Hakone Shrine

箱根神社   Click to listen highlighted text! 箱根神社

(hakone jinja)

Hakone Shrine (箱根神社, Hakone Jinja) is a beautiful Shinto shrine located at the foot of Mount Hakone, near Lake Ashinoko. The shrine is surrounded by dense forest, giving it a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The shrine is particularly famous for its giant torii gates that stand both on the shore of the lake and over the main street of Moto-Hakone.

According to shrine tradition, Hakone-jinja was founded in 757 during the reign of Emperor Kōshō. Initially, the shrine was located at the summit of the Komagatake peak of Mount Hakone. However, it was later relocated to its current position on the shores of Lake Ashi. The shrine’s current form dates back to 1667.

The Hakone Shrine is believed to have been established by Priest Mangan, who is credited with pacifying the nine-headed dragon that lived at the bottom of Lake Ashi. The dragon was believed to cause storms and floods, but Priest Mangan was able to subdue it and bring peace to the area. As a result, the shrine was built to honor the deity that Priest Mangan believed had helped him in his mission.

The Hakone Shrine is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Japan. The shrine’s serene location, surrounded by mountains and forest, makes it an ideal place for relaxation and meditation. Visitors can take a stroll through the forest to reach the shrine or take a boat ride across Lake Ashi to see the famous torii gate that stands in the lake.

The shrine is also famous for its stunning architecture, which is a blend of traditional Japanese and Chinese styles. The buildings are adorned with intricate carvings and beautiful paintings that showcase the artistic skills of the shrine’s craftsmen. The shrine’s main hall, called Honden, is particularly impressive and is considered a National Treasure of Japan.

In addition to its religious significance, the Hakone Shrine is also an important cultural landmark in Japan. Many festivals and events are held at the shrine throughout the year, including the famous Hakone Shrine Festival, which is held in early June. During this festival, the shrine’s famous portable shrine, called Mikoshi, is carried through the streets of Moto-Hakone in a colorful procession.

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