We stayed there for 2 nights on the 7 & 8 April. Initially, we planned to stay at a hotel neat Hakone Yumoto. We had no regrets choosing this location as it enabled us to explore much more and covered a wider area in Hakone and Kawaguchiko in 2 days. We arrived at Kawaguchiko taking the first bus out from Tolyo using our fuji-hakone free pass. We reached Kawaguchiko station before 9am but sadly Mt fuji san did not appeared on our first day there. The trip to Kawaguchiko was still good though. We took the retro bus and dropped by a few places, we typically like the Ukai music musuem, it was a gem and the surrounding was so beautiful. I could imagine this place as a romantic wedding venue. Afterwhich, we travelled down to Gotemba premium outlet for some shopping. We spend some 2.5hrs there. Not too sufficient for a shopaholic like me but I had my fair share in Tokyo. So no complaint. We took a shuttle service back to the Gotemba station to catch the 610pm bus that will fetch us to Hakone. With us lugging our luggages and when the sky turned dark and was drizzling, and the bus did not arrived on time...we got a bit worried. A kind japanese lady assure us that the bus will come and we were heading the same direction so she told us not to worry. The bus arrived at 630pm and the journey was over an hour. We alighted at the bus stop (Ubako) where the hotel staff made special arrangement to pick us up from there. The hotel staff pick up arrived just the moment we stepped out of the bus and helped us into the car with the luggages. It was a welcoming experience after a long day and as we reached the nice hotel lobby, the staff was courteous and warm.
We were informed that dinner was ready 15 min before 8pm. The Kaiseki dinner spread was OK. As it was dining in the restaurant and not in a ryokan, the experience was not that authentic. The food tasted very much like the usual hotel standard not the best I would say. Although the abalone was a treat, but it was not my favorite food anyway.
The onsen and the otenburo experience was great. I typcially like the outdoor one. I like the range of bath products that was available for free use. The skin care products in the dressing room was pampering too. I love the rose mineral water cream which the hotel manufactured and sell in their shop. It literally felt like water on your skin, no oily or creamy feeling at all. I should have bought a fewmore tubs!! I recommend to buy the horse oil products as they are really good. I bought the balm which I thought is really good for dry skin and lip. I grab 3 bottles and gave the other 2 away to my mother in law and my helper.
The buffet breakfast was typcial so nothing much to talk about...but we enjoyed 2 days of mt fuji view right in front of our eyes while taking our breakfast in the dining room. Although we stayed in the western room (the cheapest at 10500 per person/ per night), we had a pleasant surprise when we reaslised that we could actually see Mt Fuji from the window right on top of our bed. I think it is a secret but you must ask for the last corner room....
1 day is defintely not enough to cover much. As we have enough time to explore over 2 days, my other favorite experience was the open air musuem, the artistic sculptures and monuments were rather interestingly displayed. It was a very enjoyable walk around the huge park, especially with the nice cooling weather and the cherry blossom trees around. We visited the La petite prince musuem too with a cute little mocked up olden french street and buidlings.
Hakone Green Plaza was a good choice if you want to explore the Hakone area. The cable station is just a few steps away. We took the wrong path the first time and went by the front exit while the nearer way to go is by the back door.
On our last day, the hotel staff has also kindly ferried us to the cable car station instead of us having to walk with our huge lauggages. It was this little kind acts and the extra mile that made the stay memorable.
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