Hakone Hachiri: Highway Back in Time *RERUN
For centuries, the ancient Tokaido highway was the most important road in all Japan. It linked Kyoto, the emperor's capital, with Edo, the city of the shoguns, now known as Tokyo. These days, the old road has mostly been paved over for modern traffic. But there's still a long section where visitors can walk along the original route. Known as Hakone Hachiri, it runs between Odawara (in Kanagawa Prefecture) and Mishima (Shizuoka Prefecture) and it offers many glimpses of the history and traditions of Japan's feudal period. Visitors will see the original stones paving the road; giant cedar trees lining the route; a centuries-old tea house; traditional crafts shops; and hot springs where weary travelers still stop to ease their aching legs. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Michael Keida discovers many reminders of old Japan, while hiking along Hakone Hachiri.

Amazake Chaya

This traditional teahouse was founded 400 years ago. It still serves its signature traditional rice drink, made to the original recipe dating back to the time it was founded.

Stone-paved Roads

There are still many sections of this route where the road is still paved with the original cobble stones and runs along between massive cedar trees planted centuries ago to protect travelers from the wind and sun.

Hakone Checkpoint

In feudal times, people were not allowed to move freely around Japan. All travelers were closely scrutinized when passing through the Hakone Checkpoint. The traditional gate and buildings at the checkpoint were reconstructed in 2007.