Tag Archives: Hakone

Hakone Open-Air Museum

24 Apr

Besides hot springs and water parks, the Hakone Open-Air Museum is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. The various pieces of art are unique, interactive, and fun. Composed of over a hundred sculptures by  modern and contemporary sculptors, exhibition halls including the Picasso Pavilion, and pieces that encourage play, it’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill museum!

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Don’t forget to check out the website for a printable coupon!hakone museum9

hakone museumOf course it wouldn’t be Hakone without a little dip in the perfectly toasty water!

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We read the sign AFTER- only kids under the age of 12 are allowed to climb inside. Oops!

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This was probably my favorite piece- here’s an article that highlights the artist behind this amazing work. 
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Japanese kids are such cutie-patooties! Speaking of which, check out this youtube channel of this Japanese kiddo- she tries various foods around the world that her mom makes.


Hakone Hot Springs

10 Apr

Hakone, about an hour on the Hikari train from Tokyo, is known for its abundance of hot springs. Many hotels/guesthouses have some sort of built in hot springs spa/bath, also known as an onsen. Here’s ours at our guesthouse!
Jerry is wearing a yakuta, a traditional Japanese robe. We have an outdoor as well as an indoor, but we prefer the outdoor one. The crisp and cold air combined with the very warm water makes for a wonderful and relaxing combination!

We also partook in activities at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, which is basically an onsen theme park!

The space was huge! You get a wristband when you pay, and it works as your entrance ticket, charge card, and it activates your locker. Simply scan your wristband to enter, pay for food/towels, and to open/close your locker. Very nifty, those Japanese folks!

It was like Raging Waters, but with warm/hot water and less slides and more baths. Very kid friendly as well!

Hot springs themes included wine, green tea, sake, coffee etc. You could smell the green tea/sake and taste the coffee! There were also collagen, sakura (cherry blossoms) and Aegean/Roman themed baths, among others.

We also indulged in some fish therapy. You dunk your feet in a pool and the fish nibble at your skin. It’s very ticklish at first, but you get used to it. Each session was about 10 minutes, and we went twice.

Here is a pretty hilarious video of some of our experiences. You might have to view the video on a separate tab in your browser (just click on the video). We are still learning how to embed videos into posts, and might have some technical difficulties since we’re doing all this blogging from our iPhones and our iPad. Please let us know in the comments if you’re unable to view the video!

Jerry’s reaction slays me every time. And those kids are cute!

In addition, there is a naked side to the hot springs (no pictures obviously). Separate for men’s and women’s, the naked side requires you to shower in a traditional Japanese bath before entering the pools. What you do is strip your clothes, pass through the door, and find a sit-down shower stall. You sit on the stool, fill up the bucket with warm water, and then soap an scrub yourself as you normally would. Then throw the bucket of water on your head as many times as you need (or just use the shower head attachment in the wall). After showering, you’re free to enjoy the various baths, each of which has a differing temperature. In our experience, we found the naked side to be quite relaxing and not uncomfortable at all.

Overall, we had a very relaxing time in Hakone and we’d definitely come back!

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