Hiking the Historic Tokaido Trail: Hakone Kyu Kaido 箱根旧街道

  • Published on : 17/06/2019
  • by : J.L.
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Historic Hike and Window to Feudal Japan

The historic path of Tokaido was traveled for centuries by the Japanese. You can take the same path and follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims and Samurais between forests, magnificent landscapes and culinary specialties.

The most popular and practiced route is the portion that begins at Hakone-Yumoto Station, the terminus of the Odakyu Line, 15 minutes from Odawara, to Hakone Sekisho, an old checkpoint on the historic route. By going to the edge of Lake Ashi, the atmosphere of certain portions of this hike takes you back to the distant era of feudal Japan.

This route makes you walk for about 4 hours over 11.6 kilometers.

The path of wonders

From Hakone-Yumoto station, the first steps will be the temple of Sôun-ji and then the Tenguyama sanctuary.

After the village of Sukumogawa, you see the ground become big cobblestones covered in moss. They date from the Edo period, from the very first hours of the construction of the Tokaido road. Finding the ground too slippery on the slope, the Shogun Tokugawa had for a time built a passage with bamboo, which was renewed every year.

Map Hakone Kyu Kaido
Hakone Kyu Kaido Trail
Hakone Kyu Kaido Trail
Hakone Kyu Kaido Trail
Hakone Kyu Kaido Trail
Hakone Kyu Kaido Trail
Hakone Kyu Kaido Trail

Some parts of the journey are along the road, such as the one passing through Hata-Juku, where you can discover the art of marquetry, a precious and meticulous specialty of the region, with local artisans.

Ancestral Japanese culinary specialty

The path then continues to reach Amazake-chaya. An ancestral house offers hikers the opportunity to taste the famous amazake, a drink made from fermented rice.

Very nourishing and without alcohol or added sugar, this beverage gives you a healthy boost to complete the rest of the hike.

Very hot in winter, or cold when it's hot, you can accompany it with a matcha mochi in case of a little hunger. The house has been serving its specialties for 400 years. In Amazake, you will taste a piece of Tokaido history!

La route historique du Tôkaidô

The historical road of Tôkaidô in the forest

Jerome Laborde

La route historique du Tôkaidô

The historic Tôkaidô road made of large cobblestones in the mountains

Kabacchi Flickr, CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) https://www.flickr.com/photos/kabacchi/5659918567

Our activities in Hakone

  • Duration : 8 hour
  • Location : Hakone
Discover all our activities in Hakone (150)

Our tours in Hakone

  • Duration : 14 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 21 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka, Kobe, Takachiho, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Miyajima
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 13 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima
  • Included : Visits & meals, English-speaking tour leader, Hotel temple, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan
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