Hiking Marudake From Otome-Toge (Hakone)

Hiking Marudake From Otome-Toge (Hakone)

Earlier this month, I took advantage of a sunny Sunday and headed out to hike another “new-to-me” trail in Hakone: Marudake (1,154 m) via Otome-Toge. As always, the hike information is at the bottom of the post. I caught the highway bus from Shinjuku to Otome-toge; the route goes through Gotemba–where I caught a great view of Mt. Fuji–always an excellent way to start the day. I’ve hiked the first part of this trail several times, and the view from the Otome-toge bus stop is one of the best anywhere when Fuji is in a cooperative mood. She was a

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Torikabuto and Takanosu

Torikabuto and Takanosu

Yesterday saw the addition of three more peaks to my #100Summits list, thanks to a traverse of two peaks and a gondola-assisted climb of a third in the Hakone area. While I’ll give more details about the later two climbs in the weeks to come, today I’m sharing a little about the first, which also involved research for my next Hiro Hattori mystery (the first one to involve a ghost).

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The Water Gate at Hakone Shrine

The Water Gate at Hakone Shrine

Today we continue the virtual tour of Hakone Shrine with a trip to the water gate. In the Shintō faith, torii (the red-orange gate in the images) mark the boundary between the secular and the sacred – though on occasion, it often seems that the areas on both sides of the torii are equally sacred. The water gate at Hakone Shrine is one of those places.

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Visiting Hakone Shrine: Subshrines & Komainu

Visiting Hakone Shrine: Subshrines & Komainu

(To read this series from the beginning, click here!) Hakone Shrine sits on the shore of Lake Ashi, in a grove of massive, sacred trees. The scents of pine and cedar follow visitors up the shaded paths. In winter months you may also catch a whiff of wood smoke in the air. After visiting the purification fountain, most visitors either head down to the water gate on the shore of Lake Ashi or up the steps to the shrine’s main worship hall.

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A Night at Tonosawa Ichinoyu Shinkan, Hakone

(To read this series on Hakone from the beginning, click here.) From Tonosawa Station, it’s a beautiful, forested 5-minute walk to Ichinoyu Shinkan, the ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) where I’ve stayed during both of my research trips to Japan.   The paved path winds along the hillside, under a beautiful canopy of trees: . . . with views of the foliage on the hill across the way. It’s peaceful and lovely in any season, although the autumn leaves make this a truly spectacular walk. Ichinoyu Shinkan sits against the side of a hill. Despite its unassuming exterior, the rooms are a lovely blend of convenience

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