feeling rather adventurous we decided that we wanted to go to an onsen somewhere in hakone right after the last day of gasshuku. when the others asked us where we were staying we were like, "... somewhere in hakone." some of them were like 0_o! and others were like, /palmFace "you mean you havent made reservations anywhere? ... amazing..."
honestly i didnt think we were doing such a crazyMan kind of thing. hakone is littered with onsen right? meaning if you ask someone "hey, where is the onsen?" they will ask you, "which one?" right? anyway, fairly confident we head set off on a non-shinkansen towards that area. at this point we learn that it's raining cats and dogs allllllllll over japan and trains are getting delayed by more than 15 minutes left and right. we acquired a 777yen potato apple pie to eat on our ride towards the hakone area. to our surprise we met a fellow gasshuku-er and pressured her to give into temptation with a slice of the pie hehe.
we get to our destination and it's still raining like crazy. as we're talking, this NPC engages us into conversation outta the blue. after talking with him, he tries to convince us to stay at the hotel where he works. after a bit more dialog, we agree to follow him - but on the train as he tries to book us in, we find out that there arent any vacancies! but as we were winging it anyway, we agree to have a takoyaki snack (which turned into more of a dinner) at this takoyaki place/ bar he frequents.
NPC introduces us to his older man friend/ co-worker who turns out to be a very strange, shy, and socially retarded kind of fellow. we have a nice round of drinks and the bartender helps us out trying to find some place for us to stay that night - which was totally awesome of him. as it was nearing midnight, he tells us that he hooked us up with a place to stay around the station and on top of hooking us up, he actually offers to drive us there too - which is like WHOA because gas is expensive and the station was a 20 minutes drive away... in the pouring rain.
NPC says bye to us at the takoyaki bar and we get into the bartender's car! when we got to the hotel, he helped us get registered and said goodbye. he totally saved us! one hero of a bar master.
as i was sitting on my hotel bed later that night, it was all playing out in my head like an RPG event, haha. help from strangers! oh yeah!
the next morning (monday) we go to the station and pick a random ass gimmiky place from a travel guide and go for it! armed with a map and compass (yes we totally used them both too! they took pivotal parts in getting us to where we needed to go, lol) we took a train up to this mountain stop and walked 20 minutes through the mountain forest towards the red dot on our map, lol.
when we got to where we wanted to go it was kinda like... bam! it was kinda like a high school just rose out of the forest or something. this place was HUGE. considering all the other onsen places we were passing by on the way, this resort was a whole village itself. the place we went is called YUNESSUN.