Friday, August 5, 2011

Hakone Trip

I went to Hakone with my friend. It takes about 3 hours from my house by train and bus.
Hakone is one of my favorite places because it has everything I like!  I love Nature very much. I realize I can't live without being surrounded by nature! While I'm guiding a group, I travel all over Japan and enjoy viewing nature all the time. I love my job. I hope tourists come back soon!




Hydrangeas were still beautiful there. The weather was cloudy, sometimes sunny and rainy for 2 days.
I went to Hakone Shrine. Many events were going on there.


Hakone Shrine


Lion Dance


At the stage of the shrine, the Lion Dance, Shishimai in Japanese were conducted. 2 people manipulate this lion, one for the head part and the other for the rear. Two of them are covered by cloth. This dance is usually conducted on the New Year.




This is the procession of Shinto priests and a Shinto maiden at last. They went inside and conducted some ceremonies because in honor of this shrine, a festival was going on and the fireworks that night was a part of it. I love this shrine very much because I feel the serene atmosphere surrounded by mountains and trees.


Lunch at Kinubiki-no-Sato


We ate lunch at my favorite restaurant, Kinubiki-no-Sato. There are 3 types of noodles, Udon(wheat noodle), Soba(buckwheat noodle) and Kinubiki-Udon(wheat noodle mixed with sesame). I love Kinubik-Udon best!
The owner of this restaurant is my good friend now because I often bring guests here. All the meal was treated on that day! Thank you very much!!

After lunch, we walked the Old Tokaido Haighway.




Besides this avenue, there is a road now. But old travelers traveled from Edo(old name for Tokyo until 1868) to Kyoto. It took about a month on foot. In order to protect travelers, those cypress trees were planted. This avenue was an only part of the highway but I felt history.




This is lake Hakone. It wasn't clear weather. The 3 floating white things are lanterns. They have the name of the hotels which donated them. I could see this lake from my Ryokan(traditional Japanese inn) room.



This was the dinner, Kaiseki(Japanese course). Usually each plate is served separately. But here, in order to save time, they were set at once.
Before dinner, I went to Hot Spring. It is said that when you are in hot spring, you should take a bath 3 times during your stay, first before dinner, second before sleep and third the next morning, which rejuvenate you, BUT if you take more, you'll be shrunken! The last part is my joke but my guests always love it!




This is fireworks taken from my room! It was difficult but I tried!
It was my dream trip, Nature, Hot Spring, Dinner at room and Fireworks!

Working very hard is good but you sometimes need to relax and allow yourself to indulge!
Enjoy your life!!