Mount View Hakone hotel is a Ryokan style inn roughly 15 minutes drive from the popular Togendai station. The location of the hotel is ideal to travelers, if you’d ask me, as it is very accessible to the interesting tourist attractions by bus or by foot. Not to mention that the bus stop is just right in front of the inn so commuters don’t need to worry about searching for this hotel while pulling a 20kg luggage and a heavy backpack in an unfamiliar town. The neighbourhood around the hotel is also serene; I think it is a nice place to jog in the cold morning. 🙂
After my Lake Ashi cruise, I went back to the hotel to rest. I have not seen the room yet when I reached there firstly at 2pm from Tokyo because their check in time is at 3pm but when I arrived at night from my sight-seeing adventure, they already brought my bags to the room. The room was a simple ryokan-style accommodation, not too spacious but enough to move. It was really nice though. The smell of the tatami mat is what reposes me most. The bed was comfortable and the natural cold temperature from the outside had me dreaming about happy thoughts longer than I could when in Singapore. The heater kept me cosy during the hours when all I wanted was to warm my hands beside a bon fire. It has a toilet but doesn’t have a shower as the shower area is shared downstairs. But who cares? Travelers in Hakone are certainly there to enjoy the onsen bath rather than private showers. 🙂 They also provide quests a yukata inside the cabinet that you can wear while around the hotel.
I had my Kaiseki dinner at 7 o’clock. . The hotel has a separate dining cubicles for guests who booked the special dinner. I had a table full of different small dishes in front of me. The sashimi was what scared me the most; I have never tried eating raw fish my entire life then and at that moment, it was the main course. I slowly dipped the flesh unto the wasabi-free soy sauce and tasted it. Hmmm, it was not bad. . Not bad at all. . I started tasting every side dish around it and sincerely didn’t regret booking a dinner at Mount View.
After eating I roamed around to see the hotel’s amenities. Mount view offers the basic stuff but to me it’s more than a good place to stay for travellers specially those who wander alone. The pictures below were taken in the morning though coz I forgot my camera in the room when I had my dinner.
At 10 PM, I had my private onsen bath. I booked a private one because of my tattoo. . Skin art is something that is not openly appreciated in Japan yet, most specially in the countryside. Locals still associate people with tattoos to the Yakuza – a Japanese gangster group. I’ve read in one Japan travel forum that a tourist was asked to leave the onsen when the staff saw his tattoo in one arm. . I have also read though that newer generations of Japanese population have started accepting the skin art. So just to avoid conflicts in the peaceful bath pool, I booked my own. Of course I cannot expect a natural pool of hot spring water, instead I had a tub where I can sit blithely with the natural volcanic spring water flowing on one side. It was really difficult to submerge my whole body at first, it felt like I was the main ingredient of a stew dish. But as soon as my body got used to the relaxing hot water and the steam at the top surface of the water in the tub, I found it difficult to get out. I only had an hour to do everything including shower. I think I can stay longer, I wished I could bathe longer. I had a seriously good sleep after the bath that made me felt refreshed the next day. Bathing in onsens is a must-try and an activity you should not miss when in Hakone.
The next morning I had my breakfast I wasn’t expecting. It’s like the Kaiseki dinner instead of a typical breakfast buffet of pancakes and bacon. The hearty meal though was really tasty, I think I’m in love with Japanese home cooked meal and wished my breakfast outside my vacation days are as healthy as this. After sipping the last drop of coffee in my cup, I breezed away to see more of Hakone tourist attractions before I left the province for Kyoto at noon.
With a comfy room, good dining and onsen experience, English speaking friendly staff, and awesome location, Mount View Hotel is a recommended accommodation in Hakone. I wished I could’ve stayed longer. ❤