Stay Near Hakone and Play Games?

Stay Near Hakone and Play Games?

Hakone is a stunning area of Japan not far from Tokyo. There are a couple of guest houses stocked with board games that are free to play. Sightsee during the day, and play some of the many games available at Kevin’s Guesthouse and Merry Lue’s Guest House in Minamiashigara City, not far from Hakone Yumoto.

Exploring the Enchanting Wonders of Hakone: A Must-Visit Destination in Japan

Introduction: Nestled in the picturesque mountains of Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, Hakone stands as a mesmerizing oasis for both locals and tourists alike. Boasting stunning natural landscapes, soothing hot springs, rich cultural heritage, and magnificent views of Mount Fuji, Hakone offers a myriad of experiences that captivate the hearts and minds of its visitors. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, adventure, or cultural immersion, Hakone has something to offer for everyone. Let’s delve into the enchanting wonders of Hakone and discover the exciting activities and attractions that await you.

  1. Admire the Majestic Mount Fuji: Hakone’s location on the eastern edge of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park provides an extraordinary vantage point for gazing at Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji. Be sure to ride the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Capture awe-inspiring photographs from Owakudani, a volcanic valley famous for its sulfurous fumes and hot springs. Witnessing the silhouette of Mount Fuji against the backdrop of Hakone’s natural beauty is an unforgettable experience.
  2. Soak in the Healing Waters of Onsen: Renowned for its therapeutic hot springs, Hakone is the ideal destination for indulging in a traditional Japanese onsen experience. Choose from a variety of exquisite ryokans (traditional inns) and ryokan resorts that offer private and communal baths. Unwind and rejuvenate your body and soul as you soak in the mineral-rich waters amidst serene surroundings. Popular hot spring areas include Hakone Yumoto, Gora, and Tenzan.
  3. Explore Hakone Open-Air Museum: For art enthusiasts, the Hakone Open-Air Museum is a treasure trove of creativity. This unique museum showcases a stunning collection of contemporary sculptures and artworks by both Japanese and international artists. Stroll through beautifully manicured gardens, immerse yourself in thought-provoking installations, and even bathe in a hot spring foot bath while enjoying art exhibitions. The combination of art and nature creates a harmonious and meditative atmosphere.
  4. Cruise Lake Ashi: Embark on a scenic boat ride across the serene Lake Ashi, an ancient crater lake formed by volcanic activity. Revel in the tranquility as you glide along the azure waters, surrounded by lush green mountains. Enjoy unobstructed views of Mount Fuji, as well as the iconic Hakone Shrine’s torii gate standing tall on the lakeshore. Cruising Lake Ashi is a fantastic way to experience the region’s natural splendor.
  5. Wander Through Hakone Shrine: Immerse yourself in Japanese spirituality and culture by visiting the renowned Hakone Shrine. Nestled in the forested hills near Lake Ashi, this Shinto shrine exudes a serene and mystical ambiance. Take a leisurely stroll through the sacred grounds, admire the striking architecture, and participate in traditional rituals. The vibrant red torii gates and the serene atmosphere create a sense of tranquility and reverence.
  6. Ride the Hakone Tozan Railway: Embark on a scenic train journey aboard the Hakone Tozan Railway, a charming mountain railway that winds its way through lush greenery and picturesque landscapes. Marvel at the engineering feat as the train navigates steep slopes, tunnels, and bridges. The slow pace and the enchanting views along the route make this ride a memorable experience.

Conclusion: Hakone is a destination that captivates travelers with its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and tranquil ambiance. From admiring the majestic Mount Fuji to soaking in soothing hot springs, exploring art amidst nature, and embracing the spiritual side of Japan,

I am Hakone

Japanese Board War Games

Japanese Board War Games

Exploring Japanese Board War Games: A Fusion of Strategy and Tradition


Japan, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and innovative creations, has a vibrant board gaming scene that extends beyond its traditional offerings. While the country is famous for ancient games like shogi and go, it has also embraced modern board gaming, including captivating war games. These Japanese board war games, with their complex strategies and unique themes, provide players with immersive experiences that test their tactical prowess. In this article, we delve into the world of Japanese board war games, examining their origins, gameplay mechanics, and notable titles.

Origins and Influence

The roots of Japanese board war games can be traced back to the post-World War II period when the country underwent a cultural transformation. Influenced by Western board games, Japanese designers began crafting their own titles that combined elements of traditional gaming with innovative mechanics. This led to the birth of a distinctive genre of war games, which quickly gained popularity among enthusiasts seeking intellectually stimulating challenges.

Gameplay Mechanics

Japanese board war games encompass a wide range of themes, from historical battles to futuristic conflicts. While each game offers a unique experience, there are common gameplay mechanics that typify this genre. Generally, players assume the roles of military commanders or strategists, making decisions that impact their armies’ movements, resource management, and combat engagements.

These games often employ a hexagonal grid system, allowing for precise movement and positioning of units. Command and control mechanics play a crucial role, with players facing the challenge of coordinating their forces effectively. Furthermore, Japanese war games frequently emphasize hidden information, simulating the fog of war and requiring players to carefully deduce their opponents’ intentions.

Notable Japanese Board War Games

  1. Axis & Allies: Designed by Larry Harris Jr. and first published in 1981, Axis & Allies is a globally acclaimed war game set during World War II. While not exclusively Japanese, it exemplifies the influence of Japanese game design on the genre. The game allows players to control the major powers of the war, employing strategic planning and diplomacy to secure victory.
  2. Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel: Created by Uwe Eickert and translated into Japanese by Mabuchi Satoru, Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel is a tactical war game that immerses players in the intense battles of World War II’s Eastern Front. With its innovative firefight system and detailed unit management, this game offers an engaging and authentic experience.
  3. Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan: Designed by Matt Calkins, Sekigahara is a highly regarded war game that captures the dramatic conflict during Japan’s Sengoku period. With its elegant card-driven mechanics and historical accuracy, players must navigate the delicate balance of power to secure victory on the battlefield.
  4. Battle Line: Created by Reiner Knizia, Battle Line is a two-player war game that focuses on tactical maneuvering and bluffing. Known as “Schotten-Totten” in its original version, the Japanese edition incorporates the nation’s distinctive artistic style while maintaining the game’s strategic depth.


Japanese board war games offer a captivating blend of strategy, history, and innovation. From World War II simulations to ancient conflicts, these games provide players with immersive experiences that demand careful planning and critical thinking. Drawing on traditional gaming principles while incorporating modern mechanics, Japanese war games stand as a testament to the nation’s ability to combine tradition with innovation. Whether you’re a seasoned war gamer or a novice seeking an intellectually stimulating challenge, exploring the world of Japanese board war games is sure to offer countless hours of strategic enjoyment.

On the COIN series of games by GMT

On Using Chat GPT to Develop Board Games

On Using Chat GPT to Develop Board Games

Chat GPT can be used to develop a board game by generating game content, creating dialogue and narrative, and providing inspiration for game mechanics. Here are some ways Chat GPT can be used:

  1. Generate game content: Chat GPT can generate a wide range of game content, such as character descriptions, world-building details, and storylines. By inputting prompts and asking questions, Chat GPT can help develop the game’s overall theme, setting, and narrative.
  2. Create dialogue and narrative: Chat GPT can help create dialogue between players and non-player characters (NPCs) by generating responses and suggestions for NPC dialogue. It can also be used to develop branching storylines, where player choices affect the game’s outcome.
  3. Provide inspiration for game mechanics: Chat GPT can provide inspiration for game mechanics, such as player actions, rules, and challenges. For example, Chat GPT can be asked to generate ideas for how to incorporate a specific theme or mechanic into the game.
  4. Playtesting: Chat GPT can be used to simulate game scenarios and playtest the game mechanics. It can be programmed to respond to player inputs and provide feedback on gameplay, balance, and difficulty.

Overall, Chat GPT can be a useful tool for generating ideas and content for a board game. However, it’s important to note that developing a board game requires a lot of creative and strategic thinking beyond what an AI language model can provide.

How could the USA have Won the War of 1812?

How could the USA have Won the War of 1812?

Winning the War of 1812.

How could the USA have won the War of 1812?

The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and the British Empire from 1812 to 1815. The war was primarily fought over issues related to trade restrictions, maritime rights, and the impressment of American sailors by the British Navy. While the war ended in a stalemate, there were several ways in which the United States could have potentially achieved a victory. Here are a few possibilities:

  1. Better Military Strategy: The United States military suffered from poor leadership and planning throughout much of the war. The country could have potentially won the war if it had better military leaders who could have devised and executed better strategies.
  2. Naval Superiority: The British Navy was one of the strongest in the world at the time, and the United States Navy was relatively weak. If the United States had invested more in its navy and built more ships, it could have potentially gained naval superiority and prevented British attacks on American ports.
  3. Diplomacy: The United States could have potentially won the war through diplomatic efforts. The war was largely caused by trade restrictions and maritime rights issues, and a diplomatic resolution to these issues could have prevented the outbreak of war.
  4. Stronger Support from Allies: The United States could have potentially gained more support from its allies, such as France, during the war. This could have given the United States an advantage in battles and put more pressure on the British to negotiate a peace settlement.

Overall, the United States could have potentially won the War of 1812 through a combination of better military strategy, naval superiority, diplomacy, and stronger support from allies.

Visit JIGG Kanagawa – where we announce our game events. Join us! It”s free!

Hotz Game Mats

Hotz Game Mats

Hotz Game Mats:
Has anyone else ever ordered from Hotz Game Mats?
I have been waiting since April for my order of mats?
I have heard Mr. Hotz is slow, but you always get your mats.
What has been your experience with Hotz?
Any comments, advise appreciated!


I finally got my Hotz Game Mats, and they took about 18 months to arrive.  So, I would not order from them if you are in a hurry!

On Board Games in the Classroom

Using board games in the classroom is a fun and eng
aging way of reviewing or practising
language communicatively. There are many board gam
es you can create with your learners
using blank board game templates. These can be phot
ocopied and enlarged to A3 size.
You can either prepare the materials yourself or ge
t learners to prepare them for you
(writing and using English of course!) Below are a
couple of suggestions, they are obviously
adaptable between levels and ages. Games can be use
d to practice collocations, idioms,
tenses etc. Remember the learners must have the nec
essary language to play the game and
make sure the games do not go on for too long. It i
s not always important to finish the game
if the learners are moving on to a worthwhile actitivity.
Level: Elementary
1 dice and counters for players
General review
Write a verb in every odd numbered space and a noun
in every even numbered space (e.g.
walk; chair; eat; pen) at every sixth space write a
question word (Why? Who? When?
Which? How? etc)
Learners roll the dice and move according to the nu
mbers indicated. When a learner lands
on a square they have to make a sentence using the
verb or noun which is true about them.
If they land on a question square they have to ask
a question for all the other learners to
To make the game harder set time limits for respons
es or make learners miss a turn / move
back two spaces if they cannot make a sentence.
Have you ever..?
Level: Intermediate
1 dice and counters for players
Practice of present perfect simple
Simply write various ‘experiences’ around the board
(e.g. ride / motorcycle? write / poem?)
– Learners roll the dice and wherever they land the
y ask the learner next to them a question
by putting the verb in the correct form (e.g. Have
you ever ridden a motorcycle?) Encourage
learners to ask each other follow-on questions (E.g
. Where did you ride it? etc).
Activities ‘Mime’ field
Level: Elementary to Intermediate
1 dice and counters for players
Action verbs
Make several ‘mime’ cards with ‘actions’ on one sid
e. On the game board write ‘mime’ on
every fourth square. On the remaining blank squares
write a selection of place names
(home; countryside; museum) and prepositions (on, a
t, in etc.). Place the mime cards face
down. When a player lands on a place name they have
to say what they do at / in / on that
place (e.g. at the beach – I sunbathe; on the train
– I read my book). When they land on a
preposition square they have to think of a place an
d an action (e.g. at – at the cinema I
watch films). If they land on the mime square they
take a card and have to mime the action
for the rest of the group (e.g. painting; running).
The first learner to accurately guess what
the action is and where it is happening can move fo
rward one space.
Level: Upper Intermediate
1 dice and counters for players
Language review
Take 45 words from units recently covered with lear
ners and write these on slips of paper or
cards and shuffle. Place them face down. On the gam
e board randomly write in the
Draw it
Make a sentence
Describe it
Mime it
Put the learners into two teams (alternatively they
can play individually). Learners roll the
dice and take a secret word card. If they land on ‘
Draw it’ they have to draw the word and
elicit that from their partners; if they land on ‘M
ake a sentence’ they have to say a sentence
using that word; if they land on ‘describe it’ they
have to give oral clues to elicit the word
from their partners; if they land on ‘mime it’ they
have to mime the word and elicit that
from their partners.
Level: All
1 dice and counters for players
Stress patterns
Rather than writing words on the board write simple
stress patterns (E.g.
When a learner lands on a square they have to think
of a word that matches the stress
pattern. Words can only be used once. Make sure lea
rners know the stress patterns are
from words or a topic they have studied recently.
Sophia McMillan
Training Manager/TESOL Course Director
Shane Training Centre, Shane Corporation

Board Games help Bored Teachers reach Students

Junior high school students huddle around a table, brows furrowed, playing a co-operative First World War board game called The Grizzled. One plays the final card, and another lets out a triumphant shout. After 12 attempts, the students have finally beaten the game.

“We spent a whole week just trying to play it over and over again – we couldn’t beat it,” said Grade 12 student Jacob Lycan. But the students’ perseverance paid off.

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