Today was a day of wonders, both technological and natural. To begin with, we took the bullet train to Hakone. Ask Mr. J how fast it was:
Along the way, we caught a glimpse of the sacred mountain, Mt. Fuji, who was to be our companion for the day, showing a noble and imposing face on all sides.
We took a cruise along Lake Ash, which can be seen in many of our Fuji photos, to the funicular (the Japanese call it a rope way) that led us to the top of Mt. Hakone, Fuji’s neighbor and the site of a newer Shinto shrine and an older, discontinued model.
The students enjoyed the cruise and the down time in their own ways–and showed Flat Stanley a good time, too:
The students also enjoyed the scenery in their own way:
Then it was on to light hearted fun at a sulphurous glimpse of hell, Owakudanai or the “Boiling Valley,” where the boil eggs in hot springs water to cook them, turning the shells black. By all accounts, the eggs tasted like eggs.
As our bus wound its way down the narrow mountain road, we caught some last glimpses of Fuji-San and pulled into our traditional Japanese hotel for what promises to be a transformative travel experience.