This winter break, I’m back in Japan to visit my family. To start my trip, my aunt and uncle invited my parents and I on a short staycation in Hakone, a geopark designated by UNESCO. Known for its onsen hot springs and incredible views of Mt.Fuji, Hakone demonstrates the excellence of nature through all 4 seasons.
Hakone Wood Mosaic (Yosegi)
The mountains in Hakone are covered with a wide variety of Japanese trees. Artisans in Hakone use rich wood to create beautiful, multi-colored, and geometric patterns in their art. About every souvenir shop in Hakone sold yosegi products. Personally, I bought a pair of yosegi clip-on earrings and a matching pendant.
Hakone Hot Springs
Hakone is famous for its hot springs. Today, we took a ropeway (similar to a ski lift) which got us to a high elevation where there were huge volcanic fumes that smelled like sulfur.
Though I couldn’t take any pictures inside the actual hot springs, here is an example of what a hot spring (onsen or public bath) in Japan would look like.