Hakone – Odawara

untitled-228The Japanese have refined social order – even on escalators, the queued on the left to enable other to pass on the right. Finally our “shinkansen” – the Hikari, a white body with a blue strip arrived. The seats were comfortable and when it took off, it sounded like an aeroplane. From inside, although the speed at over 280km/hr, we did not feel it. The exterior however, everything nearby was blurry. Along the journey, near the town of Fuji, we could see the full glory of Mt Fuji – clear from its wide base to the barren reddish summit. It was quite a sight. On the opposite side was the deep blue of the Pacific. Food and drinks are available on board the train. In no time we arrived at the busy and huge Nagoya Station. Although it was a short ride, the experience was fantastic.

“But this one was not any train, it was a Shinkansen or bullet train…..” “…..the world zoomed past us without a sound…”….” the majestic Mt Fuji emerged. Its presence was overwhelming…….but within two minutes, the whole mountain had disappeared………” – Navindd

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It was early in the morning. We hauled our bags uphill to Tonosawa Station where we caught a train to Hakone- Yumoto. We continued by another train to Odawara Station. This station is the main rail gateway to the Hakone region. We had breakfast at one of the many stalls inside the extensive station. Today with our Japan Rail Pass, we caught the Shinkansen or bullet train to Nagoya. Navindd and I were excited. The attendants at the station checked and double checked all the signals, lights and passengers. One went past us without stopping at the station. It was sleek and very fast. I was warned as I had stepped over the yellow line at the barrier. Even at this distance, I felt the turbulent wind force.We had a reserved seat. Like everyone else at all the train stations, we queued at the designated area. This is definitely a wonderful Japanese fixation.

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