|Spoiler Inside: More crappy selfies!||SelectShow>|
After leaving Enoshima, we set course to Hakone. En-route, we visited Odawara Castle. We had a bit of trouble finding a suitable parking spot, but in the end we managed. This is one of the gates leading to the courtyard.
The cherry blossoms were not out in force quite yet, but that didn’t stop the fine people of Odawara from starting up a hanami festival with stalls for food and drink! The atmosphere was very festive, and it was a lot of fun to walk around there. The castle itself is a reinforced concrete rebuild of the original castle on this site, built in the 1960’s. Same as in Osaka.
The view from the top is pretty cool.
At Hakone, we went up to the solfator field of Odawara. Unfortunately, the paths across the mountains were closed because of safety concerns. Yes, we did eat the black eggs that were boiled in the pools of sulphuric mud.
The Hakone Checkpoint, the border between Kanto (the Edo side) and Kansai (the Kyoto side). It’s a modern rebuild, but the traditional construction techniques were used. Interesting to visit.
Then we did a hike through the mountains. We had intended to walk part of the old Tokaido, but we ended up on a nature trail that required a bit more, eh, ‘vigorous’ activity than we had intended. But the end point was the same: the Amazake Chaya, a traditional tea-house from the time the Tokaido was still used.
We had a cup of warm amazake there and some mochi before taking the bus back.
We also visited the ‘Glass Forest’ in Hakone. It was very interesting, but more of a carefully constructed commercial experience than a museum. This ‘tree’ has crystal ‘blossoms’ that glittered beautifully in the sunlight, but it doesn’t really show it on the photo.