Hakone Hachiri, now a Japan Heritage Area

  Hakone Hachiri has just been declared a Japan Heritage Area. Hachiri literally means 8 Li, a distance of approximately 30 kilometers. It refers to the stretch of the old Tokaido between Odawara (Tokaido Sation #9) and Mishima (Station #11), via Hakone (Station #10). During the Edo Period this stretch was a two day walk … Continue reading Hakone Hachiri, now a Japan Heritage Area

Happy 400th Birthdays Sugi

Four centuries ago exactly, the second Edo Period Shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada, ordered the planting of sugi (Japanese Ceder, Cryptomeria japonica) along both sides of Tokaido to shade travellers as they made their way around the shoreline of Lake Ashinoko towards Hakone Checkpoint. 420 of these magnificant specimens remain, towering straight, fat, and proud into the Hakone sky along Ceder Avenue.

Hakone Checkpoint and Lake Ashinoko

Hakone Checkpoint

Tokaido had checkpoints at various intervals to ensure that travellers were bonefide and to protect the Shogun in the capital, Edo. Hakone was the closest checkpoint to Edo, so was one of the most severely policed. Perched between the waters of Lake Ashinoko and the steep mountainous terrain of Hakone, Tokaido travellers had no alternative but to submit to inspection.