Lake Ashi, Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0522, Japan
Forest Shrine at Hakone-MotoIn a country filled with shrines, I'll admit I got a little jaded by them towards the end of my trip in Japan. However, I was surprised by the Buddhist shrine opposite the Hakone tori gate on Lake Ashi. This one, set inside the lakeside forest and filled with far less people, was my favorite one that we saw, for those reasons. They also light a pathway of red lanterns leading up to it at night, adding to the ambiance. Surrounded by ancient, huge trees, it makes you feel like this is where shrines belong, offering a sense of peace and spirituality.