Hakone Japanese Gardens


Another full day! After a leisurely morning, I hopped on my bike for a brief excursion into downtown Campbell, a charming little town. I biked along the vibrant main street—filled with mostly locally owned shops—and then wended my way along the riverfront path on my way to a grocery store to replenish my Clif bar stock and pick up some food for tomorrow’s train ride, before heading back to my backyard tiny house.

Shortly afterward, my hosts and their neighbor and I all piled into the car to visit Hakone Gardens, a 100-year-old Japanese garden in nearby Saratoga. We stopped at a nearby Veggie Grill for picnic-table provisions beforehand, and enjoyed them in the pleasant shade of the garden.

The shade throughout the garden was very welcome, since the temperature was about 90 degrees today. It felt very comfortable in that environment.

After the garden, we came home and rested for a bit, and then headed out to San Jose’s First Friday free art walk. We visited several art galleries, and walked the blocked-off main street lined with artists and vendors, and my hosts encountered half a dozen old and new friends along those few blocks. For a city of a million people, it felt very neighborly.

Then we went to see a play in a local theater a few blocks away. The theater is just now reopening for live performances. (We did need to show proof of vaccination and also wear masks indoors.) It felt good to see a live play again; it had been a couple of years for me.

This has been a wonderfully full and rich stay in Campbell/San Jose! Once again, I am so appreciative for warm and generous Warmshowers hosts.

Tomorrow, I’ll be boarding the train again, this time for Los Angeles! I’m looking forward to seeing my cousin, meeting up with a Facebook contact, enjoying my favorite chilaquiles at one of my favorite restaurants, and exploring the incredible Huntington Library gardens!

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