Thetraveljunkie.org – In the middle of Hakone’s lush greenery, Owakudani is like an entirely different dimension. The surface of the earth turns white and the wilted woodlands; a desolate landscape spreads before you. But this is just another form that the living earth takes. Let yourself feel the Earth’s breath.
Whether cruising through the sky, crossing a lake, ascending or descending mountain trails on wheels or ropeway, Hakone boasts exciting ways to go and a chance experience magnificent nature.
Enjoy the view during a 30 minute ride across four kms between Sounzan and Togendai stations, including the amazing Owakudani volcanic valley, Lake Ashi, and magnificent Mt. Fuji.
Owakudani, created roughly three millennia ago by steam explosions, “Great Boiling Valley” is an active volcanic zone sourcing Hakone hot springs and a hot travel junkie spot for Mt. Fuji views. Feel the volcanic power amid natural beauty.
Volcanic gasses (hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide) are occasionally released in the vicinity of Owakudani. These gasses are highly toxic and can cause physical harm. Strong smells and/or irritation of your eyes, nose or throat are signs that you are in danger. Find shelter or leave the area immediately.
Owakudani has an altitude of 1.040 m. There are many foggy days, and even during the summer, cloudy or rainy days are chilly, so long sleeves and rain apparel are necessary. Also, since there are often days with strong winds, it is recommended to bring winter clothes or extra layers of clothing.
Owakudani Black Eggs, a local specialty, owe their unique look and taste to boiling in hot spring ponds (80°C) and then steaming at 100°C. Watch for yourself as shells turn black when immersed in hot spring minerals. Eat one, legend says, and you’ll be blessed by Jizo Bosatsu (bodhisattva assuring longevity and healthy child rearing) and your life extended by seven years.
And now the question is, where shall we go next?
Happy Sustainable Travels!