If you have kinds, this is place to go!! even if you are not traveling to Hakone from Tokyo.
ODAWARA (name of moderate sized traditional city located near Hakone and you can access easily if you are traveling from Tokyo to Hakone) is famous for its Odawara castle which was established by famous HOJO family, who had power in KANTO area (TOKYO and around city) war period and one of the most famous warrior who defeated by TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI who after became on throne as he officially unified Japan at last.
Wanpaku Land has really lots of fun for kinds!! It got Super huge playgrounds (many) that parents also can enjoy! 1 hour is not enough, you’ll need 2~3 hours if you are with kinds.
As you know that “Ryokan” is the unique style of inns that we can be proud of.
The characteristics are….
1) Take off shoes at the entrance and put their slippers on…
2) The room is traditional Japanese style with TATAMI.
3) Usually, Kimono worn staff (called Nakai-san) are assigned in each rooms for guests (I think it is like personal concierge). When you arrive Ryokan, Nakai-san is welcomes you to your room and also they serve dinner, etc…
4) Indoor & outdoor Public bath (hot spring) and sometime the room has its own outdoor bath.
5) You wear Yukata (Japanese style robe) after take Onsen (hot spring). Each room provides you Yukata.
This year again, we went to Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture. Hakone has been one of the best and popular places in Japan, especially for its hot spring,,, since…..I do not know, so I looked up in internet. It said that In 738, one monk discovered very first hot spring in Hakone. At that time it was not yet in “war period” when everybody (bushi worrier) go on battle to get the territory for their master(Shogunate) to unify Japan, it is called “Nara period” when aristocrats and the emperor hold stronger power and new culture flourished especially the culture associated with buddhist such as temples and statues of buddha… and I think we started to use Katakana in this period too. (oops i said “we” but at that time only aristocrats men could study and read things.. I guess..)
After this, many hot springs has been discovered in Edo period (when Tokugawa Shogunate had its power) of course, then in modern era (like years ago), Hakone has been developed as resort & tourist spot.
Hakone is famous for its hot spring and beautiful view but also there are so many thing to do. One of it is definitely “owakudani”. You get to see this interesting view and Mt. Fuji. The gas (sulphur vents) is coming out from the valley and you can feel that volcanic activity is going on! Actually this is why Hakone has so many great hot springs.
One thing you got to do is eat “black boiled egg” that add “seven years” to your longevity.
I don’t know why but eggs are soooo yummy…. (later I came to know that they boil the egg in the hot spring, that is also the why the eggs turn to black.)