Hakone, Hakone-Machi

The continuous drizzle did hamper our movements but we forged on. First, some lunch. Hakone-Machi is a collection of houses, a pier and a bus stop. It is a small place that is best seen on foot. A short walk from the boat pier is the “Hakone Sekisho”, Hakone Checkpoint. On the old Tōkaidō Highway between Edo [present day Tokyo] and Kyōto [old capital], this post under the governance of Tokugawa Shogunate, checked everyone who passed through. The restoration is great and with wonderful views of mountains and lake.

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A stone path led into manicured gardens. We continued on along an avenue of old cedar forest towards Moto – Hakone. Through dense vegetation, views of the red “torii” on the water’s edge, gently swaying anchored boat and misty mountains came into view. Maple trees, still with green leaves, were planted along this road. It was a pleasant walk under a humid and wet climate. It was getting towards dusk. Does the public bus still run on this route to take us back to Togendai? This question began to occupy my mind. The brochures and time table we had were quite confusing. Even the locals were unsure.

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