Blue Sky's Trip to Japan
(continued from page 5)

Day Five
Hakone is a beautiful town on the shore of lake Ashino-ko which is a filled caldera of an inactive volcano. This is an area famous for its volcanic springs, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and beautiful views of Mount Fuji. It's a popular holiday spot, especially in spring when there are a large number of flower festivals. Here you see the start of a shrine at the lake's edge. The large red gates are symbols of the Shinto religion.

The gardens are famous in Hakone for being well maintained and quite beautiful. Here is one of the paths leading to the shrine at Hakone.

The hotel in which we stayed had its own private hot springs. This is where Justin, Ayumu, Cliff and I became much better acquainted with each other. Since the Japanese have much different ideas about the taboo of nakedness, and of course coverings of any kind might pollute the water, clothing is prohibited in the baths. Sorry, no photos.

The rest of the day was spent at the lip of the crater that forms the lake. There's a cable car that takes you to the top. The day was a little hazy so we were only able to get a small glimpse of Mt. Fuji. This is a view from the cable car, looking over the lake.

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