26. 2/5/14: Trip to Fuji-Hakone Part 2
The forecast had initially called for rain, and later had retracted it, so when I awoke on Sunday I was expecting a clear day. But the clouds had covered the sky and by eight, it was drizzling.
Our first stop for the day was the Fuji-Hakone Open Air Museum. A collection of sculptures in gardens. The rain and clouds made it even more magical, with fog clinging to the shapes and forms in almost unexpected ways.
By far my favorite piece was an interactive one, a cylindrical tube almost. From the outside it seemed nothing more than a concrete block. But on the inside...
A mosaic of glass embedded in the concrete, almost invisble from the outside. A stairway spiraled up to the top, and I gritted my teeth and clung to the spindly metal bannister as I climbed. I've always been terrified of heights as a child, never fully able to make it more than halfway up a lighthouse. But the view was worth it.
Cloud would cover everything for a few moments until the wind blew it away, exposing the sculptures below.
Our next stop of the day was a wood museum. Fuji-Hakone is famous for its wood inlaid designs, since much of the wood in the area comes with a variety of natural colors. We got to do a workshop where we made our own wooden coasters.
Photo Courtesy of Richard Farman
After exploring the history and the making of such incredible works of art, we were all exausted and glad to take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo. It definitely was an incredible experience, and I'm so grateful to CIEE for planning it all.