Hakone,Chokoku – No – Mori

Hakone Chōkoku No Mori Bijutsukan

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The cable car terminated at Gora. We wandered around the station. Gora is a hilly town loaded with hot springs. We met a road worker and strangely he had worked in Sabah and spoke a little Malay. All these little towns that dot along the train route are very idyllic – slow paced, limited vehicles, surrounded by lush forest and exquisite eateries. The idea is to slow down and look around. Back at the station, we caught the Hakone Tozan train to Chokuko-no-Mori. Here lies the Hakone Open Air Museum.

The setting of this place, nestled between mountains and valleys surrounded by greeneries is amazing. The man- made sculptures and various artworks had been laid, artistically and thoughtfully in this spacious and green environment. It is a wonderful place to wander at a slow pace and perhaps participate in some of the quirky designed pieces. Metal-work, wood- work, masonry-work and painting are all presented here in an outdoor setting. There is even a Picasso Museum. Macaques roamed the trees. Lee Cheng loved the outdoor hot spring foot bath to rest her tired feet. This open air museum has brought about a harmonic balance between nature and art.

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There is a lovely indoor gift shop within the complex. From the museum we headed to a sushi place close to the train station. As usual, fabulous – the freshest sashimi! This was meant to be a snack stop before lunch. We walked back to the train station and caught another train to Miyanoshita.

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