Using 140-year-old techniques and tools, the appearance of those days has been recreated
A sekisho was a facility posted at important sites along a main road to collect taxes and perform inspections. Hakone Sekisho was established by the Tokugawa shogunate in 1619 for the defense and security of Edo against the western part of Japan. It was abandoned in 1869 with the arrival of the Meiji government. Afterwards, what remained of the facility was designated as a National Historic Site, but in 1983, a report regarding the dismantling and rebuilding of the sekisho at the end of the Edo Era was discovered which sparked the restoration of the facility. The large-scale restoration was completed in 2007, thanks to tools and techniques used by the old masters back in those days. Its former appearance of 140 years ago has been revived along the shores of Lake Ashi.
Feel as if you’re back in the Edo Era beyond the gate
Once you get beyond the Edo-side Gate which was the entrance into the sekisho for travelers coming from Edo, a scene reminiscent of those days will unfold in front of your very eyes. At the Obansho/Kamiban Rest House, the lifestyle of the Edo Era has been recreated. Items such as small tools have been realistically created which are of great interest. At the Ashigaru Bansho which was the station for the low-ranked ashigaru foot soldiers, you can observe facilities such as the agariya where suspicious warriors were detained and the gokuya jail where criminals and the like who broke through the sekisho were confined. You can enjoy and learn about the Edo Era from various angles.
After touring the sekisho, have fun learning of the history at the museum
At Hakone Sekisho Exhibition Hall which was recreated based on documents of the guard station at the sekisho, about 130 exhibits regarding the sekisho are on display such as travel passes and old road maps. You can view see and learn about valuable artifacts such as an official bulletin board which displays information on passage through the sekisho, a 2-pronged weapon to catch criminals, spears and poles. There is also a shop inside the hall in which there is material to better understand the workings of the sekisho. Traditional Hakone handicrafts such as wooden mosaic work are also there so the shop is ideal to find souvenirs.