Are you in Tokyo and want to escape the bustling crowds for just a day? Then look no further than Hakone, one of the most accessible place for beautiful scenery, spectacular onsens and historical sites. If you're looking for a place to relax then perhaps visiting Hakone's peaceful temples and shrines might be for you. Below, we have listed the top 10 most beautiful temples and shrines to help you plan your next trip!
Kintoki Shrine, located atop of Kinshi-Yama, was named after a legend about Kintaro. Kintaro was said to be a child of the forest, raised by its animals and considered them his friends, stories of him battling wild animals and cleaving trees with his legendary axe, Masakari. At Kintoki Shrine, you can see this famous axe that was said to have been used to decorate the shrine.
Address: 1181 Sengokuhara, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0631, Kanagawa Prefecture
Kuzuryu shrine is dedicated to a god of good luck, it is said that people come to pray for good business and relationships. There is a monthly Tsukinamisai festival on the 13th day of every month that is held and attracts many visitors, This is one of the best shrines to visit if you want a serene, quiet and peaceful environment. After your visit, you can even stop-by at the nearby lake to have a wonderful view. The shrine can be found a minimal distance from Motohakone harbor, where the shrine rests atop of a hill and can only be reached through a flight of stairs.
*Note: Because of the steep terrain, it might be difficult for people with mobilty issues.
Address: 190-0221 Tokyo-to, Nishitama-gun, Hinohara-mura, Kazuma, 7076
Choan-ji Temple is unique due to its location, just before sunset, its statues become spookily charming structures and you can even view upon a live volcano. There are also koi ponds, and staircases that can look almost mesmerising if you find the right angles! You can also have a taste of an egg boiled in the nearby hot spring that is said to add seven years of life to the one who eats it!
*Note: Travellers are requested to carry own coats to avoid cold wind. As you walk, the pungent smoky weather can be intolerable.
Address: 82 Sengokuhara, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0631, Kanagawa Prefecture
Hakone Motomiya Shrine
Motomiya Shrine does not possess a bell nor a saisen box which are usually found in Japanese shrines. If you're lucky and you're visiting this shrine in January, then you can see the shrine's priest which is said to only come for three days of each year.
If you came to Motomiya shrine for a red seal then it is recommended to come before the closing time which is 4 pm. The shrine's beauty is magnified greatly under a cloudy sky. On the grounds of the shrines, there is a formation of Iwagaki stones which is said to be a powerful deity's magnetic force.
*Note: 1. Walking shoes are highly recommended because of the staircase and gravel road. 2. You may want to take a ropeway to visit. The entry for hiking is a restricted area now.
Address: 110 Motohakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0522, Kanagawa Prefecture
Sounji temple can be found close to Yumoto station. This is a great place to relax especially during the rain. You can gaze at the various cherry and plum trees while immersing yourself with its environments to relieve any stress within you.
Address: 405 Yumoto, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0311, Kanagawa Prefecture
This is a recommended temple to stop by during your itinerary in Hakone, Kanagawa. It is the place for historical site lovers, it is said that the temple is interconnected with the legendary Soga brothers- Juro and Goro.
Address: 562 Yumoto, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0311, Kanagawa Prefecture
Fukazawa Zeni Araibenzaiten
Although small in size, Fuzakawa Zeni Araibenzaiten is a welcoming place for those who enjoy simpleness combined with nature. The shrine is surrounded by a charming yet small garden that cannot be found anywhere else. The blends of shades and sunlight creates for an immersive experience, both during day and night.
Address: Tonosawa, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0315, Kanagawa Prefecture
Historical records showed that the temple was build in 1610 by a training priest named Tansei. The temple is famous for its beautiful hydrangea flowers. Locals even nicknamed the temple as the "hydrangea" temple. Location-wise, it is a challenge to reach, a 30 minutes mountain climb is needed and is not recommended for those with mobility issues.
Address: 24 Tonosawa, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0315, Kanagawa Prefecture
Owakudani Enmei Jizo
Enmei Jizo is a must simply because of its gorgeous view. Although the shrine itself is not huge or grand, it does not take away any of its beautiful, simple charms.
Address: Sengokuhara, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0631, Kanagawa Prefecture