Sacred power place Hakone Shrine and Mt. Hakone
The landscape of Ashino-ko Lake and Mt. Fuji. The red torii gate reflects on the surface of the water. This is one of the symbolic landscape of Japan.
Hakone Shrine is a long and honorable with more than 1200 years history. Many famous samurai lords believed in and visited the shrine. The shrine is famous for giving good luck for a game and answering to earnest wishes.
Mt. Hakone, where Hakone Shrine is located in, is a part of Fuji‐Hakone‐Izu National Park. We can enjoy the observation of birds and plants surrounded by nature from season to season.
It just takes about two and half hour from Tokyo to the spot by the trains.
Hakone Shrine (箱根神社） and Mt. Hakone
Actually, there are other eight shrines including popular Kuzuryu Shrine in the ground and Mototsumiya (the mother shrine) on the top of Mt. Komagatake (part of Mt. Hakone).
The Peace Torii gate (平和の鳥居)
The famous Peace Torii in the water of Ashino-ko Lake was built in 1952. The construction commemorated the ceremony of installing a Crown Prince and signing Treaty of San Francisco previous year.
Though there are over 85,000 shrines in Japan, a torii gate in the water hardly can be seen but the torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima is also famous.
Mototsumiya is on the top of Mt. Komagatake apart from the main and other shrines at the foot. Komagatake was a spot of the worship for Kamiyama Mountain (mountain of the god in Japanese) and it is said that the religion started more than 2400 years ago.
There is the mythical stone which the God on the white horse flew down. The stone has a hole on the top. The white horse made the whole when they landed. The water in the whole would never dry up…
You can reach the shrine by Hakone Komagatake Ropeway (from Hakone-en to Top) Be careful not to take it for “Hakone Ropeway”, from So^unzan to Togendai)
Kuzuryu Shrine (九頭龍神社)
According to the myth, the poison dragon with nine heads rampaged around Ashino-ko Lake and tormented people. So the holy priest Mangan who established Hakone Shrine defeated the dragon with the power of Hakone God on Mt. Hakone. The dragon mended and became the guardian deity of Ashino-ko Lake, Kuzuryu God (Kuzuryu means nine heads dragon in Japanese).
It is said that the Dragon God Water at the shrine purifies the body. And Kuzuryu Shrine is famous for the deity of marriage.
History of Hakone Shrine
Kamiyama Mountain, one of the tops of caldera volcano Mt. Hakone, has been worshipped since 2400 years ago. And the high priest Mangan received an oracle from the God of Mt. Hakone and established Hakone Daigongen on the mountain in 757 (Nara Period). It became the center place of Shugendō (Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts) and to pray for the gods of Kanto Area.
While the people had played the Godspeed of journey, the samurai lords including Minamoto Yoritomo (first Shogun of Kamakura shogunate), Tokugawa Ieyasu (first Shogun of Edo shogunate).
In 1868, as a result of an ordinance to distinguish Shinto and Buddhism, Hakone Daigongen turned into Hakone Shrine.
It takes about 60 minutes from Odawara Station by bus. The bus stop is Hakone Jinja Iriguchi (the entrance of Hakone Shrine).
Hakone is also famous as onsen (hot spring) resort. Check the special ryokan hotels in Hakone!