It’s always nice to get out of your humdrum routine and setting to venture out for a change and that’s what a few friends of mine and I did over the Obon holidays in Japan.
Obon festival; a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors.
While the day was initially planned to be spent at the beach, it quickly rejigged from that to a touristy escapade – but hey, who’s complaining.
While the weather may have not been on our side, we managed to cover three spots during our one-day trip!
Today’s post decodes places to see and things to do, just 150km out of Tokyo!
Just under a 100km out of Tokyo, Hakone is a small town in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Usually a very popular destination to see Mt. Fuji, however we weren’t too lucky with that.
Lake Ashi, also known as Hakone Lake was a wonderful and tranquil site – a beautiful walk around several Torii’s (red gates) and shrines!
2. FUJI PEACE PARK
A short drive from Hakone to Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture is where you’ll find the incredible Gotemba Heiwa Kouen, also known as the Fuji Peace Park.
The park which is centered on Indian Buddhist aesthetics is remarkable. Considerably, the stupa stands as a symbol of the park where the ashes of Buddha are kept, given by the late Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Located on the outer rim of Hakone, the park is known for its beautiful view of Mt. Fuji – which again, we couldn’t catch!
One of the closest getaways from Tokyo, Kamakura is a seaside city just south of the capital.
With famous landmarks and Buddhist temples, the city is most well known for the 13 meters high Buddha statue that still stands even after the tsunami in the 15th century!
While we had seen the Buddha before, we toured around Kamakura station, exploring some local shops and eateries.
We often take for granted the serene places in the country we live in and this quick escape from Tokyo was just what we needed!