Hakone and My Neighbor Totoro

Hakone is up in the mountains, and on a good day, you can get a view of Mount Fuji…

I didn’t get to see Fuji – too much overcast! I went there after Kusatsu, and Hakone was honestly kind of boring. I was only there two days, thank goodness. There just isn’t a lot to do there. My hostel did have an onsen, so I was able to soak in the mineral waters each day, which was great. But, if I did it over again, I would spend the time elsewhere – maybe in a beach town😏

While I was there, I did visit a really great museum, called Pola Museum of Art. In the mountains, all alone, surrounded by woods, with a nature trail outside, and the architecture of the building is breathtaking. The collection is primarily Impressionist paintings – these notable artists:  Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Degas, Chagall, Cezanne, Rousseau, Manet, Gauguin, Miro, Toulouse-Lautrec, and even a few Dali pieces. I found it amazing there were so many masterpieces in a museum no one has ever heard of, in a town no one has ever heard of. Amazing. I guess that’s what happens when rich people who love art die😄

Here are a few other pictures of Hakone and my trip from there to Kyoto:

hakone train station

hakone train station

train on side of mountain

train on side of mountain

I had this great curry with beef in it, which tasted a lot like plain-old American chili. And it made me realize – curry and chili are basically the exact same thing, you just add spicier spices to curry usually😆

curry, homemade bread

curry, homemade bread @ Paseo

shinkansen interior

shinkansen interior

nagoya from the bullet train

nagoya from the bullet train

odawara statue

odawara statue

Equipment update:

one of my favorite items..

these Jack’s socks are one of the most valuable items I brought!

Ewings-es: HA! I googled the socks 👆🏼 to find a link to them, and this is what I found (Sarah, had you guys seen that?).

And, my beautiful Tortuga backpack has provided me everything I’ve needed, but unfortunately she has suffered her first injury (no worries – just a flesh wound).

her first band-aid

her first band-aid

So, I noticed after a few days in Japan that I kept seeing these figurines and other tchotchkes of a monster-looking thing on sale in most of the shops, and they seemed so overpriced! So, I talked to some people and discovered that the monster-thing is an anime character called Totoro, from a Japanese film called My Neighbor Totoro. Has anyone seen this? I searched for the english-dubbed movie online, and I watched it. It is the one of the best, most artistic, cutest movies I’ve ever seen.

how could I say No to this face?

how could I say No to this face?

So, instantly, I’m in love with Totoro. And I tell my friend Jason (hi😘) about it, and since he truly loves Japanese culture (not just someone who says they do, for weird reasons), he tells me that there is a museum in Tokyo dedicated to Studio Ghibli, which produced the film, and Miyazaki, the writer/director (they also did Spirited Away, which I now have to see). So, I MUST go to the museum when I’m back in Tokyo for a day.

Fast forward to my first day in Kyoto, and I’m meandering down a tiny alley, and I see this in front of a shop…

TOTORO STORE!!!!

TOTORO STORE!!!!

TOTORO STORE!!!!

totoro

TOTORO STORE!!!

If you know me, you know how much I love stuffed animals, and cartoons, and (now) this movie, so I had to buy one

my new sleep buddy

my new sleep buddy

If you’re interested, you can watch My Neighbor Totoro movie, in english, online here.

Next up: More Kyoto

4 Comments on “Hakone and My Neighbor Totoro

  1. Looks like Totoro would make a good pillow, after a day of soaking in the hot mineral baths and and a night of looking at all the colorful lights. You are lookin’ beautiful and happy!

    Liked by 1 person

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