During the Edo period the five main roads leading to Edo were controlled with 53 checkpoints (sekisho). The most important road was Tokaido, which was connecting Kyoto to Edo, and the main checkpoint on it was at Hakone.
The checkpoints were controlling travel permits and were performing a strict control of guns, which were completely forbidden in Edo. Also, the domain lords families (wifes and daughters) were not allowed to exit Edo, were they were held by the Shogunate as hostages.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: