Hike Hakone Hachiri announces a new one-day guided hike for small groups, just 40 minutes from Tokyo Station, through the recently Japan Heritage Area accredited Hakone Hachiri. Hakone Hachiri refers to the stretch of the Old Tokaido foot highway (that links Tokyo with Kyoto) between Odawara (post town #9) and Mishima (post town #11), via Hakone (post town #10). “ri” is the ancient Chinese unit of distance, equivalent to approximately 4km, and “hachi” means eight, so Hakone Hachiri covers about 32 kms. In feudal Japan this stretch was a two day walk over mountainous terrain, rewarded by spectacular views of Mt Fuji (weather permitting), Lake Ashinoko, and the Pacific Ocean.
Local forester and historian Tony Everitt, tour guide, says “Hike Hakone Hachiri guided day hike involves about 10kms total walking for the day. Visitors enjoy walking through the forested parts of the 5 century Old Tokaido Highway that have been preserved, whilst using local trains and buses to skip through parts of the Highway now covered by a modern road.”
Morning tea is at Amazake Chaya, an original authentic Japanese tea house under 13th generation management, that has been serving their specialist Amazake (non-alcoholic naturally sweetened sake) to thirsty Tokaido travellers for centuries. Lunch is by Lake Ashinoko in Hakone’s famous township. The afternoon walk stumbles through the 16C ruins of Yamanaka Castle which afford spectacular Fuji views (weather permitting), and finishes with a stroll along Genbegawa World Heritage Water Area to Mishima Station.
Visitors catch the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Odawara in the morning to start the tour, and return from Mishima Station to Tokyo on tours’ conclusion in the evening, or can overnight in Mishima to enjoy more of Shizuoka Prefecture’s charms the following day. A version of the tour requiring less walking (4km total for the day) is also available.