Hakone doesn’t belong to the group of big cities, like Tokyo or Kyoto, but 1 day is definietly not enough to see all the interesting places in the city. Today, I want to tell you how to spend one day there. Enjoy a trip to the Lake Ashi’s surroundings! Specifically, a trip to the Hakone Checkpoint, the Hakone Shrine and the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise. Distances between the places mantioned above are very short, then take your time, you don’t have to hurry.
If you want to feel like a traveller from the Edo period, you should visit the Hakone Checkpoint. There are checking station, buildings and mannequins, which illustrate the Edo period’s life. The purpose of the checkpoint was mainly two. The first was about preventing large quantities of weapons coming into the city. All the people had their belongings thoroughly inspected. Feudal lords all over Japan had to send their wives to Edo as hostages. The Check Point was built to prevent their escape. When I had walked into the historical buildings, I saw a lot of mannequins, which simulated Edo’s people of various social classes. Moreover, there were a lot of rooms stylized on Edo period, including office, sitting-room, restroom and the guard house. I think, that it’s the best place to visit for children, because they need just a stimulus to imagine the other world. It’s much better to know the part of Japan’s history in that way, than by reading some boring text books. Surely, pople, who are not interested in history, will not regret the visit in the checkpoint as well. Except of sightseeing the buildings inside, ticket allows you to come to the vantage point. When you finally climb up the stairs, you will see the beautiful landscape of Lake Ashi. It’s really worth buying ticket!
Japanese shrines are often hidden behind the forest. When I came up the stairs, I saw the main building of shrine among lushlly green trees. The greenery of forest contrasted perfectly with the claret-coloured shrine. Hakone Shrine has been highly respected as the guardian of Kanto Region, even today, people worship for safe travel and good fortune. People pray there for a good marriage and easy childbirth as well. In the calm surroundings of shrine, you can experience the mysterious atmosphere and the power of that place. Hakone Shrine is famous for the torii gate which appears to be floating on water. Let’s come to see it on real!
Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
If you want to see the Ashi Lake in full, or if you need to get to the other harbor, you should board on special sightseeing ship. I had some free time before boarding, so I came to the bakery&table restaurant. I really wanted to snack there something, because as a Polish I miss a tasty bread so much When I had bought the curry cake and the cheese cake, I took the best seat to enjoy the lake’s landscape. What surprised me a lot, under the seats there were the cold water runs through the stone beds. It was really great to relax by putting the tired legs into water and eating tasty cakes.. What’s more, the landscape seen from the restaurant’s patio is really awesome! I had to leave the restaurant before boarding, but it was definietly worth visiting! Sightseeing ship is really big and it’s stylized on the old one. During the 30 minutes cruise I had been admiring the beautiful lanscape of Ashi Lake surrounded by high mountains. Sometimes, when the clouds spreaded out, I could even see the Fuji Mountain!
Sightseeing Japan during the summer is extremly tiring. It’s really muggy and you sweat a lot, that’s why you prefer staying in the air-conditioned room than coming outside. However, you can feel the cold and refreshing wind in the surrounding of Ashi Lake, what makes that spending a day there is not tiring at all, even during a summer. I recommend sightseeing this area for the people who want to rest after exhausting sightseeing during the summer and for the people, who like the atmosphere of harbors and bordwalks. 1
|Title||Ashi Lake's Surroundings|
|Location||Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture Hakone-machi Hakone 1|
|Price||adult: 500 yen child: 250 yen|
|Opening hours||9:00-17:00（December- February till 16.30）|
|Access||55 minutes by bus to “Hakonemachi” from Odawara Station, 2 minutes on foot.|