TBT: Musings in Japan: Hakone Pt. 2

 On our last day at the ryokan in Hakone, we hauled ourselves up early out of bed to enjoy one last bath in the onsen. The first time we went into the onsen, we giggled like little girls out of nervousness because as you already know, one must go in butt-naked! I remember it being unbearably hot at first. It's so relaxing. It's too bad that we're not supposed to stay in longer than 10-15 minutes at a time or else we'd faint. But it feels so nice that you don't want to leave. I'd bathe in one every day if I could. Anyway, we strolled through this beautiful garden. The maple trees had already shed their lustrous green and blessed us with their vibrant crimson leaves. I think maple trees are so beautiful and elegant.

 We rode a ferry to Hakone Shrine across Lake Ashi to see the famous torii gate that can be seen from the shore. Our walk to this torii gate was deeply shaded under an expansive network of tree branches. When we arrived, it was as if a portal had opened up to another realm. The gate loomed before us in the river, a bright red tower against a dark forest of green. One need only cross the threshold between earth and water to experience enlightenment.

 It's a pity that I don't quite recall what and where this place was (if anyone happens to know, please let me know). I recall it being a historical site of some sort and a popular tourist attraction. It must have been a village at one point judging from the living areas that we walked by. I remember there being a preserved armory filled with spears and other weapons. I thought the fog added a kind of quiet enchantment to this place, which made it a little thrilling to explore.

Until next time...!



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