Got back from Kyoto on Friday and went straight to bed, woke up well rested on Saturday and was ready for my weekend trip to Hakone via Had my Hakone pass ready which lets you take the train to and from Hakone including all transport within Hakone as well.

I found the Japan International Meetup group on and paid a minor fee to join a overnight stay in Hakone, the guide (Kimiyo) arranges a bunch of great activities and fun trips all over Japan (though intended for people who live in the Tokyo area). I paid about 15000 yen and that included overnight stay, food, drinks (beer, wine and sake) and a knowledgeable and friendly guide.

In hakone I met up with the rest of the group and we went to visit the Open-Air-Museum which is Japan's first and was opened in 1969. The Open-Air-Museum is filled with various sculptures and art by artists from around the world.
At the Open Air Museum
Found ourself a foot bath (onsen)
After the museum we headed down to the harbor to check out some temples in the hills and see the Hakone shrine (Hakone Jinja) which lies close to the shores of lake Ashi. After exploring the shrine we went down to the shrines Torii gate which laid by the water (A Torii gate marks the transition from the profane to the sacred).
Small gate to the shrine.
The Hakone Shrine
After I took this lousy photo of the Torii gate, I turned around and realised I had just lost my group and guide..
Found them at the harbor, though we nearly missed our boat..or should I say "pirate ship"
Hakone's pirate ship which took us over to the far side of the lake where our cabin was located
The Torii gate from earlier can be seen from the boat
We arrived and went to pick up our food and grilling equipment which our guide (Kimiyo) had arranged for us
Our cabin
His reaction as I told him I would go for a swim. Which I did and regretted (cooooold)
The following day we took the boat back to the harbor and walked alongside the lake until we reached the Hakone Sekisho checkpoint gate, which was the safest and fastest way to get to Tokyo from Kyoto during the Edo period. Back in the day it had 8 guards on duty and didn't need high walls since it had the river on one side and the mountain on the other.

Later we took the cable car up to Ōwakudani (Great Boiling Valley), which is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs. They also have the famous "black eggs", they are basically eggs that have been bathed in sulfur and then turned black. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life.
The Hakone Sekisho gate
Group photo
Cable car up to the mountain Ōwakudani
Our view from the mountain. With Mount Fuji in the background
After visiting the mountain we were supposed to visit Gora Park but I was too tired from both the recent Kyoto trip and all the activities so far that I had to take the next train home. I was so tired that I took the train too far (outside of Tokyo), I quickly took the train back but fell asleep and missed my stop by two stations (haha). I got off in panic and that's when I noticed something heavy on my back was missing. Turned around and there goes the train.. with my backpack (phone charger, passport, clothes and some money as well). Luckily this is Japan, the most polite, clean and rule abiding society there ever was. I told the train station employees what had happen and they gave me a phone number to call, I gave them details on my backpack and 30 minutes later it was found! Though I was too tired to pick it up 9 stations away and left it there for the next day.

A bit annoying end to the trip but I still had an amazing time in Hakone and anyone visiting should definitely consider it.