Hakone is the location of a noted Shinto shrine, the Hakone Gongen, which is mentioned in Heian period literature. During the Gempei War, Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed at this shrine for victory over his enemies, after his defeat at the Battle of Ishibashiyama, which was also located with the borders of present-day Hakone. As with the rest of Sagami Province, the area came under the control of the late Hojo clan of Odawara during the Sengoku period. After the start of the Edo period, Hakone-juku was a post station on the Tokaido highway connecting Edo with Kyoto. It was also the site of a major barrier and official checkpoint on the route known as the Hakone Checkpoint (箱根関所), which formed the border of the Kanto region. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, all travellers entering and leaving Edo along the Tokaido were stopped here by officials, and their travel permits and baggage was examined.
After the start of the Meiji Restoration, Hakone became a part of the short-lived Ashigara Prefecture before becoming part of Ashigarashimo District in Kanagawa prefecture in August 1876. Hakone attained town status in 1889. After merger with five neighboring towns and villages in September 1956, it reached is present boundaries.
Lake Ashi is a scenic lake in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshu, Japan. It is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano. The lake is known for its views of Mt. Fuji and its numerous hot springs. Several pleasure boats and ferries traverse the lake, providing scenic views for tourists and passengers. One of the boats is a full-scale replica of a man-of-war pirate ship.
Most visitors to Lake Ashi stay in the nearby resorts or visit some of the local attractions, including taking the aerial tram Hakone Ropeway to The Great Boiling Valley. From Togendai on Lake Ashi, the Hakone Ropeway aerial tram connects to Sounzan, the upper terminus of the Hakone Tozan Cable Car funicular railway. This in turn connects to the Hakone Tozan Line mountain railway for the descent to Odawara and a connection to Tokyo by the Tokaido Shinkansen.
Owakudani is a volcanic valley with active sulfur vents and hot springs in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is a popular tourist site for its scenic views, volcanic activity, and especially, Kuro-tamago — a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulfuric; consuming the eggs is said to increase longevity. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life. You may eat up to two and a half for up to seventeen and a half years, but eating a whole third is said to be highly unadvised.
Access to Owakudani is via a funitel, the Hakone Ropeway. There is also a road to a visitor's center just below the Kuro-tamago hot springs site. Most visitors hike the roughly 1 kilometer trail to the actual site where the eggs are boiled to participate in the ritual egg eating. The funitel offers a stunning view of both Mount Fuji (on clear days) and the sulfur vents just below the visitor's center. Present day activities surrounding sulfur vents are the result of massive land slides in the past, construction of concrete barriers and stabilization of the area have been under way for many decades.
Hakone Ekiden was started in 1920. Shizo Kanaguri, who is known as the father of the Japanese marathon, conceived the idea. His enthusiastic idea of bringing up a runner who could compete in the world became the driving force of establishing Hakone Ekiden. When Kanaguri was a Tokyo Koutou Shihan school (Koushi) student, he participated in Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912 as one of the representative Japanese marathon runners. He had to give up his race on the way, however.
In the meantime, the first ekiden, Tokaido ekiden tohokyouso was held in 1917 between Sanjou Oohashi, Kyoto and Ueno Shinobazunoike, Tokyo, celebrating 50 years after Tokyo became the capital. This race was a big relay race between Kyoto and Tokyo (516km) held by Yomiuri Shimbun for three days. It succeeded and became the original form of Hakone Ekiden. Kanaguri was influenced by the success of the race and persuaded many universities that they should race in the Hakone Ekiden. As a result, Waseda Univ., Keio Univ., Meiji Univ. and Tokyo Koushi replied to his offer and Hakone Ekiden started. Hakone Ekiden was started with great energy of the pioneers in Japanese sports society. It started during World War I, so industrial areas gradually expanded to the west and the Tokaido road was widen. Reflecting this active atmosphere, the Japanese sports society, including ekiden one, were developing great challenging spirits at that time.
The Hakone Tozan Line is Japan's first mountain railroad. It is operated by the Hakone Tozan Railway. This company belongs to the Odakyū Group, and also owns the Hakone Tozan Cable Car.
The initial stretch of the line from Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station started operations in 1919, with current terminus Gōra reached in 1930. Since 2006, only Odakyū Odawara Line trains run on the previously dual-gauge section from Odawara Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station. From Gora, visitors can continue up the mountain on the Hakone Tozan Cable Car.
The railroad is capable of climbing one meter vertically for every 12.5 meters of horizontal distance, a maximum slope of 8%. The line traverses Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, so the line was carefully designed to limit the impact on scenery. Due to the difficult conditions, the line has three switchbacks used to ascend particularly tight spots.
・・・さて、最後の信号所。 ココで（あまり停車時間がないので速やかにっ）聞いてみましょう。 "Do you think that this train goes in which direction?"