Drive and walk to Hakone and Kakita River


食事のお供に新習慣 【糖脂リミット】

I went for a drive to Hakone and Kakitagawa.
In some places, I got out of the car and walked around.

Hakone Shrine

When I walked the Tokaido Highway about six years ago, I stayed at an unassuming inn called Oba near the Motohakone intersection. The sun was still high when I arrived, so I asked about nearby sightseeing spots, and they recommended Hakone Shrine.


Stone steps of Hakone Shrine

I remembered it as a big shrine, but when I actually came here, I realized that I didn’t remember much about it. Was there such a long stone staircase?

There was an archery range in the middle of the stone steps, and most of the worshippers stopped to watch.
If I were to draw my bow, I would be conscious of the eyes of others. But for the people who were drawing bows here, I guess it was a normal thing, nothing special. They are drawing their bows without hesitation. They seem to be able to show off their abilities at any time, without getting nervous during matches or judging.


Hakone Shrine Main Hall

This is the main shrine. The deities are Ninigi-no-mikoto, Konohana-sakuyahime, and Hiko-hihodemi-no-mikoto, a couple and their son.
The divine virtues of the deity are traffic safety, fulfillment of heartfelt wishes, and good luck and exorcism. When I think of traffic safety, I tend to think of cars. But this place is near the Tokaido Highway. So travelers have been praying for safety on the road since ancient times. Thanks to my pilgrimage here, I was able to walk the Tokaido Highway in good order.



On the way back to the parking lot, I saw an Oban swimming in Lake Ashino. It has a black body with a white forehead. It is the city bird of Abiko City, where the Bird Museum is located, but I don’t remember seeing many of them in the Tokyo area.

Hakone Park

When I walked along the Tokaido Highway, the words “Kanagawa Prefectural Gift Hakone Park” caught my eye, and I knew I wanted to visit, so I did. The parking fee is 320 yen per hour, but there is no entrance fee.



Although there was a bit of cloud cover, I could see Lake Ashinoko beautifully from the top of the hill. Cherry blossoms were also in bloom.



The Lakeside Observatory (Lakeside Tenmokukan), reminiscent of the former Hakone Palace, has been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. What a pity. I guess I won’t be coming back.

I descended the 200 steps. Each staircase was low in height, so it was quite difficult to go down. I forgot to take a picture of the stairs.


Ashigawa Bridge

At the bottom of the 200 steps was the Ashigawa Bridge.
It is said to be one of the three great stone bridges of the Tokaido Highway in the Edo period. It is said to have been relocated here because it could no longer withstand the increased traffic.


Cedar trees along the Old Hakone Road

I crossed Route 1 and headed for the cedar trees along the old Hakone highway.

This cedar-lined street is one of my favorite places on the Tokaido Highway because of its emotional atmosphere. Today, however, the road turned into a river and my shoes turned to mush. In the old days, people must have traveled with straw sandals even in places with such poor footing.


Hakone Barrier

I also decided to go through the Hakone barrier.
There was a ticket booth, but they told me it was free just to go through.

Hakone Pass

Since I was in Hakone, I wanted to see the bamboo grass tunnel at Kabutoishizaka again, so I parked my car at Hakone Pass and came to the entrance of the old highway.


Kabutoishizaka entrance blocked by heavy machinery and trucks

However, heavy machinery and trucks were parked there and it was off-limits.
A man nearby told me that the stone pavement had been washed away by last year’s typhoon and would not be accessible for a while due to construction. It’s a pity.

Kakita River

The real purpose of this drive was to visit Kakita River in Shimizu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture.
The Kakita River is the shortest first-class river in Japan with a total length of about 1.2 km, using spring water as its main source.

Coming from Hakone on Route 1 by car, I saw Kakita River and turned left.
However, I could not get to the Kakita River Park parking lot from the west side of the Kakita River.
It seems that many people make the mistake and there was a map for detouring where I got lost. It showed a route to cross Route 1 to the north, then to the east, and then back to Route 1 again to the parking lot on the east side of Kakita River.


Kakitagawa Park

There was quite a bit of traffic, and after a lot of effort, I finally made it to the parking lot. I didn’t realize that the detour on the way was the old Tokaido highway, and I didn’t have time to soak in the afterglow.


The promenade to Kakita River

I paid the 200 yen parking fee and walked along the boardwalk to the river.


Kakita River

I arrived at the river, looking at the water gushing out here and there.
But unfortunately, this picture doesn’t show how beautiful the water is at all.


room for boiling water (Wakima)

I hope this picture gives you some idea. Water is constantly gushing out and overflowing from the round concrete area.


Yuusui 2nd observation deck

Here, too, water was gushing out of the riverbed and sand was flying up.
I forgot about the time and just watched.

At Kakitagawa Park, you can fetch water for free to take home. They also sell plastic bottles. The water has no peculiar taste and is really delicious.

Walking Data

Hakone Shrine, 1.4km, 0h42m
Hakone Park, 1.8km, 0h49m
Hakone Pass, 1.1km, 0h27m
Kakitagawa Park, 1.2km, 1h16m