On November 6th, I went to Hakone with one of my good friends and got to experience a calmer side to Japan! I only went for a day trip, but I got to see beautiful art and insane sights.
The Hakone Open Air museum lives up to its reputation with how beautiful the pieces are. I loved being able to see life-sized and bigger-than-life sculptures from all different kinds of artists. There was a stained glass tower that people could go into and it was a bit scary to go up. I hate narrow staircases that are also tall because once I look down, I get all freaked out. I walked down very carefully, but at least I got to see some pretty views at the top!
They also had an entire section dedicated to Picasso and his works, as well as his history. As someone who is not super into art and artists, it was still nice to learn about one I have known for such a long time. Learning that Picasso was a master by 14 made me feel kind of bad because I’m almost 22 and at most, I am a master at talking.
Aside from the air museum, we also went to the famous skylift in Hakone. That entire experience was terrifying because I am afraid of heights. Being on a moving vehicle that is not touching the ground was awful because every time the skylift moved, I thought it was going to fall down. On top of that, they would push as many people as possible into the car and though I knew they accounted for the weight, it was still unnerving. At the very least, once we got to the top, it was all worth it.
At the very top of the mountain is a single shrine you have to walk a bit to get to. The views themselves are another story. It’s one of those moments where you think about how lucky we are to be able to see and how amazing nature can be. The biggest downside, however, was how cold it was at the top. I did not prepare well enough for the cold because I had gotten used to pretty warm weather even in November in the Greater Tokyo Area. Being so cold somewhat ruined the experience for me a bit because I just wanted to leave asap.
At least the gift shop was so much fun!! I found some interestings things for my parents, such as Wasabi salt and a kokeshi doll of a Star Wars clone trooper. I also spotted a Pokemon plush I had been looking for, but it was unfortunately not for sale. My heart cracked a bit at that moment.
I think the worst part of the trip, however, was the bus ride down the mountain. It took us almost 2 hours to get down the mountain when it only took an hour to get up. The problem is that there is one single road and one light that often stops the moving process. I felt so nauseous on that bus ride.
Luckily, once we made it to the station, the nausea began to go away and all was well. I wish I could have also tried the sulfur egg or ride the pirate ship, but all in all it was a successful day. I recommend coming here if you have the opportunity.
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My name is Ana and I am enamored by different cultures. Growing up with a mother whose family lived in Paraguay meant constant exposure to something that was so different and yet, so intriguing. I knew from a young age that I wanted to explore all that the world had to offer. My dream is to work in international marketing and be able to travel the world while learning new languages, traditions, and making lifelong friends.