Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Silver Wave in Hakone

EMU Hakone Tozan 2000 series stands at Miyanoshita Station
 
There is a lot to see in Hakone, some 80km southwest of Tokyo. One of the recommended spots in this season is a vast silver grass field in Sengokubara. This area is a relatively flat land because of a crater floor of the caldera, which is surrounded by steep outer rim volcanic mountains. When I visited there last October, it was a bit early to view the silver grass looking still lush so, I visited Sengokubara in November this year.

Look at the following photo. You can see a "silver wave" in the field. It was the best season to view an awful lot of rabbit ears of silver grass. They changed color from green to silver, and they will then turn gold from exposure to the sun. The breeze blowing against them also created an autumn sound.

To see this silver wave, take Hakone Tozan Railway and get off at Miyanoshita Station. You can transfer to a bus to Sengokubara easily from the station. Hakone Tozan Railway is a dependable transporter that climbs up the mountain. It connects Odawara and Gora stations (15km). This railway was opened as Odawara Horse Tramway in 1888.

It's a lot of hard work to climb up Hakone Mountain, specifically between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations. The difference of elevation is nearly 500m and its maximum grade is 80 per mils, which is the second steepest railway in the world. EMU 2000 series trains, which were launched in 1989, climb the route powerfully.

 
Silver grass field in Sengokubara near Miyanoshita Station on the Hakone Tozan Railway