Yesterday, while two friends and I were having a post-hike dinner in Mui Wo, we noticed that a TV at the eatery was showing scenes of angry, at times violent, anti-Japanese demonstrations taking place in China as part of its evening news program. I don't plan to take sides in the dispute over whether the islands whose sovereignty ostensibly are the cause of the demonstrations and riots are Chinese or Japanese. However, I'm going to voice my feeling that all this discord is really sad -- and so, too, is the way that some of the protesters are going about venting their frustrations.
Put another way: there is no way I'm going to throw away or damage my precious Panasonic camera that I've used to take the vast majority of the photos found thus far on this blog. Nor do I plan to be getting rid of my Hello Kittys, Ponyos or other Japanese belongings any time soon. In addition, I don't plan to start boycotting any Japanese restaurants, particularly my favorites among them, any point in the near future -- and I do intend to continue to put up photos and blog entries about my recent Japan vacation for another week or two.
Speaking of which: the following is a photo-essay showing some more of what I did and saw in Hakone. In particular, it focuses on one more highlight of my Hakone visit in addition to my Hakone Open-Air Museum visit, and the ride on the Hakone Ropeway and brief stopover at volcanic Owakudani -- one that yielded more grand views and lovely memories of one more part of Japan that I now have happy associations with...
One of these colorful "pirate ships" transported me
from one end of Lake Ashi (AKA Ashi-no-ko) to another! :)
I'm not sure if this structure located on the eastern side of
this large crater lake is a hotel or private palace -- but I do
reckon it'd be lovely to spend a night (or two) there! :b
Also visible on the eastern side of Lake Ashi is one of the
A more close-up view of the picturesque torii that is quite the
sight and landmark in this beautifully scenic part of Japan
If the "pirate" ships weren't a surreal enough sight on
a Japanese lake, how about these swan-shaped boats? ;b
View of the lake from Hakone Machi-ko
(Although not at all unpleasant, alas, it didn't
have the bonus of including Mount Fuji in the mix!)
I scrambled up to higher ground -- specifically that within
the Hakone Detached Palace Garden -- to catch
some more sights before the sun completely set that day
Minutes before boarding the bus that'd take me away
from Hakone, I savored this tranquil lake scene --
and managed to capture it for posterity on my camera :)