At Hakone-Yumoto Station, we collected our luggage that had been transferred from our hotel in Tōgendai for small fee.
“We were now weighed down with our large baggage, so we wanted to take the train to Tonosawa (where our next hotel was booked) as quickly as possible” – Navindd
Tonosawa train station was hidden in a lush forest and a long and windy pathway brought us downhill into the town. We walked on the side of a busy road that literally hugged the buildings. Our hotel is a multi-storeyed and slightly dilapidated building, but with a great location. It looked musty but the room tidy.
“Tonosawa is a small and quiet town, with the ragging Haya-kawa River right below us. From our hotel, the view outside was fantastic – a gushing Haya- kawa River and dark green trees. We took a little rest and listened to the sound of the flowing river while lying on our beds with our eyes closed” – Navindd
The best part of the room was its location and soothing views – sounds of fast flowing water over smoothed stones, a suspension bridge and leaves from evergreen trees rustling in the gentle breeze – an idyllic setting. The town itself is compact with the main road passing through. This town is certainly rustic Japan, an old world charm. Many hot springs are available here as in our hotel with some over centuries old following old traditions.
Dinner options in Tonosawa are limited to the hotels. We headed off to Hakone Yumoto by a five minutes bus ride. The bus station and train station are conveniently located together. Hakone – Yumoto is a popular riverside resort town for its “onsen”. We crossed the red bridge across Haya-kawa River at dusk to view the town.
On the main streets, dishes made from plastic were on display, salted and pickled vegetables and many more ingredients. The retail shops were also still open and people traffic was still good. In these parts, most shops close early. We were told in Tonosawa, shops close after sunset. We found a restaurant of decent size which specialized in local mushrooms. We decide on ramen and tempura today with a variety of mushrooms.
Fortunately, the bus service runs till late and we headed back to tranquil Tonosawa. The sound of the river below our room was soothing. We slept early as we had an early train to catch tomorrow to the mountainous Hida Region in Gifu Prefecture, Takayama.