At certain times in history travel through the landscape of Hakone was not for the faint of heart. The bleak, ashy landscape scattered with volcanic rock and steaming vents looked like hell to travelers in the area. From the Kamakura Era, Moto-Hakone became a place of Jizo statues, where travelers could pray for protection and strength on their journey. Some of the statues were carved into natural rocks.
There is a small museum with information about the area and the statues. A 20 minute trail leads from the museum along the shore of the pond. It passes under the highway and continues on the other side. There are a number of points of interest along the way, including a shrine of Rokudo Jizo Bosatsu, the Buddha who controls the six worlds to come after death.
You can reach this place either by bus from Hakone, or by car. There is a free car park in front of the museum.
Take the Hakone-Tozan bus or the Izu-Hakone Bus bound for Hakone-machi from either Odawara Station or Hakone-Yumoto Station. Get off at Soga-kyodai-no Haka Stop or Rokudo-Jizo Stop.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.