Capture Japan: Lake Ashi

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Torii Gates at Lake Ashi, Hakone

I recently visited Hakone over Obon break with my friend who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Hakone is generally known as a resort area and it’s the perfect summer getaway, especially since it’s located in the mountains making the area much cooler and bearable than Tokyo. My friend and I ended up staying overnight at a cute ryokan or traditional Japanese inn we found last minute. Next to our ryokan there was an onsen theme park with wine onsen, green tea onsen, sake onsen, coffee onsen, etc. My favorite was the sake onsen. I honestly thought going to the onsen in the summer was the worst idea ever but the cool Hakone weather made me change my mind, since the hot spring water felt so amazing in comparison. We spent a few hours at the park before lounging around at the inn watching the Olympics. Next time hopefully I can stay for a few extra nights, haha!

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Capture Tokyo: Ueno Park

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Lazy Day in Ueno Park

Ueno Park is probably one of my top 5 favorite parks in Tokyo. It has a beautiful lake and wooden path where people can relax and take leisurely walk. There are also pink and white paddle swan boats available, so you can take a romantic ride on across the lake. When I was in university, I heard a rumor that any couple who took a ride on the boats at Ueno would be doomed to break up… so please ride at your own risk, haha! The park is also famous for hanami or cherry-blossom viewing in the Spring, and it’s almost impossible to get a spot if you don’t go early in the day. Ueno Park also houses a small temple which occasionally hosts delicious food booths filled with roasted corn, takoyaki, yakisoba, and more! In any case, I would definitely recommend taking a nice stroll in Ueno Park if you have time ☆