Check in at Hakone's historic gate.
You’re never far from Japan’s mystifying historical past in Hakone. One of the most stunning sights lies between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi, overlooking Lake Ashinoko. A looming, dark blue gate marks the sight of the Old Tokaido road.
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Travelers with more time can lull around before catching a sightseeing boat around the lake at either Moto-Hakone or Hakone-machi. The checkpoint itself underwent reconstruction in 2007 to restore the original gates, fence, officer housing, prison and lookout tower. Flanked on one side by souvenir shops and restaurants (including a very popular ramen place, follow the queue, or your nose), and the Tokaido Museum on the other, there is a lot to keep yourself occupied.
Although not necessarily ideal as the main attraction of your day, the Hakone Checkpoint is perfect for those who have an hour or so spare. Even better, the sightseeing tours run every half an hour which allows even the busiest of travellers the chance to visit one of Japan’s historical focal points.