Monday 12 March 2012

Day 12: Black Egg

Today would be a big day. It would also be the last day that Mister Ho and I will be a travelling duo. So why not start off by checking out the mountains in Hakone? Cameras charged and loaded. iPod charged. I'm now ready to spend hours on transport that would take us to this delicious tourist trap.

And what a tourist trap Hakone is. A tall, onsen littered, tree covered tourist trap. The views would turn out to be quite all right, too. Of course I didn't know this place is designed to milk your wallet when I had suggested it. Nonetheless we'd made the trip so we might as well go through with paying the excruciatingly high ticket prices that would get us to the mountain's peak.

Eventually we step off the rope car at the end of the line where we're met with the sight of a lake. It's a beautiful lake, but that's all there is for you to expose your eyes to. I see a great lake, two awesome looking pirate ships and cats. Stray cats that is, a good dozen of them just chilling by the water's edge. By now I'm used to seeing strays walking about Japan, but this would be the only time I'd see quite this many in one area. Even with the cats, it didn't take long for my mind to wander off in the fear, that this now dormant mountain, would suddenly turn active. Didn't you say you were hungry? Let's go back to the top for some eggs.

Hitsotsu kudasai. Hai, arigatou. *crack egg against forehead**salt* Om nom nom.

Sitting through an awkward ride on the cable car back down the mountain, the two of us were now set on looking out for a local onsen to boil ourselves in. Checking the local town map at the train station, we realise that if we could be bothered to walk, we'd find an onsen. We needn't bother. As soon as we stepped out of the station, there appeared a tame shuttle bus. How convenient. Stepping on the bus, the two of us make for the empty seats in the back. Hey. Heeeey. I turn back to the bus driver. Where are you guys going? Umm...onsen? Okay. Sweet.

Skipping the details of my onsen experience, I'll conclude; onsens are quite all right. The whole, awkward being nude with a room full of randoms, wears off quickly. You forget about time. Sitting in the outside hot spring, engulfed by steam and not a sound but the flow of fresh water flowing in from the fountain - I forgot about time. I forgot about most things until the old man, who had been in here before I, walked in front of me.

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