Cruising along Lake Ashi
Hakone Lake, also known as Lake Ashi, is the hottest tourist destination in Japan. It is a scenic lake that lies in the Hakone area, in the Honshu province. And without question, it was one of the most relaxing, serene, peaceful, places I had ever visited.
I was in Tokyo on business for a few days, intense meetings with some ink suppliers for a job we were about to print in China, and after the meetings were complete, I felt drained and exhausted. A friend of mine who was living there at the said that when he needed to get away from it all, he went to Lake Ashi.
I promise to write about my experience first hand but I wanted to open up about the place first with some amazing sites to see and how to get around. Tourists flock to the lake not only for its scenic beauty, but also because of its numerous hot springs that are scattered throughout the lake and for catching a glimpse of the famous Mount Fuji which is the highest mountain in Japan.
The Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
A number of boats and ferries especially for sightseeing purposes cruise the entirety of the lake and provide breath-taking views for tourists and passengers. Some of the boats that are used in this tourist excursion are exact replicas of famous sailing warships in history, such as the:
All the cruise boats are lavishly decorated and fully equipped with the latest comforts and features, and offer un-paralleled views of the majestic lake.
An Amazing Means Of Public Transport
The cruise takes routes that connect to three different ports, with each port having different attractions. Passengers who are not tourists can also use this as an effective means of public transportation, going about their daily business while appreciating the beautiful views. Each port has many unique sights and the scenery that you will come across the routes doesn’t always remain the same.
There is a different scene and view for every season, which is one reason why Lake Ashi is such a popular destination with tourists coming in every season.
The Hokane Ropeway Service
Hokane is one of the most attractive destination points that are found in Japan. The natural environment, paired with the surrounding hot springs is however not the only attraction this area offers. The Hakone ropeway is an aerial lift service that operates from the Sounzan station at a one-minute interval.
It is a beautiful half an hour ride to Togendai station, which is situated on the shore of Lake Ashi. The ropeway consists of two other checkpoints, or stops where tourists can take pictures and enjoy the breathtaking views of the majestic snow-capped Mount Fuji, the rising volcanic fumes of Owakudani, and the dazzling blue waters of Lake Ashi.
Another attraction that can be accessed through the Hakone Ropeway is the Great Boiling Valley which is home to some of the hottest springs, due to the volcanic activity nearby. Tourists flock to this spot, and bathe in the spa that nature has provided and nibble on Kura-tamago or eggs that are hard-boiled in the hot springs.
Lake Ashi is breathtaking.
I remember like it was yesterday the awesome site of seeing the lake and then Mt. Fuji in the distance from the tour bus. One of the great thing about arriving here was that it is only a 4-5 hour drive from Tokyo.
Yes.. I know.. I said only… but it is well worth the visit and you’ll definitely be spending more than a day there as there is so much to see, do and wonder at. From amazing boat tours, gondola rides, “hell on earth” and amazing tea cafe’s along the wrong creates a serene and peaceful setting to enjoy and relax.
Have a wonderful time! And read about my awesome experience visiting the town of Hakone, which is right on the water of Lake Ashi.