REVIEW. HIGHWAY TO HAKONE 2019.
Famous routes of Japan, alongside well-researched off-the-beaten-track roads, stunning views of snow-clad Mount Fuji, top-class hospitality and a convivial atmosphere all translated into a wonderful scenic driving experience among the lakes, mountains and hot springs of Hakone.
The opening evening at the Hakone Retreat hotel set the scene for an event at which it was easy to mingle and meet fellow BMW i8 owners. After the multilingual welcome, briefing and handover of the road book, guests were able to chat by the outdoor fireplace – with three high-level BMW representatives also in attendance. At the property’s Woodside Restaurant, which was privatised for the occasion, the attendees enjoyed a delicious and lively dinner.
With the Japanese and Korean attendees’ cars all lined up and ready to go first thing next morning, departure was imminent – but not before the guests had a chance to catch a glimpse of the new BMW M850i, and overseas attendees were shown their vehicle from a selection including the BMW i8, BMW i8 Roadster, BMW M5 and BMW M6 Gran Coupe. After a group photo, it was time to go!
Taking in the famous Hakone Turnpike, the breathtaking Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and the magnificent Lake Ashi, the BMW i Pure Impulse members made their way in convoy to Fuji View restaurant – scene of vehicle positioning and more sought-after snapshots as well as a break – before starting the return leg.
On a wonderfully clear day, the route kept magnificent Mount Fuji in view almost all the way along the Ashinoko Skyline before heading down the mountain through the forest, adhering to narrower and very windy roads, which gave the guests some ‘sheer driving pleasure’ and a new experience even for some of the more local members. A pleasant lunch back at the hotel was the last leg on this well-received Japanese driving event, offering the BMW i Pure Impulse members a final opportunity to mix and share their highlights of a memorable weekend.