Hakone Trip Part 1: Temples and Hot Springs

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The Office of Student Services (OSS) hosted a one-day trip to Hakone, located approximately 50 miles outside of Tokyo. The area is known for its picturesque landscapes (especially in the Fall), hot springs, temples, and mountains.

The first stop on the trip was to Daiyuzan Saijo-ji, an expansive area filled with many different temples under the Daiyuzan Saijo-ji name.

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Over 1,000 steps to the top to reach a secluded shrine

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Halfway up and Forrest isn’t even breaking a sweat

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A large statue of Kannon in the sunlight

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Madison rings the bell before prayer at one of the many temples

After exploring the temple grounds, we hopped back on the bus for our second destination: Tenseien Hotel and Onsen.

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This is one of those onsen hotels that give out yukata (cotton kimono) to wear around the premises. The trip fees included an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet serving both Japanese and Western food. The restaurant within the hotel overlooked the scenic ponds, waterfall, and mountain on the hotel grounds. The yukata come in very limited sizes (especially for those who are over 6′), but they can be easily adjusted.

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Forrest and Joe posing in their yukata

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Madison and Abigail are monks meditating under the waterfall

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Now they are just standing underneath it

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There were many koi filling the hotel’s 4 koi ponds

We made one more stop before heading back to Tokyo, but it was so surreal that it deserved its own post. Check out part 2!

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