Hakone Shrine (Hakone-jinja)

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  • Hakone Shrine

    Hakone Shrine

  • Heiwa-no-torii (Gate of Peace) of Hakone Shrine with Mt. Fuji

    Heiwa-no-torii (Gate of Peace), Hakone Shrine with Mt. Fuji

  • Huge Torii Gate Moto-Hakone Main Street

    Huge Torii Gate, Moto-Hakone Main Street

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Facts & Figures

Nestled in a location overlooking the amazing Lake Ashi, you will find a Shinto shrine that can be traced back to the Heian Period (794 - 1185) known as the Hakone Shrine or Hakone Gongen or Hakone-jinja. Three gods (kami), known as the Great gods of Hakone, are enshrined here. The shrine is surrounded by large cedars and pines, which is partly what helps to add to the beauty and charm of the Hakone Shrine and its surroundings. Its most prominent feature is the huge red torii gate (Heiwa-no-torii) in Lake Ashinoko. A motif that is part of most calendars about Japan. If the weather is good you can see the red gate together with Mt. Fuji in the background. Best Ryokans in Hakone Explore Ryokans in Hakone >
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The path with 89 steps leading from the lake to the main shrine is my must-see recommendation during your visit. You will see many stone lanterns on the way up and beautiful Japanese cedar trees, some of them older than 800 years. You will also pass through bright red gates like Dai-yon-torii. Many especially young people arrive at the shrine to pray for good fortune in their relationships, others to get married or for wealth, safety during traveling, and luck in competitions. It is particularly popular with many local women who go there every day. My tip: Do not miss the place of a traditional Japanese archery range (Kyodo).

  • Hakone Shrine:
  • Opening Hours - always, whole day
  • Closed - never
  • Admission Fee - free
  • Treasure House:
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (last entry 4:00 pm)
  • Closed - never
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults)

My tips for local activities

Local guide in Hakone

Enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, Hakone area and Lake Ashi during a day trip from Tokyo. The meeting point will be at the Shinjuku L Tower Starbucks. The personalized tour by our partner GetYourGuide can take up to 10 hours. For more details check out this page >

History

The Hakone Shrine has a long and interesting history that began in 757 during the Nara Period (710-794) when priest Mangan, named for his reading of 1000 Buddhist sutras, founded this holy place during the reign of Emperor Kosho. The ancient people who lived among the large cedar trees had been dealing with steam explosions from the mountains for hundreds of years. For a long time, they associated the explosions with evil forces, as a result of the evil nine-headed dragon that was thought to inhabit the nearby Lake Ashinoko. Fortunately, a monk practicing at Mt. Komagatake, which was the shrine's original location before it was moved to the shores of Lake Ashi, managed to exorcise the dragon, which successfully sanctified the land and made it peaceful again. It is believed that the dragon (Great God of Hakone) was enshrined there, which helps to explain the shrine’s source of mystical power. Based on this legend you will find many dragon motifs all over the shrine. The first Kamakura shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147 - 1199), used this shrine as a place of refuge in 1180, after losing a battle with his Heike rivals. In 1590, during the Battle of Odawara, Hakone Shrine was burned down by troops of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537 - 1598). The current buildings you see are dating back to 1667. The shrine was listed in 1875 among the 3rd class of nationally significant shrines in Japan. The Shrine itself enshrines the principal deities of Hakone. These are Ninigi-no-mikoto (grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu), Konohanasakuya-hime (the goddess of Mt. Fuji and Ninigi's wife), and Hoori-no-mikoto (their third son).

Location

Map of Japan

Hakone Shrine is located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park on the shores of Lake Ashi in the small town of Hakone.
Address: 80-1 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0522

How to get to Hakone Shrine?

  • 2hrs from Tokyo Shinjuku Station to Lake Ashi by Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus or
  • 2hrs from Tokyo Shinjuku Station to Hakone Yumoto Station by Odakyu Railways and
  • 35min from Hakone Yumoto Station to Moto-Hakone boat pier by Hakone Tozan Bus and
  • 6min from Moto-Hakone boat pier to the shrine

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Hakone Shrine Museum - The shrine treasure house (Homotsuden) contains many different objects. Five of them are classified as a National Important Cultural Property.

Heiwa-no-torii (Gate of Peace) - The famous red gate is standing in Lake Ashi (or Ashino-ko) and is visible from far away. It was erected in 1964 and celebrates the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in 1951. The place can get really crowded especially on the weekends, because it is such a popular Instagram photo spot.

Gongen-zukuri main shrine building - Enjoy the beautiful architectural style of the vermilion-lacquered structure. Right behind the building are more than 100 himeshara trees also known as Stewartia monadelpha located. The grove has the status of a designated Natural Monument of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Kuzuryu Shrine - A sub-shrine at Hakone-jinja is located near the main hall and was constructed in 1988.

Mototsumiya Shrine - This recommendation is something for hikers. The original shrine is located at the summit of Komagatake (Mt. Hakone) where the Hakone Shrine is based from. It is also called the interior shrine (okumiya) of Hakone-jinja.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

Every month

Tsukinamisai Festival (13th)
Mainly women come here to wish for a good matchmaking. The festival starts at 10 am.

Juli

Ashinoko Kosui Matsuri in Hakone (31st)
Enjoy the Firework Festival and Floating Lanterns at this beautiful place. Unbelievable 18500 fireworks brighten up the night sky above Lake Ashinoko. This festival is the starting point of the Lake Ashi Summer Festival Week which runs till the 6th of August.

August

Hakone Shrine Reidai Festival (1st)
The Hakone Shrine holds this festival once a year to pray for the long life and health of the shrine and its visitors. It is the main festival of the shrine.

Kojiri Ryujin (Dragon) God Festival in Hakone (4th)
An event dedicated to the enshrined Dragon of Lake Ashi. Enjoy the huge fireworks in the evening.

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