Hakone by Train, Bus, Boat, Gandola, and Hot Air Balloon!
We left Tokyo this morning en route to Hakone, a destination lake resort at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
The Romance Car–best name ever, for anything–is a separate (train) carrier from the JR line that services this particular region of Japan–about 90 minutes east of Tokyo. Train service here is efficient, comfortable, and offers spectacular views of the countryside and shifting landscape from city to suburbs to more rural communities.
Last August, a damaging and destructive typhoon (is there any other kind?) hit the Hakone are especially hard, destroying local rail lines and making access and egress to these small but important mountain towns particularly challenging. Because many local rail lines are still recovering, travelers–both local and tourist travel–have had to rely on “replacement bus service” which we did in plenty today. (Hot air balloon never happened, though we might have wished it did.)