We took the Hakone Ropeway 箱根ロープウェイ to get to Ōwakudani 大涌谷.
The view of the mountainous Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park 富士箱根伊豆国立公園 landscape below us was gorgeous! This is the most visited National Park in Japan!
The girls were all happily cam-whoring in the little cabin! We looked so happy, some ang mo tourist also wanted to take photos with us! LOL…
My cute little Fujisan (named so cause he is a souvenir for this Mt Fuji trip) was happily sitting in the bag when the girls decided that he needed to be tortured! Sometimes I think my friends are absolutely crazy and sadistic!!!
Koji is probably the most vicious~! Look into her evil eyes!
Here’s Sushi showing fujisan dead with rigor mortis.
And finally Clara just wants to have a hot dog… dead or alive!
And here I am to save fujisan from the zombie girls!!! I think they must have played too much left4dead.
Here’s a picture of our ruined footwear! A small tip. If you wanna climb Mount Fuji be prepared for your shoes to be covered in black ashes. My rainboots are easily washable but they stink of sulfur!
Finally we can see Ōwakudani 大涌谷 in the distance!
In Ōwakudani 大涌谷 you’ll come across the statue of Enmei Jizouson ( a Buddha) , pictured above.
The Jizouson is famous for its surpassing spiritual power and it is known as a guardian deity of longevity and child-raising. According to legend, the Jizouson was made on the order of the historical monk Kobodaishi over a thousand years ago. It says that the monk was shocked and distressed by the wild landscape with fuming vents and boiling mud-water of Owakudani, which reminded him of a vision of hell in his buddhism thoughts, and decided to leave a Jizou for salvation of people suffering in the hell.
We cleansed our minds with water from the hot springs before hiking 1 km to the Kuro-tamago hot springs site. This whole area has got sulfur smoke spewing from all the vents and was known as the gateway to hell in ancient Japan. That was until an Emperor wanted to visit, and the idea of visiting a “hell hole” was frowned upon so they changed the name to Ōwakudani 大涌谷 , Great Boiling Valley.
The sulphuric smell can be too much for some to handle.
For the strong and adventurous ones who would like to view the volcanic activities of Ōwakudani 大涌谷 first hand, you can hike up to the actual site where the local eggs are cooked in the sulphuric mud (which makes it black with a tinge of sulfur flavour) to participate in the ritual of consuming those special eggs.
You will see fuming volcanic landscape on your left and the Great Mt. Fuji on your right
We of course wouldn’t miss the chance to see it all and gamely hiked up! Sushi and I with our little run and hop, reached first with Koji and Clara right behind our tails.
Right at the top is the authentic Tamago-chaya (Egg store)! The kuro-tamago (Black eggs) are cooked there.
According to Japanese legend, every egg you eat will prolong your life by 7 years.
Kuro-tamago are very popular as a life-prolonging food.
One black egg for adding 7 years to your life.
Two black eggs for adding 14 years to your life….
No more than 2 and a half eggs we were warned!
Since these eggs, boiled in hot sulfurous mud water which is a speciality and only available at Owakudani. We bought a packet of 4 eggs to share among us.
Instead of consuming them immediately like most other patrons, we decided to take the time to take photos and leisurely walk back down.
At the base of the area, there are several gift shops. Those who cannot or choose not to make the climb can also buy the Kuro-tamago from these gift shops.
And only in Owakudani, you can find this special hello kitty character goods in the black eggs motif. I find it extremely cute!
So cute that I based my special Hakone banner on it!
There are whole ranges of Hello Kitty Black Egg products in the stores! A collectible!
Back in the coach heading towards our next destination, we started to eat our Kuro-tamago.
The egg is pretty soft and very well cooked but I don’t really fancy the sulfur smell.