Hike Through Japanese History in Kanagawa

By: PRLog

Rejuvenate your Body, Mind, and Soul with a Hike Through the Historic Sugi Forest of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture, Just South of Tokyo, Along a Section of the Old Tokaido Highway

HAKONE, Japan - March 19, 2024 - PRLog -- Less than two hours by car and less than one hour by train from Tokyo, nature beckons in the historically rich post town of Hakone. Today a major tourist hot spot, because of its proximity to Mt. Fuji, Hakone is historically significant as an important stop along the old Tokaido Highway. The Tokaido Highway was one of five routes constructed by the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century, to connect the former Imperial Capital, Kyoto, with the political and economic center, Edo (present-day Tokyo). The remaining hiking route today is engulfed by towering Sugi or Japanese cedar trees. And nothing rejuvenates the body, mind, and soul quite like a hike through this historic forest.

Bear Luxe Travel will introduce an AT-certified guide from its partner ExploreHakone, a local Hakone specialist adventure travel service. Guests can traverse a portion of the 32-kilometer Hakone Hachiri, a remaining stretch of the time honored Tokaido Highway (literally Eastern Sea Route). They can immerse themselves in the history, breathe in the fresh air, and absorb the energy of the sun as it filters light rays through the trees, a magnificent phenomenon called komorebi.

The highway was frequented by pilgrims and merchants, as well as feudal lords who traveled in the comfort of a palanquin that was carried by personal guards or footmen. Scenic post towns, where traveling parties rested for the night, mushroomed along the route. Most of these post towns featured Amazake Chaya or "teahouses," where a sweet non-alcoholic fermented beverage called Amazake (made only from koji mold, water, and rice) was served to give the travelers an energy boost to keep moving. In Hakone, there were once four Amazake Chaya, but today, only one remains. It is run by Mr. Satoshi Yamamoto, the bubbly 13th-generation proprietor, whose family has managed this thatched-roof rest station for 400 years. Through a translator, Yamamoto-san excitedly explained about his tea house and family, including a son and daughter – in their early 20s, whom he hopes will take over the family business for the 14th generation.

An area in the center of the Amazake Chaya main room includes seating around an in-ground hearth with a large water kettle suspended above. This provides warmth and steam during the colder months. An area behind the tea house contains artifacts related to the pilgrimage including coats, sandals, snowshoes, and wooden and straw carriers. There are also dioramas, prints and paintings depicting the Edo-period travelers with their entourages, along with route maps.

The hiking tours can be customized to various fitness levels. They also provide guests with the opportunity to savor Hakone's cuisine and saturate themselves with local culture. The tour usually includes an overnight stay at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn.

About Bear Luxe Travel

Bear Luxe Japan specializes in luxury within Japan, dedicated to providing bespoke travel experiences with a human touch. Operating a network of over 75 independent Japanese luxury hotels, Bear Luxe Japan provides a comprehensive suite of services, including tailor-made itineraries, event planning and seamless payment options.

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Marian Goldberg Marketing Communications, LLC

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi, Hakone Shrine Hakone Hiking Guide Historic Hakone Hiking Photo Amazake Chaya in Hakone Hakone Sitting By The Hearth

Source: Bear Luxe Travel

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