The Hakone Barrier Checkpoint, Sekishou, was built in 1619 under orders from the second Tokugawa Shogun. During the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate travel was strictly regulated to keep the political structure intact. If you did not have a pass you could not travel freely through the country.
These barrier checkpoints were set up throughout the country to ensure and restrict the movement weapons and women to prevent an uprising. The Hakone Barrier Checkpoint was one of the most famous. A renovation of the Hakone Barrier Checkpoint was completed in 2007. You can see the weapons, rooms, and structure travelers would have had to pass through at the time.
People were only allowed to pass from 6 in the morning to 6 at night. At the exhibition Hall next to the barrier checkpoint you can see and learn about the history of this complex and it is a place to experience Japanese history. The checkpoint would have guarded this road for 250 years seeing samurai, shogun processions, dignitaries and travelers pass through the gates over the years. Take the time to explore the area. Walk the towering cedar lined Suginamiki and visit Onshi Park, the former summer villa for the imperial family.
The Hakone Barrier Checkpoint can be reached easily by bus. The checkpoint is located on the shores of Lake Ashi between the Moto-Hakone bus stop and the Hakone-Ko bus stop.