The Beauty of Hakone's Shojin Pond

What was once considered a hell spot is now pure heaven

By Larry Knipfing    - 1 min read

Except for Owakudani, you probably won't have an image of Hakone as being wild and hellish. But hundreds of years ago, before the area was developed, it was considered to be quite hellish, particularly the Ashinoyu area. Nowadays, it's a nice place to take a hike, stay at a tradtional inn (Matsuzaka-ya), see some interesting statuary, and enjoy one of the most mirror-like pond surfaces I have ever seen - Shojin Ike Pond. The grave of the famous Soga Brother's (with their very own bus stop named after them) is half way between the inn and the pond.

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Larry Knipfing

Larry Knipfing @larry.knipfing

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, I have spent the last 30+ years of my life living in Japan, and enjoying every minute of it! I especially love photography, and Japan is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world to photograph! (Visit my online gallery) My other love is fiction writing and I have published quite a few books that take place in Japan. Fun stuff! You can find them at my Amazon Author's Page. In addition to my writing, I have mainly been working in the field of corporate training, and at the same time have done a lot of photography. *Kamakura, and now Yokohama (both in Kanagawa Prefecture) have been my home for almost twenty years and are perfect places for me: Hilly, situated on the water, and with amazing histories. The rest of Kanagawa is equally amazing and includes the great Hakone onsen and spa area.  *Tochigi Prefecture, with World Heritage site Nikko, is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and not far from Tokyo.  *Fukui Prefecture, located in central Japan on the coast of the Japan Sea, is brimming with classic Japanese culture and great natural beauty everywhere you look. I really look forward to sharing ALL of Japan's beauty and magic with all of you. Website: Contact me: