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Hakone Shrine

Discover Hakone Shrine

During the Edo period in Japan, there were five main routes to get around the country. The Tōkaidō route (東海道, East Sea Road) connected Edo (now Tokyo) to Kyoto and was considered the most important route used. There were fifty-three rest posts or sekisho or “toll barriers” stationed along the Tōkaidō route that controlled the traffic of people and goods on the highways as checkpoints. Hakone’s sekisho formed the border of the Kantō region and was a major waystation for the people who were travelling along the Tōkaidō route from Kyoto to Edo.

Hakone Shrine toriiTrekking the town of Hakone

The town of Hakone (箱根町, Hakone-machi) in Kanagawa Prefecture is popular amongst visitors for its numerous hot springs, museums, traditional inns, mountain views, and the iconic Mt. Fuji with the torii of Hakone Shrine rising from the water.

Hakone Shrine lies at the foot of Mt. Fuji along the shores of Lake Ashinoko. The shrine’s buildings are hidden by the thick forest but the huge torii gates makes it easy to spot its location, one by the lake and two more by the main street of Moto-Hakone.

Hakone Shrine toriiThere is a path leading from Lake Ashinoko to a succession of steps lined with lanterns running through the forest all the way through to the main building of the shrine. Hakone Shrine sits peacefully flanked by tall, aged trees, is a breathtaking image no matter what time of the year. A second shrine Mototsumiya (“original shrine”) is located at the top of Komagatake, one of Mount Hakone’s multiple peaks and is accessible via the Hakone-Komagatake Ropeway or by the hiking trails.

Hakone is just one of the places to visit in Japan. Its rich cultural heritage and history is a proud testament to only one of many in what the country offers.


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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!