This morning we left Asakusa and Tokyo to begin our journey travelling to other places around Japan. Our first stop is Hakone! We used the Takuhaibin (luggage forwarding) to courier one of our bags from Asakusa to our hotel in Osaka which cost 1470 yen which is about £8.68. From the hotel we headed to Shinjuku to visit the Hanazono Jinja Antique Market.
Hanazono Jinja Antique Market
Here I came with the intention of getting a kimono and I did. The lady was so surprised and happy that she gave me a gift of a bag. She got them from Kyoto. The kimonos are second hand which means they are a lot cheaper. These particular ones are not antiques either. All in all a kimono was about £11.82 and with the obi came up to £17.74 which I wouldn’t be able to get on ebay! Brand new kimonos cost between £150 – £300 normally off the shelves. Custom kimonos can range into the thousands! Still my kimono and obi is beautiful and i’ll post a photo of it later.
I also saw another seller selling various furosoide that was about £100 (17000 yen). They were beautiful and also looked very new. Other than the fact they were too big to carry home, as well as more for a bride, I could never wear it anywhere in London casually. I also felt a little cautious on things designed for tourists especially as I suspect many of these are probably sourced in Kyoto where we will be going later on. The lady who I bought my kimono from looked more authentic and her behaviour was more what I expected as well as seeing more locals flocking around her, where as tourists flocked to the other places.
Shinjuku is a very busy place, filled with lots of people, so many of them shopping and hanging out. We wandered the back streets of Shinjuku whilst we waited for our train.
The Journey to Hakone
We took the Hakone 31 on the Odakyu line which sped from Shinjuku through the west of Tokyo down to Odawara and Hakone Yumoto. It was beautiful to see the suburbs and the small towns in-between.
I also got to see rivers and mountains again which was great. Sitting on the train with the warm sun bearing down on you is a wonderful experience.
Once we reached Hakone Yumoto we switched onto the mountain railway towards Gora and got off at Tonasawa. It really was beautiful, once more with the sun beaming down, and I can see this place being extraordinary during autumn when the leaves turn yellow.
This place is Amazing! I was so happy and excited, running around in my joy and took a lot of photos. The sound of the river eases me even now. I am going to write a post just about this place and have been taking notes! Will post a link here once the post is up. Also you can read about Jose’s view on our journey here.