Japan Memories #12: Hakone Cedar Avenue and Jinju Shrine
Travel Date : 28th March (Wed)
From a brochure:
“The Edo Shogunate ordered the planting of cedar trees along the old Tokaido highway in 1618. The main mode of travel then was on foot and the cedar trees provided welcome comfort for travelers from the hot sun of summer and the snow of winter. There are still 2km of this large cedar avenue remaining today.”
Ancient Cedar Path
We walked along a path with Cedar trees and thought it was the ‘Ancient Cedar Avenue’. I was disappointed that the trees were small.
Later, we found another path on our way to Jinju Shrine and discovered that the real ‘Ancient Cedar Avenue‘ was here. The trees were huge and offered a good shade. I was in awe of them.
While walking along the path, we had an interesting travel moment. An elderly Japanese man approached us with his camera.
We first saw the Torii by the sea which we took a picture of. It is at the bottom of the steps that lead to Jinju Shrine.
The shrine was so high up that we couldn’t even see how it looks like. At most, we spot a roof on top of a long staircase with a railing. Curious about it, we started climbing up, stopping at times to catch our breath.
We discovered a quiet and peaceful shrine surrounded by ancient Cedar trees.
As with all religious places placed high above, reaching it feels like a pilgrimage journey and shows the sincerity of the person asking for blessings. Except, for us, we were just curious how it was like. Probably because we had seen two shrines so far in our exploration in Tokyo, this was just alright but not impressive.
It was time for lunch so we headed back to Hakone Yumoto (the town area) to get our lunch before boarding the train back to Tokyo. We would be staying back in the same hotel where they had kept our luggage for us for a night.
(This entry is from our Travel Scrapbook of Japan in 2007)
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