Miyanoshita, Japan

Saturday, October 5, 1929

Jolly fine weather today. Left Nikko on the 7:58 and was in Tokyo by noon. Took the 1:15 5o Odowara—wherever that was; I didn’t know. There was some sort of a delegation of businessmen going on a weekend holiday. When their lunch was served in wooden boxes and a bottle of wine apiece passed around, they became very pepped up—some very much so, especially one who was trying to get me to join the “bottoms-up”. But Odowara came along then and I was spared the trouble.

Odowara, I found, is a fair-sized town on the seashore just around the bay from Kamakura and Enoshima. Mt. Fujiyama lies some miles to the north. I had no special destination. Buses were leaving for a place called Miyanoshita and I knew it was somewhere near Fuji and popular with tourists, so in I hopped.

Immediately on leaving the town we entered a valley and followed a winding rock-strewn watercourse up into the Hakone Hills. The valley grew narrower and soon we were crawling along the steep hillside in a deep canyon, far above a rushing stream.

Winding in and out but always climbing, we passed some gorgeous spots. Along this road I saw some of the most picturesque Japanese scenery I have yet seen.

When about 45 minutes later (after leaving Odowara) we pulled up before the Fujiya Hotel in Miyanoshita, the hills still towered high above and the stream perhaps 150 feet almost straight down from the road.

I soon located a cheap hotel—Y1.50 (72¢) for room and meals (breakfast and dinner). It isn’t so much as hotels go, but is OK for a couple of days. I have a splendid view of the mountains from my room.

A little shower blew by about dinner time. Japan is full of hot springs and Miyanoshita is one place where they are to be found. This hotel has muzzled one up and I had a bath that was plenty hot.

Took a long walk after dinner. The resort is built along the road, which winds in and out along the hillside, and on the hill. It is spread out for a considerable distance. Doesn’t seem to have much more than hotels, souvenir shops, barber shops, a post office, and police station. As you walk along in the dark you hear the roar of the stream and a dozen falls of varying sizes. Quite a place.

Hakone Lake is but seven miles away so I guess I’ll hoof it over tomorrow for a view of Fuji.

Last night a geisha girl was in the street by the hotel entertaining with song. Her brother beat a drum while the mother picked an occasional chord on a thing that resembled a mandolin with a long fret piece. These sometimes chimed in. I see this hotel has fleas, but I can’t be bothered tonight.

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