Hakone Shrine, with a history of more than 1200 years, was long famous as a shrine for good luck for visiting generals, but now it’s gaining popularity as a power spot. When you enter the 3rd torii gate to get to the main hall, there is the 1200-year old arrow cedar (Yatate-no-sugi) from which you can receive power, and once you go beyond the 4th torii and wash your hands, the route going up the stone steps is good. The 89 stone steps are read as “Yaku” (misfortune), and it is said that going up the steps will aid in getting rid of this misfortune through the expression of pain. After praying at the main hall, pat the “Patting Mallet” 3 times while making a wish in your heart. The mallet appeared in fairy tales, and when it is shaken, it grants whatever you wish for. When returning down the steps past the 4th torii, make your way down further to the Peace Torii. The standing torii in the lake is truly mysterious.
The God of Marriage, Kuzuryu Shrine’s Main Shrine
Kuzuryu Shrine is a subordinate shrine to Hakone Shrine which worships a 9-headed dragon god. Every month on the 13th, it becomes crowded with women praying for marriage at monthly festivals. On other days, there is no one and it is difficult to come to the shrine so a new shrine was erected within the grounds of Hakone Shrine. The miracle water of Mt. Hakone (Ryuujinsui) that is used to cleanse away impurities gushes forth at the new shrine, and you can take it home and plastic bottles to carry it home are also sold. Moreover, the original shrine is at the peak of Mt. Komagatake as a rear shrine (positioned at what is said to be the back of Hakone Shrine as a sacred place). Komagatake, a sacred place for mountain worship since ancient times, can be reached by ropeway. The rock wrapped in rope in front of the original shrine is called “Bakouseki”, and it’s said to be the rock on which a god descended upon a white horse. It’s also said that the hole on top of the rock is where the horse landed its hooves, and as such, the rock has an odd reputation in which the water trapped in the hole has never evaporated. On a clear day, with Mt. Fuji in view, you can get that sacred feeling when you approach the shrine.