Samurai, warriors, dancing girls, marching bands, and — shita ni! Bow your head! — the daimyo himself are the main draws of the Hakone Daimyo March (gyoretsu in Japanese).
This is a parade recreating a feudal Japanese sankin kotai, or daimyo journey. This is definitely one for the history-lovers, or anyone who enjoys pomp and ceremony; there will be 200 (100 in 2022) participants in period costume dressed as samurai, geisha, Yakko warriors, workers, and princesses to commemorate the daimyo’s journey through Hakone along the old Tōkaidō road (the major Edo-era route from Kyoto to Tokyo). There will also be marching bands, demonstrations of feudal activities, and dance performances to check out along the way.
The schedule has been released and is a lot shorter than previous years. The procession will begin at Hakone Yumoto Onsen Resort at 2 p.m. before making its way past Hakone Yumoto Station and finishing at Yumoto Fujiya Hotel around 2:50 p.m.
How to get there
The nearest station is Hakone Yumoto, and it is recommended that you take the train and walk to the venue from the station, as many of the roads are closed for the parade. After a long day digging up history, soak your body and soul in one of the town’s many onsen.