hakone-jinja

hakone shrine

I walked along the lake shore to the right and I climbed up a wide staircase punctuated by red gates (torii). The stairs are very easy to climb, but it gives the feeling of making an effort to rise and that the access to the temple can be done only at the cost of a physical effort that has a spiritual dimension. While going up, on the right, I had the chance to witness a traditional archery training (kyudo). At the top of the stairs, the sanctuary has an very classical architecture for such worship places. But the imposing size of the buildings shows the wealth of the sanctuary. What is very unusual is the fountain, where the pilgrims do purification gestures. Often the water flows into the fountain through the mouth of a dragon bronze statue. The legend at the origin of the temple is related to the appeasement of a 9 headed dragon living at the bottom of lake Ashi. Also certainly in memory of that tale, the fountain is 9 headed dragon. I never saw this anywhere. What is also unique is the torii on the shore of the lake. Once under the torii, the lake view is spectacular and brings a great feeling of serenity.

MAP: locate “HAKONE SHRINE” on the planet