The last day of our trip, we got up early and enjoyed the hotel onsen one last time. We decided to go the bus route directly to Hakone-yumoto station (rather than cable cars and trains), no transfers and a little less time overall.
At Hakone-yumoto station, we had about 3-4 hours until taking the Odakyu Romance car back to Shinjuku station. Since it was still rather early, we walked to another temple and shrine behind the station, across the river. Between the Fujiya Hotel and the Temple, there is a small “park,” well, more like short hiking path (~15 minutes) that takes you through some woods. It is sort of scenic, so it was fun. This is not in Google Maps, so we sort of found it as we were walking around the temple and saw a large sign behind the cemetery, deciding to check it out. We walked back across the river, and strolled down the main street in front of the train station, where we found the Hakone Folk Craft “Museum,” which is run by the city and free to the public. We saw the sign on the door saying it did not open until 10 am, but peered through the window. The older man on staff saw us, and opened early! We felt so bad, but he enjoyed talking to us, and explained many things about the wood crafts that are a cultural property of Hakone; it is called Yosegi Zaiku 寄木細工, or Hakone marquetry, and it is very intricate. It was really interesting and we ended up to purchase a small decorated wooden puzzle box.
By this time, it was only 10 am, but since we had a long day ahead of us, we decided to go ahead and have one last soba lunch before heading home. We went to Hatsuhana Soba restaurant はつ花新館 across the bridge from the train station; it had a gorgeous view of the river (and it was air conditioned). My husband got the tempura zaru soba set and I got a regular zaru soba set. It was delicious~~ for dessert, we headed back towards the train station and got a coffee soft serve from the little coffee shop on the main street… this was also incredibly delicious since they roasted their own coffee to make the soft serve.
Of course, I had one last onsen manjuu before leaving. I also stopped by the shop inside the station to pick up omiyage for my colleagues. Although due to volcanic activity, they were not making the “black eggs,” I picked up small manjuu with custard filling that were made to look like the famous black eggs. Another perk of the Hakone free pass: a discount at the train station shop!
This was the end, as we boarded the Odakyu Romance car and transferred to the subway back to the airport. Overall, a very fun weekend trip.