Located less than a hundred kilometres from Tokyo in the mountainous southwestern part of Kanagawa Prefecture, Hakone sits within the borders of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, in a volcanically active area centred around Lake Ashinoko. 

Noted for hot springs, natural beauty and views of nearby Mount Fuji, Hakone is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists.

During the Edo Period, Hakone-juku was an important checkpoint to control traffic along the Tōkaidō highway between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. 

The checkpoint formed the border of the Kantō region. 

Travellers on the Tōkaidō had their travel permits and baggage examined under laws that restricted the travel of women and weapons. 

A short, cedar lined section of the highway and a reconstructed Hakone Checkpoint with gates, housing for officers and soldiers, a prison chamber and a lookout tower are located between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi on the southern shore of Lake Ashinoko. 

The nearby Hakone Sekisho Shiryokan Museum has related exhibits.

© Ian Hughes 2017