My trip to Owakudani a few years ago is definitely something worth remembering. I have never seen anything like it in my life and have never thought that I would ever set foot on a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs. Owakudani is located in Hakone, in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Tokyo without the traffic and going back to Tokyo with traffic…forget it! I’m not even gonna go there! I was coming from Lake Ashi when I headed to Owakudani and the view on the way was serene and peaceful. I really loved seeing a lot of greens unlike in Southern California where it’s mostly brown! 😀 We seriously need more rain in SoCal so we can have healthy trees and not worry so much every time there is a heatwave just like these past few days. Anyway, enough of my rant about the SoCal drought. By the way, you also get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from Owakudani. 😉 I didn’t expect it to be that cold that day and I ended up needing some gloves because my hands were freezing. Good thing one of the stores had some. My gloves were my first purchased souvenir from Owakudani that day plus some one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty finds that I love and tea for some friends! The smell of the sulphur didn’t really bother me and it actually reminded me of the mineral bath from Glen Ivy Hot Springs. One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Owakudani was because of the Kuro-tamago aka black egg, which is a local specialty eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs is said to increase longevity. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life. You may eat up to two and a half for up to seventeen and a half years, but eating a whole third is said to be highly unadvised.* I consumed one egg and brought some back to the US for family and friends. Thank goodness I found an affordable egg container from my favorite Japanese discount store Daiso and customs did not confiscate them Kuro-tamago! 🙂
I highly recommend visiting Owakudani and other must-see areas in Hakone when visiting Japan! There’s so much to see there and it’s definitely worth the trip! I can’t wait to go back! 🙂
Here are some of my mementos from that trip!