A Town at the Top of the World

One Day in the hot spring town of Miyanoshita

By Reynald Ventura    - 2 min read

Miyanoshita is far from the madding crowd. But to reach this quiet town, it takes just about an hour from Odawara Station via the vintage Odakyu/Hakone Tozan Railway. The train goes up the highlands and traverses Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. As it winds up through the forests and valleys, you get a panoramic view of the vast mountain ranges. When it reaches Deyama, the train pauses, uses a switchback, moves to a different rail tracks, changes direction and descends. It's quite fascinating going up and down. Miyanoshita Station is the seventh stop from Odawara Station.

A day trip to Miyanoshita lead me to contemplate the insignificance of man. As I walked along the narrow streets and beheld my surroundings, it was astonishing to realize and witness human beings, literally, so small and insignificant in the midst of the Hakone mountain ranges; the highest peak reaches over a thousand four hundred meters above sea level. Even the grand Fujiya Hotel looked tiny from a distance.

High on the hills, in the midst of nowhere, it was astounding to see a Seven Eleven hanging on the edge of a cliff.

On the way back, I took the bus to Odawara Station. Going through the zigzag roads at a fairly high speed, I couldn't help but be amazed at bus driver's precision and virtuosity. It was quite impressive.

Was this article helpful?

Suggest an edit

22
4
Reynald Ventura

Reynald Ventura @reynald.ventura

I have a little garden: slightly bigger than the forehead of a cat. I grow herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, and mint, and lemon grass, and lavender, and basil. Occasionally, I cook for myself. Sometimes, my Japanese wife and my daughter like my cooking. I come from the Philippines – it is said that there are more than seven thousand islands but I do not own one. I’d love to, though. I always carry a camera with me – in my walks, journeys, and wanderings. Most of the time, I’m home – staring at Fujisan and writing something.