Hakone – Moto-Hakone

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As we approached Moto – Hakone, the vegetation on the shoreline thinned. Expansive views of mountains with the mist lifted and partially blue sky emerged. The constant drizzle had stopped. The sight of the towering red “torii” of Hakone Shrine was quite startling against the placid Lake Ashi waterfront, soothing green forest and the dark rain clouds. On a “good day”, the peak of Fujisan will show just above the mountains. Small boats lay anchored in a line close to the shoreline. Although gloomy, it was quite invigorating walking along the shoreline. A small shrine with stone statues added a ‘Zen’ sentiment.

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A towering red “torii” marked the entrance to Moto- Hakone. In the foreground was the bus stop. On the right, a road led to the Old Tokaido Highway through dense vegetation. Continuing on from here on preserved stone path is possible towards Hakone –Yumoto. Dusk set in quickly as we checked out the bus time-table. We were unable to explore this neat little township and popular Hakone Shrine. We had no idea when or if any transport was available this late in the day. Most retail shops here close early. Finally a bus arrived (not knowing where it was heading, I just mentioned Togendai to the driver). He dropped us off at Yunessun. This town is popular with a water theme park. There was no time. Fortunately, another bus took us to Sengoku. From here there are late buses back to Togendai. Relieved at last!

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From Sengoku, there were several late buses that plied to Togendai. Now with more certainty, we tracked down a neat little restaurant by the main road. Their specialty was Chinese dishes. It had a cosy atmosphere. Lee Cheng and Navindd tried the pot sticker. Apparently, it was very tasty. I settled for some vegetarian soup with mushrooms and noodles – a little blend but quite fulfilling.

There were several more eateries along this main road. Finally, we caught a bus back to our multistory hotel in Togendai. Today had been a long journey but a good one albeit the challenging weather condition. No views of Fuji.

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