With an ancient path leading down Hakone-yama「Mount Hakone, 箱根山」to the famous Ashinoko「Lake Ashi, 芦ノ湖」and its views of Fuji-san「Mount Fuji, 富士山」tall cedar trees surround Hakone Shrine for a peaceful shrine experience.

After ascending the 150+ steps up the mountain and passing through a torii gate, you come to a wide open courtyard, with a path leading to the building in today’s picture. This path leads to the shrine’s Worship Hall「Haiden/拝殿」which is a building found at just about every shrine in Japan.

The haiden is the main public worship building, where people throw their coins into the saisenbako offering box and pray to the Shinto spirits.

Hakone-jinja is built in the same gongen-zukuri「権現造」architectural style as the lavish UNESCO World Heritage Nikkō Tōshō-gū, where multiple halls are connected together.

Hakone Shrine’s Worship Hall

Standing in front of Hakone Shrine's Worship Hall
NIKON D5200 (35mm, f/8, 1/2.5 sec, ISO100)
Selfie at Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine is free to enter and is always open. The area is lit by traditional looking lanterns and would be an amazing place to visit at night.

How to get to Hakone Shrine

From Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto use your JR Pass to take the bullet train to Odawara Station. From Odawara Station, take a local train (either Odakyu or Hakone Tozan Railways) to Hakone-Yumoto Station.

From Hakone-Yumoto Station, the only form of transport to the shrine is by bus. Take the bus to Moto-Hakone. When you get off the bus at Moto-Hakone you will be near the banks of Lake Ashi. From here you will see the famous “floating torii” of Hakone Shrine. Walk in that direction, and you’ll find the shrine.

TIP: Cheap travel to Hakone Shrine

Odawara is a major station where the shinkansen stops. You can use your JR Pass to get here. At the station, find the information center. There are guides who speak English and can help you purchase an Hakone Free Pass which will cover your travel on the local trains and buses, and get you discounted entry in some of the sites.

Map of this location:

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View this location – Map coordinates: 35.204582,139.025363.

[well]P.S. Welcome to the first Mainichi Photo! Mainichi「毎日」in Japanese means “daily”, and from here on in, everyday you’ll see photos from my travel and living experiences in Japan (except for  Saturdays, where the best Japan photos from fellow travelers will be showcased).[/well]

[well]P.P.S. Updated 28 July 2014: After posting almost 150 daily photos, I’ve changed my blogging schedule… no longer are these photos categorised as “Mainichi Photo” but instead now “Japan Photos“. You can still get your Japan fix with these photos, as we still publish multiple photos every week.[/well]