After several months back in dark, damp Copenhagen, I find myself more and more frequently reflecting on our time in Japan. As we hypothesised may happen at the time, the memories of the challenging moments are fading and the good memories are beginning to glow warmly in our minds, and none so brightly as wonderful Hakone.
Lake Asti, with its beautiful vista towards Fuji-san, was as pure and peaceful a place as I have ever experienced. I can close my eyes and retrace my footsteps as I strolled along the lakeside from our room at the Prince Hakone hotel to the beautiful onsen which overlooked a sparse woodland and on to the lake. Dipping into the hot water of the onsen, the surface shimmering in the late afternoon sun, with steam rising like morning mist forming on the foothills of Mount Fuji, I felt more at peace than I can recall ever feeling before or after. The brief solitude in the presence of such natural beauty has had a profound and lasting effect on my attitudes towards life. I guess these experiences are why we travel.