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.