Hakone question

Old May 29th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Hakone question

My 18 year old son and I will be traveling to Japan next week for 15 days. I have thought about making a day trip from Tokyo to the Hakone area. I wanted to get a view of Mt. Fuji. But I am now having second thoughts. For some reason I am getting a real "touristy" feel about the whole Hakone area. I am just afraid my son and I will find the area too much and not what we want from our trip to Japan. Am I wrong? Riding in a pirate boat does not appeal to me. We will be going to Tokyo, Nikko, Hiroshima/Miyajima, Kyoto, Koyasan, and Narita. We hope to take a bike tour in Tokyo (if it isn't pouring!) and possibly one in the Chiba area. Is it possible to see Mt. Fuji from the train as we leave Tokyo and go to Hiroshima? Thank you!
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Old May 29th, 2011, 09:16 PM
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It is possible to see Fuji from the train. Be alert though, it can flash by pretty quickly. Going to Hakone doesn't guarantee a view of Fuji. It all depends on the weather.

You have more than enough on your plate for 15 days already, so I wouldn't bother with Hakone this trip. I've been traveling to Japan for the last 30 years, probably ever two or three years. I never went to Hakone, thinking it was too "touristy ", and never missed it.

Last year though, we finally went and really enjoyed it, despite Fuji being absent from the skyline!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:06 AM
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<i> I never went to Hakone, thinking it was too "touristy ", and never missed it. </i>

My take on Hakone: It can indeed be touristy if you stick to the standard Hakone loop. But once you start exploring and take a few steps off the well-beaten path, Hakone becomes a very special and rewarding place. Some gorgeous spots, stunningly beautiful outdoor art, and lots of opportunities to relax and soak it all in.

Thing is, it does take more time to do' Hakone in a non-standard way. Some people, in a good effort to see as much as possible, will opt to do the Hakone loop as a day trip from Tokyo or enroute between Tokyo and Kansai. I think that's where the disappointment and touristy element come into play.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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Thank you both for your input. I think we will skip it this trip due to wanting to see/do other things. It reminds me of going to Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany. Many people do not like the town but we spent 2 nights and three days there and got to explore and walk outside the wall, meet local people, and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. But, we had the time to do that. We don't have the time this trip to do Hakone the right way.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 07:18 AM
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Doing the pirate ship on Ashi-ko(Lake Ashi) is one of the only ways to see Fujisan in the Hakone area. Near the end of the ride across the lake you can look back and see the top of Mt. Fuji as it appears above the other mountains behind you. You can also get what I consider the best view of Fujisan in the Hakone region from the Sounzan to Togendai Ropeway as it comes over the ridge towards Owakudani. Well if the weather cooperates that is.

Hakone is a very large area which cannot all be seen in a one day-trip and I agree with Don T's assessment above(which is as rare as a sighting of Fujisan). If you are relegated to one day then you will be forced to do the Hakone Round Course and it will seem touristy. If you can squeeze another day or two into your schedule then Hakone, especially Gora and its environs are gorgeous and can suitably entertain royalty(and it has).

You can catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from the shinkansen soon after it passes the Shin-Fuji station(which the train probably will not be stopping at) on the Tokkaido line from Tokyo to Osaka . If you take the shinkansen from Tokyo in direction of Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, the best view of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from around Shin-Fuji Station on the right hand side of the train, about 40 to 45 minutes after leaving Tokyo Station. But the winter months in the early morning are best as the summer heat and humidity limit the views.

Aloha!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 07:20 AM
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OOoops, just saw your answer about having no time. We must have been typing at the same time,lol. Oh well, maybe next time when you have more time. Time to go!

Aloha!
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Old Jun 1st, 2011, 12:09 AM
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Did the day trip "loop" from Tokyo two summers ago in August. Sure Hakone is a tourist destination, it doesn't feel too crowded or "touristy" in the tacky sense. Here are my photos from that day. You can see for yourself:

http://rkkwan.zenfolio.com/hakone0809
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