Thursday, August 12, 2010
Hakone is a town in the Kanagawa prefecture, centered around the lake Ashi, part of the volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu national park (the park is not a specific place but a collection of dispersed tourist sites that dot the region).
With its scenic views, hot springs, and cultural locations, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations for national and international visitors. Located at around 80 Km from Tokyo provides also the best excuse to take a break of the fast-paced city and enjoy nature, there are also plenty of outdoor activities on the mountains in the area.
The most convenient access from Tokyo is by train from Shinjuku station. Scenic boats, ropeways and cable car provide access within the town and to adjacent locations.
Hakone was after the edo-period a border checkpoint between Edo and Kyoto.
At Hakone sekisho, travelers’ permits and badges were examined before entering or leaving the region. The ancient post station is being recreated at the original location and now you can get an insight of the period customs and political divisions.
Lake Ashi is a beautiful lake, formed by volcanic activity 400 thousand years ago, surrounded by mountains and dense forest, provide breathtaking views of mount Fuji, on this visit, mount Fuji was not visible due to rain and fog.
The most distinctive view of Hakone is provided by the torii of the Hakone Shrine in the lake Ashi.