We went down to Togendai for our Hakone sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashi 芦ノ湖. Ashinoko Lake, is a scenic crater lake of Mount Hakone ( a volcano).
Lo and behold! Our transportation on the lake are pirate ships!
There are only 4 pirate ship replicas that serves this lake. These 2 are the newer additions. We took the green one called Vasa – Lion of North Europe.
Don’t I look like a part of the crew! LOL!
The scenery was really beautiful and the whole cruise gave a very surreal feel.
You’ll see a lot more photos of Sushi and I rather than Koji and Clara cause it was pretty cold and the 2 of them left the deck to sit indoors after the first 5 mins of the cruise. Sushi and I stayed on the upper deck the whole 40 mins ride to take in as much of the scenery as we could. I find the coldness rather refreshing.
The lake was formed 3000 years ago after Mount Hakone last volcano explosion. The calmness of the lake and the tranquility that surrounds it makes it so hard to believe the devastation and force from which it was created.
We were told that in winter the whole landscape is white and even more beautiful! Or imagine this area with autumn red,gold and brown during the autumn months! This lake had inspired countless of people with its beauty.
As we neared to the port on the other end, shrines, castles and other buildings can be seen.
On the lake we spotted the oldest full replica man-of-war pirate ship, Victoria.
If you are going free and easy, it’ll be advisable to buy the Hakone Free Pass for ¥5000 from Shinjuku Station which will include your round trip transportation expenses as well as the rides for the Lake Ashi 芦ノ湖 cruise and the Hakone Ropeway 箱根ロープウェイ. I would love to have explored Hakone further but given the time constrains on our trip, the one day tour with Grey Line Japan made sure we were able to make the most out of the one day we had.
One of the more prominent landmarks along the shores of Lake Ashi 芦ノ湖 is the red torii gate of the Hakone Shrine. The main building of the shrine cannot be seen from the lake as it is located in the thick forest of Moto-Hakone. This is where a lot of japanese go to pray for blessings of good health and longevity.
A few last looks from the top deck of Vasa the pirate ship before we went down to the cabin below to look for Clara and Koji.
We finally arrived at the port of Hakonemachi-ko. And proceeded up the coach for our journey to the train station.
Here’s the video for the Ōwakudani 大涌谷 and Lake Ashi 芦ノ湖 section of my trip in Hakone 箱根町.