Getting a two day weekend is no longer a rule but a rare exception. Last week I had the privilege of having a holiday on sunday. My teammates decided to go out and checkout the natural beauty of Japan. On sunday morning Rajasree and Akhilesh were supposed to wait for Siddharth and me in the station at 10 but we were fast asleep even around 10 30. I woke up and went to see what Siddharth was doing, he had just woken up. Then we both spoke about getting ready at will and taking off. Right then I saw Akhilesh and Rajasree marching like they wanted to kill us. They were waiting at the station for the last one hour and we dint have a cell phone, that dint help. At last we reconciled and decided to go to Hakone at around 11 am.
We took the train to Odawara and reached there around 12 noon. From there we took another train on the Tozan line to Hakone-Yumoto. It was a nice ride. The train from Odawara to Yumoto reminded me of India(The train near Ooty on which Shahrukh danced) since it was not very fast and went through a less populated region. It was great to see nature at its best. This region was not like the Tokyo or Atsugi. It is primarily a tourist spot. Everybody comes here to see the Mount fuji, old volcanoes and hot springs. On reaching Yumoto we had a look around the station just in hope of finding a desi restaurant. But we were not that lucky. That region hardly has any foreigners. Foreigners are only tourists over there. We ate biscuits for lunch and left for a further trail.
We took the cable car till a station called Gora, where we got down and took lot of pictures. It was where the real beauty of Hakone begins. We took the ropeway from there, The ropaway stops at many spots before reaching lake Ashinko. Each stop has its own beauty. Especially the mountains emit smoke all the time. It reminds one of documentaries on national geographic channel about earthquakes. Its about the nature being extremely beautiful and devastating all at the same time.
The best part of this whole journey is the views we get to see from the train, cable car and the ropeway. This is something I saw for the first time in Japan ie. the laid back life. In Atsugi/Tokyo I saw people only rushing from home to office and back. The trains were full of people either listening to music or playing with their cellphones. In short as slaves of technology. The story was very different in Hakone.
Anyway, last stop of the ropeway was lake Ashinko which was again very beautiful and we were supposed to take a cruise from there but we were late by 10 minutes for the last cruise. We had coffee in a coffee shop on the bank of the lake. We saw some very beautiful pieces of art on the wall of the cafe. It looked the same girls photo's that were drawn everywhere but at different stages of her life. I asked the old lady who served us coffee, if its some famous personality of this country whose potraits are kept for display. Her reply was that it was her own pics when she was 12, 13, 14 etc. Now she looked close to 60. I smiled at myself and we left. Not before we thanked her in japanese and she replied to us saying "Shukriya".
We left from Lake Ashinko in a bus to Odawara station and from their we took a train back to Atsugi. We had our dinner in Bismillah and bid farewell to Akhilesh who was due to leave later that week. Overall it was great fun to see a new face of Japan before getting back to the grind on monday.