comprised of various hot springs inside and out. The first was a coffee bath. They actually put coffee into the hot spring. It smelled like coffee, but I can't say that it tasted like it. It was chilly outside, so it felt great.

The waterfall

The wine bath - red. The sign reads 'Do not drink' We missed the 'pouring of the wine' into the bath.

It looks like we have all been drinking from the hot spring.

The paths to each bath wind in and around the beautiful grounds.
The tea bath
Jack in the Green Tea bath

The rock bath
The sake bath - I didn't see a sign that said not to drink out of this bath.

There was a hot spring for everyone.

Nicholas headed down the slide into the warm bath
We missed out on the bath with fish that eat the dead skin off of your feet. That bath had a typical Japanese line that would have kept us there all morning. I think I'll just get a pedicure instead.

1 comment:

Cynthia Murphy said...

We really enjoyed your excellent field trip summary. Kids are home for MEA, and I feel like they actually learned something. Keep posting!!