I didn't plan this trip by myself, well, it is a long story. (Skip). The last time I went to Hakone was 5,6 years ago, after 3.11 earthquake. I still remember that time, the weather is bad because of the typhoon in Summer, so my friend and I barely see nothing.
Thank god this time the weather is absolutely amazing. We left at 8:30 from Tokyo drive to Hakone. We used high way, well when you travel with other people you usually can't expect all the things you like. Anyway, at least we saved car rental fees.
Then after Owakudani, we went to Hakone Shrine for a Japan top 3 spicy udon, we have been stuck in traffic for nearly 1 hour, just to get a parking space. Because of the New Year, all the Japanese are going to Shrine. We arrived there around 2 pm, I recommend if there is a traffic to the shrine's free parking. Just find a closer parking that has space even need to pay. Otherwise, you might spend your half day there. lol
The udon by the time already sold out, so we went for tsukeman. Which they use the same soup, just the noodle type is different. The taste is absolutely great! I like all the noodles in Japan. :D. The rice cake is good, but I personally don't like sweet and soft stuff a lot. It comes with 3 sweet flavour and 2 salty flavours.
The first stop we made is towards Owakudani, Hakone. I had been there once, and the wasabi soft cream tastes so good that time. So even if this time is winter, I still get one of that. Also, Owakudani area is known famous by black egg (they have a special way to boil the eggs, but inside that black shell, it just a normal boiled egg). It comes with salt which you can eat with.
There is a huge lake nearby the Hakone Shrine - Lake Ashi. It seems very different since last time I visited it. If the weather is good, you will see Moutain Fuji, lake and shrine. Which is a stunning view. It also has swan ship you can rent. The price is kind of expensive for me, if I am right, it was 1500 yen per person, something like that.
Because it is a one day trip, so after Hakone Shrine, we decide heading home before everyone goes back Tokyo. On the way back, we didn't use the highway and the time was similar as a highway, but the view and driving experience are more interesting than using the highway.