JAPAN 2013 | Tokyo – Hakone by train

Kodama Shinkansen.

October 2021. In our Grand Scheme of Travels, Danny and I had planned to be in Japan with Michel. Quod non. So let’s go back to March and April 2013, when my sister Florence, her husband Kenneth, my nephew Leo and my niece Isaline travelled to Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto. The classic intro to Nippon and a golden opportunity. I grew up with anime such as ‘Dragon Ball‘ and ‘Saint Seiya on television and Japan had been on my wish list since I was little. There’s a lot I don’t remember. But thanks to photos on Facebook, my guidebook and check-ins on Swarm (Foursquare), I can reconstruct parts of that trip. 

After four days in Tokyo, on day 5 we travelled to Hakone. Hakone is a town in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It has been designated as a Japanese National Geopark by the Japanese Geoparks Network.

Hakone is to a great degree regarded as a traveler destination; Mount Fuji can be seen when taking a day trip from Tokyo. In addition to hot springs (onsen), museums and other recreation activities, Hakone is known for its scenery during all four seasons.

The quick route

“The quickest direct route to Hakone from Tokyo is on the Odakyu Electric Railway. It runs trains to Hakone from Shinjuku Station, a major hub in Tokyo and the busiest (?) train station in the world”, Japan Station writes. The Odakyu Limited Express Romancecar travels from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station in about an hour and a half. Some versions of these trains have features such as observation decks and saloon seats.

Via Odawara

We had Japan Rail Pass-tickets. So we took Kodama Shinkansen to Odawara. Shinkansen or bullet trains have names. 

I remember the shinkansen to be comfortable. Train guards are almost embarrassingly politie, greeting at the door and wearing white gloves. You are expect to be silent or at least muted. Seats can be turned around so you can create four-seaters. 

I also remember the departure information board to be painted. Not dynamic. There are just no track changes. That’s impossible in Belgium

Fixed information board.

In Odawara we changed trains and took a EMU from the Hakone Tozan Railway. It’s quite old rolling stock. People associate Japan with futuristic infrastructure, but outside metropolises it’s very different. Although on its website I now see more recent rolling stock

Fun fact: the Hakone Tozan Railway is twinned with the Rhaetian Railway or Rhätische Bahn in Switzerland.

Our trip to Hakone was uneventful but exciting. I regret not having documented it better. 

Hakone Tozan Railway.

2013 Japan Family Trip

  1. JAPAN 2013 | Solo in Tokyo.
  2. JAPAN 2013 | Tokyo ft. Ueno Park and the Shibuya Crossing.
  3. JAPAN 2013 | Tokyo ft. Sensō-ji, Hamarikyu Gardens and the Imperial Palace East Gardens.
  4. JAPAN 2013 | Meiji Shrine and Harakuju in Tokyo.
  5. JAPAN 2013 | Tokyo ft. Tsukiji Fish Market, Ginza, Zōjō-ji Temple, Tokyo Tower and traditional restaurant Jomon in Roppongi.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. preetverse says:

    I also want to visit Japan once. It’s on my wish list too. I love to watch anime. I wish if I could get a chance to visit Japan. It’s my dream to visit tokyo. 😊❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Japan is so different to other countries. Absolutely to be recommended.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. preetverse says:

    I hope, one day I will also get a chance to go there. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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