31 December 2013

Hakone Getaway // Part II

Last post in 2013. I'm trying to type everything fast because 2014 is drawing near (in this hemisphere) and all I want is to make this post finish, just exactly before the end of the year. Haha it's fun how I have to race with seconds and minutes just to make everything punctual and momentous. 

How I spend my new year eve ? I'll tell you later. It was all fun and fun. Laughter was all in the air of hope and I still can't help myself dreaming about what I wanna do next year, and even for the next next year. As I promise you (and a promise to myself), I need to accomplish my Hakone Getaway posts, so here I bring you the rest of the journey. Fresh air, beautiful sunset, great friends and an endless smiles attached on everybody's face. I couldn't ask for a better journey, I suppose.

Lake Ashinoko with The Victory

Lying in the caldera of Mount Hakone, Lake Ashinoko is said to be formed over 200,000 years ago due to a volcanic eruption. The 8km stretched lake is regarded as one of the most beautiful lake in the world. Oh I have no doubt about it. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides that you can see and even we can see the magnificent Mount Fuji as well if the weather allow. But unfortunately, it was quite hazy that time so sadly I couldn't snap Fuji-san. But don't worry, even so we still managed to enjoy the other breathtaking views that surround the lake. It was a 30 minutes cruise with The Victory and I still remember how excited I was, seeing my ship was coming near ! :)

The gate of Hakone Shrine 

Palace garden

 The Royal Ship

Oh, and I wanna say sorry because I made a mistake in the previous post. I said that the green ship was the Victory, but I was wrong because the Victory is the one that I went up and it was blue-black. So the green one is not the Victory, yet the Vasa. ;)

Enjoying Sunset View in Rope-way Car

Thing that I love from this tour is that, we could freely changed from one transportation to another just by showing our Hakone Freepass. We boarded the vessel from Motohakone Pier to Togendai rope-way station. The rope-way experience was as fun as the lake trip ! of course with a different sensation. I think it was the biggest rope-way car that I ever went on. It could carry about 15 people. 

The gorgeous view of Mount Fuji and smoky Owakudani Valley seen from above couldn't be expressed by words. Also, that warmth feeling as the sun went down. Ah, what a perfect hour to say goodbye to Hakone. I hope my photographs can show you my excitement towards the views.

Hey, 2014 in 30 minutes by now (just right when I'm typing this) lol. Have you listed new year resolutions? I already listed some in my heart and will soon write it down on a piece of paper and gonna stick it somewhere only I know mehehe. Oh, how I am so ready for new year. 

Last but not least, I'm wishing you all a great year ahead, may success be upon us ! ;)
Till the next posts. Pssst.. I'm going to see the first sunrise in 2014 tomorrow and I just can't wait to share the pics to you ! :D



25 December 2013

Hakone Getaway // Part 1

-December 7th, 2013-
A memorable one day getaway towards Hakone earlier this month. Hakone is famous for its onsen (hot spring) resorts and numbers of impressive natural views such as Mount Fuji, Lake Ashinoko and Owakudani Valley. But this time my friends and I didn't enjoy the onsen, yet we tried another course that was also very fun. What is that another fun course ? Feel free to scroll down to know the answer ;)

Bought a Hakone freepass for 3,900 Yen so that my friends and I could stroll around Hakone as much as we wanted, freely. This freepass was valid for two days tour but we only used it for one day because we decided not to spend the night there.

At Odawara station while waiting the others

First destination : Soba making !--That another fun course that I mentioned at the beginning ;p
I think some of you may be quite familiar with the term "soba" which refers to Japanese buckwheat noodles.

The soba master

Spread the dough with the machine. It was very fun to do ! As the dough stretched, it became very thin and ready to be cut.

It took around 30 minutes of work share for our group to finish cutting the dough into tiny pieces. If you're observant enough, you may notice the thick pieces at the leftmost. Haha they were our first attempt. Luckily we got better and better at the end. Yeay!

"itadakimasu !" 
after several hardships at the beginning when we stirred the dough, also the cutting session that really took time, finally our DIY-Soba !! Lol. But all the process was really worth the satisfaction. We left happily, ready to head to the next destination.

 We were on our way heading to Motohakone Pier to board the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise. We stopped for awhile to snap the scenery of Lake Ashinoko. It was a beautiful place with a really clean air.

Anyway, see the beautiful green ship, right? It is called as The Victory Cruise, the ship that we board to cruise around the lake. There are three sightseeing boats that run on this lake: Vasa, Royal, and Victory.
I'll show you more about the cruise and our rope-way experience on the next post ! Soon, I promise :)



16 December 2013

Tokyo Rikugien // Evening Light Up

Almost forgot that I have these stock of photos taken at Rikugien Garden, Tokyo a week ago ! How careless I am to let this babies remain in a folder in my hard disk.

So this is it, evening light up ! Another dramatic way to enjoy autumn beside going to the park and having lunch under the Ginkgo trees. Went here with my friends (as ever), anyway. It was so interesting and thrilling, also for the one who's not so good at taking night photography like me it was quite challenging ! :D 

You know, I was busy with my camera's setting, stopped walking for a while to check if I got the best shots with it, while the security staffs kept on telling all the visitors to keep going and restrain from taking pics by standing still. haha, geez. They really didn't know how to enjoy light up I guess. Oops.

tea house inside the garden

I was so lucky, because the time when I went there, it was the last day of evening light up ! I guess now is the time for Christmas illumination. By the way,  I never imagined before that autumn in Japan will be extraordinarily romantic like this, lol. I enjoyed so much, although it was cold enough. I entered the garden around 5 p.m and left at 6:30.

Ah I love these lens flares ! They turned out so natural and sparkling, yeay (y)

Basic Information

Opening hours: 09:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Evening light up until 21:00 during autumn color and cherry blossom seasons.

Closed: December 29th to January 1st

Admission Fee: 300 Yen

This garden is so recommended. I'm planning to visit it again someday with my Mom ! <3
See ya !



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