Hot Springs and Fuji Views
Looking for an easy escape from the neon lights and crowded trains of Tokyo? Something with a lake view of Mt. Fuji, perhaps? Plus a night in a traditional Japanese inn, you say? With natural hot spring baths?
Look no further: Japanese and international visitors agree that one of the best and most relaxing retreats from Tokyo is the onsen (hot spring) community of Hakone. Getting to and around Hakone is half the fun since a combination of switchback trains, funiculars, gondolas, and even the odd pirate ship can whisk you to various hotspots (and we mean HOT spots — this is a volcanic spring area, after all!), depending on your desired itinerary. Check in to one of dozens of lovely hot spring inns, enjoy a stroll around sulphurous Owakudani valley (and try an "onsen tamago", an egg boiled black in hot spring water), or ride a boat across beautiful Lake Ashino with snow-capped Mt. Fuji reflected in its waters.